I went to the Marin Co Fair yesterday, and checked out the textiles category quickly. My top line results of my entries:
1 blue ribbon – 1st – socks
2 red ribbons – 2nd – handspun targhee and handspun-Ishbel
3 pink ribbons – 4th – shell sweater, something blue cardigan, and kiri shawl
I don’t really enter to get a particular ribbon, although if someone wants to give me a special award with a gift certificate to the LYS, I’m not gonna object. But I do expect the results to make sense to me as a knitter. Some of the results did. For example, Gunda made this amazing shawl out of her spindle-spun yarn – trust me, it’s fabulous:
so I didn’t mind at all that my own handspun shawl took 2nd to hers. In fact, I predicted this on Ravelry. And LaDonna’s amazing scarf/hat set won first place too. Chiaki is a great designer, and I hope she gets more attention – she’s got a couple of flattering vest patterns.
But there are simply some bizarre choices. For example, my first place came in the sock category:
Frankly, not so deserving of a first place – it’s a simple lace pattern that takes advantage of self-striping yarn. There were more deserving socks, trust me. And my Something Blue project got fourth in the original design category. The first place was lovely and of unusual construction – bravo! The second place was a pair of socks that one could make by plugging in a new stitch pattern to a book by a famous sock designer. Sorry, that’s not design to me.
The women’s sweater category continues to baffle me. I had no skin in the game, so I can be impartial. The winning sweater, while of detailed construction, is basically a clown-clothes sweater. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. I know few people who would be caught dead in it. Another award winner had odd colors that just didn’t work. These were placed over sweaters with detailed cables and of colors that adults would actually wear. I guess being tasteful is simply not a requirement, but maybe being important in the local knitter’s guild counts for something to the judge of the event. I don’t know, I’m just baffled.
Very little handspun was entered this year – Marie of Llama Llama and Judy both took the year off, and I think only 3-4 skeins were submitted, which meant I got a 2nd place for my handspun. Spinners, we need you!