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Youth Fleece to Shawl Competition a ‘Shear’ Delight at 2010 PA Farm Show

Harrisburg – For the third year in a row, the Fort Freeland Flickers took home a trophy, plaque, and cash prize after weaving to first place in the Youth Fleece to Shawl Competition on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Five teams competed this year, the most entrants since the competition began in 2008. Each team of five began with the wool from one sheep, called a fleece. One team member carded the wool to straighten the fibers, three used spinning wheels to create yarn, and one wove the new yarn into a shawl using a loom. The time period to get from fleece to shawl was three hours.

The Flickers’ team consisted of five 4-H club members: David Weaver, 14, of Allenwood, Union County; Katie Watson, 17, of Turbotville, Northumberland County; Emma Olshefski, 14, of Danville, Montour County; and Megan and Erin Webster, 13 and 15, of Cogan Station, Lycoming County.

“The best part is seeing how the shawl turns out. You never really know what it’s going to look like until you’re finished,” said Watson.

The Fort Freeland Flickers chose a Pennsylvania barn theme, reflected in their shawl’s colors and pattern, and in their matching plaid shirts. Other teams sported hand-made aprons, tractor-themed t-shirts, and even Star-Trek outfits.

Judges Tom Calvert of Somerset, Somerset County; Kathy Davidson of Glen Rock, York County; Kris Peters of Spring Grove, York County; and Susan Withnell of Westminster, Md., inspected fleeces for cleanliness and condition, and shawls for weaving quality and design. Extra points were awarded for shawls completed first.

“We were very impressed by the shawls this year,” said Judge Susan Withnell. “Some of them were of good enough quality to have been competitive in the adult competition later in the afternoon.”

The shawls were sold at auction Wednesday night, along with those from the Sheep to Shawl contest. The first-place shawl was purchased for $300 by Gary Houck of Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

Contest Results:
1st – Fort Freeland Flickers, Union/Northumberland/Montour/Lycoming counties
2nd – East Berlin Bountiful Bobbins, Adams Co.
3rd – Warrior Run Weavers, Clinton/Northumberland/Montour counties
4th – Tri County Twisted Treadlers, Lebanon/Lancaster/Dauphin counties
5th – The Woolie Trekkers, Lancaster Co.

Other Awards:
Team’s Choice Award – Tri County Twisted Treadlers
Fleece Award – Fort Freeland Flickers
Weaver’s Award – Warrior Run Weavers (Emily Smith)
Premium Spinners Award – Tri County Twisted Treadlers (Ashley Shaw, Irina Lawrence, Megan Klawitter)

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 285 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 9-16 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit for details.


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