2017 Ohio State Fair Sheep to Shawl Demonstration

July 28, 2017 was the 5th anniversary of the guild Sheep-to-Shawl demonstration at the Ohio State Fair!  The fleece this year was donated by shepherd Alison Ungar of Chaotic Farm in Medina, Ohio.  Since the fleece was so white, we decided to feature its bright color.  We combed the fleece instead of carding it, which supplied the spinners with the nicest and whitest spinning fiber.  The spinners loved it!  We also featured the bright white wool by a subtle contrast with a closely-colored warp.  We purchased a natural colored Australian merino commercial yarn and dyed it to a light golden tan in a tea bath.  Scott Hanratty, our weaver, suggested a few designs, and we choose a 6-shaft twill-based pattern.

We were really thrilled when the plan came together and the shawl turned out even more beautiful than imagined!   Alison loved her shawl and was excited to also receive the guild’s knitted afghan for her prize winning hand spinning fleece.  

The winner of the colored hand spinning fleece this year was Linda Reichert, who took the grand champion award for her gorgeous black wool!  We awarded Linda the 2nd shawl woven from the S2S warp.  This second shawl was woven with 3 strands of fine commercial yarn in light beige and grey colors which gave it a wonderful tweedy look! 

We were glad to have our friends from the Malabar Farm Spinning and Weaving Guild join us again in the sheep barn for the demonstration.  They brought a floor loom, rigid heddle loom, and a rectangular loom, and showed off many techniques.  

Thanks to the great team from COWFG who made this another successful year:  Caye Aiello (spin), Cheryl Koncsol (plan & select fleece), Donita Westman (ply), Ed Morrow (bobbin winder), Jann Offutt (card), Joanne Knapp (spin, fleece preparation), Jon Briney (photographer), Kathleen Craig (coordinator, plan & warp loom), Kim Johnson (great wheel, fleece preparation), Laura Brendon (fleece preparation), Linda Schweiger (spin), Lori Seeger (spin), Mary Beth Sassen (spin), Nikki Fried (fleece preparation), Scott Hanratty (weave), Sue Atkins (spin), Sue Briney (plan & warp loom, drop spindle), Susan Johnson (spin).

We’ve started a scrapbook to capture the memories of the Sheep-to-Shawl demo that began in 2013.  If you didn’t see it at the Fair, it will be available at the guild meetings this fall.  

Guild Member Sue Briney

Editor’s note: See more pictures from the 2017 Ohio State Fair on Facebook!