Skein & Garment Competition
This competition features a wide range of items handcrafted by spinners, knitters, weavers, crocheters, felters, and other fiber artists from across the country, all showcasing the beauty and versatility of wool.
Please read all requirements
- 1. All entries must have been completed since the 2016 festival and be clean and odor-free.
- 2. An entry will only be accepted in one class. No more than two entries per class will be accepted from an individual.
- 3. “Wool” is the product of a sheep.
- 4. All entries must be at least 50% wool except for classes S01-S05 and T80-T83 which must be 100% wool.
- 5. All entries must include:
- A completed entry form. Multiple entries from an individual may be on one entry form.
- A small return address label with the name and address of the entrant for each entry on the entry form so that it can be placed on the entry tags. Please be sure this name matches the entrant on the entry form.
- A card no larger than 3×5 for each entry, with:
- The class name and number;
- Age of entrant if 18 or under;
- Fiber content, including breed if known;
- Producer of fiber, if wool is from a flock on a farm
located in Maryland and owned by a member of the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association;
- For all handspun skeins include a description of techniques used and its intended use.
- 6. Hangers and display equipment will not be accepted. If sculptural entry, all pieces must be securely attached.
- 7. Entries are accepted Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Fairgrounds between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Late submissions will not be accepted. If the 1 p.m. deadline cannot be met, mail entries.
- 8. Mailed entries should be sent to Skein & Garment Competition, PO Box 9304, Catonsville, MD 21228. They must be received no later than Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Inquiries can be made to .
- 9. Judging will take place Friday, May 5, in the afternoon and evening. The judges have the right to shift entries to more appropriate classes. Judges’ decisions are final. All entries will be displayed uncovered but supervised during Festival hours. The Festival will make every effort to display and care for the entered pieces, but assumes no responsibility for damage or loss.
- 10. The show will close at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. Entries will not be released under any circumstances before 4:30 p.m, and must be claimed by 5:30 p.m. that evening. Entries not picked up will become the property of the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association, Inc.
General Instructions for Handspun
- 1. Each handspun entry must be spun and constructed by the entrant alone except for class G01. (Entries not made entirely from yarn spun by the entrant must be entered as using commercial yarn.)
- 2. “Fine” yarn is 20 or more wraps per inch and each skein of fine yarn must weigh at least 1 ounce.“
- 3. “Medium” yarn is 10 to 19 wraps per inch and each skein must weigh at least 2 ounces.
- 4. “Thick” yarn is less than 10 wraps per inch and each skein must weigh at least 2 ounces.
- 5. Each skein must be:
- 1.5 to 2 yards in circumference.
- Wound neatly with the 2 ends of the skein tied together.
- 6. Skeins from commercially prepared fiber may only be entered in classes S06, S07, S11, S12, S13, and S15.
- 7. Remember to include technique description and intended use.
General Instructions for Felting
Felted articles (hand-knitted and then felted, handwoven and then felted, felted from fleece, or needle-felted) should be entered in classes F01-F04. Knitted or woven articles that have been fulled, i.e., stitches or warp and weft yarn are readily visible, must be entered in the class of the primary technique.
Skeins – 100% wool prepared by spinner from raw wool
- S01 Fine singles yarn
- S02 Medium to thick singles yarn
- S03 Fine plied yarn
- S04 Medium plied yarn
- S05 Thick plied yarn
Skeins – at least 50% Wool
- S06 Singles yarn spun from commercially prepared fibers
- S07 Plied yarn spun from commercially prepared fibers
- S08 Singles or plied yarn blended by spinner
- S09 Singles or plied yarn natural dyed by spinner
- S10 Singles or plied yarn chemically dyed by spinner
- S11 Expressive (novelty) yarn. To qualify, the yarn must be spun using a defined technique and be well constructed (examples are bouclé, corespun, tufted, etc.).
- S12 Handspinners dyed yarn basket – a minimum of one pound of yarn spun in any manner for use in one project displayed in a basket. Include a description of the fiber techniques used to spin the yarn and its intended use. A pattern, sketch or sample swatch of the project must be displayed. This class will be judged on craftsmanship and creativity.
- S13 Handspinners natural colored yarn basket – same as Class S12
- S14 Novice spinner (spinning one year or less) – singles or plied yarn
- S15 Novice spinner using commercially prepared fiber – singles or plied yarn
Hand Knitted Articles
- K01 Garment knit from handspun dyed yarn
- K02 Garment knit from handspun natural colored yarn
- K03 Wearable accessories knit from handspun yarn
- K04 Scarves knit from handspun yarn
- K05 Shawls knit from handspun yarn
- K06 Gloves/mittens knit from handspun yarn
- K07 Socks knit from handspun yarn
- K08 Garment knit from commercial yarn of one color or one multicolored yarn
- K09 Garment knit from more than one commercial colored yarn
- K10 Scarves knit from commercial yarn
- K11 Shawls knit from commercial yarn
- K12 Gloves/mittens knit from commercial yarn
- K13 Socks knit from commercial yarn
- K14 Miscellaneous knit from commercial yarn
- K15 Miscellaneous knit from handspun yarn
- K16 Knitting for dolls and bears (handspun or commercial yarn)
- W01 Garment woven from handspun yarn
- W02 Scarves woven from handspun yarn
- W03 Shawls woven from handspun yarn
- W04 Miscellaneous woven from handspun yarn
- W05 Garment woven from commercial yarn
- W06 Scarves woven from commercial yarn
- W07 Shawls woven from commercial yarn
- W08 Miscellaneous woven from commercial yarn
- W09 Novice hand woven (weaving 1 year or less)
Hand Crocheted Articles
- C01 Article crocheted from handspun yarn
- C02 Article crocheted from commercial yarn
- G01 Group-produced article made from handspun yarn. Identify all participants (maximum of four people) and their respective contributions.
Wool hooking technique using an original pattern and design
- H01 Traditional
- H02 Punch needle
- H03 Latch hook
Wool hooking technique using bought patterns, kits or preprinted designs
- H04 Traditional
- H05 Punch needle
- H06 Latch hook
- F01 Knitted or woven articles that have been felted
- F02 Wet and/or needle felted non-wearables/home decor (wall hangings to rugs)
- F03 Wet and/or needle felted wearables
- F04 Wet and/or needle felted sculptural or figurative articles
- T01 Rugs – using any techniques mentioned throughout; small, medium and large
- T02 Miscellaneous article using technique other than those listed above (e.g., needlepoint, embroidery, etc.)
- T03 Fiber Jewelry: to include felted techniques, knitting and other needle work, beading may be included but not the primary technique of the article.
Participants must be 18 years old or younger. The Junior Division is composed of all classes using the same criteria as the Adult Division. Ribbons and cash prizes are the same as the Adult Division.
Cash prizes will be awarded in each class for First Place ($15), Second Place ($10), and Third Place ($5). Ribbons will be awarded for First through Fifth Place.
All are $25 cash awards or gift certificates unless otherwise noted.
- Best in Show – donated by Cloverhill Yarn Shop of Baltimore, MD ($50 gift certificate)
- Flock Award – given to the highest combined score for handspun skein
entries across any 5 different classes – donated anonymously ($50)
- Best Woven Article – donated by The Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore
- Best Junior Spinner – donated by The Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore
- Best Novice Weaver – donated by The Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore
- Best Handspun Skein – donated by Ed, Chris, & Pat Hyland in memory of Jane Hyland
- Best Handspun Article – donated by Ed, Chris, & Pat Hyland in memory of Jane Hyland
- Best Basket of Yarn – donated by The Waterford Weavers
- Best Novelty Yarn – donated by The Waterford Weavers
- Best Novice Spinner – donated by Chesapeake Spinners and Weavers
- Best Junior Fiber Artist – donated by Sandy Spring Friends School
- Best Knitted Article Using Gradient/Ombre Commercial Yarn – donated by Fiber Optics Yarn ($25 gift certificate)
- Best Woven Article Using Gradient/Ombre Commercial Yarn – donated by Fiber Optics Yarn ($25 gift certificate)
- Best Innovative Design – donated by The Potomac Fiber Arts Guild
- Best Primitive Style Hooked Rug – donated by ATHA Mason Dixon Chapter ($50) NEW!
- Best Traditional Style Hooked Rug – donated by ATHA Mason Dixon Chapter ($50) NEW!
- Best Leicester Longwool Skein – donated by Willow Brook Farms
- Best Leicester Longwool Skein by a Junior – donated by Willow Brook Farm
- Best Overall Leicester Longwool Article – donated by Willow Brook Farm
- Best Romney Skein – donated by American Romney Breeders Association NEW!
- Best Romney Skein by a Junior – donated by American Romney Breeders Association NEW!
- Best Romney Knitted Article – donated by American Romney Breeders Association NEW!
Maryland Sheep Breeders Association Prizes
In order to encourage the production of high quality wool in Maryland, and to encourage fiber artists to seek out this wool, MSBA sponsors the following prizes. To be eligible, entries must use wool from a flock on a farm located in Maryland and owned by a member of MSBA.
- Best of Maryland Wool – Skein: To recognize the best yarn spun with wool from a Maryland sheep owned by a member of MSBA.
- Best of Maryland Wool – Article: To recognize the best article made with wool from a Maryland sheep owned by a member of MSBA.
- Best of Maryland Wool – Producer: To recognize the best overall quality of entries submitted using wool from a single farm owned by a member of MSBA.
For the first two awards, the creator of the skein/article will receive a ribbon, pewter cup, and $25 in prize money, while the MSBA member who produced the wool used to make the skein/article will also receive a ribbon. The MSBA member winning the third award will receive a ribbon, pewter cup, and $25 in prize money.
The “Freddie” Award
This is a $100 cash award for the weaver of the most unusual handwoven article in the show. This award is funded by an endowment from the family and friends of Mary Frederika Pfeiffer, an avid Festival supporter. The “Freddie” Award will continue her encouragement of excellence in creative handweaving.
Mamie Francis Blanket Competition
Mamie was a weaver of small blankets or lap robes. She is remembered by her husband, daughter and two sons with the endowment that funds this competition.
- This competition is part of the Skein & Garment Competition and all Skein & Garment Competition rules apply.
- Both warp and weft in the blanket must be 100% wool except for Class T84.
- T80 Lap Robe in any weave, 36-50” wide and any length
- T81 Blanket in any weave, larger than 50” wide and any length
- T82 Lap Robe or Blanket in any weave woven by a Junior (18 or under), minimum 36” wide and any length
- T83 Baby Blanket in any weave, less than 36” wide
- T84 Lap Robe or Blanket in any weave or size above made from at least 50% wool
• Grand Prize – $300
• (4) First Place Awards – $60
• (5) Second Place Awards – $40
• (5) Third Place Awards – $20
• Best Blanket Made of Maryland Wool – $100
There will be five classes. A First Place blanket will be selected in each class. From these first place blankets, a Grand Prize winner will be selected to receive a $300 check.
Thank you to Sandy Spring Friends School for supporting this event with a generous $500 donation.
In addition, the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association donates $100 for the Best Blanket Made of Maryland Wool.