Today was the opening of the MN State Fair. Kathy and I volunteered at the MN Knitting Guild booth along with Ruth. Karen was there with her adorable Koka Monkeys. She has set up a slick how-to demo on a digital photo frame and many children, women, and even men sat there mesmerized as they watched these very cute monkeys come to life.
There was gorgeous stuff on display outside of the booth. Susan Rainey’s Lyra was a Sweepstakes winner. I am seriously considering knitting a round version, with only one strand of yarn and maybe on a larger needle so it will be lacier, for Karen’s veil.
Eryka was a winner, too, with her first entry ever! Her pidge is made out of a totally lux yarn and is tres chic buttoned around her neck.
And guess who else won? Yep, two of my three entries will be coming home with ribbons.
I honestly didn’t expect to win. Still, I certainly felt a thrill when I saw the ribbon on the vest and when I saw the cap had won, I laughed out loud. Very happy. And then, over time, tiny bits of discomfort rose in my chest. Very tiny, but I have to recognize them.
As I mentioned before, the vest was a bit worn. I couldn’t resist not using it last winter. Though I did try to comb it well, I thought the slight pilling would hinder the judges from ranking it with the winners. Still, I know I did a great job on both the knitting and the finishing, and I feel quite proud of that ribbon. The cap, on the other hand, while edgy and fun and not total crap, just isn’t an example of outstanding colorwork.
Honestly, this is not false modesty. I really like this cap. I think Wilson will look so adorable in it this winter. But it really isn’t EXCELLENT. The gauge was too loose for a superwash yarn, so the stitches have slipped a bit and the pattern isn’t as crisp as it should be.
As I commented on The Rainey Sisters, I don’t want my ribbons at the state fair to be for participation. I want to feel euphoric when I get a ribbon, especially one as high as 2nd place, because I know it marks my work as superior. If nice but not stellar work gets awards, will I start to lower my standards? Will others? I hope there are more excellent entries in coming years, knitters whose work it is truly an honor to measure one’s progress against.
Of course, maybe I should talk more about this in a few years, after I see how hard it is to get a blue ribbon! I will be competing with Susan, after all!
Enough philosophy. This being a state fair, there had to be things on sticks. Of most novelty to me this year – quilts on a stick. This one was especially nice, with an ode to corn on one side and an homage to mini-donuts on the other.
And how’s this for real Minnesotiana?
No state fair visit is complete without some animals. It doesn’t get much cuter than hours-old piglets. Say it together now, “Aaaaaaaah!”