Tag Archive | Yay for Yarn Patterns

Anoka County Fair Result Time!

This is my second year competing as I mentioned in a previous teaser blog post. Last year was more of a rushed throw together what I already had and make a few smaller items sort of thing. This year I started after the previous fair and among my gifts and commissions and other pieces I threw in some category specific projects. The result was 15 pieces to enter myself and a few among the 4 older kids. Echo simply wouldn’t settle down and make anything. Maybe next year.

I was actually rather surprised at my results. Ken and I splurged on a date night and went out on the Wednesday and visited the fair (for the first time ever) ourselves. There was “Quebec style poutine” so how could I resist? Seriously, HOW? It has been 4 years since I have had a decent poutine… WORTH IT!

Note the stand in the background.

Note the stand in the background.

Anyway, Renee had sent me some images from her visit to the fair with her kids days previous but I had balked a finding out all of my results with the hope we would make it there in person.

We started with the kids’ stuff where they did relatively well. Emanuel only got a participation (which he loves – RAINBOW RIBBON) and Zander and Gavin’s large perler bead didn’t place either. We figure they may have assumed parental assistance… which we DIDN’T… but the rest placed. Two lego pieces and a much fought over bunny drawing. Not bad, not bad.20160801_151854

20160801_151950The lovely surprise was Gavin’s shawl taking first in his crochet item category. We ran out of steam at the end of this project and didn’t trim our fringe which was the comment on the back of the tag BUT FIRST PLACE!! WOO!! His first COMPLETED project really!20160801_152607

Then it was time to wander around, seek out Renee and her kids’ stuff and see how I did. To my surprise 13 out of my 15 entries placed. And, the two that didn’t both had great comments on the back and the statement that it was tough competition. I was not surprised on my maple leaf dishcloths… first off all, red-white and no blue (blue could have put me in the running as patriotic) in a general category that I am sure was full of variety. The other, my purse was much more “purse like” than the ones that placed. I think they were just looking for more… crochet? The winning purse was granny squares and highly colourful. Not my thing.20160801_15284420160801_152246

Onto the 2nd place pieces – TWO. And tough categories because they are super popular baby gifts – booties and blankets! Well, I am very proud of both – in fact have gifted versions of both in the past. Again favorable comment on the blanket just… the first place ones had more detail (booties) or were a different style (blanket) BUT certainly something to be proud of.IMG_20160801_172315

For first place standing alone I had NINE pieces! Woo!!! I cannot tell you how proud I am of them. This is a wonderful cross section of this past year’s creativity. TWO of these pieces will be sent to new homes in the coming weeks – the rainbow ripple blanket which I have blogged about previously) and the evil sorceress doll. Seriously if you have the knowledge and ability and the urge, it is a GREAT pattern and when I got stuck the designer talked me through it on Facebook… check her out! This piece was posted under the storybook character and though the JUDGE didn’t comment on it on the slip, the people working there said MANY of the people who came to see the exhibitions loved it.IMG_20160801_172207

Let’s see… Monkey – as in year of 2016. I did it bigger than the original and am TOTALLY KEEPING IT. Yup… my monkey, not your monkey, MINE! Ken helped me with the frame work on this little beauty. The designer is doing up all the Chinese Zodiac over the years and I totally plan to go back and do the years she has already designed for eventually.

Apparently the biggest suggestion was blocking. We THOUGHT we had that done right, but apparently they figured we could have done better. So back to the drawing board on that one. BUT that is a finishing thing and not a crucial crafting issue. So there is less worry about time and such. I did make a second of the wedding gift from this summer – that would be the off white doily. Crocus doily.

Other than that… well I am very proud of these 9 pieces! Super proud!

And now for the BIG surprise to me… 2 plus 2 plus 9 equals 13… so two more to come… and both of those first place PLUS Reserve Best of Show. Now no one could completely explain how that was chosen or anything. But what it does mean is that these are pieces that stood out to the judge. What made me laugh is that I tossed that hat in there on a whim. I had made it after I made Emanuel’s for Halloween this past year and still had enough yarn left over for a second smaller version. Go figure!IMG_20160801_172452

So all in all… we did good. We placed, we showed off skills that we will continue to nurture and next year will have a whole new batch of creative ventures to exhibit! I know I am already brainstorming how I can make newer and harder items in duplicate – one to gift/sell/etc and one to show… why not? Just getting the judge’s feedback made it all worthwhile!! And now I have some ribbon winning pieces to sell if I ever get the chance to have that craft table I want to try out. Or gift of course! EXCEPT FOR MY MONKEY! That little guy is already on my bookshelf guarding his monkey!

(Oh, if anyone is interested in any of these pieces feel free to ask me – minus the two mentioned above that are on their was to new homes of course)

Another Week of Crafting Progress

If nothing else this larger blanket project has reintroduced the concept of being accountable for progress. And I have to admit, I rather enjoy the challenge. I meant to measure my stripes and my rainbows but time, life and all that fun stuff simply got in the way. So instead I gave it up and just made sure I had moments of relaxation all centered around this special project.IMAG2248

IMG_20160120_210120On top of the blanket I also dove in with the cotton sent by the same dear friend to make washcloths, facecloths and hot pads. In fact, I have a nice collection from the month of ¬†January now… I will, of course, share the links. I a especially fond of the vintage style hot pad from Amy Polcyn HERE. I made sure to make one slightly bigger than the other for larger dishes.IMAG2236

I also tried the Big Girl Pot Holder/Hot Pad by Laurie Laliberte HERE. It was a bit unusual in its final incarnation but I do like how thick it is.IMAG2238

Elizabeth Ann White has a rather nice leaf washcloth/hot pad… I made it with a single strand and I think it could double as a small container hot pad HERE. Sorry, no picture. I will work on that.

My favourite has to be one that my cousin Veronika linked me from Adventures of a DIY Mom HERE.IMAG2239

There was a cut in the yarn so my pattern changed, which I love one the one on the right.

There was a cut in the yarn so my pattern changed, which I love one the one on the right.

For dishcloths I did a stack of a nice simple pattern from Little Monkeys Crochet HERE.IMAG2241

And for variety for washcloths did up one set from Crochetspot.com HERE.IMAG2235

I also made a nice set varying the colours from Miss Abigail’s Hope Chest HERE. I figured they were too pretty for dishcloths but about perfect for facecloths.IMAG2242

SO on top of random projects I made some good progress all round. I hope these links are helpful!IMAG2250


One Week Later…

I am knee deep in reorganization chaos or I would have blogged this yesterday. As it is I have borrowed the kids’ new laptop for the evening just to type this up. Mine is behind a wall of furniture in what used to be our school area. Oh well… progress on my rainbow ripple blanket project has been made!

This past week I have grabbed my crafting moments whenever I could and thrown in other projects to boot! I have placed this large project as a permanent fixture next to our bed. I love that the box the yarn was originally mailed in works perfectly as a yarn holder while I work. This may become less useful as the skeins grow smaller. We shall see!IMG_20160117_201532

I admit it, I have paired various projects and activities with working my rainbow… books, anime (binge watched an entire series… I admit it), even other projects. All from the comfort of my CLEAN and TIDY room. Which has become as crucial to my relaxation as the project itself.¬†

My Regency Romance collection is free from the boxes!

My Regency Romance collection is free from the boxes!



This coming week will still be balancing cleaning, teaching and more BUT I plan to take some measurements and share some links to some of my smaller in between projects so do check back!IMG_20160114_003053