MKG 2023 Minnesota State Fair Winners

The results are in and Minnesota Knitters’ Guild members won 93 ribbons in hand knitting categories this year! Here are our winners by category.

First the winners of the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild rosettes. These people each win a year membership to the Guild along with their ribbon.

two blue rosette awards from the Minnesota State Fair


Best Hand Knit Item – Audrey Koval

Best Shawl  – Brooke Roegge

Best Mittens – Audrey Koval

Best Hat – Susan Rainey

Best Afghan – Suzanne Ross

Best Sweater – Susan Rainey

Best Socks – Shelley Balfe

Best Gloves – Lucy Norman

Now on to the rest of the ribbon winners.

Afghan, made in strips or modules sewn together, 2700-3800 sq. in.

1 – Suzanne Ross

Shawl or stole, heavy weight yarn, 16 in. or more in width

4 – Christine Petterson

5 – Deepa Nirmal

Shawl or stole, medium weight yarn, 16 in. or more in width

2 – Shelley Balfe

4 – Sharon Knutson

5  – Stephanie Daily

Stole (rectangle), lightweight yarn, 16 in. or more in width

2  – Tiffany Payne

3  – Elizabeth Nee

4  – Barbara Morgan

5  – Joan Ulwelling

Shawl, fine weight yarn, 25 in. and over in depth from neckline

1  – Brooke Roegge

Shawlette, medium weight yarn, up to 25 in. in depth from neckline

2  – Christine Petterson

Mittens (includes fingerless gloves), texture

2 –  Shelley Balfe

Scarf, heavyweight yarn, less than 16 in. wide

1 –   Stephanie Daily

Scarf, medium weight yarn, less than 16 in. wide

3 –   Joan Ulwelling

Scarf, lightweight yarn, less than 16 in. wide

2 – Brooke Roegge

4 – Kelly Amoth


1 – Lucy Norman

3 – Bonnie Esplie

4 – Joan Ulwelling

Cap or hat, plain

2 – Bonnie Esplie

5 – Elizabeth Nee

Cap or hat, color pattern or intarsia

1 – Susan Rainey

2 – Bonnie Esplie

3 –  Steve Robb

Socks, solid, texture

1 – Christine Petterson

3 – Kristi Peterson

4 – Carrie Ohnstad

5 – Barbara Morgan

Socks, open work

2 – Bonnie Esplie

3 – Tiffany Payne

5 – Christine Petterson

Socks, color or intarsia

1 – Shelley Balfe

3 – Christine Petterson

5 – Kelly Amoth

Socks, plain or ribbed

4 – Kristi Peterson

5 – Shelley Balfe

Child sweater, dress or suit, plain, size 3 – 12

2 – Elizabeth Nee

Child sweater, dress or suit, texture, size 3 – 12

3 – Bonnie Esplie

4 – Laura Keller

5 – Elizabeth Makarewicz

Child sweater, dress or suit, color pattern or intarsia, size 3 – 12

4 – Megan Knudson

Adult sweater, plain pullover

1 – Kira Wortman

5 – Elizabeth Nee

Adult sweater, plain cardigan

4 – Joan Ulwelling

Adult sweater, texture pullover

3 – Evelyn Davidheiser

5 – Kate Campbell

Adult sweater, texture cardigan

1 – Evelyn Davidheiser

4 – Tiffany Payne

5 – Deepa Nirmal

Adult sweater, limited use, texture pullover

4 – Deb Parker

Adult sweater, limited use, texture cardigan

4 – Kjersti Campbell

Adult sweater, color pattern cardigan

2 – Katherine Lewinski

3 – Joan Ulwelling

4 – Evelyn Davidheiser

Adult sweater, limited use, color pattern pullover

1 – Susan Rainey

2 – Tracy Pokrzywa

Adult sweater, limited use, color pattern cardigan

1 – Susan Rainey

2 – Cindy Haughey

3 – Joan Ulwelling

Adult sweater, intarsia

4 – Kate Campbell

Adult jacket/coat, outerwear

1 – Tiffany Hill

Sleeveless sweater or vest, plain or texture; color pattern or intasia

1 – Susan Rainey

2 – Kristi Peterson

4 – Linda McShannock


2 – Susan Rainey

4 – Bonnie Esplie

5 – Deb Parker

Knit bag, non felted

2 – Susan Rainey

Knit item, wearable, felted

2 – Jean Anderson

Sweepstakes, afghan knitting

Suzanne Ross

The Yarnery Best Shawl

Brooke Roegge

A Sheepy Yarn Shoppe Best Intarsia or Colorwork Adult Sweater

Susan Rainey

A Sheepy Yarn Shoppe Best Adult Jacket

Tiffany Hill

Northern Lights Handspinners Guild Best Item Using Handspun

Sharon Knutson

3 Kittens Needle Arts Best Adult Sweater

Tiffany Hill

Penelope Knitters “We live to knit and knit to rip.” Best Fine Weight Shawl

Brooke Roegge

StevenBe Best Knit Afghan

Suzanne Ross

StevenBe Best Original Afghan

Suzanne Ross

StevenBe Best Use of Novelty Yarn-Outerwear Jacket

Karen B Lehman

Northfield Yarn best Multi-Color Sweater

Susan Rainey


Knitted adult vest or sweater

1 – Susan Rainey

2 – Joan Ulwelling

Knitted scarf

1 – Susan Rainey

4 – Barbara Morgan

Knitted, not otherwise specified 

1 – Sharon Knutson



2 – Kelly Auer

Afghan, knit, no larger than 42 in. x 42 in.

3 – Kelly Auer


Puppet, hand, single or pair

1 – Karen B Lehman

If we’ve missed anyone please email us at and we’ll add them to the list. We’d also love to know if anyone won for hand knit items in categories like dolls and bee art.

Recent Posts

Show & Tell


Headshot of Roxanne RichardsonRoxanne Richardson is a knitting communicator who lives in Minneapolis. Her YouTube channel explores a variety of knitting-related topics, including knitting history and techniques, and she writes technical knitting articles for Interweave publications. She’s a certified master hand knitter and certified knitting teacher, and she can’t wait to answer your burning knitting questions.

Currently Open

Marketing Director

The marketing director position is currently open. For more information contact the Guild President,



(Term 1, Year 2)

A visiting friend from Seattle taught Kelly the very basics of knitting (a twisted loop cast on and just the knit stitch) in 2008 before flying home. Turning to the internet (thanks!) Kelly taught herself through a lot of trial and error. Uncontent to keep knitting the scarf she’d started as her first project, she jumped into knitting a pair of striped mittens for her non-knitter, but very knitworthy, twin sister. Twelve years later the mittens are still in her sister’s glove box, and Kelly is usually horrified when she pulls them out and sees the mistakes she made using double pointed needles for the first time. Kelly loves knitting socks and is thankful for the many months of cold weather when she gets to exclusively wear her handknits. (she, her, hers)



(Term 1, Year 1)

Kendra lives in the Twin Cities and learned to hand knit from her mother in middle school. In the last few years, she has also learned crochet and machine knitting. Kendra enjoys knitting items to donate and challenging herself with new techniques. She prefers knitting in the round with colorful yarn. (she, her, hers)



(Term 2, Year 2)

Rose learned to knit from her mother at the age of ten. She started knitting on the ends of small paint brushes. She continued to knit off and on through her teenage and young adult years and became a more avid knitter after taking a Norwegian sweater knitting class through community education. Today, knitting has become a passion and she knits for charity, herself, and her family her stash. She enjoys meeting other knitters and learning new techniques.

Open Position

Programming Director

(3-year term)

This position is currently open. If you are interested in volunteering for the Guild board, please contact our president, Kelly, at the email me link below.


Service Director

(Term 1, Year 3)

Betsy never had patience for knitting, until she found herself spending a lot of time at little league games and waiting for the last kid to emerge from the locker room after swim practice. With her background in graphic design, stranded colorwork has a natural appeal. Not to mention the practicality of an extra layer of warmth. Betsy has recently begun publishing her original hat and cowl patterns, which are available on Ravelry. (she, her, hers) (See our Service Knitting Page for more information about our current projects and donation process.)


Membership/Programming Director

(Term 2, Year 1)

Nikky was first introduced to knitting in 2012 when her visiting sister-in-law taught her the basics of casting on and the knit stitch. A few weeks later, she learned how to purl from her mother-in-law. From there, it quickly became a passion and she has taken on each new project with a desire to expand her skill and discover new techniques. She loves a good mystery (knit-a-long) and knits way more shawls than a single person can wear in a month.


Technology Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Melissa has been knitting for 15 years. She loves socks and sweaters. She is a new member who hopes to use her marketing background to lift up the MKG. While she isn't local to MN, she really loves the atmosphere created by the Guild. Melissa and significant other Al enjoy traveling, wherein Al graciously offers to drive so Melissa can knit in the passenger seat. (she, her, hers)


Yarnover Committee Chair

While Anna learned to knit at some long-forgotten point in time, her commitment to the craft really began her freshman year of college. Sitting still has never been Anna’s strong suit, and giving her hands something to do while chatting with friends or watching movies in the dorm brought a sense of calm during this new chapter of her life. Once the sense of calm wore off (and no one else needed a scarf), she began trying new techniques, patterns, and projects, and until 2018 was primarily a self-taught knitter. After being intimidated early in her crafting, Anna feels strongly about creating a welcoming environment within the fiber community for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. She enjoys knitting and fiber traveling, test and service knitting, a good challenge (knitting or otherwise), and is likely to have at least 3 WIPs at any one time. She is also learning to spin and ply her own yarn! (she/her/hers)

A photograph of hands knitting green yarn against a black background.Project HandWork is an exhibit of photos by photographer Christopher Dykes. Using flash, a backdrop, and the infinite human variety, Christopher is collecting a series of images of hands at work in the fiber community. Manicures, hangnails, tattoos, wristwatches, cheap yarn, expensive silk, easy socks and exquisite lace all show the human diversity and the compulsion to create.

Yarnover attendees may have their hands photographed for a $50 sitting fee. Each sitter will receive an edited photo via email. The sitting fee goes to Help In Crisis, his local domestic abuse shelter. 



Laura Haave

Great Guild Getaway Committee Chair

Laura learned to knit in 2003 by taking a four-week class during MIT's annual January Independent Activities Period. The class project was a striped hat knit in the round, and since that time, Laura has been a big advocate of 1) helping other adults learn to knit for the first time, 2) hats as a manageable first project, and 3) circular needles for everything. She enjoys thinking about knitting and planning her next project almost as much as she enjoys actually knitting. Laura is highly motivated by knit-alongs and loves to knit in community. (she, her, hers)


Newsletter Editor

I grew up watching my mom knit. She tried to teach me as a kid and I never enjoyed it, but after finishing college I found myself with extra time and no hobbies. In the last 20 years I have dove in all the way and love to learn new and challenging techniques. As my fiber love has grown, I have also started raising sheep in order to go from sheep to sweater. I love interacting with the sheep who have big personalities and learning to process and spin the wool has been a great adventure.


Vice President

(Term 1, Year 2)

Meg grew up surrounded by makers. Her mom, a master quilter, former Home Ec teacher, and 4-H club leader in Duluth, taught her to sew, embroider, and cook. She won a trip to the State Fair as the Dress Review Princess at 13! Another MKG member taught her to knit continental style 15 years ago. Meg can’t sit still and NOT be knitting, embroidering, rug hooking or sewing. Favorite thing to knit? Mittens! She loves taking classes and learning new things – absolutely amazed and inspired by all the amazing knitters in the guild! (she, her, hers)

Get Bentz Farm LogoOur spinning demonstrations are sponsored by Get Bentz Farm. 

After growing up in the city and suburbs, the owners of Get Bentz Farm felt a need to be closer to nature and to be more connected to where their food came from. 

In 2014, they found a farm house for sale and later that year they decided on and purchased their first two Icelandic sheep. 

Once they had a good size flock they began marketing the amazing meat and wool. Initially, they found that many mills in the area do not process dual coated long wools, which slowed down their growth in yarn, but they did find a great market for wool filled bedding products and batting for spinning. 

Today, they have a variety of yarns, batting and roving as well as finished products like dryer balls, sheepskins, and wool bedding. Most recently, they opened their own Get Bentz Wool Mill as well as their own line of yarn – Badgerface Fiber.

Mona McNeely been a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor since 2016 and has studied yoga since 2002.   

She has three grown kids and two, almost three, grandchildren. Her grandma taught her to knit when she was seven. She picked it up again in her early 20’s and hasn’t put the needles down since. She is also an avid spinner and has woven her share of rugs. In her spare time, she volunteers at a non-profit called We Can Ride where they use horses as therapy for people with disabilities. She also works full time as a Treasury Analyst for a fairly large company.  Somehow it all balances out.

Midwest Machine Knitters' Collaborative logo

The Midwest Machine Knitters’ Collaborative (MMKC) is a Minnesota based fiber guild established in 2011. We envisioned the Collaborative as a way to connect with other machine knitters who like to think (and knit!) outside the box. MMKC provides a forum to promote fun, interest, appreciation, education, inspiration, and camaraderie in the art of machine knitting. We welcome all levels of experience, as this is the best way to learn and inspire. We will all become better knitters through collaboration.



Kathy has always been into crafts, but didn’t teach herself to knit until after college. She really got hooked while living in San Francisco when a friend opened a knitting store. To pitch in, Kathy started knitting up fun (and odd) things for window displays, as well as teaching classes. In the last couple of years, she has started designing her own knitting patterns (many of them available for free on Ravelry!) with toys and mittens being her primary obsessions. (she/her/hers)