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Free Lecture: “Sheep to Shawl”

Sue Payne is a Textile Specialist for Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana.

Sue has spent a lifetime refining her skills and pursuing textile related arts which includes participating in the very unique and very demanding Indiana Star Fair annual Sheep to Shawl contest. Sue was a young woman when the contest started closed to 40 years ago (it’s a little fuzzy). The contest lasts 4 hours requiring teams to start with raw washed wool and have a completed shawl for adults and a scarf for youth at the end which is then judged and auctioned off.

For the last 16 years, Sue has trained 30 – 40 Conner Prairie Youth Volunteers from the ages of 10 to 18 to compete on teams and face the same pressures as the adults and use the same skills as the adults. The pressure is very real.

The Program has grown each year and amazed everyone with its success. Sue will talk about her experiences developing the program, how it is supported, the unexpected benefits that have come from the program and the changed lives it has produced.

Sue will be joined by a few of her Youth Spinners who will also speak about their experiences and the stresses of being on a Sheep to Shawl team. This is a completely unique program – there is nothing to compare it to anywhere.