Guess what I did last week?
The Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild — of which I will be president next year! — held our biannual Adjudicated Show last Tuesday.
The emcee? Yours truly.
The adjudicator/guest keynote speaker? The elegant, insightful Anne Hanson of Knitspot!
Anne came to Waterloo (and New Hamburg, and Toronto) to adjudicate our show, and to teach some classes. I didn’t get to attend any of her classes, but I got something better: I got to hang out all day Monday while she went through the stacks of entries for the show.
I don’t envy her the task one bit. There were entries there that honestly took my breath away — some of the first-time-knitting-lace entries were especially incredible!
The Guild site will have a gallery of the winning pieces in all the categories soon; I’ll post when I get the link.
Anne was absolutely meticulous in her adjudication. Gracious and specific in her praise, and generous and constructive in pointing out what next steps a knitter might take to improve on a particular piece. I find it really difficult to assess someone’s knitting critically in that way — I can spot when something’s truly awful, but I’m not so good at the finer nuances, like a slightly different blocking strategy, or a different type of cast-on technique.
We had a whole team of volunteers on hand for Monday. Adjudication’s not a small undertaking, when the Guild is one of the largest in North America! Some people laid out the pieces in the next category, and the next, and the next, as Anne moved from station to station. Someone else took notes as she talked about each piece. Others set up a miniature studio, and photographed every winning entry. Still others transferred Anne’s comments about each winning piece to another computer, where they were formatted into cards to be given to each recipient, along with the photo of their piece, and (of course!) their prize. And that’s all just on adjudication day — there was a massive, massive amount of work done beforehand, setting out the categories, getting prizes donated, soliciting entries, etc.
Then — did you think I’d forgotten? — came the actual Adjudicated Show. Meredith (Yarnpr0n/FireOpalPhoto) has some fabulous pictures on Flickr already, and there will be more in the Guild gallery when that’s up! She captured the event better than I could have. To be honest, my memory is mostly a haze of public speaking anxiety and the complete star-struckness (star-stricken-ness?) that hit me when I realized I was sharing the stage with one of my personal knitting idols.
I have to say… when I agreed, last summer, to be VP of the Guild, I didn’t know what I was getting into, but so far, it’s been a completely positive experience. Just getting to be associated with this calibre of knitters, designers, dyers, spinners, etc., is a huge honour.