Monday, August 31, 2009

The Fair, Part 2: Not so fair after all...

(I totally stole the title from Kevin's Facebook post about our trip. And if you belong to Facebook and haven't become a fan of the Knit Nook...well, then you are mean. Or lazy. Go over and do it right now.)

So the main reason for our trip (besides eating junk food and petting animals) was to see how our entries did. Now, before I begin my rant about the messed up judging, I will admit that I won a ribbon--and since my decision to enter was totally last minute--I was pretty happy. I got Third Place for my Odessa Hat and Clapotis.

And Heather's Socktopus won an Honorable Mention. When we turned it in, the ladies at the check in table seriously couldn't contain their excitement. (Okay, I do have a little beef: why isn't there a knitted toy section? Does it make any sense that Heather's Socktopus and Mary Beth's Latvian Gloves compete against one another? That's like comparing apples and socktopuses.)

And speaking of which... Mary Beth's gloves got third. Seriously. All that Fair Isle. Those tiny needles. She knit fingers for crying out loud! On US 1 needles!

Cindy wasn't going to enter anything, so when she decided to enter a pair of lace socks, we were proud. And she won fourth. She was happy because her expectations were so low. But seriously, first place was a pair of stockinette socks knit out of self-striping yarn. I will admit that they were perfectly knit, but how hard is it to get nice and tight stitches when you are only knitting? And furthermore, I had the sneaking suspicion that the judge wasn't aware that the yarn was self-striping. Meanwhile, Cindy has those SAME EXACT SOCKS at home. We're talking same colorway and everything. And furthermore, there was a pair of fair isle socks--and I'm talking REAL fair isle, not the fake isle you so often see--and they didn't even place.

And the Mayor. That beautiful hand knitted, felted, and needle felted third place. Again, I don't think the judge had a clue about the technique. The Mayor explained the process when she turned in her item, and I think they didn't realize that she designed it all free hand. There weren't any kits or stencils. She used the felted bag as her canvas and painted with roving.

But at least the Mayor got a ribbon. Mary Beth's adorable bag didn't even place. And that's the way it was treated, shoved down in the bottom of the case.

Which is where my wrap sweater ended up too. Maybe if I'd bothered to block it, I would have had a shot. The sweater that won first place was a beautifully blocked lace cardigan.

Another disappointment--and I didn't know anybody who entered in this category--was the crocheted baby sweater. A beautifully executed baby sweater won third. First place? A shell stitch baby cardigan out of Wal-Mart acrylic yarn. A perfectly fine sweater, but it looked like the baby sweater every Mamaw has crocheted for their grandbaby since the dawn of time. I could have done it, and I don't even know how to crochet all that well.

I know we weren't the only ones upset by the judging, but because I'm not actually willing to become involved in the Kentucky State Fair textile judging, I hesitate to file a complaint. I also heard, in the judge's defense, that difficulty of pattern or quality of fiber is not a factor, but rather perfection of execution. I guess I always thought it was like the Olympics, how dives were rated by difficulty and perfection. So again, goes to show how much I know.

Oh well. We got our discounted tickets. We mooed at the cows, petted some rabbits, and ate some ice cream. Overall, we had a great time.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Fair, Part 1: Ugly Lamp

Last Sunday, we went to the Kentucky State Fair. We took lots of pictures (and I will post them on our Facebook page--oh, yeah, did you all know we have a Facebook Page? Be our fan!).

So to milk this sucker for all it's worth, I'm going to break this up into a week's worth of posts. Plus, after seeing Irene's Ugly Lamp, I'm not sure you can handle anything else!

Irene always gets the leftovers. The scraps. The stash. Do you have a garbage bag of Fun Fur that you bought on sale when you first started knitting? Well, Irene's the girl to take it off your hands.

So when she was gifted a bunch of sparkly Fun Fur, Irene decided to make an ugly lamp. Or more specifically, an ugly lamp cozy.

Here it is, at Lynn's Paradise Cafe's Ugly Lamp display at the fair. She didn't win. Maybe this is because time and again, while Irene was knitting at the shop, ladies would come up and exclaim, "Oh, that's so pretty! What are you making?" And Irene would respond, without batting an eye, "An ugly lamp."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Password Protector

Mitzi emailed us these pictures. I never realized knitters were so concerned with privacy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Baby at Farmhouse Yarns

Farmhouse Yarns is a favorite around here (Andy's Merino, Lumpy Bumpy, Fannie's Fingering just to name a few). Beautifully hand dyed yarns, natural fibers from local American farmers--it's wonderful to imagine all those happy sheep while we're knitting or crocheting.

Carol, the owner of Farmhouse Yarns, sent an email announcing the surprise birth of one of her sheep. Since this blog has been dedicated to birth announcements of late, it seemed appropriate to share it with you.

The baby was 9-1/2 pounds and up and about. Both mother and baby are doing fine.

Makes you want to buy a sheep farm, doesn't it? Well, at the very least, think about this cutie the next time you're knitting Farmhouse Yarns.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Knit Nook Beer Summit

To celebrate our soon to be post-racial society (or at the very least, good old fashioned conflict resolution over a couple of brewskies), we held our own Beer Summit at the Knit Nook last Thursday in honor of the brew-haha at the White House.

Ethel drank the Professor's beer of choice (though I heard later that he switched to Sam Adams), Ruth had a Blue Moon ala the Cop, and Colleen--the ever dedicated Democrat--drank a King of Beers for Obama. We might not have solved the world's problems, but we had a nice evening, and didn't get so sloshed that we couldn't pick up our dropped stitches.

Thanks, Ruth, for the picture. She has demanded that the Knit Nook blog could use more pictures, and I couldn't agree more. So if you've brought your camera to the shop and taken pictures, please email them to me!