Posted by: Leslie | July 11, 2010

Skein competition how-to, Part 1: Finding competitions

First off, to any readers outside the US/Canada, this entry is very specific to those two countries. I’m not familiar with skein competitions outside North America (though I know of some in Australia), but these tips may apply to your location as well.

When I first thought about entering skein competitions, I was already living in Ontario where wool festivals are few and far between. Some regions have classes for handspun yarn at county fairs, but even that’s not an option in this part of the province (and I’ve heard that the judging of skein classes at county fairs tends to be pretty inconsistent, as it’s not easy to find people with lots of expertise in handspinning). So, I had to do a bit of searching to find fiber arts-specific events that accepted mail-in entries:

– Searching for “skein competition 2010” (no quotation marks) in Google gave me quite a few possibilities to work with, spread out over the first 50-100 hits.

– The Spinning and Weaving Association website also maintains a list of fiber festivals, sorted by state/region, that I also used although not all of the events listed have skein competitions.

– The back pages of Spin Off often contain ads for fiber festivals, many of which are advertising in the magazine to attract entries for skein and garment competitions:

After finding out what events were out there, it was a matter of going through each festival’s website to see which ones were either a) close enough to travel to in person, or b) accepting mail-in entries. Obviously, finding a local skein competition will vary depending on where you are, but I can comment on the events I’ve found that accept mail-in entries, at least for this year. Here are some of those events, and if you know of another, please comment and I will update this post:

Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival – Rhinebeck, NY
Garden State Sheep Breeders Sheep and Fiber Festival – Ringoes, NJ
Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair – South Jordan, UT
Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival – Hemlock, NY
Black Sheep Gathering – Eugene, OR
Jamaica Fiber Festival – Jamaica, VT
Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair – Cummington, MA
Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival – Whiteland, IN

Even if an event doesn’t accept mail-in entries, it’s worth posting on Ravelry to see if you can find someone who’s going in person who will take your skein along with them. That’s how I was able to enter skeins at Maryland Sheep and Wool and the Estes Park Wool Market.

Next week, the second installment of the series will cover Basic Requirements for Entries. See you then!



  1. I just love that dusky pink skein… I’m sure it’d win any skein competition:)

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