I made mentioned back aways that after my handspun fair entries did (amazingly) well, that I was asked to be on a Sheep to Shawl team at the Estes Park Wool Market this year.
Briefly put, a team of five take a clean fleece, and from 9-2:30, card the fleece, spin and ply it into yarn, and weave the yarn into a shawl, take the shawl off the loom, give it a quickie rinse, towel dry it, and let it be judged. And also interact with the looky-loos.
The loom will be set up with the warp (the longish bits). We have already carded, spun and plied that part so the weaver will have that set up. Only the weft (the crosswise parts) will be what is woven the day of the contest.
It's doable, but we will be busy for that five hours...or so I am told. I have never really seen this sort of thing happen. Turns out I am the least experienced on this team. I listen to the conversations of my fellow team members and find out they have taken classes with some big names and gone to some highly acclaimed retreats. Our alternate has previously JUDGED Sheep to Shawl contests. Pretty humbling.
So far, as I mentioned, we have washed the fleece. We met and sort of test spun to establish what we wanted to spin our singles to so we would be spinning consistently. We have carded what is going to be used for the warp, and we each took about 2 oz to spin into singles. We brought those singles together last Saturday and we traded off plying parts of each others bobbins, so the warp yarn would consist of every one's singles plied with everyone else's.
I was very surprised at how consistent the yarn turned out. It was really pretty cool. I am going to learn so much from these people, not to mention getting to know the women themselves.
4 months ago