What third place in a knitting contest taught me about judgement

You know how it goes.

Yes, even if you’ve never entered a competition in your life. Maybe you’ve watched one, like ‘The Great British Bake Off’ or ‘Project Runway’.

That end-product you entered that you thought was great? Something else was better. Someone else tells you so.

In my case it was a third place certificate in a village knitting contest. Yes, I entered one once. It was even for the village fair! How trad can you get?

I was beaten by (if I recall correctly), a baby jumper. I had made a lace shawl. A simple one (the Tuscany Shawl by Amy Singer, since you ask), but still, a lot of work.

Of course I was disappointed to come in third. But the important thing is, it was still a good finished piece. It was still pretty. The work was still the work. Sure, I could have started telling myself that this was proof I wasn’t as good as other people.

But I didn’t.

You have to be very careful about whose judgements you pay attention to. Whether it’s judgement of something you’ve made, or of your abilities, or, well, anything.

Even if a person knows the subject, even if they have more experience than you- it doesn’t mean they know YOU. And it doesn’t mean they’re using the same criteria you would.

So don’t beat yourself up.