Aug 20

This year, we had four youth teams – one was all boys, too.

I will start by saying that every year these kids impress the heck out of me with their ideas, work ethic, stick-to-it-iveness and finished product.  This year, they raised the bar and I didn’t think that was possible.

Since I mentioned the all-boys’ team, let’s start with them

Pirates of the Treadle poster

Once again, the Pirates of the Treadle came forward with a great display – I love the photos of the guys on the team and their step-by-step explanation of what goes into preparing the wool for dyeing and spinning.


Their sense of humor always cracks me up.  The rat is a nice touch.


As you can tell, the boys love their costumes and take their theme and work very seriously.  Their spinning was much improved over last year and their scarf was beautiful.


Here’s a close up of their warp dyed with indigo, walnuts and onion skins.  Their warp was Super Corriedale and their weft was white Texel.  By the way, not too many people are familiar with Texel wool, but let me tell you, it spins up like a dream and is so soft!  It was perfect with the Corriedale warp.

70's Spinners

The next team I’ll discuss is the 70’s Spinners.  I love their theme and they did all they could to bring out the free-style element of the early 70’s.


Just look at their costumes!  I love them!


And their tie-dyed warp was a perfect match.  Remember, all of the dyes used have to be natural, so let me mention that this warp was time consuming to dye.  It has a semi-ikat (in color) feel to it and they were so proud of it because it is exactly what they had envisioned.  The warp was a blend of Super Corriedale and Shetland and the weft was Shetland.


This is their practice scarf, and I am so glad they went with the colorful tie-dye warp.

Their spinning was the only thing that really knocked their points down, but if they can work on that and improve it for next year, they are going to be a team to watch.


The third team were the Witches of the Wheel, and each member took on the personification of a different witch from fiction – from Sleeping Beauty, to The Little Mermaid to Narnia, to Harry Potter.  Their presentation poster and table were absolutely the best.  They had lights and sound effects and I love that caldron with the scarf spilling out of it.


Aren’t their costumes great?


And here is their warp.  It was black, green and purple dyed with indigo, yellow onion skins and cochineal.  The black is natural colored.  I believe both the warp and weft were Shetland.


The fourth team was the Lassies of the Loom.  They really took the whole Scotland theme to heart.


Here are their practice scarves.


They had a bit of a problem right off the bat with their loom as they had a cord break and basically had no tension on their warp.

judgemindy to the rescue

So, in came my fellow judge, Mindy McCain, who is a professional weaver (and has been for several decades) with an idea to fix the issue.  Look at that poor weaver’s face.  She just looks miserable, doesn’t she?


It wasn’t pretty, but the water bottles gave them enough tension to continue working.


Don’t they look adorable in their tartan skirts?  I wish I had gotten a clear picture of their warp.  It was from the weaver’s own Shetland sheep dyed with cochineal, indigo and yellow onion skins with the natural colored black weft.  They were pretty ambitious, too, as they needed to card, spin and weave more then one color in order to complete the tartan pattern.


This was taken from up in the bleachers and shows the whole field of six teams.

So, how did the youth teams fare?


The Lassies of the Loom came in first place, and their scarf sold for $300 in the auction. The Pirates of the Treadle came in second and sold for $200 in the auction.  The 70’s Spinner’s came in 3rd and sold for $200 in the auction.  The Witches of the Wheel came in 4th and sold for $225.

The proceeds from the auction goes right back into the youth program for next year’s competition.  Needless to say the sad looking Lassie weaver because a happy and skipping Lassie weaver when they won.

The reason the Witches of the Wheel came in fourth was points knocked off for being 1.5″ too narrow and an inch too long.  If the width had been within the correct parameters, they’d have come in 3rd place.  They all did great jobs and I look forward to seeing what they all come up with next year.  Really, if they can top this year with their ideas and themes, they should awards just for that.