Knitting · Spinning

Observations from county fair

I need to say that we are a smallish county.  Our entire fair fits in a very small space.  I kind of like that.  I can let my kids even my 9 year old wander about and have freedom.  Mostly that is because they are 4-Hers and they know al lot of other 4H kids.  My middle daughter is on County Council this year and so she knows a lot of people.  She also just knows a lot of people… she’s friendly and a talker.  Anyway, because I am a superintendent I end up spending 12 hour days at fair.  Luckily, my kids don’t have to be with me the whole time because we do general projects not livestock.  So they take the bus home and/or into the fairgrounds as they need to.  Which is good because in my small world of Handspun/Handmade, and weaving I do not get a lot of help.

This year we have had a record amount of entries in hand spun/ hand made as well as in weaving.  I should say especially in weaving.  Last year we had 2.  this year 18.  It was crazy and it’s great to see.  Our grand champion in handspun/handmade is this Llama shawl. IMAG1395 She started from raw wool and then combed it and spun it.  It’s amazing!  People wander through and have no idea what they are looking at.

Every year I spin.  I love this part, because now that judging is over It’s pretty much 12 hours of spinning and visiting with people who come by.  Yesterday, I was connected to a new fiber friend.  She is a rabbit judge who lives on the front range and had been raising Lincoln.  We had a great talk about sheep and fiber and uses.  I got to see pics of her sheep which she is crosses with some CVM.  Crazy beautiful long staples.  She also has some BFL.  She’s going to bring me a small bag to play with when she comes back in Sept.

What always amazes me is that the people who are most interested in my wheel and my spinning are men.  It’s true.  Women will comment, but men will sit down and ask questions.  How does the wheel work?  Why do you have tape with inches on your leg?   What do you do with your product. And they are genuine about their interest and want to understand how it all works.  Now, I did have a 5 year old girl who looked at my wheel for a few minutes and looked and me and explained to me exactly how my wheel worked.  But she is a daughter and grand daughter of weavers.  So even though they spin, she gets stuff.

Oh and ribbons.  Because fair is about competition and winning, or not.  I always encourage my kids to enter into open class.  Not just in 4H.  They all did well in 4H.  My oldest won grand champion in photography, my middle got champion for her quilt (she was the only one) and lost grand champion to a girl who made a macrame hammock chair.  We are both ok with that.  It’s an amazing project.  Her quilt still goes to state fair for judging.  My youngest had her first year as a full 4Her and she only did a county project.  She got a champion in her age group and she had competition.  She also got a reserve grand overall.  When she saw those purple ribbons she was so excited.  It’s been her goal for 3 years.

In open, my son won a first place for a photograph.  My youngest won first, and champion in her group for her blueberry jam, she also ended up with a merit award.  My middle opted out this year.  It’s ok.  We were busy.  I took some of my pear tomatoes in and they won 3rd or 4th as did my sprigs of sage.  I am hoping they give feedback.  All the sage looked the same to me.  (which is why I am not a judge) My yarn came in 2nd.  I won 1st in fiber to fabric (no competition) however, my brown sweater got reserve grand champion second to the amazing llama shawl.  I find myself ok with that also.   Overall a great year so far.  Now is time for spinning and on Saturday the 4H barbecue.

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