Wool Day in PA (1)

28 Jul

Yesterday was Wool Day at the Troy, Pa Fair.  Three of us went down to judge the hand spinning, weaving, and sheep-to-shawl contest.

There were four teams competing in the Sheep-to-Shawl:

Each team had six members: five spinners and a weaver.  One spinner plies the yarn.  All prepared the wool for spinning from a fleece of their choice which was brought into the ring with them.  The looms were warped prior to the contest.  Three teams had hand spun warps.  The sett varied from 8 to 12 ends per inch. They had four hours to complete a  (minimum) 72-inch long, 18-inch wide shawl.


This is the Fort F__?__ Flickers  (the middle name escapes me) shawl.  It was based on the theme of a daffodil.  The warp was dyed green at one end and slowly changed to deep yellow at the other end.  The team used a white fleece for the warp. It was a nicely spun and woven shawl.  I wonder if their use of food dye will mean it is not light fast.  The Flickers was the youngest team.  They came in second.


Cat’s Cradle used an unusual table loom.  The sheds were raised and lowered by turning the wheel. This was the weaver’s third project!  She did an admirable job, but the sett was too high (so the shawl was more like a blanket)  and their shawl too short (a baby blanket).  Cat’s also used a white fleece for the weft. They came in fourth.  Isn’t that warp lovely?


From our own guild were the Sheep Thrills.  An appropriate name.  They used a dark grey fleece from Christine Johnson’s Johanneshof Romneys  as the weft over a boughten grey warp that looked almost lavender next to the handspun. Bill, who is an expert weaver in cotton, wove an incredible shawl that had a zig-zag border not only on the long sides but also on both short sides which enclosed a square diaper pattern (diaper in the design sense).*  But alas, their shawl was short.  Sheep Thrills came in third.

Dream Weavers wove a shawl based on the theme of a teal winged duck.  They used two shades of grey hand, a dark blue teal, black and a little bit of boucle–all hand spun in their warp and then used a lighter grey fleece as weft. The result was a simple elegant shawl that  incredibly beautiful. Dream Weavers finished first and won first prize.

* Textile fabric woven with a small and simple pattern formed by the different directions of the thread with the different reflections of light from its surface and consisting of lines crossing diamond-wise with the spaces variously filled up by parallel lines, a central leaf or dot, etc. – the geometrical or conventional pattern design forming the ground of this pattern. A pattern or design of the same kind used to decorate a flat surface.
The Oxford English Dictionary.


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