Tuesday, August 5, 2014

State Fair Knitting: Done!

So I've completed my Kentucky State Fair knitting! It's been done for more than a week or so, and last Thursday I gave it to my friend, Karen, so that she can turn it in for me (I'll be out of town for the submission times, so she's kindly taking it for me.) I entered four items, most of which I've documented here, but one which I was determined to keep secret until the very last minute.

The secret project was my entry in the sock category. I won the blue ribbon in this category the last two times I entered, and I wanted to keep my competition in the dark about what I was knitting. I don't think anyone I'll be up against really reads this blog (except Karen, but I don't mind that she knows what I'm working on - we see each other at knit night anyway), but it's just one of those things. Maybe I'm just a little superstitious. Or just competitive. Actually, it's probably the competitive thing. My husband laughs about it and says that I should just go out and break their fingers, but I don't think that's very sporting.

Anyway, the sock pattern is CookieA's Gothic Spire socks and I knit them with Dream in Color Smooshy Sock in the Melon Bomb color. For whatever reason, I can knit Cookie's sock patterns, the tessellated ones especially, effortlessly. This pattern looks really complicated knit up, and I think a lot of people might find it to be challenging work, but the best thing about it is I think it will impress the judges. I was very careful, too, about the color choice. In past years, it seems that light, bright colors have earned more ribbons than dark, sombre colors, so this bright melon-y orange was just the ticket.

According to my Ravelry notes, I knit the socks in a mere eleven days, which, even by my standards, is pretty darned fast. I generally allow for up to 21 days for complicated fingering-weight socks, but these practically flew off my needles. Almost before I knew it, they were done! They are fabulously comfortable socks, due in large part to the yarn. It's a nice, squishy yarn, that knits into nice, squishy socks. I need more of this in my stash. Soon.

Once the Fair opens next week (on August 15, I think) I'll go check everything out. I'm very hopeful that the socks will win me another blue ribbon. I'm also submitting my Hanami stole (in the lace category), my Cypri shawl (in the shawl category), and my Rafters cardigan (in the Aran-stitch sweater category). I think the Hanami has a pretty good chance for a third-place ribbon, although the delicacy of the beadwork could get it a second place. The lace category is very competitive, and my friend Holly pretty much owns this category. I know that she's entering an epic beaded shawl and I expect she'll get the blue ribbon here. She should've had Best of Show for the beaded shawl she made last year, but she was robbed. I'm hopeful it doesn't happen twice. As for the Cypri shawl, I'm not sure how it will do, because I haven't paid much attention to this category the last few years. I think it's pretty good - maybe a second-place here - though I can't say for sure. I have no idea whatsoever how the Rafters cardigan will do. I think it shows a great deal of skill, so it should score well there, but I did wear it all last winter, and it's gotten slightly felted from several washings. The stitch definition isn't as crisp as I'd like it to be, but I don't know what it will be up against. I used a high-quality yarn, and the sweaters I remember from past years appeared to have been knit from acrylic, but I really don't know how it'll do. I guess I could live with an honorable mention, but I'd prefer to place.

Well, that's it for now. The Fair stuff is now out of my hands, and it's no good worrying about the judging, anyway. I've done my best, and now I'll have to wait it out. I'm at the lake this week, and I hope to put up another post while I'm here. It's amazing how easy the writing is when you're on vacation! So, until next time, Friends.

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