County Fair Knitting

July - time to start dreaming about this year's county fair. After I had been knitting a few years I decided on a whim to enter a project in the fair.  It didn't cost anything and there were no prizes, just ribbons.  So I took my most prized creation, a lace weight lace shawl with over 2,500 beads and entered it.  It wasn't perfect, but I was proud of it.  And it won a blue ribbon.

From there the beast within me was awakened.  The following year I had to "top" that entry and do something different, and possibly for multiple categories.

 The next year I entered another lace shawl - a big huge shawl made from handspun Alpaca that I picked up at the fair the year prior.  I thought it had a nice, sentimental aspect, using yarn from a vendor at the same fair.  And I was tickled to see it take a first place ribbon.

The same year I entered a garment - this cardigan.  I love this sweater and wear it regularly to this day.  It took a second place, rightfully so, to a fabulously cabled sweater that was simply stunning.  But clearly the die had been cast, I was already plotting the next year's entries as I picked up these to bring home.

Year three of entries found me working on a epic filigree lace piece with a dragon motif, and a sweater to try to take that category.  I loved working on the Dragon lace - although it ended up being a rather useless piece except for a display.  Too delicate to be considered safe to wear and too big to be a statement wall hanging or framed art, it currently resides folded in a drawer until I can figure out what to do with it.

The sweater did successfully take top honors for the category that year, and as a first pass tee shirt style sweater it was wearable and had some fun  features like the eyelets on the bodice, the waved hem, and the curled sleeves.  But I hated it on me - it just didn't work for my body and so it too sits unloved.

 The following year I got back to my roots and pushed myself with a Herbert Niebling inspired lace piece with beads.  I love this work and still return to it as one of my best efforts.  I couldn't have been prouder when it took first place.
But I was in the habit of entering two pieces and I just learned how to knit socks, so in the entry went one of my first pairs of socks.  Victory!  Another work I still love and wear - these socks make me happy every time I put them on.

Last, but not least was my previous year's entry and my piece de resistance.  This is the cover shawl and probably the best surprise I could have ever gotten.  When I walked in to see the display and check on my work I was stunned to see that I had taken best in show!!!  Never in a million years would I have expected that.

There were other pieces entered that did take some ribbons, but sadly I neglected them in my excitement about this one.  So my poor neglected entries and ribbons have gone unrecorded.  Which is pretty funny when you think that it's just a silly ribbon.

But . . .  now I have to try and top myself this year, and I do think I will fall short, but I promise you I have some tricks up my sleeve.