It is that time of year again, when local communities have a celebration of our agricultural roots. I am referring to county, state and various topical festivals and fairs. Often these gatherings highlight livestock, baked goods, blue ribbons and carnivals. But few people actually participate in the entry of these events. I really don’t need any ribbons (and there are many talent artisans in my community, so I may not see any), I enjoy the crochet I do; but I enter some pieces in a hope to inspire others with the art of crochet.
Granted this can be difficult, there is a lot of insecurity in the fiber arts. We artists are never confident in our work, believing that anyone can do what we do, and it is really not that special. We constantly down play are skills; I don’t know if it is that we are being polite and wanting to put our work above someone else’s, or if it is the idea that because I learned this skill from….(insert blank, mom, grandmother, grandfather, neighbor lady, friend, ect.) that we don’t know if we are actually proficient in the skill. Well to this I am a strong believer that there is no right or wrong in crochet (or any art/hobby medium for that matter). You may not do it the same way as another person, but that is what makes it yours. No brush stroke on a master piece is identical to another, but that is what makes it a master piece.
It is one thing to duplicate a written pattern exactly, and execute each stitch with such precision that the no error can be found; but in honesty, this is a human, free-formish kind of art, and mistakes give character. Now fairs and festivals may judge against others work, and look for precision, but that should never discourage you from entering your work for review. There are some positives to this; some allow the public to be present during the judging- with these you receive immediate feedback about your work, you learn to look at your work more objectively and find ways that you can improve your skills. Another positive is that you encourage others to learn this (or other) hobbies, you help others gain appreciation for the skill, and help yourself to learn the ability to take a compliment.