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Jumpers and Jazz in July 2019 – Ebi Fry – Out of My Mind Crochet

There's a chill in the air. It's July, which that means it's time for the Jumpers and Jazz in July festival! Last year as I was stitching on my tree jumper had an idea of what to make for this year's jumper: sushi. I have come to realise that this was somewhat cheeky and obvious. If you consider that my jumper last year was a giant pink squid! I did, in fact, make some calamari to include in my installation but I held on to it as it didn't quite work. On installation day, I packed up my truck with all my pieces and tools and headed to the hills. I got on the road much later than I had planned. It wasn't too bad though, as the sun was shining bright and it was quite warm. It would have been good to have an offsider as I did struggle a bit with attaching the underlying foam... and then there was the fit issue. Oh, my goodness! I had some work to do to make the jumper fit. I'm not sure if my calculations were out, or if my tree has out on some weight! I very nearly had a tantrum, ripped it all of, packed it up and drove away. But that's not what I do. I persevered and came up with a plan and made some massive changes. My very friend Nick wandered up for a chat at just the right time. He was put to work holding things in place while I stitched bits together. It's all part of making something custom-fit an object that lives 2 hours drive away. It is the first time I can remember having to make such an adjustment in my history of making tree jumpers for Jumper and Jazz!

As I completed the sewing up, and I stepped back to see how it looked, I was close to tears. It looked nothing like it was supposed to in my head. I didn't want to take any photos as I was embarrassed by what I had put up. I was very disappointed with myself. AS I walked my gear back to the truck, I comforted myself with thoughts of "you can't make it great every year" and "you had to have a fail one time." This was the time. Friends assured me that it looked great; that I was overreacting and that I was too critical of myself. I hear their words, but I didn't agree. It wasn't a ploy to garner appreciation. I was 100% ashamed and hoped no one would look at it.

Touring the jumpers the next day and viewing the beautiful pieces just added to my woes and feelings of failure. It is true that an artist is their own toughest critic. Fast forward to Saturday >>> I had completely forgotten about judging. I received an SMS from my friend Helen. I could scarcely believe what I had read. Our friend Sarah had won the Open Artistic Section. Helen had been named Hall of Fame inductee, Narelle Mercer had taken out the Connect Theme Section, and that I had won the Excellence in Knitting and/or Crochet Section!!! I still cannot fathom this result. Thank you to this year's judges - whoever you are. Thank you for not seeing the flaws I see.

While I am dishing out thank yous, a huge thank you to those of you who have sent me photos of your interactions with Ebi Fry. I cannot express how much I love to see them. It truly makes me happy :^)

This year I have another installation in AOK Clothing on Palmerin Street. I have included 2018 and 2017 jumpers 'Squink' and 'Sherbert', as well as my unselected WOW entry from 2017 'BoBo'. If you're touring the jumpers, please make sure you stop by and have a look.

Cheers to perseverance!