A unique wool challenge for a good cause

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 3:51 PM EDT
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MILFORD, Maine (WABI) - On Saturday freshly sheared wool was spun into a sweater in Milford, all for charity.

The Back-to-Back Wool Challenge is an international competition involving an eight-person team, one that shears a sheep, and seven that spin the wool.

The spun wool is then made into a sweater, with the whole process taking place all in a day.

Rules state that all of this must be done completely by hand.

Teams compete globally to fund cancer research with The Mainely Spinners of Milford team donating to cancer care at Northern Light Health Foundation.

Donations of over ten dollars were entered in a raffle to win the sweater the team made during the competition.

”The Maine Spinners register had their annual meeting. They said oh by the way, we have this international competition, and we need somebody to help. I said, well, I’ll help,” stated participant Donna Coffin.

The Back-to-Back Wool Competition has roots back to a wager placed in 1811 to see who could make a sheep’s coat into a wearable coat within a day.

Today’s version of the challenge began when a young wool spinner in Scotland developed thyroid cancer in 1992 and wanted to bring back the competition to fund cancer research.

The competition took place in Milford Town Hall where other woven items were also for sale to support cancer research.