It’s Show Time – Part 2

I took a lot of time off knitting over the last year and it showed in the fact that I had only one item that I had made especially for the Show this year. Gill helped me scavenge through various items and UFOs to help me find things that would “do” and I am grateful to her for that impetus because in the end, I was able to field 10 entries in that section by virtue of actually finishing items that had been lying around for years in need of grafting or blocking or some other finishing process. Frankly, I was amazed. At least one item has been entered previously without success. I’ve followed this strategy before in the spirit of “filling up the benches and making a show” as there is nothing sadder than a sparsely-filled section – and been bowled over by then receiving a place for the previously unappreciated item. You never know. You just cannot tell.

Often the items that I think will do best, fail to place and others that get chucked in as my second entry do rather well. It’s all very mystifying and a jolly good sport. It is necessary to keep one’s sense of proportion and take it all in good spirit – it’s unfortunate when individuals don’t do that, though the overwhelming majority do. I take the line that I’m not a judge, so what on earth do I know – only what I like, and that’s a personal thing. I take the adjudication, go away and process it, and try to act on the feedback and improve for next time.

All the same, playing the guessing game can be fun, so let’s have a go and then tonight we can see how close to a judge’s thinking we have managed to be…

Knitting first:

In a contest with nobody but myself, because there is no knowing what wonderful works will appear, I would have hopes of the doily, the matinée jacket and the handspun cowl being well-placed. The doily is impressive – I know this because it drew noises of admiration from the stewards when I submitted it! All depends there on what our friend N is submitting – if she submits 2 entries then my doily may only manage a Third. Or there may be Dark Horses (not Dark Forces!) to contend with. Who knows? That’s the excitement of it. New people are moving to the island all the time and there may be star knitters amongst them.

I squeezed 14 entries into the Handcrafts section, mainly photographs:

  • Redpoll (wildlife)
  • Fulmars (wildlife)
  • Sheep (Agriculture)
  • Working Late (Agriculture)
  • Moon Over Isegarth (Sanday View)
  • Kettletoft Bay (Sanday View)
  • Peedie Lodge (Beautiful Decay)
  • Tractor Wheel (Beautiful Decay)
  • Kirkwall from the Thorfinn (Large print any theme)
  • Sanday’s Merry Dancers (Large print any theme)
  • Nightshade – (2 skeins)
  • North Ron 3 ply Aran (2 skeins)

It’s very difficult to assess the chances here – there are so many good photographers on the island now. I can only again suggest competing against myself and I have to say with all immodesty that it would take a very good wildlife photo indeed to beat my Redpoll. That said, someone is certain to have captured an otter or something! I also have a great fondness for Moon Over Isegarth but not every judge would see that as fitting the brief of a “Sanday View” – you can’t see much!  I’m also very keen on the large print of Kirkwall, but the printer made a bit of a mess of that and did it no favours by leaving it unbalanced. The photo of the Aurora might just be appealing to a judge.

Basically, everything I entered I felt to be a contender. I entered nothing that I felt to be a poor image. It really is all about the competition though.

I have done well in the photos before but in some years I have barely placed at all. It’s always an adventure and I do love seeing all the other images on display and learning from the winners.

You can see the image set in my photo blog.

As for the skeins? It’s all down to who enters. I believe that my purple 3 ply is a good yarn, but will it appeal to the judge? The North Ron is the same yarn that I won with 2 years ago, although it is new skeins that were spun this year. It’s an ongoing project likely to supply skeins for the show bench next year too! If anybody recalls the win and starts to mutter about resubmitting a winning pair, I’ll show them the Twhit hat –  as that’s where the winning skeins went.

A new departure this year – I have entries, just 3, in the Baking section! The first time I have dared to pitch my skills against the formidable baking stars of the island. No. The fact is that in previous years I have been busy sewing in ends and blocking my knitting and printing photos – this year I was ready in good time and was able to devote a day to baking. The electricity supply company had other ideas however and turned the power off at 10am. I am entering White and Granary loaves and a Bere Bannock. I am not expecting any prizes!

Overall, I’m not expecting much of a haul this year – you only get out what you put in and I really did not work at it over the last 12 months. I’m looking forward to going out later and watching some stock judging before going to see the Industrial Show and see who has been successful at what and whose turn it is to take the trophy for the vegetables…

…and then I shall have to wait until the year end to see what’s in next year’s Schedule before getting stuck in to some proper preparation. In the meantime, I have a shawl on my desk that has been a UFO for a while. I’m taking a bet that there will still be a shawl class next year and I’m working this one to a finish in expectation. I’m enjoying it too – it’s a fun knit and enough to keep me happy and busy until I can make a plan for next summer.

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