Monday, January 12, 2009

Sheep to Shawl at PA Farm Show

If you're in Pennsylvania, you know it's Farm Show time. If you're one of my central time zone readers, lemme 'splain.

The PA Farm Show is Pennsylvania's state fair equivalent. They just have it in January so that the farmers aren't busy planting or harvesting or whatever. There is an enormous complex of buildings in Harrisburg that houses everything. It's called the Farm Show Complex, and they let others thing happen there, too, but it was built specifically for the Farm Show. All sorts of animals and foods are on exhibit. A bunch of chicken eggs hatch throughout the week (check out the Hatch Cam on the Farm Show homepage), and the duck slide is also a big hit (there's a cam for that, too). Don't miss the butter sculpture, or the local food (milkshakes, fried mushrooms, and plenty more). There's even a rodeo, which I almost hate to mention seeing as some of you are in Texas. The Farm Show is BIG here - they expect 400,000 people to attend.

The show includes a Sheep to Shawl competition. In case you're not familiar with this sort of event common at fiber festivals and agricultural fairs across the country... The team includes a shearer, a weaver, and some spinners. Also, you bring a sheep. First the sheep is shorn, then the spinners get busy spinning the fleece. As soon as it comes off the wheels, the weaver starts weaving a shawl. The competition is judged on a combination of factors, of which speed is only one. The whole thing usually takes about two and a half hours. Then the shawls are auctioned off. Here's the press release describing the Butler County Peddlers, the 2008 winning team.

The Farm Show Sheep to Shawl will begin at 3:00 pm (Eastern - that's 2:00 pm Central) on Wednesday, January 14. Local blogger yarnyMarni will be covering the event live on her blog, technology permitting. Why not take a coffee break (you know you need it) and check in on S2S? To get you in the spirit, read Marni's last few posts - she interviewed various S2S teams.


  1. I've always thought sheep to shawl events sounded so cool! Actually, at first I thought they would be boring because I thought the shawl-making involved knitting instead of weaving!

    Are you going?

  2. Did you get to see Sheep to Shawl at Maryland? Like Steven, I totally thought they would knit the shawl rather than weaving it.