Welcome To The 2009 PA Farm Show Sheep To Shawl Contest.

Good morning, fiber lovers!  I’m here in the Sales Arena, getting ready for the day’s events.  So why don’t we get this show on the road?

8:53 am:  From what I can see, there’re at least 4 teams getting set up for the Youth Fleece To Shawl contest.  That’s an increase of at least 400% over last year’s number of teams… fantastic!

Setting up.

Setting up.

9:21 am:  Here are the teams for the Youth contest:

Fast and Fibrous

Fast and Fibrous

 

Fort Freeland Flickers

Fort Freeland Flickers

 

Between the Threads

Between the Threads

 

Royal Castle Spinners

Royal Castle Spinners

9:23 am:  The judges are getting ready.  The kids are milling about.  And I think I’m gonna need a lot more coffee.

9:35 am:  The teams look great!

Fast and Fibrous girls.

Fast and Fibrous girls.

Royal Castle Spinners... obviously!

Royal Castle Spinners... obviously!

9:37 am:  Did I mention it was 16 degrees when I got here this morning?  Did I mention that there’s  no heat in here… and I’m sitting next to an open bay door… in 16 DEGREE WEATHER???  Anyone got a space heater?

9:40 am:  

Between the Threads goes all retro soda shop on us.

Between the Threads goes all retro soda shop on us.

 

Fort Freeland Flickers.

Fort Freeland Flickers.

 9:52 am:  The teams are all seated and waiting.  One girl on team Royal Castle Spinners is barefoot.  Barefoot.  A spinner, no doubt.  And I thought I was cold.

10:00 am:  And they’re off!  

10:01 am:  The Royal Castle Spinners got their  name from Roman history.  When the Romans invaded England and saw Jacob sheep outside of the castles, they named them “Castle Sheep”.

10:03 am:  Team Fast and Fibrous shawl is called “Sailing into the Sunset”:  “Our team handspun the two-ply warp from a lovely white fleece and then hand painted our interpretation of a sunset on it.”  The sample is gorgeous.

10:09 am:  Between the Threads, in keeping with their soda shop theme, is weaving a shawl called “Ice Cream Delight”:  “The colors of our warp represent Pennsylvania Dairy Products, specifically ice cream flavors, and include Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip and Cookies & Cream.  The Border Leicester fleece used for our weft symbolizes hot fudge sauce.”  
I should’ve eaten breakfast this morning…

10:16 am:  “BAAAAAAAAAA!”

Sheep for team Two Rams, Two Lambs, Ewe and Me.

Sheep for team Two Rams, Two Lambs, Ewe and Me.

10:16 am:  Team Fast and Fibrous makes it look easy:

Two of Fast and Fibrous's spinners at work.

Two of Fast and Fibrous's spinners at work.

10:28 am:  Here are our esteemed judges, who are now wallking around, observing the teams and taking notes.

Judges Tom Calvert, Susan Withnell, Linda Brown, and Ellen Dorosh.

Judges Tom Calvert, Susan Withnell, Linda Brown, and Ellen Dorosh.

10:29 am:  There are a good many spectators watching right now – lots of family and friends of the teams, and what looks like an elementary school class on a field trip.

10:34 am:  Erin Webster of team Fort Freeland Flickers at the loom:100_01311

10:39 am:  Team Royal Castle Spinners.  That fleece looks… warm. 

100_01291

10:47 am:  Just got my first comment on the day.  Not what I was expecting, but just to be clear, all comments are welcome (unless you hurl personal attacks against anyone).

10:50 am:  Between the Threads:
100_0132 

10:54 am:  Will y’all excuse me for a few minutes?  I’ve got to get something to eat and warm up my hands a bit.  Be back in a flash…

11:04 am:  Mmmmmmmm.  Cheeseburger.

11:18 am:  Last year was the first Youth Fleece to Shawl contest, with only one team:  the Fort Freeland Flickers.  You can see part of their winning shawl in this pic (and their plaque!):
100_01342

11:25 am:  

Luciano Abbarno, weaver for The Royal Castle Spinners.

Luciano Abbarno, weaver for The Royal Castle Spinners.

 

Maria Goodpaster, weaver for Between the Threads.

Maria Goodpaster, weaver for Between the Threads.

11:34 am:  Fast and Fibrous‘s Careena Emerich at work.  Sunset colors indeed:

Pinks and purples abound.

Pinks and purples abound.

11:39 am:  Team shot of the Fort Freeland Flickers:

Smiling all the way.

Smiling all the way.

 11:43 am:  3 teams are off the loom:  Royal Castle Spinners, Fast and Fibrous, and Between the Threads.

11:49 am:  First to the table was Fast and Fibrous, followed closely behind by Between the Threads.

11:56 am:  Third to the table is Royal Castle Spinners.  (Having trouble with pictures… please stand by…)

12:11 pm: The Fort Freeland Flickers are off the loom!

 

Almost done...

Almost done...

12:19 pm:  OK, I think I resolved my picture transfer problems… apparently I ran out of room in the folder storing the pictures on my hard drive – had to move what I had into another folder and start fresh.  That didn’t  happen to me last year…

12:24 pm:  Fort Freeland Flickers are on the table… and the Youth Fleece To Shawl contest is done!  The winners will be announced at 1:15 pm.

12:27 pm:  Here’s one of my neighbors for the day:  

Locks to Loom's sheep.

Locks to Loom's sheep.

12:34 pm:  The judges are finishing up measuring Fort Freeland Flickers’s shawl:

The shawl's subtle colors truly look like a PA winter.

The shawl's subtle colors truly look like a PA winter.

12:42 pm:  To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the S2S contest, they’re holding a raffle for a gorgeous shawl woven by Tom Knisely.  It’s made of hand dyed merino, wool boucle, and a special silk and wool blend.  The proceeds from the raffle are going towards the youth 4-H teams.  Only $1.00/ticket.  I’ve bought 3… so far.

12:45 pm:  3 of the 4 shawls, after they were individually judged:

I wish I could better capture the textures... so beautiful!

I wish I could better capture the textures... so beautiful!

12:51 pm:  Here’s the trophy for the F2S contest.  The S2S contest trophy looks exactly the same:

Shiny!

Shiny!

 1:05 pm:  More neighbors are moving in…

Time Warp's sheep.

Time Warp's sheep.

Friends thru Fiber's sheep.

Friends thru Fiber's sheep.

 1:12 pm:  Time for the awards ceremony!

1:15 pm:  Fleece award:  Fast and Fibrous
Team’s choice award:  Royal Castle Spinners.
Weaver’s award:  Between the Threads
Premium Spinning award:  Fort Freeland Flickers

4th Place:  Royal Castle Spinners
3rd Place:  Between the Threads
2nd Place:  Fast and Fibrous

1st Place 2009 Fleece To Shawl Grand Champions:  FORT FREELAND FLICKERS!  

2009 Fleece To Shawl Grand Champions - Fort Freeland Flickers

2009 Fleece To Shawl Grand Champions - Fort Freeland Flickers

 

 

 1:24 pm:  

Fast and Fibrous

2nd Place Fleece To Shawl Team: Fast and Fibrous

1:33 pm:  

Between the Threads

3rd Place Fleece To Shawl contest: Between the Threads

Royal Castle Spinners

4th Place Fleece To Shawl contest: Royal Castle Spinners

Alright, on to the Sheep To Shawl contest.  I’m going to start another post, so you won’t have to scroll so far.  See you back at the top!

 

 


 

 

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11 Comments

Filed under 2009 PA Farm Show

11 responses to “Welcome To The 2009 PA Farm Show Sheep To Shawl Contest.

  1. How primative… keeping innocent animals in cages and enslaved for strands of their hair. There are so many fine alternatives to “wool” – that don’t require such cruelty. I’d rather have a shawl made and worn of compassion any day… Set the animals free. Go Vegan.

  2. Cris

    Woohoo Marni! Great start, and looks like a number of awesome teams in the youth competition (with some great wheels too … I’m not sure if I should be proud or worried how many of them I recognize on sight). Keep warm over there!

  3. Lovely coverage of the lead-up to the Sheep to Shawl!!!! I’m going to have to watch the replay due to a silly doctor’s appointment this afternoon.

    Where does this compassion fiber come from? Is it made from fossil fuels like polyester?

    Is it composed of tortured plant fibers, chemically altered and extruded from processing machines like rayon? This is the International Year of the Natural Fiber.

    You cannot get more natural than wool. It’s simply perfect – – recyclable, biodegradable, endlessly renewable.

  4. Cris

    Whoops, and I forgot a question: are they spinning singles yarn to do the weaving? I’m peering at the shots of last year’s shawl and the competition in progress, but I can’t see well enough to be sure. I’m thinking that it would take too long to both spin and ply, but … what do I know, I’ve never done this kind of competition!

  5. Thanks so much for doing this again this year! I had wanted to be there but have a nasty cold, so I appreciate your coverage.

  6. Maddy

    This is a great way for those of us now outside of the PA area to keep tabs on the ins and outs of this year’s sheep-to-shawl.

    Thanks for your time and efforts! There’s nothing like a warm shawl. And to see the process and hard work put into making them is so fascinating.

    For those who only see the pics and have never experienced these proceedings, the sheep are only kept in an enclosure for the day.

    Happy sheep come from Pennsylvania and most of them spend their lives contentedly grazing on spacious open acres with other sheepies, a lot of which are saved from the meat wagon and instead shorn once a year for their renewable coat.

    My mom, who is participating in the adult competition, has a flock in her 2 acre front yard, and those animals have it pretty darn good; better than some people I know.

    weave on, and keep spinning you lovely textile lovers!

    Thanks Again!

  7. Barb (aka tobpa)

    The pics are great! I am an ice-cream lover, and the HOT FUDGE-like base of the shaw for the soda shop team looks great! I can’t wait to see the finished product. But then I see the horizon colors, and am in love with that one, too!

    keep up the great work…hopefully you are staying warm with the excitement in the arena!

  8. Looks like a great day! Bet the sheep are happy to be relieved of the fleece, and how great that the kids have learned the skills to do this. Wish I was there to congratulate them all in person!
    Thanks for blogging this!

  9. Randall Webster

    What coverage! Thank you! My two girls are on the Fort Freeland Flickers and I couldn’t be there. I am home with their Grandma and Grampa because Grandma is in the hospital (not doing well). I was looking for some coverage on the fleece to shawl and this has been wonderful. Thanks again!

  10. Woodweb

    Great to see kids doing this! Fiber sheep are pampered and kept clean and warm. If their fleece gets dirty it can be sooooo hard to work with and takes more time to clean, not worth as much, etc. Many of them are pets, and none that I know of are kept in small cages as one previous comment suggests. Shearing sheep is very hmane and necessary. They are relieved to be free from it. Then they get custom sweaters and coats to keep them warm and protect them. Most sheep I know are well, dumb as sheep, and would not survive without their shepherd.

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