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Friends Thru Fiber Claims Sheep to Shawl Victory
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 01/11/2019

A Franklin County team weaved their way to victory at the 40th Annual Sheep to Shawl Competition at the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

The team consisted of shearer Dan Dailey, spinner Joyce Mellott, spinner Jill Schooley, spinner Julie Shindle, weaver Michelle Lushbaugh and carder Darcy Maier. The traveling trophy awarded to the competition winners will remain with team Friends Thru Fiber this year.

This year, nine teams from all over the state traveled to Harrisburg for their chance to win the competition. Included in the competition were teams Friends Thru Fiber, Whorl Friends, Time Warp, For the Love of Ewe, Weaving Wabi Sabi, Butler County Pedalers, Spin City, LSWG - The Fidget Spinners, and LSWG - Shetland Circle.

The event illustrates the entire weaving process from start to finish. Teams are given two-and-a-half hours to create their shawls, starting with the shearing of the sheep itself. They then proceed to card and spin the wool to create yarn, which is then woven through the loom. Each team has six members designated to perform certain tasks the duration of the competition--three spinners and one carder, weaver, and shearer each.

The finished shawls are judged on several elements of construction including shearing and spinning technique, quality of fleece, consistency of weaving, design of the shawl, team display and theme, and speed of completion. The final piece must be at least 22 inches wide and 78 inches long.

Following the competition, the shawls were auctioned off, with proceeds returned to each team that made the shawl. Friends Thru Fiber's winning shawl sold for $1,550.00. The highest selling shawl belonging to second place winners Time Warp, sold for $1,650.00 to Jana Higgins of Dauphin County.

Other teams in the Sheep To Shawl Competition and their placings, as well as recipients of special awards, are as follows:

2nd Place, Reserve Champion -- Time Warp, Montour County

3rd Place -- Spin City, Adams County

4th Place -- For the Love of Ewe, Cumberland County

5th Place -- The Fidget Spinners, Adams County

6th Place -- Weaving Wabi Sabi, Lancaster

7th Place -- Whorl Friends, Columbia

8th Place -- Butler County Pedalers, Butler County

Champion Shearer -- Shetland Circle's Nathan Good

Fleece Award -- Friends Thru Fiber's Corriedale Cross

Teams' Choice Award -- Weaving Wabi Sabi

Weavers Award -- Time Warp's Libby Beiler

Premium Spinning Award -- For the Love of Ewe

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