Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Back to Back Challenge

In 1811 at Newberry in Berkshire, UK, a one thousand pound wager was made to make a coat from a sheep's back to a man's back in one day.  Watched by 5000 people, the coat was completed in 13 hours.

Today's challenge began in 1992 when Richard Snow, a keen young spinner at the Scottish Wool Centre at Aberfoyle in Scotland developed thyroid cancer.  His desire to raise funds for cancer research sparked off their Back To Back Challenge , a competition very similar to that run almost two hundred years ago.

That same year in Australia, teams representing football clubs competed in a race to spin and knit a football scarf from freshly shorn wool.

Since 1995  there is an international Challenge (run out of Australia) held in early June each year to raise funds for Cancer research and to promote the use of  wool from “sheep's back to spinner's back”using only the ancient skills of blade shearing, spinning and knitting.

See and experience the Shuswap version of this challenge on February 25, 2011 at Picadilly Mall in Salmon Arm starting at 9:30 am.  A team of 8 people: one shearer and 7 spinners and knitters will be timed in their attempt to create a pullover sweater.  Wool is spun just as it comes from the sheep with no washing, cleaning or carding.  The sweater begins to be knit as soon as the plied yarn is created. Needle size, stitch and row number are counted carefully to ensure that no shortcuts are taken. 

For more information:  Contact     Ann                        250 832 -9639