The Show

I promised to tell all, after the Show – and, well, the Show came, and it went again. A jolly good time was had by ourselves, if not all. The rain stayed away; even though the day was nowhere near as grand as last year’s weather, it was probably just about right for such an event.

Judging the sheep

Mr L had taken the day  off this year and so we went up to the field in the morning in order to watch some stock judging. We had much fun in choosing our own winners and seeing if the judge was in line with our thinking. We did pretty well at it. It left me wishing that I could do a proper stock judging course, and wishing that I had been a Young Farmer in my youth instead of a pillion-riding biker chick. (The thing was, the Greasers were far more respectable, and much nicer to know than the welly-wearing, beer-swilling sons of the local landed gentry!)

My tip for the top from the young heifers

We were very pleased to find that Elsness beef was on sale from 1pm, and we ensured that we bought some before it all sold out. A quick trip home to refrigerate the steaks, let the dogs out, and  have a quick cup of coffee, and then we returned to see what had been happening inside.

Daisy, learning about sheep

There was a good display this year – last year’s entries were down and the whole thing looked a bit sad, so it was good to see some of the tables overflowing with entries. What was most interesting was to see how very different the judging was from last year’s in many of the classes. Different judges seek different points, I expect. Were the judges different to last year? I have no idea! Just theorisinng  🙂

As usual, there was some amazing work on display. I hope one day to reach those dizzying heights with my own efforts, but it will take much practice!

I entered nine classes, with 16 entries overall. I took three each of First, Second and Third places.

The Haul

I got a little shock when I saw that my Greetings Card class entries had not been removed from their plastic bag and had just been slung down on the table – meaning that effectively I had a single entry instead of two. Only one had been faced up for judging and had not actually been displayed to any effect at all as it could not be seen very well through the bag. I know I was aiming not to win this year, but that seemed just a little bit odd to me…

As it was, I would not have gained any prizes this year. The judge was looking for something different to last year. Totally different. I could have spent days crafting my cards and still not been placed. Swings and roundabouts. Lotteries. Yada yada….

Last minute entry buttons

A surprise also awaited me in the Any Other Craft class, where the swings went the other way and my buttons gained a surprise Third – pipped by SpinningGill’s 2nd placed weaving. I had planned to make some buttons especially for this class but time ran out and I scratched about to find these leftovers from an earlier effort, where the best ones were gifted to somebody a while ago. You can tell how rushed I was – by viewing the dogs breakfast that I made of the mounting card 🙂

My lovely handspun handweaving was not placed in this class. I’ll make something from it and then enter that next year… perhaps bind a journal with it, or make a needle roll…

Shetland skeins

Another surprise – the not very good skeins that I scratched around for in order to make an entry in the handspun class came in First. Again. This pair were closely similar to last year’s winners, though not as good – and proof that this was not an illegal entry comes in the form of…

Handspun Beret

…the Third prize in the “Item from Handspun Yarn” class. I cast on for this hat on the night of last year’s Show, using my winning skeins. I borrowed it back from its new owner in order to show it and help fill up the class, where I also took the Second prize with my neck cowl:

The Cowl

(I think I am going to frog the cowl and re-use the yarn, which does not work well as a cowl IMHO) The cowl is made from Skeins which themselves took a First a couple of years ago – as Any Other Craft, in the days before we asked for the handspun class to be added to the Schedule.

SpinningGill took the First in this class, with her lovely Aran sampler scarf… (which I failed to take a photograph of. Come to think on it, I didn’t take any photographs indoors this year. Not a one.)

…but I redressed the balance by landing the First in the Scarf class with Link – my Annis ((I shall be packing up the Annis to go to its new owner later today)) was unplaced.

First Prize scarf

However, I had Second and Third in the Knitted Hat, any ply class. Having sewn 16 buttons onto my Owls hat at the very last minute, the Third prize felt like something of a reward for all that hard work 🙂

My, what big eyes you have!

It may come over as sour grapes, but I have to confess that I do not understand the judging in this class at all. I may well be biased ((of course I am!)), but I do believe that my Lorien is a lovely hat and I think that no matter what criteria you apply… a beautiful fingering weight lambswool beret made entirely of cables and lace, with a structured head band and all the stitches picked up from it, and all the yardage and work put into a slouch beret… well, it has to top an Aran bobble hat, surely? Yet it did not, and has to make do with a blue card instead.

Clearly nowhere near as nice as I think it is...

I also received a slap on the head for my pride in my Tribute socks, which came Second to a baby cardigan in the Item from 100g class. LOL – I had honestly thought them to be a banker 🙂 It is becoming something of a tradition for me to pick up 2nd prize with socks in this class. Maybe I should try something other than socks next year – but I just do not have any babies to knit for.

Well, I like them anyway

The lovely Gail lace triangle was unplaced, as were both my triangular entries in the Shawl class. I had not expected them to do well, as I have absorbed the message that in this Show at least, “Shawl” means Shetland Square and that the square shape will always take precedence no matter how fine or how intricately a triangle is worked. ((Yes. I’m still put out about all those bloody bobbles and pattern-both-sides… it will be a while before I make another Juneberry. It is beautiful, absolutely – but certainly not a romp in the park.))

Tradition is a good thing. I don’t mind at all. It’s not the winning, it’s the Show – and that is the thing that does peeve me, as only the placed items are displayed in any manner at all – all the remaining hard work from all the other entrants are just folded on a table and cannot be seen at all. Believe me, there’s an awful lot of good work there that cannot be enjoyed by visitors to the Show. And I’m not talking about mine 🙂

I’m going to make a circular one for next year. You see if I don’t. It won’t win, but I promise you that it will be a stunner – and most importantly, that I shall enjoy making it. I have already picked my pattern out.

The last class is one that I do not expect to be entering next year. I am pretty sure that it will be dropped from the Schedule…


This was the only entry in the Felted Item class. The First place is by default, so scarcely worth mentioning. I do like them, though – and I had a lot of fun watching people pick them up and handle them. They are certainly very tactile. I shall be making more – they make excellent paper weights.

I also made the only two entries in this class last year. It is not supported, despite the number of people who attended the felting course a few years ago. I shall be sad if the class is dropped – it was a useful impetus to keep practising the skills that I learned that weekend. (And I do like felt.)

I had an excellent day. I do love a good Show. There were enough prizes in it to make me feel that all the hard work was worthwhile, and worth doing again next year.

Oh, dear. I think I need a lie down.

I am keeping the socks for myself, and the handspun hat is returning to its owner, but everything else you see here is up for grabs. If you would like anything and can make a p/hop donation for it, just ask me for it and it is yours. There’s a small matter of a large flood that needs addressing. I’ll be setting up a p/hop page soon, listing all items currently available in return for donations. These and other items will be on the list.


  1. Susan aka paintermom
    August 11, 2010

    I’d love the Lorien hat, if it’s not already claimed.

    Good work, over all.

    I’ll email the chocolate cake recipe tonight.

  2. Susan aka paintermom
    August 11, 2010

    Ooh, forgot to mention the buttons, too.


  3. Karen aka Kaz
    August 11, 2010

    would love the socks if possible , they are beautiful and you deserved first prize :))))))

    • August 11, 2010

      Sorry, Kaz – as I said, I am intend to keep the socks for myself as I knitted them to my size.

      On the other hand, this is for p/hop – so I might be induced to change my mind by a large enough offer of a donation 🙂

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