When I missed my 20th high-school reunion a few years ago, I regretted not getting to see a couple of long-lost friends, but I still got to see what everyone looks like now, from the comfort of my own chair, as hundreds of photos were uploaded to the Internet. As I sat in my same chair recently, bemoaning the fact that I’m not en route to Rhinebeck NY this week for the famous NYS Sheep & Wool Festival, it occurred to me I could still potentially see alllllll the Rhinebeck Sweaters if I played my cards right, thanks to a little thing called Instagram.
By “play my cards right,” I mean bribe people with fabulous prizes. And if you’re not attending, there’s a potential prize for you too — keep reading!
Of course, lots of Rhinebeck sweaters will presumably be posted to Instagram without my encouragement. But so eager am I to see and applaud as many as possible (and I know I’m far from alone) that I’ve decided to host a little contest. It’ll be sort of like county fair judging but from 2,942 miles away. Also, I’ll be the only judge, and I have no idea how county fair judging works, so really it’ll just be me picking my favorites. A few details and pointers:
- You must be at Rhinebeck this weekend with a sweater you knitted or crocheted yourself, by hand. Please, no cheating.
- The contest is open to professionals and amateurs alike.
- You may have a friend take your picture or model the sweater for you, or you can spread it lovingly on the ground to take your shot, but the prize goes to the knitter of the garment, regardless of who is wearing it. If you and two friends are all wearing sweaters you knitted/crocheted, you may enter all three.
- Sweaters will be judged on style, use of color, choice of yarn, etc.
- You needn’t have designed the sweater yourself, although that counts for something, but so does anything you’ve done to make it your own — from modifications to yarn substitutions to how well you wear it.
- This isn’t so much about what I like or would make/wear, but about your personality and how that’s reflected in your sweater, your ensemble, and your photo.
- Photo quality counts. Make sure your photo is in focus, shot in natural light, without a flash. And if it’s a sunny day, do your shooting in the morning or late afternoon while the sun is low in the sky and illuminating your sweater from an angle, not from straight overhead.
- I’d love to see it from multiple angles, so feel free to post more than one shot per sweater.
To enter the sweater competition, simply post your photo(s) to Instagram [UPDATE: and/or Twitter] with the hashtag #rhinebeck4fringe. (As well as @karentempler #rhinebeck #rhinebecksweater #sheepandwool and any other tags you might like.) In your caption, tell me whatever you’d want us all to know about the sweater — who designed it, what’s the yarn, why this sweater, what do you love about it, etc. Use of the #rhinebeck4fringe hashtag will constitute your intent to participate in the contest and permission for me to republish your photos here on Fringe Association.
I’ll pore over all of the entries, make my pick(s), and announce the winner(s) here next week. (I’m allowing for the possibility of runners up, you see.) The “blue ribbon” winner will get everything seen in the photo above, some of my favorite things from Fringe Supply Co: A large Bento Bag in slate ticking, a Large Wrapper tool pouch in rust, Japanese thread snips, a wooden gauge ruler, black rubber stitch markers and antiqued brass removable stitch markers — a $101 value.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
For everyone else who’s stuck at home but excited about the possibility of seeing all the sweaters, I need your help spreading the word, to ensure that we’ll have plenty of sweaters to gawk at! So I’m offering a prize for that as well. You can enter the word-spreading contest by doing one or more of the following:
1) Copy this into a tweet: “Show us your Rhinebeck sweater; win fabulous prizes! Details at http://fringeassociation.com/2013/10/17/show-me-your-rhinebeck-sweater-win-fabulous-prizes/ ” and then leave a comment here with your Twitter ID.
2) Click the Pinterest button just beneath this post and pin the image above to your account, then leave a comment here with your Pinterest ID.
3) Follow me on Instagram, hit Like on my post there about this (when it appears today), and leave a comment here with your Instagram ID.
To do all three is to be entered three times. I’ll pick one name at random from all of the qualified comments and that person will win a Large Wrapper pouch in tan!
Sound like fun?
I also want to tip my hat to Cal Patch, whose roving report on the sweater landscape from 2011 was part of the inspiration for this.
OK, bring on the sweaters!