I decided at the very last possible minute that I would enter the Will County Fair in Illinois this year.  It was an impulsive decision, and I wasn’t even sure if my entry form would make it there by the cut off date.  I made the decision to enter since the fair was located really near my place of work.  I actually grew up in IL, and spent most of my life living in various parts of the state. 

I was also attracted to the large number of hand knitting categories that this fair had.  Exhibitors could choose from 22 different categories, AND the rules state that an exhibitor can enter up to two items in each category.  I have to say, these rules are really nice.  I also loved the fair staff, who were so pleasant and kind and a delight to associate with.

I ended up entering 6 exhibits:  two hats, a cabled scarf, a brand new shawl, my Mandarin Vines socks, and the Chivalry Mitts that I entered previously in this year’s Lake County Fair (they did not ribbon).

The textiles, including hand knits, were located in the Fine Arts Building on the fairgrounds:

I found the hand knits, and the first entry of mine that I noticed was my cabled scarf.  I finally won a blue ribbon.  I know it’s silly, but I was really hoping to win a blue ribbon, and seeing that I finally had one, I would have been satisfied to have gone home at that point.  Honest!

I noticed that my Butterfly Beanie hat was also sporting a smart new ribbon:

It was for third place.  Nice!  Upon closer inspection, the second hat that I entered was chosen for second place!

The winning socks are shown below, starting with first place.  Second, third and fourth can be seen farther back.

The pink, second place winners were my entry.

My previously ignored Chivalry Mitts finally got a little attention, earning a third place ribbon in the mittens category.  The first place winner was a great pair of colorwork mittens that I will show in tomorrow’s blog post.  Second place went to a super-cute pair of red cabled mittens.

I was honestly overwhelmed that all of my entries had ribboned in the fair.  What a great experience!  I did have one problem, however.  I couldn’t find the shawl that I had entered.  It was the Cladonia Shawl that I had knit for Camp Loopy Project 3.  I did not have an opportunity to post about it yet since I dropped it off at the fair right after I finished it, but it was complete as of August 19th.  I love how it turned out, and I was excited to enter my first ever shawl in the fair.

I searched all of the displays for the unmistakable rust and brown stripes, and just could not find it.   Fair personnel finally offered to help me, and we eventually ended up at the Best Of Show display, set away from the main textiles.  My shawl won a blue ribbon, and was also judged Best Of Show for the entire knitting division!  I could not believe it. 

For a spur of the moment, impulsive decision, entering the Will County Fair turned out to be a great experience.  Not only did I win the blue ribbon I had been hoping for, but I walked away with two, as well as a Best of Show rosette.  I had a terrific time.

~Happy weekend!