Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ribbons at the County Fair

I entered four knitting projects in the Arlington County Fair and won two blue (first place) ribbons (for the Ladybug sweater, which you have seen) and a scarf which I finished just in time for the fair and two red (second place) ribbons for the blue sweater you have seen, and a more recent turquoise sweater. Lots of areas have fairs, and it's fun to see what other people have done and satisfying when your hard work is recognized. (My grandfather was a county and state fair manager in the first quarter of the 20th century, so fairs are in my blood.

The scarf was from the Filatura Di Crosa fall/winter 2007 collection pattern book, knit of one skein of "Superior" - 70% cashmere and 30% silk - very soft and fine. It is called Lacy Sampler" because it uses five different lace patterns, with eyelet in between - wicked because as soon as you get into the rhythm of knitting one pattern you have to learn another one. It decreased between each pattern so it was narrower around the neck. It was also knit in two identical sections and then woven together in the middle with kitchener stitch (which went much better than on the socks I tried).

The first pattern is Horseshoe.

The second is Flame Chevron.

Diamond Mesh is the one I had to rip out and reknit (and unknit - yes that is the only way sometimes) repeatedly to get it right.

After Diamond Mesh, The Cloisters was a breeze.

Then Twin Leaf was the center pattern that was joined in the middle. You can see where the pattern changes directions when it is connected.

Here's the Turquoise sweater.

It was a strange pattern, with the bottom band knit first as a long scarf-like band sewn together in a loop and then the stitches for the body are picked up onto the band. (Interestingly the judge at the fair commented that the seam attaching the band was too bulky and I should consider using the Kitchener stitch - which would have been impossible since there weren't unfinished stitches to weave together) I altered the pattern a little by eliminating the side seams and knitting it in the round up to the armholes. The pattern called for crocheting around the neckline and sleeves, but didn't tell how many stitches - so I had to improvise to find out how many stitches to skip when it turned out too floppy when I crocheted into every stitch on the bound off (or cast on) edge.

The Yarn was Saucy Sport, a very commonly available yarn, and the Reynolds pattern number is 82382.


Elizabeth said...

Oh wow, how exciting! I really love the idea of entering the knitting we are most proud of into fairs. (I also just love the idea of going to fairs and having knitting be a presence there. Was there much local yarn being sold?)

I really love how the different lace patterns combine in the scarf, though it does sound like the constantly changing patterns would be frustrating to one's fingers.

I wonder if there is another kind of joining stitch that would produce a less bulky join? I haven't done too many of those myself, but I suppose that is why most seams are done at less noticeable places that across the stomach.

Churchma said...

I don't know how the band could have been joined differently because the stitches for the body were actually picked up from the edge of the band. It looks bulkier in the picture than it really is.

There were lots of vendors at the fair, but no yarn supplies that I noticed. Lots of politicians and community organizations, too. Knitting is just one section in the larger needlework department of the competitive exhibits, and there weren't nearly as many entries as I remember seeing years ago when I used to enter more regularly. Other Needlework sections include quilting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, etc. This year I also entered 11 photographs in the Photography department which is much more competitive than needlework. I won 1 blue ribbon, 2 reds, 1 white (3rd place) and 5 honorable mentions. The blue ribbon went on to win "reserve champion" - 2nd place in the whole color digital photography section - kind of like winning the gold medal in an individual event in gymnastics an going on to win the silver in the "all around".

HEB said...

I too really love the idea of knitting at fairs (and I guess my competitive side loves the idea of ribbons, ribbons and more ribbons). The lace scarf is gorgeous and I like the idea of switching up patterns before you can get too bored.

I can't really see the bulkiness that seemed to cause so much trouble. I guess I'm not cut out to be a knitting judge...