Time Warp wins sixth consecutive Sheep to Shawl competition


Time Warp, from Montour County, won their sixth straight Sheep to Shawl competition at the Pa Farm Show on Wednesday.

The team included Carl Geissinger, Emily Kephart, Ivy Allgeier, Katherine Dashner, Libby Beiler and Jeff Johnstonbaugh, who have been working together for more than 14 years. The team has won the shawl contest a total of nine years. Beiler describes Time Warp as the ultimate “dream team.”

The event illustrates the entire weaving process from start to finish, allotting a short two-and-a-half hours for each team to create its shorn masterpiece.

Teams begin by shearing their woolen teammate, a sheep, and then proceed to carding and spinning the wool. After all the wool has been made into yarn, the teams begin the last leg of their production – the weaving. Each team has six members: five are designated as a carder, spinner or weaver, and the last teammate is strictly assigned to sheering.

Each shawl is judged on several elements of construction including shearing and spinning technique, quality of fleece, consistency of weaving, design and speed of completion. The final piece must be at least 22 inches wide, 78 inches long and feature a themed design.

Other teams in the Sheep-To-Shawl Competition:

2nd Place, Reserve Champion – Friends Thru Fiber, Franklin Co.

3rd Place – For the Love of Ewe, Cumberland Co.

4th Place – Spin City, Adams Co.

5th Place – Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Guild, Lancaster Co.

6th Place – Butler County Pedalers, Butler Co

Out of the six competing youth teams, “The Twisted Sisters” of Dauphin County spun and wove their way to the blue ribbon during the Youth Fleece-to-Shawl Contest on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Even with a three-hour time limit, finishing first is not necessarily the only deciding factor in this competition. The youth teams are judged on the condition of their fleece, the technique of the spinning, the quality of the weaving, and the overall appearance of the shawl design.

This year’s winning team, “The Twisted Sister,” used fiber from team member Madison Shaw’s Leicester Longwool Sheep and hand-spun all the fiber that was used on the warp. In addition, the team plyed and hand-painted the warp to represent the shawl’s theme, “New Blossoms”; it pictures the vibrancy of spring colors and flowers. The team of members of “The Twisted Sisters” includes Madelyn Morrison, Alyssa Neff, Abigail O’Shell, Madison Shaw, Brooke Coble, and Olivia Morrison.

The judges for this competition were Terry Kunst, Kris Peters, Susan Kesler Simpson, and Linda Brown.

The results of the Youth Fleece-to-Shawl were as followed:

1st: “New Blossoms” by The Twisted Sisters, Dauphin County

2nd: “Seattle Coffee Charm” by The Fibering Five, Dauphin County

3rd: “101 Dalmatians” by Fiber Frenzy, Dauphin County

4th: “American” by Redneck Mafia, York/Adams County

5th: “The Starry Night” by A Starry Fleece, Clinton County

6th: “Sunset” by Sunset Sheep, Clinton County

Besides the overall results, there were other awards open to competition by the youth teams. The winners of those specialty awards were as followed:

Best Fleece Award - The Fibering Five, Dauphin County

Team Choice Award - A Starry Fleece, Clinton County

Best Weaver Award – Madison Shaw of The Twisted Sisters, Dauphin County

Premium Spinning Award - Redneck Mafia, York/Adams County

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