Surrey Museum hosts Sheep to Shawl competition

Spinning and weaving clubs across the Lower Mainland are taking part this family-friendly, traditional celebration of the craft.

A sheep shearer at work at last year's Sheep to Shawl event at the Surrey Museum.

A sheep shearer at work at last year's Sheep to Shawl event at the Surrey Museum.

You’ve heard the phrase, From Farm to Fork? Well, how about From Wool to Wear?

On May 11, The Surrey Museum hosts its annual Sheep to Shawl competition, where four teams from Lower Mainland spinning and weaving groups will card, spin, ply and weave a shawl in just four hours.

The teams start out with raw, washed sheep’s wool, and take it from there.

Sheep to Shawl – or Sheep to Coat – is a traditional contest carried out in many sheep-producing countries throughout the world. Teams prepare in advance, practicing their craft and studying the type of fleece they’ll use. This year, it’s from a polypay sheep, a white, medium-sized sheep.

The Surrey Museum’s annual event celebrates the skills involved in making clothing and textiles the old-fashioned way, through spinning, weaving and sheep shearing. There’s a traditional sheep shearing demonstration from 1-2:30 p.m. Visitors can also try their hand at the museum’s spinning wheels and looms, with help from experienced staff and volunteers.

Folk singers will be performing, creating an authentic atmosphere with traditional sheep and wool songs.

The competition runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with winners announced at 4 p.m.

Admission is by donation. Museum gallery admission is sponsored in 2013 by the Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society.

The Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Avenue, Surrey. It’s open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. For more, visit www.surrey.ca/heritage, or call 604-592-6956.

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