There is no activity on earth that people will not turn into a competition eventually. The Sheep to Shawl competition at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival took place earlier this month. In this contest, teams of five people have three hours to shear a sheep, card and spin the wool, and weave it into a shawl. The teams have names like the Quaker Bakers, the Fidget Spinners, and Mutton but Trouble. The teams are judged on their speed and the quality of the finished work, but also on their teamwork, theme, and costumes. The 2023 competition also had something rare- an all high school team from a fiber arts class. That hasn't happened in Maryland since the 1970s, which gives us a clue as to how long this has been going on.
NPR talked to the competitors about what the Sheep to Shawl contest is all about. The secret to success is finding a sheep that doesn't have much lanolin, since they do not have time to wash it out. Spinning is much easier with wool from a less-greasy sheep. Maryland isn't unique; Sheep to Shawl competitions can be found across the US, wherever sheep are raised. -via Boing Boing
This does look like a good way to spend a Saturday.
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