Stacey's Spinning Haven
The B2B Wool Challenge - Promotes Wool World Wide / Fundraising for Cancer Research. Each team competes locally and raise money for a local cancer foundation. Teams consist of 8 people and 1 sheep
(1 hand shearer, 7 spinners/knitters )
Time starts when you start shearing the sheep to putting the sweater on person
In 1811at Newbury in Berkshire, UK, a one thousand pound wager was made to make a coat from the sheep’s back to a mans back in one day. Watched by 5000 people, the coat was completed in thirteen hours. The sheep was eaten with much quaffing of beer to celebrate. 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. The event created enormous interest in the UK, not only because of the clever wool promotion but also because of the funds raised for cancer research. That same year, Australia held a similar contest. Teams representing football clubs The Cats, Geelong, Victoria and the West Coast Eagles, Western Australia competed in a race to spin & knit a football scarf from freshly shorn wool. When Australian Wool Showcase member, Wendy Dennis took part in the 1994 Fourth World Congress on Colored Sheep at York University, UK, she also visited the Scottish Wool Centre. With similar annual competitions held in Scotland and Australia, combined with fundraising for Cancer Research, the seed was sown for a combined International Competition and the rules were developed to suit. Teams consist of a blade shearer, a sheep and seven handspinners & knitters. Team nominate time keepers, assessors & coordinators monitor each team competing at their own wool related venue. All teams follow the identical Challenge rules and pattern exactly as they are written. The 1995 inaugural Challenge with nine teams competing from three Australian States, Scotland and the Shetland Isles, was won by the Shetland Isles in 5 hours 57 minutes 58 seconds. Over 1,350 Pounds was raised by the Scottish Wool Centre for the Cancer Research Campaign. 1996 saw twenty two teams competing, sixteen in Australia from four States. USA entered a team from Michigan and the UK had teams from Scotland, the Shetland Isles, Devon and Cambridge. Again, the Shetlands were unbeatable, breaking their blistering 1995 record by 39 minutes. They clipped another nine minutes off the next year. In 2004, Merriwa, New South Wales, Australia broke the 5 hour barrier. Their time:- 4 hours 51 minutes 14 seconds recorded for the first time in the Guinness World Records book. Merriwa also raised a record AUD$15,000 for Cancer Research. Ireland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Czech Republic, Republic of South Africa & The Netherlands have since joined the Challenge. The Netherlands broke the Guinness World Record in 2017 in a time of 4 hours 45 minutes 53 seconds. In just a few short years, the Challenge has developed at a remarkable rate. It is a simple and direct method of promoting wool from ‘sheep's back to spinners back’ using the ancient skills of blade shearing, spinning and knitting. And it is timed to coincide with Australia’s long weekend in June and the tourist summer season in the Northern Hemisphere Can you knit a jumper in a day? Blade Shears and Knitting Needles: Watch them race against the clock
In 2019 there had only been one team in the USA, that competed in the wool challenge and that team was San Diego, CA (The San Diego County Spinners). They hold the USA Record of 7 hours 52 minutes. The World Record is 4 hours 45 minutes 53 seconds. In 2019 Maine had there very first team (THE MAINELY SPINNERS) compete and finished their first sweater in 15 hours 58 minutes 54 seconds and raised $1700 to donate to the Dempsey Center in Lewiston, ME. With the world struggles of a pandemic in 2020 and 2021 the International Back to Back Committee chose to cancelled the wool challenge. Even though the challenge had been cancelled, the Mainely Spinners continued to raise money for cancer, with a combined total of just over $6000 raise the Mainely Spinners donated to Cancer Care of Maine in Brewer, Maine. In 2022 we were given the great news that there would be a 2022 International Back to Back Wool Challenge. On May 21, 2022 the Mainely Spinners competed in their 2nd Back to Back competition hosted by Sheep For A Cure. Finishing their sweater in 11 hours 49 minutes 55 seconds and raised just over $6000 for Cancer Care of Maine, Brewer Maine. I am so proud of the Mainely Spinners and the hard work that they have done.
My goal is to spread the word about this wonderful challenge and see more teams added. The cure for cancer is at our fingertips.
$1 CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
2017 Fiber Frolic
1st year of Promoting B2B
Back to Back Australia 2016
Back to Back Challenge - Winners 2014
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