From sheep to sweater in Gaspereau

Wendy Elliott
Published on June 8, 2014

Two hardworking teams competed in Kings County May 31 in the international sheep-to-sweater competition.

The Back-to-Back Wool Challenge started in Australia in 1994 and has since caught on worldwide. Teams race to shear the sheep, spin the wool and knit the sweater.

At Gaspereau Valley Fibres, the Maritime Gimmers team, who assembled from three provinces, finished in 10.5 hours. The Valley team, the Sheep Thrills, competed their sweater in 13.5 hours. Annapolis County had a team in the international race, as well.

Hants County shearer Eric Sullivan sheared a number of sheep, whose wool was donated by Dabro Farms in Gaspereau.

Shop owner Brenda Gilmour said many people arrived to cheer on the spinners and knitters and to help raise a little more than $600 for Carey Me Palliative Care at Home.

The rules are consistent: no mechanized tools are allowed. Each team consists of one blade shearer, and seven spinners (with spinning wheels), a long with knitters who follow identical rules and a pattern to knit the adult size sweater.

Two years ago Sheep Thrills placed first in Canada, ranking seventh overall at nine hours, 46 minutes, and 37 seconds.