Tuesday, July 20, 2010

State Fair 2010

It’s time again for the desperate rush to finish all of my state fair projects. I’m not sure what happened (I blame registering late at night and thinking I can complete more than I did) but I committed myself to 7 different classes (plus 2 classes for the local fair). I entered things in the felt category, handspinning category, and knitting category.

I have 2 sweaters that I’m submitting. The first is my handspun sweater, the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, spun from a local woman’s CVM sheep. I worked on this sweater for the Knitting Olympics but was a button band away from finishing it when the closing ceremonies happened. I decided to do a grosgrain ribbon backing for the buttonbands. “Why?” you may ask. Well, It’s a great way to put an excellent finishing touch to your sweater. I just like the idea that my buttonband won’t gap and make it look like the sweater is too small! Have you seen the grosgrain ribbon video tutorial put together by the Knitmore Girls?

The second sweater is the Twist Cardigan. The yarn I am using is Berroco Vintage in a lovely grey. This yarn is a superwash wool/acrylic blend that is knitting up really well. The finished fabric feels really nice. I had major problems with the shoulder seams of this sweater because that is where the cable is so you have the combination of the knit and purl stitches. None of my seaming attempts looked very good. Oh, well, running out of time so it is what it is!

Another thing that has been giving me trouble is the bind off edges. I did a tubular cast on and bind off on each edge. I got the tutorial for the cast on edge from Ysolda Teague’s website. It was super easy and I’ll definitely be doing it again in the future. The bind off isn’t strictly called a tubular bind off but an invisible bind off from Interweave Knits, Fall 2008. It is like doing a really long Kitchener Stitch. The finished look is nice but it felt like it took forever to do.

Mom helped me on Sunday by sewing the grosgrain ribbon onto the Twist and attaching the buttons. She sewed the grosgrain ribbon on in half the time it took me to do the same thing. She’s definitely better at handsewing!

The next project I’m entering is for the knitted accessories category. It is a multidirectional scarf out of Noro Silk Garden Sock that I knit back in 2009. The Silk Garden makes a nice looking scarf but I don’t think I would like it as socks.
Old picture of scarf

I was torn between adding a fringe or not to the scarf. Finally, I decided that it doesn’t look finished without a fringe. So I added a 3 inch fringe to each edge with a color change on each side.

What else is left? Oh, yeah, a lace shawl. I have one shawl, a Swallowtail Shawl, finished for one friend (it was a tinsy bit late for her wedding). I let my friend know that she would be getting the shawl after the fair was over. It is knit from a cone of silk yarn that I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2008. Originally, this yarn was supposed to be another stole but I ran out with a foot of knitting left to do. I frogged that and started a Swallowtail instead.


I also entered a pair of mittens into the felted knitted item category. You should be amazed that I could actually find these mittens because I felted them back in November. I’ve loved the look of this mitten pattern since I saw them at least 3 (or more) years ago. This is the second pair I have made with this pattern. This second attempt turned out much better because I used the correct weight of yarn (it’s amazing the difference between chunky and worsted!). This pair is made out of a dark blue Cascade 220 tweed. They felted down to the perfect size and I’ll definitely be using them this winter!

I almost forgot to talk about my handspun skein entries! My first handspun skein is the Red Berries yarn I finished back in March. The 6 oz of wool came from SOAR 2009 and I’m pretty impressed that it was spun up so quickly. Usually it languishes a lot longer. It is a 3-ply fingering weight that I’m planning to knit up into socks whenever it get around to it.
red berries

The other yarn is from a 100% silk bump that I bought at this year’s Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It is 2 ounces of beautiful purple silk. I started spinning it first on one of the trindles I bought this year but then finished spinning the singles and plying on the wheel. The finished yarn is a nice 2-ply heavy laceweight. The yarn has a tiny bit of barberpoling (light and dark color spiraling together) but I like the way it looks overall.

You might be wondering why, when I took that photography class, there aren’t pictures of every finished entry. The reason for that is I turned everything in at 4:30pm and the submission deadline was 5pm. There wasn’t much time for taking pictures in there! I’ll take pictures of everything in the display cases at the fair.


Andrea said...

Wow! You are really putting a lot of work into entering! I don't think I could manage 7 projects for a state fair.

I love Berroco Vintage! I can't wait to see a pic of your sweater, I'm sure it's great!

Janelle said...

I love that Red Berries yarn......