Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thank you, everybody, for the kind words about Sam.

Here he is on the show bench.

And here is the silverware. That’s the Glenisla Shield on the right. Beside it is the Mandy Duncan cup for the best child’s entry – won by my granddaughter Rachel for her entry in the “Cardboard Picture Frame” class. James Miles of the Economist in fact deserves a certain amount of credit for that one.

I think the best win of the day, though, was Alistair’s garter stitch scarf – it got Third in the “scarf” class.

The other three entries were Fun Fur. My heart sank when I saw them. They all looked perfect, and Alistair was even sceptical about whether they were handmade. (I’m sure they were.) His scarf was remarkably good for a first-ever FO – he’s a brilliant knitter – but garter stitch is tough to do, and it wasn’t perfect.

But he got Third. The judges in Strathardle normally don’t comment, but someone had written on his card, “It’s nice to see traditional knitting.”

I took very few pictures on the day, so much of the documentation will have to wait for the promised contributions from far and wide – including the moment when the local MSP’s wife put the Glenisla Shield into my hands.


Two in particular – Maureen from Fargo is in fact Sam’s onlie begetter. I was originally planning to knit a mermaid, which would have been well beaten by that Womble. She came to here to Edinburgh in April and we had a happy yarn crawl – it doesn’t take long, in Edinburgh – and pleasant coffee, during which she suggested Sam as a piece of virtuoso knitting which would impress judges.

How right she was.

Liz in DC: Did you know that George W. Bush spent a summer in Glen Isla as a boy? Perhaps even two. His father was pals with a big cattle-grower there. Glen Isla has its own Games (I’ve never been) but it’s possible even so that his host family brought him over to Strathardle for the big one.


I’m a whole 50 rows or so into the centre of the Princess, not finding it entirely easy. I’ve got the yarn for nephew Theo’s cashmere gansey. That’ll be fun. And I’ve got my Ravelry invitation!


  1. Just tuned in to find the happy news! Congratulations!

    Dolores says she thinks Sam is pretty hot.

  2. Congratulations!

    I think Sam has a bit more originality than the others, from what I can see in the picture. All very well executed I'm sure, but pretty much the standard toy knitting patterns seen at fetes and fairs all over the UK...

    Isn't that womble the wrong colour anyway? I thought they were grey and he looks brown.

  3. Congratulations on your win, Jean!


  4. Anonymous5:29 PM

    You deserve the ribbon for Sam.

  5. It appears that Sam had no real competition, and I'm of a mind with the judge who made the traditional knitting comment. It is so nice. I shall look for you on Ravelry.

  6. Congratulations!!! I have to admit having seen the other entrants that I would have considered him a shoe-in for originality alone. And congratulations to the rest of your family ... Well done all!!!

  7. Anonymous8:20 PM

    What the heck is a womble? I lived in England for a year about a million years ago (ok it was 1976) and I never heard of them? I'll have to google them.
    Your Sam has inspired me to knit a Sam to enter in the local fair next year. I also got the Sue pattern for obvious reasons.
    Maybe having Franklin on your side helped but you are being way too modest about your knitting skills.

  8. Anonymous8:30 PM

    I'm so glad I suggested Sam. Your blog posts suggested you enjoyed knitting him although he was a bit of a challenge. I think I've only seen one completed Sam "in the wool" but he sure was impressive, and obviously your Sam impressed the judges as much as I was.

    I think we need to set Sam up with Dolores sometime soon...now that's a match!

  9. Sue, I believe 76 was a perfect year to see the wombles, I was a 74 baby, and watched the wombles since I was a little one I am sure.
    They were grey I am sure of it, I thought the brown thing was maybe one of those cute hedgehogs on the cards in the UK.

    Jean, the Princess centre gets easier the more stitches you have on the needle, all that flipping and turning is a pain in the bum to be honest, but it does get easier. I am now at the stage where the rows are terribly long again, and quite boring.
    I have two more full repeats left to do now, then the much dreaded edging.

  10. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Love Sam. He well deserves the award.

    I'm curious about GWBush visiting Glen Isla as I have heard that he had never actually been outside the US until his Presidency.