A Complete Mystery

7 April 2010

Today I “reviewed” the knitting at the Easter Show with David of Sticks and String fame. 

It isn’t easy to talk about knitting for a podcast – the listeners can’t see what you’re talking about.  David and I did our best to describe everything but it isn’t always possible to quite get the flavour – and some of the items are indescribable.  Some are stunningly beautiful . . . and some aren’t.

Some are obvious ribbon winners but, shall I say, the winning features of some of them weren’t immediately obvious to either David or myself. 

Should we all get off our backsides and enter modern garments, knitted with newer techniques and newer yarns?  Or should we continue to produce garments more suitable to the 1950’s because those are the ones that so often win the prizes?  Should we bother at all? 

Why would anyone want to enter a competition where the criteria for winning are so shrouded in secrecy?  Are there any marks given for creativity, for choice of colours and yarn?  Or does it just come down to how you sewed up the seams and sewed in the sleeves? 

Who enters a competition where you’re not told what you have to do to win?  Isn’t that called a lottery?

It’s a mystery shrouded in yarn.






  1. Don’t you get a ribbon and a lamo cash prize of five bucks if you win? Having said that, I’m going to try to enter something next year… but I’ve been saying that for the last 3 years already.

  2. Ugh–why knit something that you don’t like?

    I do love the Easter show podcasts. You two do a great job describing the items, but the best part is the teasing and giggling–it’s contagious!

  3. Actually, I believe one does get marked on choice of colour and yarn as in: “Is it appropriate for the item?” Marks are also awarded for knitting and construction. How do I know? We had the standards convenor at our group meeting last year! You can check out some of what she had to say at the group blog: http://bluemountainknitters.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-2009.html

    • I have to say that, on this occasion, it would seem that the judges didn’t follow their own rules. In some garments the tension was uneven, the stitches poorly defined and the materials used clearly inappropriate. And I am not convinced that “personal preferences in colour and style” were left aside. More visible judging would make it much easier to disprove bias as well as giving potential entrants some guidance.

  4. From what I was told, it is about technical competency and appropriate use of materials. That, especially teh latter is of course very very subjective. I often wonder whether the winning baby/child items are often in pastels or intarsia because that is whatthe judges think are appropriate for baby/child clothes. If someone were to enter an immaculately knit black or chocolate brown baby jumper, would it win?

  5. I must say I agree with your comments re garments that received a prize in this year’s easter show. I saw jumpers in colours that my mother knitted for me in the 1950s/60s. I did then wonder if wearability (as in fashionable today)and colour selection even entered into the judging.

  6. Sally, I always like your segments with David on his podcast and feel the two of you work well together to convey information in a most enjoyable way. I like your frank, pragmatic, common sense approach to whatever aspect of the exhibits or needlecrafts in general that you are discussing.

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