The Great Spinning-Knitting Race

The Wairarapa Vintage Machinery Club had a ‘Harvest Rally’ last weekend.

We were invited to participate, and to make it more exciting we formed two teams and had a fleece-to-garment competition each day. There were the ‘Wool Whisperers’ and the ‘Knitwits’ –

Here’s what teams had to do (from our explanatory poster) –
~ First the shearer shears the sheep, and each team gets enough wool to make a small garment.
~ Then team members begin preparing the fleece, by flicking-carding it with a little carder or comb. This removes tangles, vegetable matter and dirt, and aligns the individual fibres.
~ Next the wool must be spun, and then two strands twisted together to make a two-ply yarn.
~ As soon as some yarn is ready, knitting begins.
~ Finally the parts of the garment are sewn together.

On Saturday the goal was a baby jacket like this.

There was a chilly wind so everyone wrapped up well.

It was easy to be distracted!

Some found the fleece a little short and difficult –
– but soon jackets were taking shape

Sunday was warmer.

There were still lots of interesting distractions puffing or chugging past.

We made hats this time, using a dark fleece.

When teams are neck-and-neck, sewing up can be done by two people at once!

The teams finished within two minutes of each other. It was a very enjoyable weekend – we had fun together, saw all sorts of amazing machines, and talked to a lot of lovely visitors.
A big thankyou to John Thompson for this photo, and to Trish for all the Saturday photos above.

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