For the past several years my guild has been doing a Sheep To Shawl at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair) at the WNC Ag Center in Asheville, NC. This year I was able to participate.
We had a great location and gorgeous autumn weather. Since this is a local event, most of our active guild members were volunteering in other aspects of the Fiber Fair, but we had four spinners and a weaver to demonstrate the process.
We started with a donated, washed Border Leicester Fleece. Charlene, who coordinated the event, did the drum carding.
A lot of folks were interested in the entire process. This is Barbara, demonstrating spinning and answering questions.
Rats, but if someone didn't volunteer to take my picture too. Note that I'm wearing my Fiber Forum socks.
The warp was a combination of 2-ply handspun and commercial wool yarn. There was a little alpaca thrown in as well. The singles we spun that day were used for the weft. The plan for the shawl is to raffle it with proceeds going toward the Blue Ridge Fiber Show.
In the afternoon, we had a shearing demonstration. This is Elspeth, a rescue sheep. She is a registered Shetland, who other than not having been sheared for at least two years, was healthy.
Paula, who owns Shetlands, did the shearing. She used a shearing stand and started at the tail.
As she sheared her way to the front, Elspeth's fleece was rolled up toward her head.
The fleece was in amazingly good condition, with very little cotting or felting. Other than a break indicating the next year's growth, it was lovely. [UPDATE 10/30: I just found out that Elspeth's fleece weighed 11 pounds.]
Elspeth got a massage after her ordeal. She wasn't too happy about being there, but calmed down considerably as the shearing progressed.
And the rest of the Fiber Fair?
It was bigger, better, and busier than ever, with more vendors, more classes, and more folks coming to look, buy, learn, and see.
Just this, a 20.5 inch Schacht rag shuttle for the rag rug I plan to weave for our bedroom.
I didn't stay till the end because I had a pretty good drive home. It just felt good to get my wheel out and spin again. Hopefully this winter I can resume spinning as a daily activity. By the fire. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Posted 25 October 2009 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com