Catching up

The blog has suffered a little in the last few weeks. There has been much going on, but little of any interest to post. A brief roundup –

  • Mr L went off to Manchester to work for a week.
  • I spent an intensive period working on the Sanday Spinner’s web site.
  • There were Open Studio weekends to deal with and I taught a new spinner to spin.
  • I found myself a matter of a few weeks away from the annual Show, and virtually nothing to enter – so I put myself to working on a scarf knitted from handspun yarn. I wasn’t at all sure that it could be completed in time but it was, and it was worth all the  effort. I love it, the Judge loved it – everybody who sees it loves it.
  • At the same time that I was tackling the High Seas scarf, I was supposed to be participating in the Tour de Fleece spinning event. My event was something of a non-starter, but I did manage one bobbin of singles – the end to which appears to be irretrievably lost!
  • Mr L’s annual holidays came along.
  • The CISRA puzzle competition happened
  • Suzie took ill and had to go to the vet, but following treatment she is much improved.
  • We had a number of power cuts.
  • Griff took ill, and upped and died on us before he could get to the vet.
  • The Sanday Show happened.

It may not sound like much, but it all ate up my time to the extent that there has been none left over for blogging.

Shall we deal with the Show today?

So, there I was, convinced that I had nothing to enter this year. I was furiously working on both the High Seas knitting and my spinning of some Ashford fibre.  I hoped to complete the spinning in time to make two skeins of North Ronaldsay, my Tour de Fleece project, for a second entry. As mentioned above, the North Ron skeins never transpired.

The High Seas was completed in time for me to tackle the completion of a Waves of Grains scarf that was in progress and also to make a Koolhaas hat. In fact, I even had time to make a second hat of my own design, the Twhit. It just squeaked in under the wire and was still damp as submission time.

We had a power cut on the Friday before the Show. It was a major outage – a problem with the sub-sea cable that took out all the North Isles and caused the power company to place generators on all of the islands. The power was restored late in the day. It was of a course a very dismal day and light was in short supply. I attempted some grafting on the Waves of Grain but succeeded only in making a pig’s ear of it. At least it would make another entry…

The power was off again on Sunday and I used the down time to begin labelling and packing my entries. I scoured the Studio, the show schedule in hand, and was amazed at the number of entries that I managed to dig up. I had three potential skein entries and was in the luxurious position of choosing which two to enter. I took Gill’s advice and entered a spicy red/orange pair and a green/blue pair. The ones that I had laboured over so hard, did not in the end get entered. (I’m saving them for next year now).

I dug up a few failures of Shows past: a handspun hat, a hap shawl, a weaving and I added them to the box. I also washed and re-blocked my Leftie scarf. A further attempt at finding entries turned up an entry for the KNitted Toy class plus some polymer clay buttons for “any other craft” and an Orchid Thief and some previously un-entered socks for the 100g class.

In the end my entry list looked like this:

  • Any article from not more than 100g wool: Orchid Thief and Rosa Rubiginosa socks
  • Knitted Headwear (any Ply) Koolhaas and Twhit
  • Knitted Shawl: grey hap shawl previously entered but not placed
  • Scarf: Waves of Grain and Leftie
  • Knitted Toy: Benny softie cat
  • Item knitted from handspun yarn: High Seas and an ear flap hat previously unplaced
  • Pair of Skeins: 2
  • Any Other Craft: woven wall hanging previously entered and unplaced, plus a card of buttons

Fourteen entries!

Once the power was restored I set about printing the photographs that I had selected for entry. I tried again on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I singularly failed to persuade any one of our printers to spit out a decent copy. On Thursday the power was off again, which entirely scuppered plans to enter the baking section. I scraped around the house to find some prints that had not previously been entered and managed to put in four  in the end, in three classes.

I had hopes for the High Seas and for the Twhit but no real expectations for any of the other entries, it was simply a case of helping to fill the benches,

A tablefull

Here is the haul:


There were quite a few surprises awaiting us when we went to see the display.

  • Any article from not more than 100g wool: Orchid Thief 1st and Rosa Rubiginosa socks 2nd
  • Knitted Headwear (any Ply) Koolhaas 1st and Twhit unplaced.
  • Knitted Shawl: grey hap shawl previously entered but not placed came 3rd this year.
  • Scarf: Waves of Grain unplaced but Leftie got a 2nd
  • Knitted Toy: Benny softie cat came 1st!
  • Item knitted from handspun yarn: High Seas got 1st and a Special for best knitted item in the Show, and the ear flap hat previously unplaced got a 3rd.
  • Pair of Skeins: the Spice Road ones came 1st and the green and blue ones came  3rd
  • Any Other Craft: woven wall hanging previously entered and unplaced achieved a 1st this time out but the card of buttons was unplaced.
  • One photograph took a prize – 1st.
Those skeins may be knitted into an entry for next year’s Item From Handspun

An amazing result for what was very much a scratch entry – and  way better than deserved, I’d say.

Benny Cat with matching Koolhaas hat, both top of their class.

I was very well pleased by the High Seas and not all that surprised that it was so successful. The Koolhaas hat and the soft toy both took me very much by surprise. I was disappointed by Twhit’s performance and personally felt it a better piece of work than the Koolhaas.

Show Day gave us some mixed weather but was glorious for that part of the day that counts. We did not spend much time there this year, due to Griff being so poorly.

I’ll take some beauty shots of some of the prizewinners as soon as I can and I shall post them if they work out.

I have already sworn not to be caught out next year and have a plan of campaign that includes items for the Show and also reduces the UFO heap. Of course, the plan has already failed.

One Comment

  1. August 6, 2013

    Well deserved, particularly the High Seas.

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