From sheep to shawl at The Royal

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Before the 2015 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair opened, exhibitors shipped fleece from across Canada to vie for the title of Grand Champion Fleece. As visitors arrived on opening day, the various fleece classes were already on display with their ribbons attached. Alison Brown of Norwood, ON, took the prize sponsored by the Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers.

As the week progressed, interest in the displayed fleece increased with spinners and processors taking a look at the variety and quality. There were also sheep shearing demonstrations to educate the public on how fleece is obtained. To close out the Fair, the fleeces on display were sold at auction. Brown's seven pound naturally coloured medium fine fleece sold for $23/lb.

Prior to the auction, the Sheep to Shawl competition was held with eight teams of weavers, spinners, and carders creating a shawl from a provided fleece. The teams were charged with creating a useful item in four hours that could be sold at the fleece auction as well. 

"It's about the challenge," said Sheep to Shawl team member Karen Shepherd of the Niagara region. "It's a test to create something from the raw fleece in a time limit." Her team, Agents of S.H.E.E.P., ended the competition in 7th place and their shawl sold for $70.

The winning Sheep to Shawl team from Guelph chose not to sell its shawl. The shawl that sold for the most money brought in $105. The winner of the drop spindle competition was Jan Schallert.

The Royal is supported in part by the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "Wool spinning at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at:

For further information: Karen Poncelet, Marketing Communications and Community Relations Mgr, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, 39 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Direct: 416-263-3411 Fax: 416-263-3488


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