Image of sheep
February 7, 2014

For More Information Contact:
Marie Lehfeldt, MIWW Coordinator — (406) 636-2731, or
Judy Malone — (303) 771-3500, ext. 35, or
(Electronic photos available upon request)

Denver, Colo. – In a Salute to Fashion, the state-winning Make It With Wool (MIWW) contestants competed in the national finals and awards program in a patriotic centered style show during the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention on Jan. 25. The designers taking top honors at the 66th Annual National Competition both hail from the state of Kansas and were Renata Goossen of Potwin and Ryal Mitchell of Lawrence.

Goossen won the title of First Place Junior 2014 Wool Ambassador. Choosing a Claire Shaeffer pattern, Goossen designed her jacket and skirt using couture construction tailoring methods including silk organza underlining, hair canvas interfacing, hand-pad stitching and bound buttonholes. In addition to other prizes, Goossen’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.

Mitchell was selected as the First Place Senior 2014 Wool Ambassador by modeling a wrap coat she made to showcase a vintage fox-fur collar given to her years ago. The sheared wool coat details a back vent, hidden front snaps, self-tying belt and notched collar lapel beneath the removable fur. Under the coat, Mitchell wore a tweed suit and sleeveless blouse made from lightweight wool crepe. Among other prizes, Mitchell’s first-place winnings included a $1,500 scholarship from ASI Women. The senior division was open to contestants ages 17 to 24.

Cameron Parks of Bloomington, Ill., and Amelia Weight of Salem, Utah, won First Runner-Up Junior Division and Senior Division, respectively. Parks made a dark navy-wool suit. To coordinate with his suit, he constructed a merino wool knit jersey shirt and knitted a mohair blend scarf. Weight modeled her feminine styled fitted peach colored dress created from a self-drafted pattern. The dress contains angled darts, an asymmetrical bodice, waist trim and pencil skirt.

Gail Altekruse of Fort Wayne, Ind., was named the 2014 National MIWW Adult Winner with her 3-piece entry containing slacks, shell and jacket. The black straight leg slacks were made with a medium weight wool gabardine and the sleeveless black shell was a wool-knit jersey. The jacket, made from a self-drafted pattern, was styled as a moto jacket with an offset zipper, brass snaps and three-quarter length sleeves. The fabric was a tan coat-weight wool and was highlighted with topstitching of the same color. As part of her winnings, Altekruse won an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition in Charleston.

The co-winners of the Fashion/Apparel Design Award are Erin Lyon , a fashion design student at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, and Helena Stefanowicz , a graduate from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Lyon’s modern, geometric needle-felted design was achieved by felting several shades of green merino wool roving to the vintage wool tweed fabric. The design by Stefanowicz shows an eye for detail, particularly with regard to elements such as the wool felting featured around the lower portion of her knee-length winter-white coat. She also constructed a collarless jacket with peplum and button closure, a grey pencil skirt and a lightweight purple shell. Winnings include a $1,000 scholarship from the American Wool Council and an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition.

A total of 58 junior and senior finalists representing 30 states and the New England region modeled their creations at the national competition. Contestants nationwide entered competitions at the state level and utilized more than 1,909 yards of wool fabric and more than 175 skeins of yarn to create their garments.

Other winners and their awards include:

  • Abigail Rasys, New England Region, dressmaking supplies from Pendleton Woolen Hills, Roxana Johnson Creativity Award;
  • Hannah Higginbotham, Fayetteville, N.C., 5 skeins of wool yarn, Outstanding Needlework Award by Jennings Family Fibers;
  • Hannah Barnett, Parkton, N.C., $250 cash, Wild Ginger Software Pattern Award;
  • Goossen, $250 cash, Claire Shaeffer Award;
  • Jordan Newhouse, Tucson, Ariz., $500 cash, Creative Crafts Group/Creative Machine Embroidery Award;
  • Mitchell, $500 cash, Creative Crafts Group/Sew News Magazine Exemplary Construction Award;
  • Jordan Newhouse, Tucson, Ariz., $500 scholarship, Mohair Council of America;
  • Nicole Macy, Pine Bluff, Wyo., $250 cash, Mohair Producers; and
  • Caitlyn Gampp, Minford, Ohio, $150 cash, Mohair Producers.
  • Parks, Bloomington, Ill., $75 cash, Mohair Producers.

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 46 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 81,000 sheep producers.

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