Handspun Skein Competition Details

link to printable PDF file

2020 Notice: We regret that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic we will not be hosting a handspun skein competition for judging this year.

Below is the general outline and above is the PDF from previous years for your reference.

Important details you need to know:

  • Skeins must be received at one of the drop points by Wednesday September 11th, 2019.  Make sure your submission contains all the necessary parts (see check-list at the end). 
    • In Winnipeg you can drop your submissions at Wolseley Wool (889 Westminster Ave, Winnipeg).
    • In Regina, you can drop your submissions with Susie Goulay of Knit Natural (contact susie@knitnatural.com to receive the address in Regina)
    • LAST MINUTE FINISH? On Friday September 13th from 9:00 am –  2:30 pm you can drop your submissions at the venue before the Festival begins. Judging will be completed before we open our doors to the public at 5:00 pm. Note that you will not be able to stay at the Festival until 5pm unless you are attending a workshop.
    • Or mail to:

Manitoba Fibre Festival – Handspun Skein Competition
c/o Red River Exhibition Association
3977 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB    R3K 2E8

  • Judging will take place privately during the afternoon of Friday September 13th before the Festival opens.
  • Please pick up skeins (and any awards received) at the close of the Festival on Saturday, September 14th.  Skeins (and prizes) may be picked up by someone else by prior arrangement only—please indicate the name of the person who will be picking up your skein on your index card when submitting it for competition.  Unclaimed skeins (and prizes) can be picked up from organizers by entrant within 1 month.
  • We are not responsible for lost or stolen yarns, although every effort will be made to ensure their security.
  • Judging will be based on quality of the twist and appropriateness for intended use, good hand (how it feels), overall quality, skein preparation, and written information provided by exhibitor. Submissions may be moved to a more appropriate weight subdivision at the judge’s discretion.  The judge’s decisions are final.
  • Entrants may submit one yarn per subdivision. (For example, 3a and 3b.)
  • Cost for each skein submitted is $2. We accept cash or cheque. Cheques can be made payable to Manitoba Fibre Festival.
  • Skeins: All skeins must be at least 2 oz (57grams), be prepared in a 1½ to 2 yard (1.4-1.8m) circumference skein, and tied in 3-4 places with a figure-8 ties that do not detract from the skein.
  • Contact information: Each entrant must submit one 3×5″ index card that includes their name, address, and phone number. Also indicate the number of skeins submitted and a brief description so that we can return them to you. Remember, your skeins will be separated from each other and this card; help us reunite them.
  • Skein Submission Information: Each skein submitted must have a separate index card attached (and tied with a bow so that it can be easily removed during judging) that includes the Submission Index Card Requirements (below).

 Handspun Divisions

1) Singles – Must be at least 50% animal fibre. Must be a finished yarn, not to be plied.

  • 1a) Lace to DK weight.
  • 1b) Worsted weight to bulky.
  • 2) 2-Ply yarn – Must be at least 50% animal fibre.
  • 2a) Lace to DK weight.
  • 2b) Worsted weight to bulky.

3) 3 or more plies of yarn. Must be at least 50% animal fibre. Specify the type of ply including if it is chain plied.

  • 3a) Lace to DK weight.
  • 3b) Worsted weight to bulky.

4) Novelty or Art yarn. Any weight yarn. Must be at least 50% animal fibre. Specify the type of yarn and/or fibre preparation that qualifies this as ‘novelty’. Examples include, but are not limited to, boucle, core spun, objects incorporated, one single spun opposite, cable-ply, crepe, etc. Exhibitors may submit up to two different examples of novelty/art yarn.

  • 4a) Example a.
  • 4b) Example b, which must be an entirely different type of yarn spun.

5) 2 or more ply starting with raw fleece or blanket. Must be 100% animal fibre from a single animal, fleece, or blanket that has been prepared by the exhibitor. Any yarn weight.  Please include sample of washed lock attached to the card.  

  • 5a) Sheep.
  • 5b) Camelid.
  • 5c) Other (angora, mohair, dog, etc. Must be from a single animal and must be prepared from raw source.)

 Submission Index Card Requirements

A) Finished Yarn Category & Subdivision – choose from

  • 1a) Singles, specify weight between lace and DK
  • 1b) Singles, specify weight between worsted and bulky
  • 2a) 2-ply, specify weight between lace and DK
  • 2b) 2-ply, specify weight between worsted and bulky
  • 3a) multi-ply, specify weight between lace and DK
  • 3b) multi-ply, specify weight between worsted and bulky
  • 4a) Novelty/art example a, specify type of yarn spun
  • 4b) Novelty/art example b, specify type of yarn spun different from 4a
  • 5a) Prepared and spun from raw sheep fleece.
  • 5b) Prepared and spun from raw camelid blanket.
  • 5c) Prepared and spun from other animal fibre (specify).

B) Fibre Contents – include percentage (approx.) and breeds if known.

C) Form of Fibre to Start (when acquired) – such as “raw fleece”, “commercial top”, “art batt”.

D) Fibre Preparation by Spinner – include all that apply; such as washed, flicking, carding (specify hand or drum), combing, none (from the end of top; from prepared cloud?), rolags, lengths to spin from the fold, etc.

E) Spun on: wheel, spindle, other. If other, please specify.

On Back Side

G) Intended Use (imagined, hopeful, or real) – be descriptive such as “knit, ribbed toque”, “knit lace shawl”, “knit cabled sweater”, “crochet rug”, “weaving weft”, etc.

H) Additional Comments (optional) – if you wish to say anything else about the yarn, particularly if this is art yarn.

Why so many questions? Competition submissions will be on display at the Festival. You may be curious to know how other yarns were created and folks will be curious to know how you created your unique yarn too.

Examples of Submission Cards

Contact Information and Summary of Submission


Submission Index Card (front and back sides)



Submission Checklist

  • Contact information index card (3×5″)
  • Handspun skeins (tied and of appropriate length and minimum weight as required)
  • Index card attached to EACH skein with information about that skein
  • $2 per skein
  • Sealed in a large envelope.

Do you still have questions about the hand spun yarns competition?  Let us know.