The Spinner’s Lead is one of the events I enjoy most at Black Sheep Gathering. It is a competition in which entrants show off their handspun or felted items and bring the animal that was the fiber source (or borrow a representative one from one of the animal exhibitors). There are two categories–one for Owner and one for Non-Owner.
Alison and I both entered Jacob yarn vests. Alison’s vest is incredible. She started this project three or four years ago, spinning Jacob wool into 4-ply yarn. She knit the vest using twined knitting to create a fabric that is windproof but stretchy–a natural alternative to Polartech. At one point Alison had knit the vest almost to the top but was not happy with it and ripped it all the way back to the cast-on row! It features i-cord band, sewn in zipper, and pockets.
I started working on my vest about four weeks before BSG, inspired when I figured out that the fleece of the sheep I was entering, was still in the barn and was a beautiful one. After spinning the yarn the fabric took two days to warp and weave and another to turn into a vest. On Tuesday of the BSG week I wove scarves using white and the leftover black yarn. Weaving is so much faster than knitting!
Honey was my selected sheep for the Spinners’ Lead because it was her fleece I used. I chose Marv for Alison because he seemed the best most compliant of the other sheep. She spent a little time practicing with him before the event.
I handed my i-phone off to a friend who took most of these photos, and it’s not easy to get good photos standing at the outside of the show ring. (Thanks, Deb.)
Alpaca shawl. Red hair, red shawl, red alpaca. (Honey did not like the alpaca when it showed up in the line near her.)
BFL sheep with her young owner. This one was the winner of the Owner category.
This was the most unusual entry this year–felted sheep masks. The wearers are leading sheep, but they needed to be guided as well.
Sweater knitted from natural colored fleece.
Waiting to hear the results. Alison won the non-owner category! It was well-deserved.