Handspun Contest

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2019 Handspun Contest Rules

Rules and Regulations

New this year, you have the option to submit your entry online or by mail.

**Drop-off locations **
 We have 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 – 4 pm 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. Two ways to enter:

A: Enter at the fair: Saturday morning between 7:30 – 9:30am.  If you can print out entry forms and complete them before arrival it would be appreciated.

B: Drop-off-Entry(s): 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.

Drop-off locations:
Northampton Wools, 29 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA 01060
Sheep and Shawl, 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA 01373

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


1. Each skein must be individually listed on the Exhibitor’s General Entry Form. (one skein per line)

2. 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.
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 for 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.)
    G. Massachusetts Fiber       yes no

    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)
    C . Massachusetts Fiber       yes no

    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 Premiums will be $10 for 1st place; $7 for second place and $4 for third place.

    2. One Best of Show will be selected in the Adult Handspun, and one in the Youth Handspun, if entries are sufficient.

    3. Ribbons and Best of Show trophies will be awarded on the day of judging.

    4. Premium money will be mailed to recipients after the fair.

    5. Special fiber prizes may be awarded.

    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, contact:

    Entry Form

    Handspun Contest PDF Entry Form

    Click for PDF – enter by mail

    Handspun Contest Online Entry

    Click to enter online

    Past Winners

    2017 Winners

    Best of Show (Adult) – 3+-Ply Yarn, Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA 
    Massachusetts Wool Award – Singles, Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA 
    Northeast Handspinner Award – 3+-Ply Yarn, Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA

    Division 1 – Singles (Adult)
    1 – Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA 
    2 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA 
    3 – Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA

    Division 2 – 2-Ply Yarn (Adult) 
    1 – Jeremy Kisla, Somerville, MA
    2 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA 
    3 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA

    Division 3 – 3+-Ply Yarn (Adult) 
    1 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA 
    2 – Gina Assetta, Holyoke, MA 
    3 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA

    Division 4 – 2+-Ply from Raw Wool (Adult) 
    1 – Susan Weaver, Nelson, NH
    2 – Susan Weaver, Nelson, NH 
    3 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA

    Division 5 – Novelty, 100% Animal Fiber (Adult)
    1 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT
    2 – Jenny Atkins, Amherst, MA
    3 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT

    Division 5 – Novelty, 100% Mixed Fibers (Adult)
    1 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA
    2 – Deanna Moore, Holyoke, MA 
    3 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA

    2016 Winners

    Best of Show (Adult) – 3+-Ply Yarn, Joyce Wilson, Orange, MA 
    Massachusetts Wool Award – 2+-Ply from Raw Wool, Joyce Wilson, Orange, MA 
    Northeast Handspinner Award – Singles, Melinda Baker, Northfield, MA

    Division 1 – Singles (Adult)
    1 – Barbara & Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA
    2 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA 
    3 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA

    Division 2 – 2-Ply Yarn (Adult) 
    1 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA 
    2 – Angelina Moore, Windsor, CT 
    3 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor, CT

    Division 3 – 3+-Ply Yarn (Adult) 
    1 – Joyce Wilson, Orange, MA 
    2 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA
    3 – Gina Assetta, Holyoke, MA

    Division 4 – 2+-Ply from Raw Wool (Adult) 
    1 – Joyce Wilson, Orange, MA 
    2 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA 
    3 – Valerie Hebert, Putney, VT

    Division 5 – Novelty (Fiber)
    1 – Joyce Wilson, Orange, MA 
    1 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor, CT 
    3 – Angelina Moore, Windsor, CT

    Division 5 – Novelty (Technique)
    1 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor, CT 
    2 – Joyce Wilson, Orange, MA 
    2 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA
    3 – Alissa DeCaro, Ludlow, MA

    2015 Winners

    2015 Winners
    Best of Show (Adult) – Novelty Yarn/Fiber, Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT 
    Massachusetts Wool Award – Singles Yarn, Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA
    Northeast Handspinner Award – 2+-Ply Raw Wool Yarn, Valerie Hebert, Putney, VT

    Division 1 – Singles (Adult)
    1 – Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA
    2 – Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA
    3 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA

    Division 2 – 2-Ply Yarn (Adult)
    1 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT 
    2 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT
    3 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT

    Division 3 – 3+-Ply Yarn (Adult) 
    1 – Susanne Babcock, Glenmont, NY 
    2 – Susanne Babcock, Glenmont, NY

    Division 4 – 2+-Ply from Raw Wool (Adult)
    1 – Susan Weaver, Nelson, NH 
    2 – Valerie Hebert, Putney, VT
    3 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA

    Division 5 – Novelty/Fiber (Adult) 
    1 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT 
    2 – Sondra L Slesinski, S Deerfield, MA
    3 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT

    Division 5 – Novelty/Technique (Adult)
    1 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT
    2 – Angelina Moore, Windsor, CT 
    3 – Suzanne Carlson, Vernon, CT

    2014 Winners

    2014 Winners
    Best of Show (Adult) – 2-Ply Yarn, Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT 
    Massachusetts Wool Award – Singles Yarn, Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA 
    Northeast Handspinner Award – Novelty Yarn, Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT 
    Best of Show (Youth) – Novelty Yarn, Jacqueline Harp, Pleasant Hill, MO

    Division 1 – Singles (Adult)
    1 – Mavis Adam, Niantic, CT
    2 – Mavis Adam, Niantic, CT
    3 – Eric Goodchild, Shelburne, MA

    Division 2 – 2-Ply Yarn (Adult)
    1 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT
    2 – Helen Larkin, Cummington, MA 
    3 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT

    Division 3 – 3+-Ply Yarn (Adult) 
    1 – Mavis Adam, Niantic, CT
    2 – Gina Assetta, Holyoke, MA
    3 – Leona Arthen, Worthington, MA

    Division 4 – 2+-Ply from Raw Wool (Adult)
    1 – Mavis Adam, Niantic, CT
    2 – Mavis Adam, Niantic, CT
    3 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT

    Division 5 – Novelty (Adult) 
    1 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT
    2 – Susan MacLeod, Dummerston, VT
    3 – Jenny Bannock, Windsor Locks, CT

    Division 1 – Singles (Youth)
    1 – Jacqueline Harp, Pleasant Hill, MO

    Division 4 – 2+-Ply from Raw Wool (Youth) 
    1 – Terence Blake, Ludlow, MA 
    2 – Hannah Matica, Worthington, MA

    Division 5 – Novelty (Youth) 
    1 – Jacqueline Harp, Pleasant Hill, MO 
    1 – Jacqueline Harp, Pleasant Hill, MO

    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 Winners

    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 Winners

    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 Winners

    2010 Best of Show Winners:
    Adult Handspun – Kristine Baker, NJ
    Youth Handspun – Anna Lemme, MA 

    2009 Winners

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

    Printable Page

    Click here to download a PDF page to print!

    2019 Partners

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    Location

    Cummington Fairgrounds
    97 Fairgrounds Road
    Cummington, Massachusetts 01026

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