Last night I went to the preview of the Arts Competition at the Royal Easter Show. If you would prefer to see the images and not read my opinions, please head over here.
I'm not going to apologise for my opinions. Some of the knitters of some of these items are likely to read here. It's a risk to put your work out there in a public forum, and it's a brave thing to do. I applaud that bravery, but I am still entitled to have my say on my own blog.
Also, I don't have anything in the show this year, so there's no sour grapes either.
BUT - This is my blog, so I'll say whatever I like. By the same token, you don't have to agree with me. You can make up your own mind, and as a matter of fact, I'd encourage you to do so.
So, Here's the results, a la knitabulous ...
Firstly, I think there's less knitting this year than last year.
Jokes that aren't funny
CLASS 1: 116 Finest Shetland Lace Scarf (not less than 120cm long) or Shawl.
The judging criteria is meant to be 'that of authenticity'. Heaven knows what that means.
Third prize was given to the Swan Lake Stole (the mystery stole 3), made out of Australian Cashmere, with beads. It's beautiful, but to my knowledge, not a single element of this shawl is authentic to shetland lace.
CLASS 2: 123 Knitted Lace, wool only.
The winner in this category was the scheharezade stole (the mystery stole 2). This stole has been made with very beautiful yarn and has gorgeous drape, and it looks lovely hanging up there.
However, this is a pretty straightforward pattern to knit, the design is mostly knit stitches and yarnovers and paired decreases which 'draw' the design. There is no edging on it at all. It is effectively a wide scarf - about 120 stitches or so and knit in two pieces, grafting down the middle.
But, no matter, the Royal Easter Show has awarded it FIRST PRIZE anyway.
(And also don't worry about display too much, because the people who hang it will display it purl side out.)
So, forget borders, mitred cornered edges, thousands of stitches, the judges don't value those. Just knit what you like, what looks good and ignore the criteria, because there aren't any.
CLASS 3 - Don't be precious, precious.
I find it incredibly rude that the people who have been obviously hanging the knitting in the easter show EXACTLY the same way for years upon years, don't know that there is a right side and a wrong side to the knitting.
You can't see it in this picture, but this is displayed purl side out. So is the winner of the wool lace category (the red one pictured above). So is the winner of the lace other than wool category, and we counted at least three others displayed wrong side out.
The display people clearly don't know there's a difference.
Class 4 - Are you being served?
How obvious is it that the people who hang the display were trained in the 1950's for Department Stores?
My god this is tired. Plastic coat hangers, fishing line, jumpers tapping other jumpers on the shoulder, everyting mixed up, no themes. It's a bunfight.
Note to the visual merchandisers:
Did you know that it's no longer called window dressing? I'm so sick of the excuses - low budget, low space. This is 2008 - if one of you would just be bothered, a morning on the phone asking for sponsorship would get you some wooden coat hangers, a few donated dress forms, some shelving and perhaps even a few new ideas.
If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.
PART 2 WTF?
Class 1: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There's no accounting for taste is there? One man's meat is another man's poison. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This pink jumper is so beautifully knit. What a shame it's so daggy. Maybe it could do a guest appearance on Kath from Kath and Kim?
THE MOST DESERVING AWARD IN THE OPINION OF KNITABULOUS
You should see this cardigan, the knitting is so dense and the yarn so fine - this woman is amazing. The finishing looks perfect. I wish this woman was my kids nanna.
Note to self: don't ever enter this category.
PART 4 - YOU WERE ROBBED
Class 1 - where no-one will notice how beautiful this is because it's so understated.
These cables go sideways and bias towards the top. Amazing.
Class 2 - WHERE THE DISPLAY AND THE RESULTS PAGE DON'T MATCH
THE WEBSITE RESULTS:
CLASS: 122 Beading, one knitted article. (More beading see Classes 150 - 156).
1 1938MRS JENNY CHIOATTO - CHELTENHAM NSW 2119
CHRISTENING DOLL 17CM2194
2 MRS SANDRA HUNT - FIVE DOCK NSW 2046
PORCELAIN HALF DOLL WITH KNITTED BEADED SKIRT (0)
3 1937MRS BETTY BENT - WATANOBBI NSW 2259
DOLLS DRESS ($.00)
Highly Commended1940MRS JACKIE GUTHRIE - MOONAN FLAT NSW 2337
BEADED DRESS (0)
I wish I had have taken more photos of that class, I don't remember seeing the christening doll and I REALLY wish I had a picture of it. Damn.
THE PACKING ROOM AWARD FOR THE SCARIEST KNIT:
This witch is climbing up a ladder in order to pour a lethal gas into the air conditioning ducts, little does he know there aren't any. Be alert, not alarmed.
THE GET ME OUT OF HERE AWARD
Knitabulous was having difficulty deciding between these two guys, but I think Captain Underpants pipped Toad at the post. Mainly because he looks like he's running from all those ugly jumpers, which I found funny, and I think the knitter of said Captain might too.
And because Toad might not be trying to escape, but be pleading 'please take this pink waistcoat off me, I feel like a fop'.
Go to the show and see it for yourself. Better still, KNIT something for the show next year.