Canberra Show & A Party

Today I had the chance to speak to the Hand Knitting steward at the Royal Canberra Show. It was most helpful and insightful and, most importantly, it revealed why my Myrtle Leaf Shawl went without a ribbon.

I won’t be able to speak about it properly until I’ve collected it from the Crafts Expo stall tomorrow, but it seems I left a few threads hanging out. Honestly I’m a bit surprised to learn this. I know there was one I had to trim before I submitted it, but that there were others, considering I finished it four months ago and have worn it several times since, I’m honestly surprised. She said that they wondered, they being the judges, if I had forgotten to sew some in (unlikely) or if a couple had popped out after blocking. That’s more likely but not by much. I spent two hours on the floor last week pinning it out and stretching it quite aggressively and didn’t see one. Admittedly, if there had been forgotten threads they were on the reverse side and I was looking at the right side during the blocking process, but still…..

I’m going to have to take her word for it. And I do, because she was extremely complimentary about my shawl. The Steward spoke of how beautiful she thought it was and  how, without that flaw, it would have won. She also encouraged me to fix the flaw and re-enter next year. I will.

We also discussed the category. I entered Myrtle in the Knitted Lace Garment category which to me seemed appropriate given a shawl is a garment and therefore worn. The Steward said it could also have gone in the Article of Knitted Lace category and might have done well there (without said flaw, obviously) but that the lines were a bit blurred. Hmmmm.

She said also that next year there will be a change to some of the categories and that there will be a more reasonable incentive in the prizes. She admitted that a $10 voucher at a local wool shop was not really much of an incentive.

So we shall see!

Here’s how she was displayed in the cabinet alongside other pieces.

show pieces

You can see her there just towards the foreground, black lace around a headless dummy.

So all in all, not as disappointing an experience as I thought yesterday. And yes, I’ll have a go at entering her in a one or two other local shows over the next month or so.

* * *

The other big event this weekend was Miss Alice’s first birthday. What a lovely, fun way to spend an afternoon, down by the lake, with lots of people, big and small, who want to celebrate a year of knowing someone wonderful. Here’s the party girl in a few key shots, including with her very own cupcake. Note also the incredible cake her mum’s friend made for her. A Mad Hatter’s cake. For Alice. Get it? I didn’t at first because I am thick.

alice's party

And I gave Elijah to Alice. I think she liked him. Here’s a great photo of cousins, Alice and Willem, who we’ve not seen here for a while, obviously discussing the best way to handle a toy elephant. Note the red scarf I made for him. We all agreed it made him look a little less naked!

Willem & Alice with Elijah

Alice’s birthday is actually on Tuesday and I’ll be doing a photo shoot for the Helena cardigan and Elijah then. Stay tuned.



21 thoughts on “Canberra Show & A Party

  1. Look at the little party girl in her pretty dress! So adorable! You don’t need to win a contest to know that you are a fabulous knitter…

  2. That’s too bad about the Myrtle, it looks so striking and beautiful in the display case. That’s a very cool cake your friend made too.

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  4. I can’t believe Alice is already one! What a cutie! And that cake – wow! And Elijah – too, too cute. I’m sorry about Myrtle, too; she deserved better than she got, that’s for sure. I hope the loose strands aren’t from poor handling at the show!

  5. It’s good that you were able to get feedback and that the steward was so helpful. BTW, the judges are often members of the Knitters’ Guild (although being out of NSW this may not apply) and their judging criteria is strict. We had the coordiantor of the judging team speak at our Guild meeting last year and it was most enlightening. Her’s the link if you want to read it (

    Alice looks cute, the cake looks wonderful and both cousins seem interested in Elijah (maybe W. will want one too although he may be getting too old for soft toys).

  6. im glad you got some clarification and arent totally disheartened by the whole process. they must have gone over it witha fine tooth comb to find the thread though. next time 🙂

  7. It was good to be able to egt feedback on the cause, it looks totally gorgeous there. I never bother entering our show thing as the prizes are pathetic and some of the work people do is so amazing that I don’t want to lose!!!

  8. Sometimes things get marked down for the most bizarre reasons. I remember getting a judging card back from some tatting I entered once, and the lowest mark was in a category called “Suitability of fiber to project”. Um, I used tatting cotton, so ? ? ?

    What darling blonde curls! I’ll bet Elijah gets thoroughly loved.

  9. Lovely Alice in her beautiful dress!!! How clever of Elijah’s scarf to match, well it looks matchy in the photo!! Gorgeous cake, glad no-one got too small or too large after all the Eat Me and Drink Me going on!!
    Oh well, I would have thought Myrtle was for wearing, but what would I know? Nice to know it’s a relatively quick fix on the road to Knitting Show stardom!!!

  10. oh, how disappointing about myrtle! she certainly looks like she would have given the other entrants a run for their money. hope she gets the recognition she deserves next time.

    happy birthday to lovely alice! elijah looks great!

  11. Love the photos. The cake is amazing. And the shawl! It looks amazing enough in the cabinet. Good luck at the next show. You go girl!

  12. Elijah looks like he is going to be super-loved Bells! Loose threads on Myrtle? Well at least you get a second chance. What other shows do you think you’ll enter her in?

  13. Helen, I actually to got to view your masterpiece at the show today – you are officially the first person I know to enter into a show (well, apparently my dad used to submit cakes in but I can’t remember that). It made it extra special walking through the pavillion looking out for dear Myrtle.

    I also think your shawl looked much more professional and lovely than some of the other competitors, but not being a knitting aficionado I didn’t know the criteria they were marking on, and also what makes a good knitted piece. Anyway, if you do enter her in again – I am certain you will take a place – imagine having a beautiful blue ribbon pinned on to her!

  14. aww, love it when toddlers carry their softies upside down and by the leg – cracks me up everytime! and it’s usually only what they do with their *favourite* dolls, so by that logic, Elijah must be a hit.

    Love the cake 😀

  15. Stray threads? Really?! Okay. Myrtle can knock ’em dead at the other shows.

    Alice’s birthday party looks like it was a fantastic event. Looking forward to seeing her in her cardi, which, by the look of the upcoming weather, is going to be used often. 🙂

  16. Great photos! Alice sure loved the cupcake!! And that mad hatter cake is amazing!

    How bizarre about the hanging threads! The only thing I can think of is they came out when you blocked, because I sure never noticed any before that! The display isn’t too bad, better than the Sydney one (although you perhaps can’t see enough detail of your beautiful myrtle as would be desirable!!) At least she’s not pinned to the ceiling using a bent paperclip!!

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