Fleece to Shawl

Below, SVRCS Fleece to Shawl team “Roaring Rubies,” includes Isabela Blanco Bello, Emma Mundrick, Julia Smith, Carleigh Matter, Cheyenne Holdren, Isaiah Nearhoof.


For The Express

LOGANTON — If you made it down to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg last month, you might have wandered upon two groups of Sugar Valley Rural Charter School students gathered around old-fashioned spinning wheels, as they competed in one of the newer events at the show.

The competition, titled “Fleece to Shawl,” is in its twelfth year, while 2019 marked the 103rd birthday for the Farm Show itself.

During the Fleece to Shawl contest, school-aged teams from Pennsylvania spin raw wool into yarn and then weave a shawl that must measure 22 inches wide and 78 inches long — all in front of the judges eyes, and all in under three hours.

PHOTO BY AMBER MORRIS SVRCS Fleece to Shawl Team “Snow White and the Seven Sheep” includes Kailee Matter, Summer Lamey, Emma Meixel, Emma Doan, McKenna Fox, Thea Homan, Isaac Shawver.

Each team participating in Fleece to Shawl must have at least five members–three spinners, one weaver, and one alternate.

During the school year the students in the club study sheep and their products, and practice spinning and weaving wool.

Some of the wool that SVRCS teams use to make the Farm Show shawl comes from sheep that are being raised on the school’s campus.

As in years before, both of the groups placed within the top five at the event, and each brought home ribbons to display along with awards from past Farm Shows.

In fourth place, SVRCS team “Snow White and the Seven Sheep,” sold their shawl at the Farm Show auction for a whopping $425, which will be put back into the club’s general fund to cover costs for next year’s competition.

Fifth place holders, the SVRCS “Roaring Rubies,” were able to bring their shawl back to campus and plan to save it for a future fundraiser.

This year the SVRCS Fleece to Shawl club was was under the guidance of the school’s new art teacher, Whitney Eck, who is astonished at the ability of her students. “I don’t think they know how amazing they are,” she said. “I am just in awe of them. They take a big pile of wool that is laying on the floor, and in the end, they turn it into a thing of beauty. I already can’t wait to see what they are capable of next year.”