Make it with Wool and Win! Back »

Above: Winners from the 2012 South Dakota Make It With Wool Contest in Lead, SD on September 29th. (From left) Christi Ryen, Perkins County; Hope Juntunen, Hamlin County; and Mallory Munterfering, Minnehaha County.

Written by Sarah Sample under the direction and review of iGrow Sheep.

Most of the time when one thinks of wool clothing, hot and scratchy wool coats or socks come to mind. You don’t think of soft wool peacoats and summer weight wool gauchos, or of lightweight wool blazers made to be worn in the spring or summer. Wool is a very versatile fabric that can be worn all year long.  It is also coming back in style and to help show off the latest fashions in wool, the Make it With Wool contests encourage those who sew, both young and old, to make and wear garments made of at least 60% wool.  Contestants select, construct and model their wool outfit, or can exhibit in the made for others category. You aren’t just limited to sewing your entry – you can knit, crochet, or make woolen accessories, plus this is contest is for those of all ages!

Here in South Dakota, you first compete at a district level and the winner progresses on to the state contest held at the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association meeting. There, contestant’s outfits are judged on design, style and creativity.  Then contestants model their outfits in a style show and awards are given out. Every contestant receives a piece of Pendleton wool at the district and state level contests.  This encourages further participation in the contest by making it easier for contestants to plan their next year’s outfit without the hassle of finding a piece of wool.

This years’ South Dakota Make It With Wool Contest winners are as followed:

  • Adult Division: Christi Ryen, Perkins County
  • Senior Division: Mallory Munterfering, Minnehaha County
  • Junior Division: Hope Juntunen, Hamlin County
  • Sewing for Others: Denise Munterfering, Hutchinson County
  • Pre-teen: Jessica Kott, Brule County
  • Accessory: Sona Kott, Brule County
  • Recycled: Ann Hansen, Brookings County

The state winners in the junior and senior age divisions also win a trip to the national contest at the American Sheep Industry Annual Convention. This year, it is in San Antonio Texas!  It will mark the 63rd national contest.  There, contestants are competing for prizes like sewing machines, fabric, and over $5,000 in scholarships! 

Having participated at the state level for many years, I highly encourage anyone that likes to sew, knit, or crochet to give it a try.  Not only does the Make it With Wool contest allow you to win great prizes, you get to meet great people from around the state and if you’re lucky, around the country, all while doing what you love. To learn more about the Make it With Wool Contest in South Dakota, visit the SD Sheep Growers website.  For information about the national contest, tips on where to buy wool and more, visit

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