Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back from the Fair

The past few weeks have been so busy for our household, I wasn't sure if we'd make it to the state fair or not. I mailed some entries off (cheaper than driving up) and arranged to have the helpful clerks at the fair mail my things back after the fair (ditto previous reason.) There's so much to see and do at the fair, one can't really go up and do everything in a day ... so should one even try?

Mom decided that yes, we would go to the fair. And no, we wouldn't try and do everything. The goal for us is to make it from the gate where the buses drop you off to the Creative Activities building, and back to the gate, without killing her. Her knee doesn't always cooperate with walking, but she survived today quite well and is home recuperating for Thursday's shopping trip.

One of our first main stops (after the fish pond) was the Butterfly House. The butterflies loved Filia. She's only got 9 on her in this photo, but had 11 at one point. The butterflies are gorgeous, and do a nice job of tickling the fingers and wrists when they land. I was wearing blue, and only had two butterflies at any one time. Filius enjoyed watching them, but one on a finger was plenty for him.

After the Butterfly House, we meandered up to the Creative Activities building. The amount of gorgeous knitting in that building is amazing. Rachel and her camera had a better time of it than I did, so I'm going to use some of her photos (with permission.) There was a gorgeous Intarsia sweater (which you can see on her blog), and a gorgeous modular blanket made by Shelly and right in front of the blanket, there was even a person who looked like Shelly! (It's amazing what you can learn from reading about the fair in the MN Knitters group on Ravlery) I inquired if she were indeed that Famous Shelly, and she replied that she was. I introduced myself as the not-so-famous Carolyn

and we proceeded to have a lovely chat. The pdf of fair results really makes for a smaller knitting world. It's not just the garments, the glass cases, and you ... there are NAMES that go with the items (even if you generally have no idea what name goes with which piece of gorgeosity) and so you can put 'tags' on at leas three or four people who have entered the same category you have, and you realize that if you have four categories in common with someone else (who has to place in those categories for her to cross your long-distance 'pdf radar') you probably have some good common knitting ground.

And whoever met knitters that weren't delighted to chat with other knitters? (Yes, you in the back. Save your story for later.) Anyways, I had a nice chat with Shelly, and then the back of my mind remembered reading something about the Yarn Harlot asking people to bury a certain knitter in leftover sock yarn for a blanket ... and yes, that was Shelly. Wow. I shook hands with a Really Famous Person. I think I have enough sock yarn to knit the blanket on my own ... but it wouldn't have so many pretty colors. Maybe.

Dangling from mid-air, a display case away, was a familiar looking pair of gloves. In all, I found 8 of my 9 entries. The first one we saw, the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole, was being heartily admired by a friendly woman. I told her it belonged to my mom, and we had a nice chat with her. My twisted mittens were the next to be spotted, with a pretty pink 4th place ribbon on them. The twisted hat merited a 1st place ribbon. Next on our route was the white stole, and then? Then began the hunt. There were four more items to find, and one of them had a ribbon on it. Somewhere, somehow, it had to be displayed. Right?

Almost. I found my Latvian mittens in a case far remote from the front wall, and my Rovaniemi mittens not that far from them. But I just could Not Spot two scarves. And one of them had a ribbon on it. So, I went back to the front to see what I could see.

I saw .... a Mystery. I had entered a scarf of Rowan KidSilk Haze in the mediumweight scarf category, and placed 3rd. I had entered a scarf of purple handspun in the lightweight scarf category, and didn't place. But what did my eyes see? A very familiar purple handspun scarf, with a 3rd place ribbon on it!

My best guess is the judges decided my handspun was more medium than lightweight, and moved it from a fingering-weight into a sport-weight category. The full tale will have to wait until I get my box back. But wow ... I placed, in a Very Competitive Category, with my wimpy handspun!!!

But in real life: I need to get some pictures taken of what I've been up to. Celestine Btoroj is done, the cable legwarmers have nearly every inch of 4 skeins used up and are waiting for me to order a 5th so I can finish the last 3 inches, and I'm working on another pair of Christmas socks. Mom and I are starting to plan next year's knitting. It's a good time to do that when you're inspired by gorgeous fair entries. Her sweater is going to be an Icelandic Yoke type, but in a fingering/sport weight yarn. Light blueish, with ??? for the yoke. And me? I need to get some more mittens going before I decide to start in on the Knit From Your Shelf a few months early.

Knitting in America is now on the shelf. Yum!!!!


MagistraCarminae said...

Congrats on the blue ribbons! Beautiful stuff! ANd also a beautiful, rather grown-up-looking filia!


Shelly Kang said...

Hi, Carolyn! It was a pleasure to get to meet you today. I really admire your work, and hope to see you around again some time.

Denise said...

Oh how fun. To knit together, and live in a community of knitters that suddenly envelopes the whole world. It is a very cool time to be a knitter, I think.

Your entries and your congratulatories are lovely. I knew that purple handspun was special.

: )

Theresa said...

Congratulations on your ribbons! That lace is gorgeous!

Shan said...

I must have missed this post, somehow...well done on the fair entries! It sounds like fun. We don't have those kind of events here in Canada...at least not where I live. I don't know if we have them at all.

Congratulations on all your ribbons!