The following points form a helpful checklist for those entering competitions in hand spinning, hand weaving and felting. In all cases the schedule of classes and requirements should be carefully checked, both as to weights, fibre/yarn sample requirements, care labels and statements re end use.
Check that you have the required thickness and minimum weight, the amount of twist is appropriate to the thickness and skeins are correctly tied with loose figure 8 ties of the same yarn as the skein. For shows the skein should be blocked and reskeined after washing. If required, state purpose of skein and fibre content and provide samples.
Check that the spinning is even, there are no knots in the knitting and needle size is appropriate for the yarn thickness. Garments need to be well proportioned (armholes and neck large enough, sleeves the same length, etc.) and of an appropriate weight for the type of spinning. Seams should be narrow and mattress stitched. If the garment includes stripes or natural colour changes these need to match up in position on the garment. Buttons or closures should enhance the garment. Collars should sit well. Again, a statement of fibre content and intended purpose, as well as sample fibre/yarn should be included.
Scarves & wraps
Check that the scarf is the same width at both ends and any fringes are the same length. Proportions should be good (width v length) Selvedges need to be straight without loops and width should not narrow in the middle. The beat should be even throughout the length and soft enough to drape well. In scarves the fibre should be soft and suitable to wear under the chin.
Sets should be the same fibre and size (though not necessarily the same colour). Fibre and density of beat should be practical for washing and wear.
should be lined where appropriate and care should be taken with matching up any pattern or stripes. Buttons and buttonholes are important, also the set of collars. A fibre content and care label should be attached.
Maintain even beat by advancing regularly in small increments, weft needs to be correctly joined and all mends and darning, if required, should be neatly done. If a rug has been woven it needs to have been beaten hard and the warp ends protected – not just a fringe.
Needle and wet felting
ensure the layers can’t be pulled apart and shrinkage is even. If the centr layer/s have not been worked enough the felt will feel spongy and continue to shrink in usage which may distort shape and size. Thickness and softness should be relevant to the article and hat brims or 3D vessels should hold their shape without drooping. Design elements are important and any felted pictures should be suitably framed. Clothing should be not too heavy and stiff. In Nuno felting the wool should be securely attached to an appropriate weight of silk/cotton. Again a fibre content and care label is needed.