Kirkman House Museum to host Sheep to Shawl Fall Fest

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Colorful handcrafted hats are displayed at a previous Sheep to Shawl Festival on the grounds at Kirkman House Museum.

From its beginning on the hoof to a vast array of end products, the Kirkman House Museum's Sheep to Shawl Fall Festival will show the journey of wool in demonstrations.

There will also be food, contests, artisan vendors' goods and a chance to win a one-of-a-kind Walla Walla woven shawl.

The annual event will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday on the museum grounds at 214 N. Colville St.

Now in its 10th year, the festival celebrates the Walla Walla Valley's rural heritage with a demonstration of how wool goes from sheep to shawl right before visitors' eyes. Sheep will be shorn, raw wool will be spun into yarn and yarn woven into various items on the grounds.

As in past years, a hand-woven shawl created by local textile artist Susan Swayne will be given to the winner of a drawing. Tickets for the drawing are a suggested donation of $1 per chance or six tickets for $5.

Swayne spun and dyed some of the wool shorn at last year's Sheep to Shawl festival to create a one-of-a-kind shawl valued at more than $200.

The shawl is hand-spun of wool from a Finnish Landrace-Merino crossbred ewe.

The breeding creates wool that is soft and fine but very lustrous. It was woven on a four-harness loom in the loom-controlled Atwater-Bronson or Swedish lace pattern. Fehrenbacher Farm donated the wool and is was spun and woven by Susan Swayne.

Proceeds from the drawing and food sales help fund the museum's programs.

Food available to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. will include skewers, sliders, vegetable pitas, salads, seasonal vegetables and ice cream grabbers.

Hands-on demonstrations and activities throughout the day include felting, spinning, carding, and sheep sheering.

There will be contests throughout the day for children and adults, including corn husking, vegetable racing, kids and adults pie eating and kids whipped-cream feeding frenzy. In addition, a variety of artisan vendors will have wares for sale.

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