Speed Weaving and Spinning

Early in January, I had the opportunity to participate in a Sheep To Shawl competition at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg. For those who may not know what is involved in this type of competition, here’s the rundown. A sheep is sheared,

the fiber is fluffed up (carded),

the fiber is spun into yarn (by the spinners)

and then the weaver takes the yarn an weaves a shawl in certain dimensions: all in 2.5 hours.


The team I belong to is called the Loyalhannon Spinners. We traveled across the state hoping that the weather would cooperate (it did). In the 2 months leading up to the competition, we met to design our shawl, dye yarn for the warp threads, practice spinning and carding to achieve enough speed to be able to have enough for the shawl (hence the “speed spinning part”) and I, as weaver, warped the loom we would use and wove a sample shawl to display at the competition.

This sample shawl gave me the chance to see if I could weave quickly enough to be able to weave within the time allowed in the competition (hence the “speed weaving” part).

We accomplished our goal which was to complete the shawl in the time allowed

and to sell it at the auction so that we could donate the proceeds to our dear friend Susan who is our usual weaver, but who had suffered a stroke in September.

It was a crazy, hectic, stressful day, but we got through it and were even on TV.

Now that a few weeks have gone by, and I’ve recovered from the experience, I would do it again, and we probably will at the Waynesburg Fiber Festival in May. So watch this spot for more Speed Weaving and Spinning adventures.


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