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HARRISBURG - Four teams scrambled to out-weave one another in the youth fleece to shawl contest at the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The Fort Freeland Flickers held on to their top spot as the winning team of five. David Weaver, 13, from Allenwood, Union County, was the carder; the spinners were Katie Watson, 16, of Turbotville, Montour County; Emma Olshefski, 13, of Danville, Montour County; and Megan Webster, 12, of Cogan Station, Lycoming County; and Erin Webster, 13, of Cogan Station, Lycoming County, was the weaver.
The teams were given three hours to create their shawls. Teams work together to complete the many steps in the process.  The carder combs the fleece to straighten the fibers, the spinners twist the fleece into yarn, and the weaver forms the fabric into the shawl.
The Fort Freeland Flickers’ made a Pennsylvania Winter themed shawl using fabrics died blue, green, pink, purple, light gray, and white.
The group of youngsters having been spinning and weaving together for a little over a year.
“We love to see what we’ve done at the end,” said Olshefski. “It’s amazing to watch a pile of wool turn into something beautiful.”
The judges of the competition were Tom Calvert, Berlin, Somerset County; Linda Brown, Bluemont, Virginia; Ellen Dorosh, Pen Mar, Maryland; and Susan Withnell, Westminster, Md.
The Fort Freeland Flickers received a plaque and a trophy and each member of the team was given a ribbon and monetary prize.
Later that evening the shawl was auctioned off along with the wraps made in the Sheep to Shawl contest. Betty Conner from Emmaus, Pa. purchased the Fort Freeland Flickers’ shawl for $525.
Other Awards:
Team’s Choice Award- The Royal Castle Spinners, Lebanon Co.
Fleece Award- Fast & Fibrous, York Co.
Weaver’s Award- Maria Goodpaster, Between the Threads, Lebanon/Lancaster/Dauphin Co.
Premium Spinner’s Award- Fort Freeland Flickers, Montour Co.
Contest Results:
1st-Fort Freeland Flickers, Montour Co.
2nd- Fast & Fibrous, York Co.
3rd- Between the Threads, Lebanon/Lancaster/Dauphin Co.
4th- The Royal Castle Spinners
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. 
For more information, visit

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For photos of this event, click here.