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Hanspun Contest

2014 Handspun Contest Rules

We are awarding a special 40th anniversary Handspun Skein Award to a skein made from Massachusetts fiber.
Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival Handspun Contest

Rules and Regulations for Handspun Contests

**New This Year! ** We now have 3 Drop-off locations for entries to be dropped-off by Thursday noon before the fair, for our exhibitors that live a distance away, and cannot come to the fair for both days. If you choose this option, you are responsible for picking up your items on Sunday between 3 - 4pm at the Exhibit Hall. We are not responsible for items not picked up.

Preparation of skeins for exhibit

  1. All skeins must be handspun by the exhibitor, and completed within the last year.
  2. There is no limit to how many skeins you may enter per Division.
  3. There is no entry fee.
  4. All skeins must be at least 1 oz. or 50 yards long, whichever is more. No maximum.
  5. Skeins must be tied in 4 places with figure-eight ties, and neatly wound.
  6. Skeins should have a circumference of 1 ½ to 2 yards.

Entering and Entry Forms

  1. A completed general entry form must be filled out and left with the exhibit(s) upon arrival.
  2. Four ways to enter:
    1. Pre-entry on-line: The Deadline is Friday one full week before the fair.  Complete entry form on-line.
    2. Pre-entry by mail: Print out the entry form, fill it out, and mail to the address on the form.
      The Deadline is Friday one full week before the fair.
    3. Enter at the fair: Print out the entry form, fill it out, and bring it with your exhibits when you sign in
      Saturday morning between 7:30 - 9:30am.
    4. Drop-off-Entry(s): New this year! Entries may be dropped off as described below, and you pick them up on Sunday between 3 - 4 pm at the Exhibit Hall.

      Drop-off your entries at the following locations during the week before the fair, no earlier than the Saturday before the fair, and no later than noon of Thursday before the fair, in a closed paper bag with your name and phone number clearly written on the outside.

      Inside the bag must be:
      - The completed Entry Form listing all entries separately
      - All items individually tagged with the appropriate tags (see link below)

      Drop-off locations:
      Metaphor Yarns, 623 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne, MA 01370
      Northampton Wools, 29 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA 01060
      Sheep and Shawl, 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA 01373

  3. Adding more entries: If you pre-register and wish to add more entries, fill out an additional Entry Form with the added entries listed, and bring it with your exhibits when you sign in.
  4. Entries the day of the fair are welcome and blank forms will be available at the exhibit hall between 7:30 - 9:30 am Saturday.
  5. Each skein must be individually listed on the Exhibitor's General Entry Form. (one skein per line)
  6. General Entry form must contain the following information:
    1. Complete contact information of the exhibitor, including age of youth, telephone #, etc.
    2. Class = Handspun - Adult or Handspun - Youth
      Adults—20 years of age or over
      Youth—under 20 years of age as of Jan. 1
    3. Division (see below)
    4. Description = a brief description of the skein entered (example: bulky, blue or 2ply, beaded).

Tagging Each Entry

  1. Entry Tag(s): All skeins must have either the MSWF Handspun Tag (click here to go to Handspun Tags) or two 3” x 5” index cards (not larger and all on one side) tied to the skein.  These two index cards should have the following information:

    1st card: Display Card
    - 3” x 5” index card (not larger and all on one side) tied to the skein, suitable for display with the skein, with nothing to identify the individual exhibitor to the judge, neatly written or typed, describing the following:

    A - Fiber content (%) and breed(s) of sheep, if known
    B - Condition of fiber to start with (raw fleece, locks, roving, etc.)
    C - How fleece was prepared for spinning (washed, flicked, carded, commercial roving, etc.)
    D - Spinning method using (spinning wheel, drop spindle, etc)
    E - Intended use (knit, crochet, weave, etc.)
    F - Final item that will be made with this skein (garment, rug, art, etc.)

2nd card: Identifying Card – a second 3” x 5” index card, folded in half and taped shut to conceal the exhibitor’s name, tied to the skein, containing the following information:

Inside: Exhibitor's Name, Town, and State
Outside: A. Class (Handspun – Adult or Youth, Youth please list age)
B. Division (see below)

Handspun Divisions

  1. Handspun Divisions
    Div. 1: Singles, 100% sheep wool (any yarn weight: fine, bulky, etc.)
    Div. 2: 2 ply yarn, 100% sheep wool (any yarn weight: fine, bulky, etc.)
    Div. 3: 3 or more ply yarn, 100% sheep wool (any yarn weight: fine, bulky, etc.)
    Div. 4: 2 or more ply starting with raw fleece, prepared entirely by the exhibitor,
    100% sheep wool (any yarn weight: fine, bulky, etc.)
    Div. 5: Novelty & Art Yarn, 100% animal fiber or blend – must be at least 50% animal fiber
    (any yarn weight: fine, bulky, etc.) (may be “novelty” by blend, technique, etc.)
  2. Divisions may be sub-divided at the discretion of the judge if there are sufficient entries to warrant the change.
  3. The judge may move a skein to a different Division if they deem it appropriate.
  4. The judge’s decisions are final.

Judging Criteria

  1. Judging will be based on (in no particular order):
    1. exhibitor's preparation of skein for exhibit, as described above,
    2. written information provided by exhibitor
    3. quality of the twist relevant to techniques used
    4. good hand (how does it feel)
    5. appropriateness for intended use
    6. overall quality
    7. underweight skeins (less than 1 oz.) or skeins shorter than 50 yards will be disqualified

Awards and Prizes

  1. Premium money will be part of the funds allocated to the entire contest of Handspun Yarn. Premiums will be paid on a point basis. A minimum of three places will be awarded in each division, if there are sufficient entries.
  2.  One Best of Show will be selected in the Adult Handspun, and one in the Youth Handspun, if entries are sufficient.
  3. The Northeast Handspinners Association will be offering an additional cash prize for the Best Handspun Skein.
  4. Ribbons and Best of Show trophies will be awarded on the day of judging.
  5. Premium money will be mailed to recipients after the fair.
  6. Special fiber prizes may be awarded to spinners under 20 years old.

Drop- off and Pick-up of Exhibits

  1. Skeins will be accepted between 7:30-9:30 am Saturday. All skeins must be on display from 9:30 am Saturday to 3:00 pm Sunday.
  2. All skeins must be picked up between 3:00 and 4:00 pm Sunday. Unclaimed skeins are not the responsibility of the fair committee.

For more information please contact:
Barbara Goodchild


Entry Forms

Click here to download the Entry Form



Past Winners
2013 Winners:
Best of Show (Adult) - Novelty Yarn, Gina Allewelt, Millville, NJ
Northeast Handspinner Award - 2+-Ply From Raw Wool Yarn, Gina Allewelt, Millville, NJ

Division 1 - Singles (Adult)
1 - Gina Allewelt, Millville, NJ
2 - Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA
3 - Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA

Division 2 - 2-Ply Yarn (Adult)
1 - Gina Allewelt, Millville, NJ
2 - Pamela Darrow, Blandford, MA
3 - Pamela Darrow, Blandford, MA

Division 3 - 3+-Ply Yarn (Adult)
2 - Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA

Division 4 - 2+-Ply from Raw Wool (Adult)
1 - Susan Weaver, Nelson, NH
2 - Gina Allewelt, Millville, NJ

Division 5 - Novelty (Adult)
1 - Gina Allewelt, Millville, NJ
2 - Cynthia Baehr, Putney, VT


2012 Best of Show Winners:
Adult Best of Show - Angelina Moore, CT (3+ Ply Yarn)
Northeast Handspinner Award - Jenny Bannock, CT (2-Ply Yarn)

2011 Best of Show Winners:
Adult Best of Show Handspun & Northeast Handspinner Association Best Skein Award - Mavis Adam (Connecticut) for her Handspun Division 1: 100% wool single ply.

2010 Best of Show Winners:

Adult Handspun - Kristine Baker, NJ
Youth Handspun - Anna Lemme, MA

2009 Best of Show Winners:
Adult Handspun - Melissa Cunningham, CT



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