Sheep-to-Shawl at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

The Dream Weavers participated in a Sheep-to-Shawl competition yesterday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. For those who may be new to this blog or who have been checking in since the last post about this activity … a Sheep-to-Shawl competition is one in which teams compete to be the first to shear a sheep, and to card and spin enough wool to weave a shawl with finished dimensions of at least 78 x 22″ (198 x 56 cm). In addition to these final dimensions, team performances are also judged on the quality and efficiency of shearing, the quality and appropriateness of the fleece, the quality and uniformity of the hand-spinning, the precision of the weaving, the overall design of the shawl, and of course the speed with which all of this may be accomplished. You will notice that nearly all of the shawls shown here have lots of color (and fleeces only grow in a natural palette of white to gray to black). This is because the loom is warped before the competition. That is, all of the threads which run along the length of the shawl are already in place before the day’s event gets underway. And teams are free to do all sorts of things with the warp threads, including dying them. The only threads which are produced during the competition are those that comprise the weft. These run from side-to-side in the shawl and will be the color of the fleece that is harvested from the animal at the start of the competition. Joanna’s team produced a beautiful shawl which earned fourth place in the competition. Its theme was Honey, and was dedicated to team member and bee keeper, Wayne, who we lost last summer. I have posted images from this yearly competition in 2014, 2013, and in 2012. As I look over this year’s contribution I believe it looks very much the same except, of course, for the team picture. Many thanks to team carder David Weaver for his willingness to take on the responsibility of filling some pretty big shoes, he did an exceptional job. [Clicking any of the images below will take you to a carousel view. From there you may view image titles and migrate back and forth through the collection. Clicking the x in the upper left will bring you back to the current view.]

%d bloggers like this: