Troy teen’s ensemble wins fiber contest

Posted Nov. 02, 2009, at 6:51 p.m.

TROY, Maine — Emma McWilliams, 16, of Troy, earned top honors at the 2009 Make It With Wool in Maine competition held at the Fiber Maine-ia Festival recently at the University of Maine.

McWilliams’ winning outfit was a skirt she designed and sewed of brown Pendleton wool, with a matching Pendleton wool vest made from McCall’s pattern 2260. The skirt was decorated with a fringe of Jaggerspun wool-blend yarn. A scarf, which Emma designed and knitted of the same yarn, completed the ensemble.

McWilliams’ victory makes her eligible to represent Maine and compete in the Junior category at the National Make It Wool Contest finals in Nashville, Tenn., in January. Fundraising is under way to support her attendance at the event.

Fiber artist Betty Hauger of Winterport was the winner in the Wearable Accessories category at the competition, with her hand-knit triangular shawl. Hauger raises churro sheep and other fiber animals on her farm, and teaches beginning spinning and weaving. Her winning shawl incorporated various textures and tones of handspun natural fibers from her animals.

This year’s event marked Maine’s return to participation in the nationwide Make It With Wool contest, after more than a decade in mothballs.

Until this revival, Maine residents who wanted to compete nationally had to enter the Massachusetts competition.

Plans are under way for the 2010 Make It With Wool in Maine competition. For information about categories and rules, visit www.extension.umaine.edu/fibermaine-ia/wool.htm or call 581-3872.

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