Friday, June 18, 2010

Wool Market Sheep to Shawl

One of the must visit areas of Estes Park Wool Market is the sheep to shawl tent. Here you can visit with spinners and weavers as they go about the business of creating that lovely shawl in one day....well, almost one day. This year's contest was sponsored by Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins Inc. of Boulder, CO. The Registration booklet states the following:
"There are five members on each team. The emphasis is on carding, spinning,weaving and providing an educational presentation for the public. Teams will use sheep’s wool from a natural-colored, cleaned fleece. Up to 10 percent fibers, specifically angora rabbit, mohair, llama, alpaca or pygora, may be used in the shawls."

After registration money is received, teams will receive further information in regards to their participation. These rules will allow each team to have their loom warped to their specific weaving pattern. This warp must be handspun. All other spinning and weaving will take place on site. Each team will supply their own fiber to spin.
Okay, spinners treadle those wheels!
There were four teams at work when we arrived in the tent around mid afternoon. One team had finished their shawl and was adding the finishing touches. This group was madly spinning away.
With their fiber piled in the middle of their team area, one person was carding this natural wool.
Busy treadling to hand off to the weaver that was working her magic on the loom.
This team chose a 8 harness twill pattern for their shawl. And as you can see, the weaver is coming to the end of her warp.
This was a good photo of knitted hat along with the warp on this loom which was a plaid. The weaver is also wearing long sleeve shirt that shows the logo for the wool market. The team had about another yard to complete before their shawl was ready to be taken off the loom. All the looms were common sights to this weaver but one really was interesting.
Now, this is one loom that was produced during the 50's for occupational therapy. The wheel allows the weaver to just turn clockwise for the pattern and lifting of the shafts. Pegs are inserted to give the pattern. This loom is Nadeau "Hand-skil". Know anything about this loom, please leave a comment. The weaver was having a difficult time with the shed on this loom.
One team had finished their shawl and team members were adding beads to the fringe, which would be twisted to complete. One of the team members said that according to the rules, the shawl must be woven, washed and dried before the deadline in order to win. Looks that this team is on their way to that first prize of $75. The weave pattern was 8H Bronson. Completed shawls are used in a raffle and the funds collected are presented to a charity organization. Have you ever participated in a sheep to shawl? We'd like to hear about your event.

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