If there's one thing I know for certain about myself, it's that I don't handle constructive criticism well. At all. I hate feeling like anyone is judging me, probably because I'm perfectly capable of judging myself.
That fact alone renders it completely ludicrous that I enter my needlework projects into the fair every year. I spend months working on these projects, hours and hours of knitting, and then I put them out there for all the world (well, okay, the county) to judge.
I entered five projects this year. As I was filling out the paperwork and attaching my little tags to the projects, I'm pretty sure I came this close to having a heart attack. Or at least a nervous breakdown.
I realize this is ridiculous. For Heaven's sake, it's the county fair. And yet still, I'll now sit for three days with a mix of dread and anticipation as I wait to see how my hard work is judged, to see what little notes the judges write on the backs of my tags. I have this horrible vision of reading "Wow, you really kind of suck" on a tag, and crawling into a hole somewhere to cry.
I haven't yet figured out why I torture myself this way, and yet I keep going back, year after year.
If you're a knitter and you haven't read Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, you should. One of them wrote a piece on entering a project in the fair, and she does a beautiful job of summing up the stress and the excitement. It made me laugh out loud as I identified with every sentence she wrote.