Monday, June 20, 2005

Flowers and knitting

First we have some gardening news! My yellow and purple petunias are blooming full steam ahead! The Lantana is bursting out red and orange. Very pretty. And the dwarf sun flowers are up to about 3" now. There's a total of four plants and they are lots of fun to watch.

I'm down to the toes on my most recent version of footies. These are for me and therefore are much bigger around than the purple pair. They are a combination of several patterns I found on the internet. Hopefully I'll kitchner the toes on this footies tonight and cast on for it's mate.

Some of you may know that I'm the Needlecrafts superintendent for our local county fair which is coming up the last week of July. I've been doing this for about six or seven years. ( I think) It's a lot of fun for not too much work. The department that I supervise covers clothing, knitting, crocheting, rug making, cross-stitch, crewel, and quilts. I enjoy getting to see the items up close during the judging.

I know that county fair judging has been a topic of conversation over the years on various discussing groups. In our case, we do whatever we can to encourage folks to enter their items. They seem to come in three categories: #1 - beautifully executed, well planned, items. #2 - things that were just put together. #3 - "Gee, what can I enter to win some money? Who cares if it's been used, dirty, or I entered it last year." My experience with the judges has been pretty good. They reward category No. 1, encourage category No. 2 to try to do better, and No. 3 just gets ignored, but still displayed.

The needlecrafts area covers a pretty broad range of items and we only have one judge. They tend to know a lot about a one or two subjects and have a working knowledge of the others. Over all it turns out pretty good. This year I did a MAJOR overhaul of the premium book categories. (Exactly what is a carriage robe, anyhow?) I tried to simplify, and broaden the categories and to take into consideration what has been entered over the past several years.

For instance, about ten years ago there was a major grouping for machine embroidery. Even had it's own Best of Show blue ribbon. Over the past five years, there has been very little entered in the way of machine embroidery, some of it pretty bad. So, machine embroidery became integrated with other categories. Knitting was expanded to be more updated to include socks, scarves, shawls, et cetera. So, far I think it's all working out. I've had calls from folks that have never entered things before. Hopefully we can generate more interest.

I'll be entering a live wreath in the Crafts department. I'll let you know how I do!

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