Friday, 31 August 2018

2018 results

2018 results

Above is a link to my results for 2018.  The yellow highlighted lines are the ones that I have not won a 1st place in since 2016 when I started keeping track.  It is just my incentive to try harder and improve my own work.

For those that like summaries, I have 13 1st places, 12 seconds, 3 thirds and 3 entries with nothing.  90% of my entries won a ribbon.

I was not the only one who entered multiple Christmas entries in the various categories.  I have never seen so many Christmas quilts.  I hope to be taking some photos today of the needle crafts to show you.

A, if you are reading this get to the Fair.  You are going to love it!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Out of My Hands

I have a recurring fear that something is going to happen and I won't be able to get my entries to the Fair in time.  A year's work wasted.  To ease my fear, I arranged to have the day off work.  My plan was to check all my entries, ensure I had them all and do any finishing necessary.  I was going to be at the fairgrounds by early afternoon.  I would be relaxed and there in plenty of time.  I would be organized.  If only. Instead, yesterday felt like my fears were coming true.

I woke at 5:30am and wove the ends in on the last entry.  I was going to take a picture but it was still dark out.

One of the rules of the fair is to have a sample of the yarns used for each entry attached to that entry.  I keep the yarn samples I need in envelopes for each project so I have them available to attach to the entries when I deliver them to the fair.  I counted the envelopes.  There were 32.  I had put 31 entries on the entry form.  I started going through the envelopes to see if I had forgotten to list an item on the entry form.  I was a quarter of the way through when I realized I had two envelopes for one entry.  Problem resolved.

I updated my spreadsheet tracking my projects' progress.  The computer where I have the spreadsheet is not connected to a printer and I do not have a wireless printer at home.  I had to figure out how to convert the spreadsheet to a pdf file and email it to myself.  I could then access the email on gmail from a different computer hooked up to an ancient printer.  I printed the list of completed projects so I could check off each entry as I packed it to take to Harrow.

I walked the dogs.  Harley was showing signs of difficulty getting up stairs and jumping onto furniture.  I called the vet and made an appointment for him.

I went to a funeral.

I came home to find the dogs had peed in the kitchen while I was out.  I cleaned up.

I made myself lunch.

I started putting the yarn samples on safety pins.  I had so many projects with red, white, green and black yarns I had to come up with some way of organizing the yarn samples so the right sample went with the right project.  I pined each pin with yarn to the printout of the completed entries.  I started but could not finish before it was time to go to the vet's office with Harley.

Harley got checked out.  He is fine.  We came home with some pain meds and he is doing better.

My brother called to wish me happy birthday.  He said he  sent me a package.  After the call I checked for mail delivery and found the box from my brother on the porch.  Of course I had to open it (a jigsaw puzzle).  I texted him my thanks.

I finished pinning the yarn samples.  I had two more envelopes than I had entries on my print out. Another reconciliation later; I had missed updating the spreadsheet for two entries.  I wrote those two down on the printout by hand.

I cleaned out a laundry basket and started packing up the entries.  I put them into the basket in order of entry number.  I checked off each from the printout as I put them into the basket.  I pinned booties together and booties to hats.  I pinned socks together.  I pinned whatever I needed to pin to keep entry parts together.

I put the  basket in the car.  It looked like rain.  I put a garbage bag in the car to cover the basket in case it rained.  I grabbed my purse, texted Hubby to say I was heading to Harrow.  I texted my boss to thank her for the birthday wish text.

I was half way to Harrow when I remembered I had forgotten the stand for the doll.  The entry is not acceptable without it.  I turned around and came home. 

By now it was close to the time Hubby normally gets home.  I called and texted and called again to say I came home for the stand.  Since he would be home shortly he could come with me to Harrow and help me with the entries.  I put the stand in the car.

I fed the dogs and gave Harley his pain medication.

It felt like forever before Hubby came home (it was 10 minutes).

We got to Harrow just after 6.  There was no line up for the tickets for the entries.  There was no line up to drop off the entries.  Hubby and I spent close to 1/2 hour  attaching the tickets and yarn samples to the entries.  I organized the tickets and matched them to the entries.  He undid the pins from the printout and handed them to me.  Since I had them pinned to the sheet in the order of the entry numbers (except for the two I hand wrote on the list) he was able to find each one as I needed it.  Since I had packed the basket in order of entry number we looked like a well organized team.  I had 31 entries.  There were 31 pre-printed tickets.  My fears dissapated.

We went out to dinner.  Happy birthday.

Here are the pictures of the last entries finished.

I finished the vest.  There is a pocket inside to hold the battery pack for the lights.

I finished the shawl.

Knit up a pincushion.

I somehow missed taking a picture of the finished item.  Here it is in progress.

I finished the cowl.

Again I missed taking a picture of the finished item.  I meant to when I tied in the ends.  But it was still dark out and I thought I could do it later.  The day got away from me and it was packed in the basket before I remembered the picture.  I was afraid to unpack the basket and find it.  I had visions of arriving in Harrow having left an entry behind or the entries were so mixed up we could not match the items with the tickets.

I finished the reindeer.

This was one of the earliest entries I knit.  The reindeer has been knit for months and months and not assembled.  It took me a full day to finish the assembly and make the scarf.  But he is done and is delightful.

I made something beaded.

I finished the poncho.  I knit this last September.  I forgot about it and all I needed to do to complete it was cast off and sew a short seam.  The original plan was to make it and wear it last winter. It wasn't even planned as an entry.  Since I didn't finish or wear it then, I finished it now and added it to the entries.

*  *  *
If you have a doll phobia stop here.

*  *  *

Here is my entry for a dressed doll on a stand.

It is Barbie on a shelf elf outfit.  I used an existing pattern for the dress and pants (with modifications of course) and made up the collar, hat and boots myself.  Hubby made the stand for me out of trophy parts.

I am writing this entry to keep me from pacing, fretting and otherwise driving myself crazy until I can go to the fair tonight to get the judging results.  It is not working.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Statistics and Deadlines

The Harrow Fair entry form has to be into the fair office by 8pm on Saturday August 25.  My plan is to head down to Harrow tomorrow afternoon to hand in my entry form and pay my membership fee. 

I have filled out the form and have 31 entries listed.  Of those, 23 are fully completed, 3 have not yet been cast on, 3 are still on the needles and 2 are cast off but need to be assembled and the finishing completed.  I have 10 days before the entries must be delivered to the fair grounds.

Since last week's post I have finished these.

I started and finished these.

Preemie hat and booties made with James C. Brett Baby Shimmer D.K. 90% acrylic and 10% viscose.  I can't tell you what the pattern is.  It is something I photocopied  many years ago and it just says hat and booties.  There is not even a picture.  I didn't photocopy the pattern well either.  The first three sentences on the top of each page were missing so I had to wing it.

I started this on the bus to Listowel.

It is a small shawl in DK weight.  The yarn is Truffles, 80% wool and 20% cashmere.  It has been in my stash for a while so I don't know if the yarn still exists in the outside world.   The pattern is Bellis and I have knit it before.

Here is what I picked up at the Spinrite tent sale.

This from the outlet store in Listowel.

More photos from Listowel.

Those are empty boxes spilling out from the tent.

We stopped at Mary Maxim's in London and I brought these home with me.

The Listowel purchases went under the bus.  The rest came inside with me.  I used the seat belt to keep things from flying around.

I started this after getting home.

I am going to leave you with pictures of my garden and dogs to keep you amused while I go back to my comfy chair and knit like mad.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Almost Time

The Harrow Fair entries have to be in to the fair on August 29.  That is only 17 days away.  So far I have 24 entries.  21 are completed, one is in knitting progress and 2 still need the finishing touches.  I have a list of 6 items I would still like to make.  If I don't, the world is not going to end.  There is always next year.  I have loaded my file for the entries here.

I completed a non-entry.

Paton's Kroy in Camo Colors, my sock recipe.  I just had to complete my "take everywhere"  socks  as I needed the needles for this.

I started a pair of children's socks.  I am making it up as I go.  Here is a close up of the patterning.

In keeping with the Christmas theme I am adding evergreen trees to both the front and back.

I made myself felted slippers earlier so I made children's slippers for the slipper category.  They are green

to keep with the fair theme.  I also have pooches on my mind (see below).

The design is from one of my favourite pattern books for children and babies.  Cutest Ever Baby Knits by Val Pierce.  I have knit a number of the patterns in this book. My only complaint is that each pattern is only one size. 

These are also from the same book.

I started this Christmas Theme item below way back soon after the 2017 fair ended.  It stalled as I tried to decide what to put on it.  I recently decided it is done.  My friend A. agrees.  There is no pattern.  I just kept using patterns I had for the various components except the ring cover.  That I made up to fit the styrofoam ring I bought at Michael's.

It is done.

The little guy in the background is Hamlet.  He is the latest addition to our family. 

He is a cairn Terrier 9 going on 10 years old.  He is a rescue from the Ontario and Eastern Region of the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada.  He and Harley are getting along fine although there are times they are still working it out.  (Sometimes it means that they are peeing it out - males!!!).  It helps that Hamlet is a go with the flow kind of guy.

I am delighted with this baby blanket.

I could not find a pattern for what I wanted to make.  Instead I found this pattern for a wall hanging and added rows to the bottom and top and stitches to each side.  Somehow I halved the rows needed for the top and bottom twice and blanket was coming out wider than tall.  I had lunch with my friend A.  I was outlining my options for fixing this near fatal mistake.  I did not want to have to rip back and start over.  I was thinking of cutting off the garter stitch bottom border and picking up stitches to add rows going down.  A. suggested I simply add more sky and more snowflakes to that sky.  So I went home, charted it out and added sky.  The blanket came out square more or less which is just fine.

The yarn was a special purchase at Mary Maxim's a couple of years ago.  It is their Mary Maxim Baby DK Sport, 55% acrylic and 45% polyamide in white.

This baby will be winging its way to New Brunswick after the fair to warm my great grand baby.  I became a great grandmother as of a few hours ago.  Its a boy, no name given yet.

I have wanted to make this one for many years now.  It is a vest.

Under the tree is a pocket for the battery pack for the lights.  They light up!  I found a chart for the tree on a pattern for some other sweater I found at Len's Mill Store in London.  The presents are from a chart in one of my stitch pattern books.  I used a basic vest pattern also picked up at Len's Mill Store with some modifications.  My friend A. is getting this after the fair.  She has been my Christmas consultant for the last year and her enthusiasm for this theme has kept me going.  She has chosen the decorations to be added to the tree.  It is one of my works that still needs to be finished.

All the yarn is Paton's Classic Wool Superwash DK although some is their former discontinued same yarn different name from my stash.

I am heading to the Listowel tent sale on Thursday on a bus trip.  I always think of a trip to Listowel to the Spinrite factory outlet as a yarn orgy.  It is so much fun at the time.  Afterwards you feel a bit sick.  The only thought running through your head as you try to find space to store it all is, "What was I thinking?"  I can't wait!

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Catching Up

It has been a long time since I posted.  My busy season at work hit and I was working 7 days a week until the end of April.  Any free time was for napping and knitting.

I went to part-time in May but ended up sleeping my days away and trying to catch up on bills, gardening and appointments.  I found I wanted to knit more than write about it.  June pretty much followed the pattern set in July.

I took some time to fly to Baltimore to visit my brother.  I spent most of the time sleeping.  He came down with a cold and wanted to sleep.  Suited me fine as that is exactly what I wanted to do too.

Hubby and I welcomed Harley into our lives.  He is nine years old and is a mixed breed.  I mixture of what we can only guess at.  His personality is all terrier.

We are still getting to know each other.  We have given him two nicknames so far.  Squirt and Mr. Crankypants.  Only he knows what he calls us.

The problem with taking this much time between posts is that I can't remember what items I have posted about.  I have put items away in the drawer and don't know if I took photos first or blogged about it.

I will try and catch up.

The dishcloth category:

This was a pattern on the Lily Sugar'n Cream website.  Too bad for them I used Bernat Handicrafter.  I swear everytime I made a trip to the city, I stopped at Michaels for more of this cotton.  I was having brain farts and could not remember what colours I needed so I would pick up different colours.  I have enough yarn for this category for the next few years now.

The fingering weight shawl category:

The pattern is Rayna.  It uses one skein of fingering weight yarn, approximately 400 yards.  I used a skein of Yarn Indulgences, yarn from and indie dyer, I picked up in Picton.  Oh yeah, in May my friend C and I went to the Picton Fibre Fest.  We spent the weekend in Picton in a house we rented and had just a lovely time.  I got a lot of sleep including an afternoon nap on Saturday.

I find I like to wear a small shawl to work rather than jewellery and this shawl is a perfect size for that.

The felted category:

These are elf slippers from the Patons book Next Steps Four.  Ignore the price at Amazon.  This booklet is widely available.  I think is is $6.99 at Len's Mill Store.  I used Patons Classic Wool from my stash.  I made the extra large size and ran it through my washing machine twice to make sure the fabric was fully felted.  These are for me.  I wore out my last pair this spring.

The Single Baby item category:

I am expecting a great grandson at the end of July, beginning of August.  This pattern is the jacket on the cover of a King Cole booklet 623 I have had for years.  I can't find a link for this booklet and I put the booklet away and can't find it either!  I used Patons Classic Superwash DK in Denim for this project.  I went to visit my Mom the first week in July.  We seached all over Niagara Falls and St. Catharines looking for the right buttons.  I found them at Len's Mill Store in London on my way home.

Novelty Yarn category:

This is the Jewel Wrap.  It is a triangle shawl.  I picked up the pattern and yarn as a kit at the Picton Fibre Fest.  It was a quick knit.  Again I plan to wear this in place of jewellery.  I also plan to knit more from similar yarn in my stash.

The Child's Vest category:

I am quite proud of this little number.  I used a basic vest pattern from Little Sweet Peas published by Sirdar.  I added the tree from a chart I found on Ravelry.  I finished it off with various buttons I had acquired along the way and some jingle bells I had in my sewing supplies.

The yarn is more of the Paton's Classic Superwash DK.

I may have missed some projects.  I know I knit some socks along the way.  I suspect I gave them away before I got out my camera.

Current project:

I plan to send this one to the great grand baby after the fair.

I found a pattern for a wall hanging for a tree.  I took the pattern and worked out how to add extra width and length for a baby blanket.  I am using Mary Maxim DK.  The yarn is 100% acrylic.  The colour is Aran but my camera wants to make it blue.  I am 3/4 done.  I keep knitting on it instead of working on other things I should be doing.

Oh I did forget one project that is finished.  The novelty purse category:

The purse is a mixture of patterns I put together.  The yarn is Patons Country Garden superwash DK (alas, now discontinued) and Patons Classic Superwash DK.  The bag is lined with cotton from the Sewing Store in Essex.

Hopefully I will have an epiphany on what to write about next week while I am walking Harley.