Okay, it’s not a Major Award, but I’m pretty stoked. The Highlander’s Wife took second place at the LA County Fair in the category of Hand Knitted Clothing. I don’t know who took first because, frankly, I wasn’t interested. This wasn’t about competition for me. This was about getting out of my comfort zone more than anything else, but also curiosity.
I entered the shawl to see what would happen. Though I’ve been told I’m a talented knitter, I try not to think of myself as “great”. I believe I’m an alright knitter–Intermediate to Advanced with some techniques to learn. But, what would a stranger think? I figured the best way to find out was to enter a County Fair competition. I immediately looked up the LA County Fair information since my County Fair had already passed. Good thing I looked when I did because I almost missed the cut-off date for submissions. I had two weeks to get the shawl mailed in, with entry fee. Normally, this would’ve been enough for me to talk myself out of entering but I told myself to STFU and do it. The Highlander’s Wife shawl spent all summer away from me, being judged. I wasn’t be able to find out results until I went to the Fair in person.
The Fair opened Labor Day weekend–and I’m not crazy enough to go on the opening holiday weekend so, I didn’t find out my fate until the following weekend when I took my Husband and the kids with me to the Fair. We had a pretty fun time and lightly covered the basics: games, rides, and Fair food, though we avoided the Fried Everything stand. We found the area where the various DIY competitions were being showcased and had a look around. When we finally got to the knitting area, I didn’t know where to look. I perused the area and found my shawl in the middle of a case, in the middle of the floor with a red ribbon pinned to it next to my name on the display card. I squealed. I actually, literally squealed.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of being #2. Seriously. I didn’t want to get too full of myself and delude myself into believing I’d win the blue ribbon but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to place. Of course, simply seeing my work in a glass showcase would have been exciting enough but I really believed I was good enough to place–and I was right. Second place suits me just fine; it means I have room to improve.
What started as a simple MKAL in April turned into a bit of validation. I am now an award-winning knitter.