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Fleece to Foot – Meet the Sheep

August 4, 2011

One of the most intriguing parts of Sock Summit 2011 was the Fleece to Foot Challenge. As you know, At the Summit was selected as the sock design for this competition, so we were especially excited to see the Fleece to Foot! (Note: the pattern is now available for purchase through Ravelry, with all proceeds going to the CCFA.)

I visited the sheep before their big debut to say hello and get a few photos of them. Spinning Ewe Farm in Beavercreek, Oregon provided the sheep and they spent the day in a pen in a corner of the convention center – not quite their usual accommodations!

Three Sheep

The sheep preparing for their shearing debut!

Jan McMahon and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Amy Wolf and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Amy Wolf, the shearer, shared with us that these sheep haven’t been sheared before. Also, they were not particularly enamored of the concrete floor hiding underneath the straw.

Sheep Close-up #1

Sheep Close-up #2

Sheep Close-up #3

The sheep seemed content to hang out in their pen, even once the crowds of people descended, but they were not terribly amused when it was time for them to walk across the floor to the shearing area.

Sheep Walking

Amy Wolf and her daughter escort one of the sheep to the shearing station.

(apologies for the blurriness – they asked that we not use flash to help keep the sheep calm, and my camera isn’t great at high speed photography!)

Once at the shearing station, Amy talked to us a little bit about the shearing process and demonstrated how she uses her legs to act as a chair for the sheep.

Legs as a Chair

Amy's legs serve as a chair for the sheep

Once the sheep was settled, she started shearing. The shears look an awful lot like the sort of clippers used for human hair, but I don’t know if that’s exactly true!

Shearing begins

I was really amazed how the wool comes off the sheep in one continuous piece – I have never seen a sheep shearing up close and in person before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

Halfway there

At this point it was time for me to get back to work so I said goodbye to the sheep and left Amy to her task – a short while after this, all three sheep were sheared, the fleece was skirted and distributed to the teams, and the Fleece to Foot Challenge began!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ellen Andresen (Lnand) permalink
    August 4, 2011 2:57 pm

    Very interesting! I look forward to further reports :-)

  2. August 4, 2011 10:05 pm

    Very cool! Can’t wait for more of the fleece to feet competition. It’s all so interesting.

  3. August 5, 2011 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the pics. One edit though – your pics are of Amy Wolf, the shearer, not Jan the shepherdess! I wish I could have been at the shearing, but had a class.

    • August 7, 2011 9:59 pm

      Thanks Kathy – I will edit that! My notes were somewhat haphazard and I guessed wrong :)

  4. July 28, 2013 6:13 am

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  1. Sock Summit 2011 recap

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