Gabrielle and Stephanie Augustine of Palmerton competed in the National Make It With Wool competition held on Jan. 21-23 at the Sheraton Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

This was Stephanie's first time at Nationals and she placed tenth in the Junior division for her pair of lined wool cargo pants with patch pockets, long sleeve sweater with cabled owls in Mauch Chunky kiwi colored yarn, a lined vest made of dark green wool, and hand-knit fingerless gloves she dyed herself with lime colored Kool Aid, coffee and green food coloring paste.

Unfortunately Gabrielle did not place this year, but she did receive an award for her use of mohair and another award for her use of 100% merino wool of her outfit of a navy, taupe and red plaid skirt with bottom pleats.

She designed the American Merino wool taupe colored turtle neck shell and made it using a knitting machine. She hand-knit a navy blue cardigan using a combination of Australian wool and Italian mohair. Topping the outfit was a rust red mohair long coat to top her outfit with a crocheted scarf she designed, with wool covered washers on the ends for weights.

In order to qualify for the national competition, each entrant must first become a first place winner at the state level. The 2009 Pennsylvania State Make It With Wool contest was held October 17 in Somerset, PA.

There Gabrielle won first place in the Seniors division for 17-24-year-olds.

Stephanie won first place in the Juniors division for 13-16-year-olds.

The Augustine gals said the Nationals was very exciting, with over 58 contestants representing 32 states. The girls made new friends and reconnected with old ones.

Gabrielle, a sophomore at Cedar Crest College, has been entering the Make It With Wool contest since 1998.

She won 1st in Juniors in Pennsylvania in October 2006 and then fourth at nationals in Jan. 2007 in San Antonio, Texas. In October 2007 Gabrielle again placed first in Juniors and then competed at nationals in Jan. 2008 in Las Vegas, NV and won 1st place. In 2009, Gabrielle moved into a new age category of Seniors, ages 17-24, in which she won first place and was entitled to enter nationals.

Stephanie, a freshman at Cedar Crest College, has received 1st in the Preteen division every year (except one) since she started entering in 2001. But since preteens did not go on to nationals, this year was her first.

Their mom, Kathy, who has been entering the Make It With Wool contest since 1991, placed second in the PA State's competition, Adult division, which did not qualify her for Nationals, but she says she was so proud of her daughters for their accomplishments.

As part of the convention, they were treated to a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio B but were a little disappointed that no stars were spotted - just their clothes that they left behind in the museum.

They enjoyed their trip and are already planning their new outfits for the state competition in October 2010.

They attended the National competition event with their parents, Kathy and Raymond Augustine.

The Make It With Wool contest is sponsored by the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), a national organization that represents the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers in the US. First there is a Make It With Wool contest on the state level. State first place winners can enter the national competition held each January.

To learn more about the contest, go to website