Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sheep to Shawl

I am a member for the Hangtown Fibers Guild.  We're a group of fiber enthusiasts meeting to enjoy and promote fiber arts. We are weavers, spinners, knitters, crocheters, basket makers and more.   The website here.

One of things we enjoy is participating in  Sheep to Shawl competitions.  These are held at some county fairs and at wool shows and festivals.  Yesterday it was Lambtown in Dixon, California.

What is a Sheep to Shawl competition?  Teams gather from various guilds to make a shawl from minimally prepared fiber in four hours.   Apparently many years ago, the event would be much longer and would start with a sheep.   So shearing, skirting and washing the fleece (they may have skipped the washing) teasing the fiber, carding (getting the fiber to go in one direction) spinning, plying and finally weaving.  We start with washed and dyed wool.  Ours was Romney from Mendenhall's in Loma Rica.  Want an amazing, very high quality fleece?  Here you go.

 Just getting set up. It's about 0900,  the competition starts at 1000.   The loom at center.  There are 5 teams.  We are setting up our info table.  Sometimes the judges also note the decorations and teams uniforms.  They are not really uniforms, but unifyers.  We had hats, aprons and some guild logo shirts.

We have on mascot, Loretta, in front.  She is a pack sheep with her pack saddle and gold pan.  We are The Fiber Miners. Go Miners.

This was my first competition on the team.  I don't spin or weave, but I can card.  However, I was the educator.  The educators job to answer questions from the public so the team members aren't stopping to answer.  The educator can not do anything to help the team. 

You can just see 2 spinners getting started. The educator is up front.

Here you can see the weaver, center stage.  We were all so thankful for the shade.  It was 93.

You can just see the carder's elbow on the right.

 The weaving in process.  It's lunch break.  Note team hat on chair.

We were first off the loom, but much finishing to so.  Don't you love the color?  The team is checking for error, winding the fringe and making the last tweaks before turning it in.

I'm sorry to say I have no photos of the other competitors, or their shawls.  That's really too bad as they were all very lovely.  

I'll just close by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my part in the Lambtown Sheep to Shawl competition.  And . . . . 

We got first place!

Alas no photo of the prizes or the whole team.  Some were taken, but not by me.

To be quite honest,  I did not think about a post for the blog at the show yesterday.  I just took some pictures.  Now I realize the starting fiber would have been nice to see and maybe some of the other teams.  I'm sorry it's not very complete.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice report, Susan. Informative, interesting, and fun to read. It's always so fun to see something from another persons perspective. (and camera work). Makes me want to do it again. (Well not for awhile).