I am off to spend the day working at "the Show". I have talked about this event before but, for those who have arrived recently, this is the event which goes under the official grandiose title of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society Annual Show. I do not know if any royal personage has ever visited it. Possibly. They often have to do strange things.
For the rest of us it is one of those annual Adelaide events that some go to out of habit, others go to because they love it (my father is one of these) and others go because they must (me).
My father is a people watcher. He is spending the day at the Show too. I will meet him at lunch time just to check he is okay, although with all those people around someone will help if he gets into strife. After all, this is somewhere people go to enjoy themselves and they want others to do the same. He will look at animals and farm machinery and water tanks and other items of interest to him. He will also wander (on his gopher) into the big hall which houses the handicrafts and the flowers. He will watch the Jenny Gillies "flower people" perform and talk to the gardening gurus about why his rhubarb plants keep dying.
I am going for quite a different purpose. The Convenor of the Handicrafts section wants it to become more interactive. There will be spinners, weavers, egg artistry workers, patchworkers, carvers, embroiderers and others at work during the week. This is the first step forward on a road to making the whole area more interactive. This year they will be there to talk about what they do. People will be able to ask questions. They will be encouraged to ask questions.
This has to be a good thing. There are many people who come to the Show who have never seen such things being done close at hand, sometimes have never seen these things at all.
I am personally not at all interested in egg artistry but it is fascinating to watch the skill of those who carve beautiful shapes out of translucent egg shells or pieces of wonderful timber. I am a little envious of those who can spin easily and well. I have also seen it all before.
I will be there to talk about knitting if people want to talk to me. There will be four of us knitting. We will all be working on something different so that people can see a variety of techniques. It will all be familiar to me and those knitting with me. We have all done this sort of thing before both at the previous Show and in other places.
There will however be people who have never seen any of these things. I will no doubt explain that we are knitting, not crocheting. I will have the shawl I am currently working on. I will be using a circular needle, something that always creates interest. Someone else will be working a sock from the toe up. I am not sure what the other two are bringing but it will be something that people can talk about.
I will also be taking a small piece of plain knitting for the children to try and make a stitch. For me this is what the Show should be about. It should allow people to experience and not just watch the world.