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HARRISBURG - The ever popular Sheep to Shawl Competition returned to the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Wed., Jan. 14.
The Time Warp team from Montour County wove their way to the top of the contest with their rock and mineral themed shawl. The team consists of shearer Carl Geissinger from McClure; weaver Libby Beiler of Milton; spinners Ruth Ruch from Lewisburg, Katie Watson of Turbotville, Ivy Allgeier from Westminster, Md.; and carder Jeff Johnstonbaugh of Northumberland.
Eight teams of six people each scrambled to make a shawl, start to finish, in a mere two and a half hour. The challenge is to sheer a sheep, spin the wool, and weave it into a beautiful finished product. Each shawl has to be 22 inches wide and 78 inches long and was based on a theme chosen by the team.
Judges Tom Calvert, Berlin, Somerset County; Linda Brown, Bluemont, Virginia; Ellen Dorosh, Pen Mar, Maryland; and Susan Withnell, Westminster, Md. evaluated the shawls on sheering, fleece, spinning, weaving, design, and speed.
The Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Queen, Mallory Ketterer from Bernville, Berks County, was joined by Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff to congratulate the winners and present them with ribbons and a trophy.
The Time Warp’s masterpiece consisted of several earth tones and the warp, or foundation for the shawl, was handspun wool from a Romney/Montadale and a Columbis/Ramboullet sheep.
All of the hand-crafted shawls were auctioned off following the competition. The Time Warp’s winning shawl was purchased by Wolgemuth Auction of Leola, Pa for $900. The high-selling wrap was crafted by Friends Thru Fiber of Franklin and Adams Counties and was bought for $3,400 by Gerald Brown from Honeybrook, Pa.
Other Prizes Included:
Champion Shearer- Chuck Penich, Loyalhannon Spinners, Westmoreland Co.
Team’s Choice Award- Time Warp, Montour Co.
Fleece Award- Locks to Loom, Northumberland Co.
Weaver’s Award- Time Warp, Montour Co.
Spinner’s Award- Red Rose Treadling Toes, Lancaster/Lebanon Co.
Contest Results:
1st- Time Warp, Montour Co.
2nd- Red Rose Treadling Toes, Lancaster/Lebanon Co.
3rd- Treadlers thru Time, Lebanon/Lancaster/Berks Co.
4th- Locks to Loom, Northumberland Co.
5th- Loyallhannnon Spinners, Westmoreland Co.
6th- Friends thru Fiber, Franklin/Adams Co.
7th- The Lovely Lambs and Ornery Rams, Lebanon Co.
8th- Two Rams, Two Lambs, Ewe & Me, Dauphin Co.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors.  The eight-day show is Jan. 10-17, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.  Admission is free and parking is $8. 
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For photos of this event, click here.