2019 Sheep to Shawl Competition

HARRISBURG, Pa. — One of the most popular traditions of the Pennsylvania Farm Show sheers through another year.

The Sheep to Shawl competition brought nine total teams, a high number according to organizers, that featured five members each.

Each member has a task: one sheerer, three spinners and a weaver.

Their goal is to complete a 78-inch shawl from scratch in a hard deadline of two and a half hours (3pm-530pm.)

The Lancaster Spinners and Weavers guild had several teams competing.

Ann Wysock with the “Shetland Circle” team said their goal was to create a high-quality product while having fun with it.

“The practices, getting ready for the farm show gets us closer together and helps us really build our skills so it’s a win-win. Now we’re here and we’re going to make a beautiful shawl and judged against our peers and we’ll see how we do,” said Wysock.

Described as one of the most faithful teams in the event is the Butler County Peddlers.

Members say it takes them about three and a half hours to get to the farm show complex yet their team has participated in the event since the beginning 40 years ago.

Two members, Carol Greiner and Jean Chestnut, say the most important part of the competition for them is teaching the craft.

“It’s nice to win, everybody likes to win but we basically just come…we’re trying to build teamwork and getting people the experience of weaving and spinning in this type of an environment,” said Greiner.

“It’s really about teamwork. If you don’t work as a team…you don’t have fun,” said Chestnut.

Three judges critique the work, including the quality of the spinning and the evenness of the weaving for each shawl.

A number of individual awards are on the line, alongside team awards such as the Team’s Choice Award and the Grand Champion traveling trophy.

Following the competition, the shawls are sold as part of an auction.

Organizers say the average shawl is auctioned off between $500-1,000 with the maximum amount going around $3,600.

FOX43 News coverage of the event can be seen below:

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