day at the Showgrounds. After all the fun and excitement of having taken in the exhibits, watched them being judged, put up the display and watched people marvelling over the work it was time to hand the work back.
Most people came and collected their work quite cheerfully. If they had won a prize it was a bonus but by no means all of them expected that.
"It was my first time," someone told me shyly as I passed over a child's pullover. It had not won a prize but I suggested she tried again.
One exhibitor arrived unaware she had won a prize at all. She had been unable to get to the show as her children had been ill. Her squeal of pleasure caused several people to turn their heads.
One knitter grabbed her garment and left without a word. It had not won a prize. The knitter who followed her had not won a prize either. She had entered socks. It was her first time. Could I please tell her why she had not won a prize? I showed her some prize winning socks and explained what she needed to aim for. When she looked hesitant I said, "The woman who made these socks is over 80. She has been knitting socks longer than you have been alive. Don't give up." She smiled then and said she would try again.
A neighbour came to get one woman's work. "She's 91 and does not get out much." Maybe not but the toes of her socks are still excellent. I wish I could do as well.
Much later in the morning the woman who won "Best in Show" came to pick up her garment. She still looked stunned by her win.
There is no requirement in this show that people design their own but she had. It was a pullover for a child in a Sanquhar pattern in cream and brown. She had researched the pattern she used and added an explanation. The stitches were absolutely even. The finishing was exquisite. It was a small work of art.
I handed it over reluctantly. We talked about what she might do next year. She was thinking her next challenge might be a "wedding ring" shawl. For those who do not know of these they are shawls so fine you can actually pull them through a wedding ring.
To attempt such a shawl would be a challenge for any knitter. It will be even more of a challenge for this woman. She has Parkinson's disease. I do not doubt she will achieve her goal.