(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 purse...got 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.