Handspun Skein Contest

New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival


by the New Hampshire Spinners & Dyers Guild



  1.   All skeins must be handspun by the exhibitor and completed since the previous NHS&WF.
  2.   There is no limit to how many skeins you may enter per Class.
  3.   There is no entry fee.
  4.   All skeins must be at least 50 yards long except for Class 7, Novelty Yarn.  There is no maximum.
  5.   Deadlines:  Skeins may be mailed with their corresponding cards, to arrive one full week before the Festival, to Patty Williams, Box 240 Enfield Center, NH 03749; or they may be brought to the Festival on Saturday morning from 8:30-9:45 a.m. to the Fleece Barn (see map) and turned over to Patty Williams at the NH Spinners & Dyers Guild display area.
  6.   The judge may move a skein to a different Class if deemed more appropriate.
  7.   Skeins must be tied in at least 4 places.
  8.   Skeins will be judged on Saturday.  After judging, skeins will be displayed in the 4-H/Fleece Sale barn.
  9.   Return of skeins: Entries will be released on Sunday at 3 p.m. and can be picked up in the 4-H Building until 4:30 p.m. New in 2019: Entrants may include a pre-addressed, prepaid mailer for the return of their skein(s); please state the number of skeins to be mailed. Prizes and, if possible, award ribbons will be included in the return package. Neither the Guild nor the NH Sheep & Wool Growers Association is responsible for unclaimed skeins or awards.


Please attach two 3x5 cards to each entry with the following information:


On Card #1, write legibly, and using both sides if necessary, include the following:

  •  Class number
  •  *Age of entrant if 18 or under; include email address for electronic communications of Guild membership (see AWARDS below)
  •  Fiber content, including breed if known
  •  *Producer of wool if grown in New Hampshire: name farm or shepherd
  •  Description of preparation techniques used if by exhibitor, e.g. carded, combed, blending board, etc.
  •  Description of spinning techniques used, e.g. worsted, woolen, from the fold, etc.
  •  Description of color handling or dye technique, e.g. fractal, natural dyes, etc.
  •  Declaration of intended use
  •  *Note if hand-dyed by exhibitor; if so, whether dyed as yarn or unspun fiber.
  •  *Note if spindle spun

*These designations may qualify your skein for an additional award.

On Card #2, on one side only, print your name, address, & telephone number.  Additionally, if your skein will be picked up by someone other than yourself, include your designee's name; if your skein is to be returned in your pre-addressed, prepaid mailer, please state so (for example, “return by mail, 1 of 3 skeins”). Optional: include your email address on skeins sent or to be returned by mail for confirmation of receipt and/or post.


100% sheep's wool

  1. 2-ply yarn spun from commercially prepared fiber.
  2. 2-ply yarn spun from fiber prepared by exhibitor.
  3. 3- or more ply yarn spun from commercially prepared fiber.
  4. 3- or more ply yarn spun from fiber prepared by exhibitor.

Blended fiber:  at least 50% sheep's wool by weight, blended with another fiber, designed to show the versatility of wool when combined with other fibers.

  1. 2-ply yarn.
  2. 3- or more ply yarn.

Singles & Novelty yarn

  1. Singles and novelty yarn; must contain at least 50% sheep's wool by weight.  Novelty yarn will be judged on the effectiveness of color, texture, multi-plying, and other techniques skillfully used to achieve a textured type yarn.

Youth – age 18 & under

  1. Any yarn at least 50% sheep's wool spun by an individual meeting the age requirement.


  1. Any yarn made from animal fiber other than sheep's wool (e.g. alpaca, angora, camel, cashmere, mohair, silk, etc.) or blended fiber containing less than 50% sheep's wool.

New Classes

  1. Novice Class: beginner spinner over 18 years old, spinning less than a year, spindle spun or wheel spun, 2 or more plies, 100% wool either commercially prepared or prepared by exhibitor.

  2.  Dyed by exhibitor: 100% wool fiber dyed by exhibitor, 2 or more plies, spindle spun or wheel spun. Skeins entered in this class are not eligible for entry in any other category in the competition.

  3. Spindle Spun: 100% wool either commercially prepared fiber or prepared by exhibitor and 2 or more plies. Skeins entered in this class are not eligible for entry in any other category in the competition.



Each skein will be judged on its own merits and awarded points accordingly. Ribbons will be assigned according to the Danish system. One rosette will be assigned to the top scoring skein in each class.

Each youth entrant will be awarded free, one-year membership in the NH Spinners & Dyers Guild with electronic newsletters and other communications.

Special Awards are offered as follows:

$25  from NEW HAMPSHIRE SPINNERS & DYERS GUILD for Best Skein Over All.

$25 from NEW HAMPSHIRE SHEEP & WOOL GROWERS ASSOCIATION for Best Skein Made from Wool from a New Hampshire sheep.

$25 certificate from NORTHEAST HANDSPINNERS ASSOCIATION for Best Skein Made with a Spindle.

$25 from AKER FIBER FARM for Best Skein Spun by a Youth.