Saturday, July 30, 2016

County Fair Entries in 2016

Today was the day the fair entries were turn in for the open class home arts divisions. I reported at 8 am (!) to receive and organize all the canning entries. That went as well as ever and I think I even improved my system again this year. The judges exclaim how organized I am every year. I can't help but wonder how else you would do it. The entries fit into categories and that's how they're judged. What could not be organized about that? I suspect I don't want to know the answer to that.

Anyway, there is always some slack time sitting at the table so I brought along my nine patches to work on. Usually I bring knitting (naturally) and the other ladies always comment on it. Always a little surprising to me since I would assume the ladies helping in "home arts" actually do home arts and shouldn't be surprised by someone knitting, but whatever. I was able to get three squares done so that felt good. (What doesn't feel good are the tips of my fingers! The left one that guides the needle from the back and is essentially continually pricked and the right one that got pierced by the back of the needle too many times before I started using the thimble. Still waiting for my quilting callouses to develop.)

Here is what I rounded up to enter this year:

1. Knitting-Vest, Adult
This was digging deep, considering that I finished it in 2013. But I had never entered it, so I thought "Why not?"

2. Knitting-Socks
This is a new category at our fair. I finally convinced them that they should drop the "knitted blouse" category and add socks which have been super popular for about 10 years now. I didn't see how many entries they had, but I hope I was proven right! (I think having three pair of socks in the miscellaneous category already did that a year or two ago, but I wouldn't mind being proven again.)

These socks are the ones I started in February and just finished working in the ends during our recent trip. I haven't even had a chance to take a proper photo shoot and get a good picture. Once I get them back from the fair I will feel freer to actually put them on my feet.:)

3. Knitting-Hat and Scarf Set
This is also digging a little deep--back to the 2014 Olympic Games. But I think it's the only set that I still own (i.e. didn't give away as a gift) that hasn't already been entered.


4. Knitting-Any Other Article
I have never written about this project before! (I don't even have a picture of the finished scarf.)

I loved the pattern by Olga Buraya-Kefelian and was fascinated with how she achieved the 3D texture. I just couldn't imagine how it was done.

So I bought the pattern and knit it in a sock yarn I had. Like many things, once I saw how she did it, it became the obvious answer. But I still would never have come up with it on my own.

It was an obsessive knit for me so I finished it rather quickly (which is part of why it didn't even get written about). But after I blocked it, I discovered that I chose the wrong yarn--it's too limp and won't hold the shape. Maybe it's superwash; I don't remember noticing.

Anyway, I have worn it a little as a sleeve wrap by tying together the points at the lower edge on each side. That forms the sleeves and the open part in the middle wraps around your back. But the flat, limp texture always displeased me and I planned to ravel it and try the pattern with a different yarn. But I can enter it in the fair in the meantime.

5. Quilting-Wall Hanging, Appliqued (less than 45")
The landscape quilt I just finished. With the longest side about 20", this is a little smaller than most entries in this category, but I already had a quilt in the "mini" category (see below).

Wait til you hear what the judges had to say about this one....

6. Quilting-Mini Quilts (less than 24")
This is another one that I haven't shown on the blog, except maybe in little bits. I've been posting some of it on Instagram, but I just finished the whole piece.

Last weekend I got it in my head to make a fourth improv nine-patch and put them together into a little quilt.

I used some fabric from a scrap bag I purchased on our UP trip and did "big stitch" quilting on it, which I really enjoyed.

I like experimenting with more improvisational piecing and the big stitch quilting. I hope to do more of it.

7. Quilting-Raffle Quilt Block
It's hard to believe I got this one done with so little drama this year!

There were more pieced blocks entered than I thought there would be so there were many "playmates" for my block.

8. Folk Arts Miscellaneous-Recycling
I entered this purse one year in a knitting category. It did not do well.

I decided it was much better suited to the recycling category and decided it was worth re-entering it (which is allowed).

9. Photography-Seascape, color
This is a sunset shot I took in the UP during my first experiments with my new wide angle lens.

I made the mistake of waiting too long and had to print it on my home printer. It did not come out too well--much too dark and orange (in a bad way).

10. Photography-Landscape, black and white.
This was taken at Fernwood Gardens when I went with my mom and niece on mother's day. I converted it to black and white in Photoshop. I think I need some tutoring in conversion techniques. I'm never very happy with the results and the youtube videos I've tried so far haven't helped.

11. Canning-Green Beans
Troy planted a new variety of "skinny" green beans this year and I knew I would have to try to can them at full length in a pint jar.

I got them packed in tight (very important) and they looked good and even, but they came out a little brown. Or the water looked brown and the cut ends all turned brown. Your food has to look appealing to win at the fair, so we'll see.

12. Canning-Tomato Juice
I made up a special jar of juice while canning last year and put it aside so we wouldn't eat it. I choose a pretty jar and make sure the juice is as strained as I can get it, and the jar is as full as I can get it.

13. Canning-Honey
Since we had pint jars of honey, I decided to enter one. There's one person who always enters honey (sometimes in both categories of "strained" and "with comb") and I thought it would be fun to at least challenge. Well, they didn't enter any this year! So it was just me. Wait until you hear how the results of that one turned out!

So those are all my entries. I'll find out all the results on Monday when I supervise the home arts building. I'll share them with you as soon as I get a chance!

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