This past week, I wrote a story about how the art, crafts, paintings, photos and antiques are judged at the York Fair. For a while I’ve been interested in submitting some of my crafts for judging. I was eying the knitting exhibits last year, and made a personal goal to knit something for the fair this year.
I’m really busy working all the time, so by the time registration rolled around, the only thing I had to submit were a pair of orange socks I was knitting for my brother for Christmas. They were in a really easy knit-purl pattern and I thought they were pretty good. I’ve had plenty of practice — they certainly weren’t my first-ever socks. Other people appreciate my knitting, but I was apprehensive and nervous about my work. My sock-knitting skills are self-taught, so submitting my socks to the fair was a good opportunity to see if I was getting it right.
I took my socks to the fair on Wednesday. I was shuffled around to different tables while the volunteers figured out where my socks should go. I was given a tag for the socks and a matching ticket to get them back at the end of the fair. The volunteers follow the premium book, and it’s important that all of the entries are entered into the right class, category and department.
For the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday, I was really anxious to find out how my socks did. I’m pretty sure I told every single person I encountered, whether they cared or not, that I entered socks into the York Fair.
I was really happy to find out on Friday that my socks got a third-place ribbon. It looked like there were about 10 pairs of socks that were submitted to the fair this year. The second- and first-place socks were really really good and I thought they definitely deserved their ribbons. The second-place socks had really cool looking toe decreases and a cleanly knit lace pattern. The first-place socks had rows of twists along the cuffs.
Both pairs were blocked well and the stitching was very even. I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners of those socks had many more years of knitting on me. A lot of knitters do.
The competitor in me is aiming for a blue ribbon next year, not just in socks, but in multiple categories. I was eying the scarves, hats, sweaters and lace shawls this year. And I know if I pick a more elaborate pattern and invest in some good sock blockers, I can have some blue-ribbon-winning socks. Now I just have to find the time to knit everything.
If you’re a crafty person and you’ve never submitted something to the fair, you’re missing out. It’s a really fun experience. Next year on submission day, I’m hoping to see more people my age! You have a whole year to plan, so start making fair submissions now!