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 and follow all requirements. Please note that various rules and/or categories have changed. Entries that do not follow all requirements may not be judged.
Please send all questions to .
- All entries must have been completed since the last in-person Festival in May 2022 and be clean and odor-free. Items must not be “in the grease.”
- An entry will only be accepted in one class. No more than two entries per class will be accepted from an individual.
- All entries must be at least 50% wool except for classes S01-S05 and T80-T82 which must be 100% wool. “Wool” is defined as the product of shearing a sheep.
- All entries must include:
- A completed online or paper entry form
- Online entry is strongly encouraged and can be accessed at https://sheepandwool.wufoo.com/forms/2023-skein-garment-online-entry-form/.
- Online entry will close Friday, April 28, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST.
- Multiple entries from an individual may be on one entry form.
- The entry form must be correctly filled out including the specified indicator for any of the special prizes that the entry is eligible for.
- A small return address label with the name and address of the entrant. Bring a label for each entry on the entry form. They will be placed on the entry tags and must adhere to the tags. Sticky notes are not accepted. 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 number and name;
- Age of entrant as of January 1, if 18 or under;
- Fiber content, including breed if known;
- To be eligible for special Maryland Sheep Breeders Association (MSBA) prizes, the wool must be from a flock on a farm located in Maryland. The name of the producer of the fiber, their farm’s name (where applicable), and the city and state where the farm is located must be listed on the card. If this information is missing, the entry will not be eligible for the MSBA prizes.
- To be eligible for special Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em prizes, a copy of your Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em passport (showing the stamp from the participating breeder who produced the fiber used in your entry) must be attached to the entry’s 3×5 card.
- To be eligible for special Chesapeake Fibershed prizes, entries must use 100% fiber grown within the Chesapeake Fibershed, an area around Washington D.C and Baltimore Metro areas, including portions of the states of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia (see www.chesapeakefibershed.com for boundaries). If dyed, it must use materials grown and/or foraged within the fibershed as well. The card must include the name of the fiber producer, name of the farm (if applicable), the name of the dyestuffs used and the city and state where the fiber and dye were obtained.
- For all handspun skeins, a description of techniques used and its intended use must be included.
- Do not include your name on the 3×5 card.
- A completed online or paper entry form
- Hangers and display equipment will not be accepted. If sculptural entry, all pieces must be securely attached.
- Entries will be accepted in the Main Exhibition Annex at the Fairgrounds according to the following schedule:
- Thursday, May 4, 2023 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Receive entries accompanied by paper entry forms
- Receive entries where the entry form was completed online
- Friday, May 5, 2023, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
- Receive entries where the entry form was completed online ONLY. NO paper entry forms accepted.
- Late submissions will not be accepted. If you cannot meet the above deadlines, you should mail your entries.
- Thursday, May 4, 2023 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Mailed entries should be sent to Maryland Skein & Garment Competition, 1001 Frederick Road, Number 9432, Catonsville, MD 21228. Mailed entries must be received no later than Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Inquiries can be made to . Mailed entries must be received with the required card (see 4, above) attached securely to each entry. Entries that do not have the required card attached may be excluded from judging at the Skein & Garment Committee’s discretion. The Skein & Garment Committee assumes no responsibility for cards that become detached or lost during mailing.
- Judging will take place Friday, May 5th. 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.
- The show will close at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 7th. 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 will not be returned by mail. Entries not picked up will become the property of the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association, Inc.
- Submission of an entry constitutes permission that the entry may be shown and/or described by the Festival or sponsors on webpages and/or social media.
General Instructions for Handspun Skeins
- Each handspun skein entry must be prepared and spun by the entrant alone except for class G01. (Entries not made entirely from fiber processed/prepared and spun by the entrant must be entered as using commercially prepared fiber.)
- “Fine” yarn is 20 or more wraps per inch and each skein of fine yarn must weigh at least 1 ounce.
- “Medium” yarn is 10 to 19 wraps per inch and each skein must weigh at least 2 ounces.
- “Thick” yarn is less than 10 wraps per inch and each skein must weigh at least 2 ounces.
- Each skein must be:
- 1.5 to 2 yards in circumference.
- Wound neatly with the 2 ends of the skein tied together.
- Appropriately secured with with at least 2 ties.
- Commercially prepared fiber may only be used in classes S06, S07, S11, S12, S13, and S15.
- Remember to include technique description and intended use.
General Instructions for Entries Made from Handspun (for all classes except S01-S15)
- Entries not made entirely from yarn spun by the entrant must be entered as using commercial yarn.
- Handspun yarn spun by the entrant can be from commercially processed fiber or fiber processed by the entrant.
General Instructions for Hand Knitting
- Articles knit partially or entirely on a knitting machine or knitting loom are not eligible for entry in classes K01-K16.
- Entries that include both commercial and hand-spun yarn must be entered in the otherwise appropriate commercial class.
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 processed and blended by spinner
- S09 Singles or plied yarn processed and natural dyed by spinner
- S10 Singles or plied yarn processed and 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.). Fiber can be processed by spinner or commercially prepared.
- 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. Fiber can be processed by spinner or commercially prepared.
- S13 Handspinners natural colored yarn basket – same as Class S12
- S14 Novice spinner (spinning one year or less) using fiber processed by spinner – singles or plied yarn
- S15 Novice spinner (spinning one year or less) 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 natural colored yarn
- K06 Shawls knit from handspun dyed yarn
- K07 Gloves/mittens knit from handspun yarn
- K08 Socks knit from handspun yarn
- K09 Garment knit from commercial yarn of one color or one multicolored yarn
- K10 Garment knit from more than one commercial colored yarn (colorwork)
- K11 Scarves knit from commercial yarn
- K12 Shawls knit from commercial yarn of one color or one multicolored yarn
- K13 Shawls knit from more than one commercial colored yarn (colorwork)
- K14 Gloves/mittens knit from commercial yarn
- K15 Socks knit from commercial yarn
- K16 Miscellaneous knit
- W01 Garment woven from handspun yarn
- W02 Scarves woven from handspun yarn
- W03 Shawls woven from handspun yarn
- W04 Wearable Accessories woven from handspun yarn
- W05 Miscellaneous woven from handspun yarn
- W06 Garment woven from commercial yarn
- W07 Scarves woven from commercial yarn
- W08 Shawls woven from commercial yarn
- W09 Wearable Accessories woven from commercial yarn
- W10 Miscellaneous woven from commercial yarn
- W11 Article woven on a rigid heddle loom
- W12 Novice hand woven (weaving 1 year or less)
Hand Crocheted Articles
- C01 Shawl or scarf crocheted from handspun yarn
- C02 Wearable accessory crocheted from handspun yarn
- C03 Miscellaneous article crocheted from handspun yarn
- C04 Shawl or scarf crocheted from commercial yarn
- C05 Wearable accessory crocheted from commercial yarn
- C06 Miscellaneous article crocheted from commercial yarn
- G01 Group-produced article made from handspun yarn. Entry form must identify all participants and their respective contributions.
- H01 Using original pattern and design
- H02 Using bought patterns, kits, or pre-printed designs
- H03 Punch needle or miscellaneous
- 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 as of January 1. 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. To be eligible for the prizes, the entrant must have included the appropriate letter code on the entry form:
MD – 100% Wool from a Maryland farm
G/O – Gradient/Ombre Commercial Yarn
JS – 100% Jacob Sheep Wool
SS – Spindle Spun
SE – Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em (see eligibility requirements above)
CF – Chesapeake Fibershed (see eligibility requirements above)
- Best in Show – donated by Cloverhill Yarn Shop of Baltimore, MD ($150 gift certificate in honor of the 50th anniversary)
- Flock Award – given to the highest combined placement for 5 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 the friends of Jane Hyland in her memory
- Best Handspun Article – donated by the friends of Jane Hyland in her memory
- 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 Spindle-Spun Yarn – donated by Chendra Conklin
- Best Spindle-Spun Yarn by a Junior – donated by Chendra Conklin
- Best Knitted Article Using Gradient/Ombre Commercial Yarn – donated by Fiber Optics Yarn ($50 gift certificate)
- Best Crocheted Article Using Gradient/Ombre Commercial Yarn – donated by Fiber Optics Yarn ($50 gift certificate)
- Best Woven Article Using Gradient/Ombre Commercial Yarn – donated by Fiber Optics Yarn ($50 gift certificate)
- Best Primitive Style Hooked Rug – donated by ATHA Mason Dixon Chapter ($50)
- Best Traditional Style Hooked Rug – donated by ATHA Mason Dixon Chapter ($50)
- Best Jacob Sheep Skein – donated by the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association NEW!
- Best Jacob Sheep Article – donated by the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association NEW!
- Best Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Skein – donated anonymously
- Best Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Article – donated anonymously
- Best Woven Constructed Article – donated by the Chesapeake Weavers Guild ($50)
- Best Innovative Design – donated by Potomac Fiber Arts Guild
- Best of Chesapeake Fibershed – Skein: donated by the Chesapeake Fibershed; winner and producer will additionally receive a wooden vessel made with local wood NEW!
- Best of Chesapeake Fibershed – Article: donated by the Chesapeake Fibershed; winner and producer will additionally receive a wooden vessel made with local wood 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 100% Maryland wool, the appropriate code must be included on the entry form, and the 3×5 card must include the name of the producer, the name of their farm (if applicable) and the city and state where the farm is located.
- Best of Maryland Wool – Skein: To recognize the best yarn spun with wool from a farm located in Maryland.
- Best of Maryland Wool – Article: To recognize the best article made with wool from a farm located in Maryland.
For each of these prizes, both the creator of the skein/article and the producer of the wool will receive a ribbon, pewter cup, and $25 in prize money, and the producer will be acknowledged in the Skein & Garment results on the Festival website.
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 T83.
- Width will be measured from selvedge to selvedge.
- T80 Blanket in any weave, less than 36” wide and any length
- T81 Blanket in any weave, 36-50” wide and any length
- T82 Blanket in any weave, greater than 50” wide and any length
- T83 Blanket in any weave, sized as above in T80-T82, made from at least 50% wool
- T84 Blanket as described above in T80-T83, woven by a Junior
- 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
A First Place blanket will be selected in each of classes T80-T84. From these first-place blankets, a Grand Prize winner will be selected to receive a $300 check.
Thank you to the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association for donating $100 for the Best Blanket Made of Maryland Wool.