A group of 7 spinners and knitters from the Ottawa, Lanark County and St. Lawrence Valley guilds known as the Woolly Wonders are competing as a team in the International Back to Back Wool Challenge where the objective is to shear a sheep, spin its yarn and knit a sweater in less than eight hours following strict rules and a set pattern. The Wooly Wonders will take a 5 minute penalty to accept previously sheared wool from the Carleton Co-Operative Wool Growers.

Upper Canada Village will be hosting this event on Sunday June 7th 2009 from 9 a.m to 5.p.m. Tickets on the finished sweater will be on sale for 99 cents each.

All the money raised from the sale of tickets will be given to the Lymphedema Association of Ontario, a debilitating fluid retention condition affecting both men and women which commonly occurs when the lymph nodes are removed during cancer surgery. The team's goal is to raise $1,000.

This family event will be a great opportunity to learn about this international challenge, about wool, spinning and knitting and the Lymphedema Association of Ontario.

The team consisting of Beth Dennis, Debbie Etherington, Kay James, Betty Laakso, Nancy MacMillan, Sandy McManus, Louise Rosch would like to thank their sponsors: Carleton Co-Operative Wool Growers, Upper Canada Village and Hewlett Construction.

This International contest started in Berkshire, England in 1811 when a 1000£ wager was given to the team that could make a man's coat from a sheep's back in one day. It took the winning team 13 hrs to complete. In 1992, a young spinner Richard Snow from Scotland recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer, decided to continue this contest to raise funds for cancer. The trophy would go to the fastest team to spin and knit a sweater and, in 2004, the Guinness Book of Records became involved.

Today, the contest runs around the world and coincides with the Australian Wool Festival held in mid-June. The Canadian Co-Operative Wool Growers sponsors the Canadian Trophy. In 2008, the Toronto Spiders were the recipient of this trophy and also won the International championship with a time of just under six hours. The Guinness World Record Time is 4 hours 51 minutes 14 seconds held by the Merriwa Jumbcuks, Merriwa NSW in 2004.

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