Image of sheep
February 8, 2012

For More Information Contact:
Marie Lehfeldt, MIWW Coordinator (406) 636-2731, or
Amy Trinidad (303) 771-3500, ext. 55, or
(Electronic photos available upon request)

Denver, Colo. – State-winning Make It With Wool (MIWW) contestants competed in the national finals and awards program in a “Forward with Fashion” style show during the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention on Jan. 28. The designers taking top honors at the 64th annual national competition were Ryal Mitchell of Lawrence, Kan., and Marisa Linton of Mt. Olive, N.C.

Mitchell won the title of First Place Junior 2012 Wool Ambassador. She chose to make an equestrian-inspired suit she made from five different wools: tweed herringbone for the jacket; heathered flannel for the collar and cuffs; black tropical-weight fabric for the piping, bound buttonholes and welt pockets; lined slim pants of wool barathea; and tomato-colored crepe for the vest. In addition to other prizes, Mitchell’s winnings included a $1,000 scholarship from Pendleton Woolen Mills and a $500 scholarship from ASI Women. The junior division was open to youth ages 13 to 16.

Linton was selected as the First Place Senior 2012 Wool Ambassador by making a fitted coat featuring triangle-shaped bound buttonholes. Beneath it, she wore a wool/mohair jacket with self-fabric paisley appliqués and crystals to coordinate with the dress in which she used needle-felting and Swarovski crystals. Among other prizes, Linton’s first-place winnings included a $1,500 scholarship from ASI Women. The senior division was open to contestants ages 17 to 24.

Claire Lee of Indianapolis, Ind., and Madeleinne Zacher of Parshall, N.D., won First Runner-Up Junior Division and Senior Division, respectively. Lee used a Burda pattern to make a camel-colored, fully lined pea coat. Zacher created a hot-pink ensemble consisting of a double-breasted coat that fastens with magnetic snaps and decorative covered buttons. She chose a contrasting green color for the coat’s lining and the matching skirt.

Lynda Jordan of Laramie, Wyo., was named the 2012 National MIWW Adult Winner with her three-piece ensemble featuring a full-length coat, jacket and slacks. The coat is double breasted and features raglan sleeves, a two button-tab closure and matching buttoned tabs on the lower sleeves. Her brown and tan wool-blend jacket and slacks are made a from a Vogue pattern. She accented the double-breasted jacket with a self-fabric, fringed trim and inner piping to match the coat. As part of her winnings, Jordan won an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition in Scottsdale.

The winner of the Fashion/Apparel Design Award was Erick Tovar of Houston, Texas, a student at Houston Community College in pursuit of a career as a fashion designer. The winning suit is his favorite outfit from his graduating collection. Inspired by an ambiguous look with clean lines and different textures, the use of wool and leather gives it a classic and refined look. The pencil skirt has a kick pleat accented by a beautiful piece of lambskin leather. The front panel style line detail is created by stitching 12 small rectangular pieces together. Both the leather and piecing technique are carried through in the design of the cape. The black-patent leather belt completes the look and is held together by rivets and a laced back. It was created using 30 pieces of cut patent leather and hand stitched at the center front to stabilize and create an hourglass silhouette for the wearer. Tovar’s winnings include a $1,000 scholarship for his winning outfit from the American Wool Council and an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition.

A total of 59 junior and senior finalists representing 31 states and the New England region modeled their creations at the national competition. Some 821 contestants nationwide entered competitions at the state level and utilized more than 2,387 yards of wool fabric and more than 193 skeins of yarn to create their garments.

Other winners and their awards include:

  • Zacher, $500 cash, Creative Crafts Group/Sew News Magazine Exemplary Construction Award; and $200 cash, mohair producers;
  • Emilee Koss, Clarence Center, N.Y., $500 cash, Creative Crafts Group/Creative Machine Embroidery Award; and $100 cash, mohair producers;
  • Hannah Wegehaupt, Dimock, S.D., $250 cash, Wild Ginger Software Pattern Award;
  • Linton, $500 scholarship, Mohair Council of America;

Marie Lehfeldt of Lavina, Mont., coordinated the event for the eighteenth consecutive year. For more information about the MIWW competition, visit

ASI is a national organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers.

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