HARRISBURG – Wearing wool isn’t just for sheep. It’s a fashion statement taken to the next level by 11 individuals from across the state who competed in the 2017 Make It With Wool Pennsylvania competition, held on Saturday, October 7, at the Keystone International Livestock Exposition in Harrisburg.
Contestants begin with designing their own garments made from a woolen or predominantly woolen fabric, from a pre-designed pattern or of their own design. Garments are either sewn by machine or by hand, and finished off as ensembles with matching accessories such as shoes, jewelry and hats.
Their creators bring them to the state competition, where they are judged on their construction and contestants on their sewing abilities by a panel of qualified judges, often past Make It With Wool contest participants. Contestants also model their ensembles before an audience.
This year’s competition attracted 11 contestants from five counties, in pre-teen, junior, senior, adult and made-for-others divisions.
Sara Stoltzfus, Somerset County, was named as the first-place winner in the pre-teen division, with a plaid woolen pleated skirt. Gavin Funkhouser, Beaver County, was named as the second-place winner, wearing a handmade woolen vest.
Sarah Domencic, Lebanon County, was named as the first-place winner in the junior division, with a plaid woolen coat and woolen blouse. Alexandra Funkhouser, Beaver County, was named as the second-place winner, wearing a woolen knee-length dress and coordinating woolen jacket.
Stephanie Augustine, Carbon County, was named as the first-place winner in the senior division, with a knitted woolen sweater and pleated woolen skirt.
Rachel Siegel, Lebanon County, was named as the first-place winner in the adult division, with a blue woolen dress and matching jacket. Linda Siegel, also of Lebanon County, was named as the second-place winner, with a woolen blouse, dress pants and coordinating jacket. Joan Klein, Beaver County, Vernyce Dannells, Philadelphia County, and Katherine Augustine, Carbon County, also competed in the adult division.
Kip Kredier, Philadelphia County, was named as the winner in the made for others division, with a woolen full length jacket.
Winners receive prizes donated by contest sponsors and all contestants receive new wool fabrics to take home, perhaps to return next year sewn into a new garment. Division winners are also eligible to represent the state in national competitions.
The contest is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Growers Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the American Sheep Industry Women and the American Sheep Industry Association.
The Keystone International Livestock Exposition is the largest livestock show on the East Coast, with more than 1,300 beef cattle, 300 horses, 1,500 sheep, 300 swine, and 375 goats in 2017. This year, more than 725 exhibitors from 27 states and Canada are competing in livestock events. The show also includes the 10th Annual Keystone Classic Barbecue Competition, a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event to select the state's finest culinary competitors.
All events are open to the public with free admission and parking. Find more information and a complete schedule of events at www.keystoneinternational.pa.gov.
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