You're still in the running! Judging a reality knitwear competition

Hi knitters! Have you been following The Fiber Factor? This program from the folks at Skacel Collection is knitting's own reality competition, akin to Project Runway or Top Chef. Knitwear designers from around the country compete in themed challenges such as "Knit Your Life" and "Wearable Art," using materials provided by Skacel. (For those of you who don't know, Skacel manufactures and distributes a lot of yarns, as well as the famous Addi knitting needles, Artfelt, and more). The episodes thus far have consisted of the designers and judges interacting via Google Hangout, using webcams from their homes and offices. But! Challenge 5 is going to be very different. 

Along with yarn shop owner Steven Berg, designer/teacher Amy Detjen, and fellow Interweaver Karin Strom, I was asked to be a guest judge for the newest challenge. I flew into Minneapolis, where Steven's fabulous yarn shop is located in a renovated firehouse. I was ushered upstairs to a room filled with yarn, fiber, knitted items, and professional models, all milling around in platform shoes and leggings. A hair and makeup artist was stationed in one corner. We were getting ready to judge the Challenge 5 designs in a full runway show. Below at left, you'll see the runway being set up in the main show room; and at right, the inimitable Steven Be and me. 

The event was REALLY fun to be involved with. We got to see and touch all 12 designs. We got to see them laid flat and on models. We judged the garments on creativity, workmanship, runway impact, and use of materials. And best of all, the runway and judging portions were professionally filmed (in front of a live audience) and will be broadcast online in the very near future.

These designs were amazing, you guys. This competition really pushes the limits of hand-knitwear, and this challenge did so especially with its theme of Wearable Art. I'm thrilled that my vote for the winner did end up winning this challenge! But I can't reveal who yet. 

Check out the prompt for this episode's challenge in the video below, and check back at The Fiber Factor's website for the fashion show and judging results video. I hope you'll be inspired!

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