Echo is still trying to get her mouth around Independence Day… so often it is America Day. And ours was on the relaxing side. We actually had a bit of a celebration the day before with the Schwartz family. Full on fun – a pool, bouncy house AND we made poutine.
This is my 3rd year entering into our local county fair, and this year everyone but Ken had some sort of entry. It was a bit of a struggle to get everything done in time for entry, but we managed. I think next year we will plan in advance to include some school projects in our entries. Maybe make some pointed attempts to craft according to fair themes?
Well, from youngest to oldest… Echo! She was adamant she wanted a RAINBOW ribbon. This happens to be the participation ribbon for the children under 13. So there was a bit of a worry that she WOULD place with both of her pieces and thus get what she sees as the less pretty and therefore less wanted ribbon. Well, not a problem. While she did an amazing job, both of her pieces did not place. And she was still happy! Score! Crayon drawing was done using Art for Kids instructions (we love this site and pay for the subscription). Her Legos were a free form piece.
Trinity was a bit more prolific. She got a camera for her birthday (thanks again Gammie!) and wanted to send in 4 of her photos. 4 categories… animals, people, nature and flowers… all in colour. She didn’t do half bad!
And for her Lego piece – one with instructions.
Emanuel had 3 pieces this year. He remade his minion he had made and not entered last year with all Lego blocks, drew a picture and wrote a 4th Haiku to go with a seasonal series he had to write for an assignment. He copied out, arranged and glued down the whole written piece. Something to definitely be proud of!
Gavin put in 3 pieces. We tie dyed as a family, he chose to enter his shirt. Then it was a repeat of his Chinese New Year t-shirt theme – drawn on dragon! His third was, again, a dragon – this time in pencil. Not bad, not bad!
Zander was a bit of a push. He was not motivated to make much of anything. I was really hoping he would work harder on the rug kit he got for Christmas, but we have hope for NEXT year with that one. This year it was his tie dye shirt and that was that.
I went all out this year trying to do a variety of pieces that will later be given out as gifts. According to the judges my top entry was my set of flower fairy dolls. They were entered under crochet dolls pair and ended up a Sweepstakes winner (I am still a little dodgy on what that means entirely, but the ribbon is pretty).
My personal favourite was the Haku dragon I entered under crochet storybook character. You can read all about our adventure to create this one and get the link to the pattern I used HERE. I have plans to make another in the near future.
I had a whole series of baby pieces this year. Many of which are slated to head over to a friend’s for her little one. Hat, booties, sweater, blanket. Not a bad little selection. I am still hunting for the perfect sweater pattern. This one was cute, but I agree with the judge, using the buttons it called for (toggles) was not quite right. So now that I have photographed it, time to remove the toggles and replace with some black buttons.
My second blanket entry this year was also a baby blanket. Just over sized to a toddler size really. Based on a blanket seen on the tv show Call The Midwife, I lucked out with a super deal on factory remnant yarn and ran with it.
I went all out with the critters as usual, Haku, the dolls… I also did a mini flower fairy as my solitary entry under doll. She is a small version of a larger one I entered last year. I also used a leaf pattern I had from another project to create a little leaf basket on her arm.
For animals, my poor bunny lost out to FOUR Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (although I have to say, aren’t they more storybook than…).
I did up 2 Christmas ornaments – one in cross stitch (cardboard and beading) and one in crochet.
My other category was a fun one – a mermaid sack!
So… Ken and I went on the Friday to see the pieces first hand. We had our poutine and cheese curds, got the kids cotton candy, and enjoyed ourselves! Another year’s fair experienced, we definitely have plans for the next! Wish us luck! And if you have the chance, enter a fair near you!
So first and foremost… I got the most amazing idea and pattern off of DeviantArt thanks to Aphid777. Check her out, her patterns are not tested and often leave a lot of wiggle room, but if you are ready for a challenge and an amazing result – she is the best! Small-ish Haku can be found HERE, her profile link is HERE.
Spirited Away is one of my all time FAVOURITE movies. And Haku one of my favourite dragons. So when I came across this gem on my random look through the artist’s fiber art, well I knew I HAD TO make one of my own (with Ken’s amazing help).
For detail work Ken used roving wool from a variety pack we purchased off of Amazon. You really do not need much for this sort of detail work. The process he used is called felting.
For the actual structure of the dragon we purchased 12 GA solid white insulated wire from Menards. We wanted to be sure the dragon could be shaped without snapping the wire and hold form.
For whiskers and horns we used wrapped in DMC floss color matched from pictures and super glue for ends. (E6000 would work too, except we couldn’t find ours).
For stuffing I used the usual fluffy stuff you buy at Joann’s Polyfil.
I also varied my amount of stitches to meet the bottom center of the piece from what the artist did. Again this is all eye balling and personal preference. I found that once my head was formed putting a stitch marker on the top of the nose of Haku made it easier to eye ball my return to center.
The trick was to consistently add stuffing without over stuffing, but a long stick was quite helpful.
Once you crocheted to the near end of the tail it was time to trim my end and cover it in electrical tape to avoid a sharp bit poking through. Then PATIENTLY decreasing until you tie off and finish.
The belly is an easy one piece. If I make this again I would consider making the entire structure longer (mostly for fun with posing) and that would change count. But her pattern was easy to read.
Ears are a quick process. Legs took more work. We used a single piece of wire threaded through the body to each leg for our assembly. And did not poke our wire through the side of the leg as indicated.
Feet were added after, easy enough. (and obviously legs and feet were AFTER mane, but you get the idea)
The mane and fluff at the end of the tail was hooked in like when you are hooking a rug. I made sure to face all my knots toward the front of the body and to keep them close to center. Eyeballing and what you like is key. Lengths do not matter, as once they are in you take a cat brush and brush them until they are fluffy and then trim.
Ken felted in our details and BANG dragon! I am super pleased with the side view though we feel we need to work on our eyes to better get the front view. Though front on loses the body so… not the view I want anyway!
And there you have it…. HAKU! Into the local county fair he went. (Like the next day after completion. Nothing like JUST meeting a deadline). End result – first place in crochet, storybook characters! Not bad!