It’s time to revel in wool. In observance of the International Year of Natural Fibre, the Make It With Wool competition is back in Maine. Participants in the contest make wool garments, ensembles or wearable accessories. They compete in four classes — preteen, age 12 and under; junior, age 13 to 16; senior, age 17 to 24; and adult, age 25 and up.
Judging of entries will take place Oct. 10 at the University of Maine Page Farm and Home Museum.
Michaele Bailey, activities and events coordinator, State 4-H Office, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is the state director of the competition.
The goals of the competition are to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics and yarns; to encourage sewing, knitting and crocheting with wool fabrics and yarns; to recognize creative skills, and to develop life skills.
Contestants must model the garment they make. If the garment is made for someone else, the recipient must model the garment.
One hundred percent wool and wool blend (at least 60 percent wool or specialty fiber) must be used. Specialty fibers are defined as mohair, cashmere, alpaca, llama and vicuna.
Garments will be judged on appropriateness to the contestant’s lifestyle, coordination of fabric or yarn with the garment style and design, contestant’s presentation, construction quality and creativity.
The entry fee is $10.
Junior and senior state winners advance to the national competition. Adult state winners send photos and videos of themselves wearing garments to the national photo competition and that winner receives a trip to model in the national competition. Other prizes include fabrics, sewing books, equipment and notions. Scholarships are awarded at the national level:
• $2,000, American Sheep Industry Women, junior and senior winners.
• $1,000 Mohair Council of America, junior and senior award for a garment made of mohair.
• $1,000, Pendleton Woolen Mills, junior winner.
• $1,000, American Wool Council fashion-apparel design.
Special national awards are:
• Exemplary construction, sponsored by Sew News magazine.
• Machine embroidery, sponsored by Creative Machine Embroidery magazine.
• Use of Vogue or Butterick pattern, sponsored by Butterick Co. and Husqvarna Sewing Machine Co.
For more information, visit www.sheepusa.org or call Michaele Bailey at 581-3872.
Information will be available at the Fiber Maine-ia Web site in the spring.
• A By Hand reader in Ellsworth is seeking a skein or two of Lion Brand Jamie Baby Yarn, which has been discontinued, in the circus print color. If you have skeins to give or sell, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 288-3311.
• Knitting Daily announced recently its most downloaded patterns for 2008. They are the Modern Quilt Wrap, Estonian Lace Scarf, Old World Booties, Ribbed Scarf and Seafoam Towels. Visit www.knittingdaily.com to access these and other free knitting and crocheting patterns for shawls, gloves, mittens, scarves, afghans, handbags, sweaters and many other items.
• Michele Goldman will be the guest speaker at a Brown Bag Lunch presentation at noon Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Page Farm and Home Museum, University of Maine. Her topic will be “Not Exactly Victoria’s Secret,” which will focus on ladies’ lingerie of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The event is free and open to the public.
• Gabriella D’Italia of Newburgh, fiber artist and student in the University of Maine Intermedia master of fine arts program, was selected for a national biennial exhibition of Master of Fine Arts students. Imaging Desire: Aegis First Biennial Graduate Student Exhibition will be held at the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The exhibit will run from Feb. 12 to March 21 at the university’s Gallery X. D’Italia’s piece, “Gold Quilts,” was selected by a panel of jurors. For details about the exhibition, visit http://louisville.edu/a-s/finearts/cressman_center.html.
• Fiberphilia in Orono announced that the yarn store hours have changed to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The store is closed Sunday and Monday. For information, call 866-3423.
• Visit www.berroco.com to access instructions for the Rectangela sweater knit on size 10 needles. Knit two simple rectangles and it’s done.