A few members of our store staff got together to participate in the 2015 Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair Fleece to Shawl competition and they won! Strong collaboration and preparation before the event, creativity, communication and a bit of improvisation made the difference.
Ashley spun the warp (almost 800 yards of Abstract Fiber 2-Tone Blue Faced Leicester plied with Ashland Bay Mixed Blue Face Leicester); Mary warped our Norwood loom, store staff members created the team name, (Ply of the Tiger) and Carreen made team shirts for competition day.
On the competition day, the process of creating the shawl ran smoothly, with Mary (fighting a bad cold) carding the fleece; Meg and Ashley spinning singles for the weft; and Carreen plying the singles together to create the weft. Everyone was using their favorite spinning wheel, the Lendrum DT Complete. Then it was Mary’s turn to start the weaving using a draft that WEBS founder, Barbara Elkins, created just for this event. The team worked feverishly to make the deadline, while answering the many questions that curious onlookers asked throughout the afternoon. Things were going swimmingly until the loom’s apron rods separated with 2″ left to weave! Ashley held the loom in place until the weaving was complete. With minutes to spare, the team made fringe for the shawl and then time was up!
In the end, the team won the event with a fabulous shawl, blue ribbons, swollen hands and blisters, and, best of all, enthusiasm to do it all over again. They’ve decided to enter the Sheep to Shawl competition at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in October!
The winning shawl is on display in the store–please stop by to see our staff’s beautiful work.
And if you’d like to share WEBS spinning adventures, please sign up for the Ravelry Tour de Fleece event beginning July 4. See our Ravelry WEBS forum post to sign up.
Keep on spinning…