Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Showtime

A couple of months ago at Brum Knit Night I was bemoaning the lack of a craft section in the Wolverhampton show. I was itching to enter my knitting in some kind of "village" show, I'm not even sure why, I just really wanted to! Rachel mentioned the Sandwell Community Show to me and they do have a craft section, so I decided to submit a few items. It turns out the Wolverhampton show is the same weekend as the iKnit day, so I wouldn't have been able to enter anyway!

The Sandwell Community show took place over Bank Holiday weekend, I'd decided to enter items into 6 categories, however when I sent off my application form at the start of August I didn't actually have items to enter into all of these classes. Some frantic crafting has been called for over the last couple of weeks!

This is what I entered:

1. Any other knitted item (not a jumper/cardigan)

I decided that I should enter the most intricate piece of lace in this class, so it was my Mystery Stole /Swan Lake that I chose.

2. Any crocheted item

Most of my crocheted items have been given away, so I had to complete the new baby blanket in time for the show.

3. Any handcrafted item costing less than £8

My Swallowtail Shawl, I figured as the yarn was gifted and the beads were from my stash this one counted!

4. Any handcrafted item costing more than £8

5. A handmade toy (not from a kit)
I had nothing for this category with a week to go until the show. I thought about knitting another Elijah, but it would've been such a rush. I pulled out my sewing books and found Peanut the Wee Elephant in Last Minute Patchwork gifts and decided to try to make him. After a bit of faffing (and lots of mistakes) it came together quite well. Stella the elephant She is called Stella (not after the beer, but the Ida Maria song that has been in my head for months!)

6. An item of babywear

Once again, all baby items have been gifted, and there was no time for anything spectacular, so I decided to stick with some socks.
Baby Socks
Made from my left over Peppermint Pink Yarn Yard Bonny I knit these in two days on the train. They are very sweet and are going towards the present pile for all of the expectant mothers I know. I have enough yarn left, so I think I will make a little hat too.

I went to display my items on Saturday evening, judging commenced at 10am in Sunday morning, however we didn't go back to the show until Monday afternoon. I spent most of Sunday wondering if all the items I exhibited would still be there when I went to collect them and nervously wondering what I'd won.

I made a bee-line for the exhibition tent when we arrived at the show. The first table I came to was the toy category. Stella hadn't won. She was well beaten by an Alan Dart farmyard, which was fabulous - there is no way I would like to seam all of those tiny pieces. I was a little miffed that some magnetic fish beat her into third place. Maybe she is just a little too retro!

Next up was the baby category. No surprise that the socks didn't win a prize here, there were lots of pastel, acrylic cardigans that saw off the competition from my socks!

From across the table I could see a rosette next to my crochet entry. I ran around the table to see I'd got first prize! Yipeee.

Next to this was the knitting category, first prize again.

I was suitably chuffed. The other entries includes a single bed size afghan in an aran weight acrylic made up of different cable blocks, an intarsia waistcoat, a pair of gloves, and a couple of cushions. There were about 5 or 6 people standing around the exhibits when I arrived and they were talking animatedly about the result. Half of then arguing that they couldn't see why my shawl had won when so much work had gone into the afghan. The other half were counteracting the argument with how fine and detailed the shawl was. I listened with amusement for a couple of minutes before someone said that the blanket obviously took months and months to make. I then interrupted that it had also taken months to make the shawl! I was quite amused when asked, with a look of shock, if I had made it and there were then lots of comments about how "youngsters" today don't knit and how lovely it was to see me knitting etc etc. I think I managed to convince them that there is a whole world of knitters out there - or maybe they just though I was a little barmy!

No more rosettes for me, the two general craft categories had entries ranging from hand made greeting cards, to wooden standard lamps to matchstick big wheels. All very odd. I'm not even sure what criteria was used to judge as the winners seemed completely random. Tony was getting quite heated about how my stuff deserved a rosette, however I won in the categories I really wanted to so I was very pleased.

Here are the winning items:

And some pictures of the amazing vegetables!

A display of fruit and veg from one of the allotments, this came second!

The Heaviest Pumpkin/Squash

Prize winning pot leeks.... this is where the real competition was!

Along with the onions!


Danielle said...

Congratulations! I think your shawl deserved the win. It's fabulous.

Dawn said...

well done on winning (and the funny comments about how the acrylic blanket should win!). I would have given your socks an award too, they're lovely. I do hope that the acrylic baby cardigans weren't done in that awful baby pink colour!

Roobeedoo said...

Well done! The seas of acrylic intimidate me too much to enter any competitions up here. I think it would be dpns at dawn to challenge the status quo!

Ice Princess said...

Congratulations Roo. All your entries where beautiful.

clarabelle said...

Well done on your prize winners, Ruth! Fantastic stuff.

I'm also interested because you're knitting SotSiii. I've signed up for it, but haven't got it together to knit it.... yet. Any insights would be welcome!