Friday, August 24, 2012

All's Fair Love and Knitting

The summer isn't officially gone -- in fact it is supposed to get up to 90F today -- but the kids are back in school, and, for all intents and purposes, it is Fall.  For me, that means a return to the disciplines that slowly fell off throughout the summer.  One of those disciplines is blogging.

Today I catch up with information on the State Fair.

the famous midway

Mom makes a new friend

Indiana's State Fair is, in fact, the sixth oldest in the States.  Founded in 1851, it culminated in 2011 when I won Sweepstakes in Knitting and Crochet.  Well, maybe that culmination was just for me.  Yeah.  Pretty sure that's what it was.

This year, I entered 8 or 9 pieces, all in various knitting categories.  I won four blue ribbons and two honorary mention ribbons.  My mom was with me when I viewed the judged pieces, though, and knows how disappointed I was, NOT because I won those prizes, but because my darlings, my best knitted piece, got no recognition whatsoever.

I wandered from glass case to glass case looking for my mittens, wondering if they were hard to find because they had won something or other.  Finally, I located them, shoved to the back of the display case, covered in their own entry tag with no happy ribbon.  I think they were crying.  One thing that bucked me up a bit, though, is that while I stood there I noticed two more ladies at that case looking at  displays.  One lady was focusing in her camera and taking pictures -- of my mittens.  Very gratifying that at least someone else thought they were interesting.

Mom and I also attended a very interesting presentation by Shelly Miller Leer of ModHomeEc on upholstery.  She teaches classes in Indi and writes for the newspaper.  In her presentation she took us through converting an electrical spool into a really cute and mod ottoman.  I have two chairs that need recovering, and she gave me a bit of hope that it is possible, and a bit of knowledge as to how to tackle them.

the upholstery talk

Well, this Monday was fair pick-up, and I gathered my chicks together once more.  The lady was so kind who led me around from glass case to glass case collecting the knitted goods.  We started out getting Mr. Grumpy Pants.  She laughed as she pulled them out, with their honorary red/white/blue ribbon.  "Look at these," I said, regarding my next pick-up, my white baby lace layette, "they didn't earn anything.  Don't you think they're pretty?" I demanded.  Well, of course, she did.  I must have done some other complaining, because by the time we collected the fourth ribbon she said, "Another one?  I really don't think you have much to complain about! ...Another one?  ...Another one?"  Oops.  Maybe I didn't, but as a mother bear to my mittens, I did feel a mite bit protective of them.

I glanced at the judges notes as I left.  Some made me furious.  Two of the criticisms I completely agree with.  The last one I opened pacified my heart.  It seems my Estonian Lace scarf made tops in the knitted goods, but lost for Sweepstakes to a nicely crocheted afghan.  On the way out of the grounds, one of the State Fair Cows wanted to experience the beauty that is Prince George's shawl: 

this picture says it all

Thanks, Indiana State Fair, for another good show, and another reason to hit the needles hard for next year!

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