Monday, 5 September 2016

It is Over

The Fair is over.

I will tell you and show you the results, but first a few thoughts.  This past year was a challenge for me.  I met the challenge and entered 42 items in the fair.  I think I am still too tired from crossing the finish line and attending the fair to decide if I am happy or not.  My first thought after handing in my entries was what do I do next.

So I cast on a sock.

Patons Kroy sock yarn in a discontinued colourway.  Hubby brought it back from Listowel for me last year.

The writing of this blog for the past year was part of the challenge of making the entries.  I am trying to decide if I am going to continue writing here.  I know I will continue making entries for the next Fair but don't plan on entering every knitting category I can.  At least not until I am actually fully retired!  If you have been reading this blog and think you would enjoy continuing to read about my thoughts, my life and my knitting, please add a comment, send me an email or contact me in person.

My mother and I are going on a trip together to Newfoundland next week so I will have a break to think about what challenge I want to give myself for the 2017 fair and whether there is any interest from you my dear readers in this blog.

To my faithful friends, Msmaltesecross, LaurieM, SVB who made a point of commenting regularly, I thank you. My friend Amanda sent me regular emails to comment on my posts.  I am grateful. Your comments let me know there were readers out there.  I would also like to thank the ladies of the Essex County Library Knitters Group.  I can only attend irregularly but they treat me like a regular member.  The ladies commented through Ravelry and in person and your support was much appreciated.  I thank the other readers out there.   Some of you I know.  I also read blogs but rarely comment.  Most of all I want to thank Hubby.  He thinks I am crazy for what I have done this past year but throughout it all, he supported me and helped out whenever and however he could.

But for now, back to the Fair.  I volunteered in the Needle Arts building answering questions but mainly telling people not to touch the exhibits.  There was so much to see in the Needle Arts building.  I swear, each time I went in, I saw something I hadn't seen before.  Here are a few pictures.

This post is photo heavy and some contain dolls.

One couple wandered down the knitting isle.  The gentleman went down the row saying my name out loud as he read the tags with the red ribbons.  He turned to ask me a question then said,"I sure would like to meet Mary Jane ...".  I held out my hand and said my name.  He was impressed with my work and really liked the vest I made for Cody.

I talked with some of the volunteers who helped the judge with the entries.  Apparently, after judging a few of the categories, the judge recognized  each of my entries in the subsequent categories.  The assistants quickly had my exhibitor number memorized too.  The general consensus among the volunteers was the judge was very good and most agreed with her choices.

My mother and brother came to see my exhibits.  Both were impressed with the Fair itself.  We toured the exhibits and stuffed ourselves with fair food.

I introduced my brother to one of the volunteers and said that the man's sweater was for him.  She said,"That explains why it is so big"!  My brother used his phone to take pictures of his sweater to send to his daughters and friends.

The head of the needle arts told me there were 982 entries registered this year.  Not all registrations made it to the fair but at any rate there were more than 900 entries stuffed into this building.  I don't know how those ladies managed to fit them all in and at the same time set up such attractive displays.

Here are a few more.

I don't know what was going on with this teddy bear.  Each time I visited the needle arts building he  was a little closer to the belly dancer.  He was certainly giving her the eye.

My dancer did not win a prize.  She was greatly admired but the consensus seems to be that she was in the wrong category.  Soft toys implies that the item is a child's toy and her hardware certainly is not soft.   However, toys do not equate to children.  My mother took one look at her and claimed her as her own.

The Fair is more than just the needle arts.  Here are some photos from the rest of the Fair.

I loved the line up of the bales by the show ring.

At the Fair, there are rides to be ridden, things to see, activities to participate in but I just love how this one child knows how to create his own fun.

Now for my entries.  This part is hard for me.  My aunt says that if you don't toot your own horn who will?  Yet the following photographs seem like bragging to me.  I feel I did very well.

First the specials.  The specials represent the best sweater at the fair and the best pincushion. Not just the best knitted pincushion but the best of all the pincushion categories.  I was the only knitted pincushion entered.

Below are the other 24 first place finishes.  There were a few categories where I was the only entry but according to my sources if the judge did not think it worthy, she would have given a second or third place or even none at all.  However, I think it is easy to get a first when you are the only entrant.

One of the volunteers helping the judge said that I just missed out on the best Christmas stocking special.  It went to the entry that was cross-stitched.  I can't say I disagree with the judge.

Looks like I forgot to include the ribbon in the photo below!

The following are the 11 seconds that I got.  In fairness, for some categories that meant that I came in last.

Two entries placed third.

Here are my three lovelies that did not place at all.  There were a lot of super slipper entries so my really basic slippers did not stand a chance.  I think the judge felt my other slippers were not felted enough.  All the prize winners were felted to the extreme such that no knitting stitches were visible.

I am going to close with a few photos from the Border City Barker's show.  The MC for the show told the audience that he attended the Michigan State Fair this summer and the Harrow Fair was far and away a better Fair.  We had more participants, more animals, more things to see and do.