The Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI) certainly put the work in to get the exhibits for The Royal Highland Show handcrafts section displayed, devoting more than a week of their time to this project that they have been running for the past decade.

The volunteers carefully place every exhibit in the right place and the show goers who turn up annually, certainly appreciate the work involved in creating these painstakingly accurate exhibits and the work of the SWI.

Taking the top spot for the first time was Tzipporah Johnston, of Edinburgh, with a stunningly detailed knitted doll based on the theme of guys and dolls. It proved a hit with the show goers that were peering closely at it, really interested in the intricacies of the work.

Tzipporah commented: “I worked on Glikl Gleuckel (the doll is based on a historical diarist) from about January to May, it took so long because I was making up the pattern as I went along so there was a lot of experimental knitting, ripping back, and re-knitting. I probably would have continued fiddling with it up until the deadline but my Mum declared a moratorium on me working on her because she knew I'd never be finished.

For Tzipporah, knitting is just a hobby, so far the only other place she has shown her work is at the Midlothian SWI where she is a member. Last year she entered a black grouse hat and mitten to the Highland Show and was delighted to win the Edinburgh Knitting and Crochet Guild Perpetual Challenge Trophy.

Rahter unusually, the winner of the stick and crooks competition took the reserve overall handcrafts title. Dane Love, of Cumnock, in Ayrshire, won the crooks and stick section for the 14th time. This year his stick was the winning entry for the fancy horn head walking stick made from a ram’s horn with a hazel shank. A beautifully crafted thistle adorns the handle of the stick. Dane is a long-term exhibitor at the show, his first time being 1980, he has picked up 12 first place prizes for the four sticks class. A member of the Scottish Crookmmaker’s Association and the British Stickmaker’s Guild and he shows at shows up and down Britain, he says: “I’m learning all the time, and I’m still waiting to make a good one.”

Dane also picked up the red rosette for the four sticks category, which has his winning entries from the plain wood head neck crook, the fancy horn head neck crook and the plain wood walking stick as well as the reserve overall entry. Looking at the winning score sheet Mr Love has more than 10 firsts to add to his tally. The ladies of the SWI were delighted to receive around 40% more entries in the crooks competition than previously, with the numbers of entries across the board being up by around 100, which is encouraging.