I should be calling this post “better late than never“! 

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The Will County Fair was held from August 21st to the 25th last year (2013) at the Will Country fairgrounds.  I entered this fair for the first time in 2012 (see that post by clicking HERE), and really liked it.  After my experience in 2012, I knew I would enter the fair again, and I did so in 2013 in a BIG way with ten entries. 

My pretty friend Dawn came with me to see the results after judging.  She’s from Wisconsin, so not only is she super-nice (have you ever noticed that everyone from Wisconsin is just really nice?), but she also loves to visit the cows.  I think the cows liked it too!

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It’s not hard to get carried away with your own fair entries at this fair (especially when you knit as much as I do!) since you can enter each class TWICE.  For example, you can enter two hats into the knitted hats class, meaning you have the potential to ribbon twice in one class.  Many fairs will only allow one entry per class.

The other thing I noticed when looking at the fair premiums book this year is that knitting and crochet were present in more than just their own designated divisions (as they are in most fairs).  This meant that outside of any class entry (hat, socks, afghans…) in the knit and crochet divisions, I was also able to make some entries into two other divisions:  ‘Textiles’ and ‘Infant’s Garments’.   Recall, each division will have a Best of Show awarded as well, so I was eligible (in theory…) to win three Best of Show ribbons.  But I didn’t win any of them.  Blah.

This organization really makes it worth submitting entries!  I ended up with a ton of opportunities to ribbon, and I did end up doing fairly well.  I nearly doubled my money spent in entry fees and brought home 9 ribbons:  four 1st place ribbons, four 2nd place ribbons, and one 3rd place ribbon. 

Up first, in the Textiles Division – a section called Towels.  I had never entered this section before, and honestly, wasn’t even sure I should have been entering since it was not a knit or crochet division.  In this section, there were eight classes for towels of all types, most involving sewing and embroidery.  I noticed one class entitled “collection of 3 kitchen towels, each different”.  There was no mention of how these towels could be made.  I wasn’t sure what the heck it meant, but since I love (LOVE LOVE LOVE) knitting cotton towels for my kitchen, I thought it was worth a shot to pick the best three I had made, and enter them, just to see what would happen.  I was sure this was not what the category was meant for, but hey, knitting creates cloth which then qualifies as a textile, right???

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 Well, the judges saw it my way, and I actually took first place (blue ribbon) in the category!  I was shocked. 

The other section in Textiles that I entered was Pot holders.  I entered a section called “crocheted pot holders, set of 2”, and again, took first place (blue ribbon). 

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    Folded Flower Set

 

 

 

I liked the watermelons and the piggies better than my pin wheel pot holders, but I was happy for the ribbon.

 As a long shot, I also entered this same section in a class called “Hot dish mat, any kind”.  I entered a really simple trivot that I had made just for fun earlier in the summer.  It was actually one of a set of pot holders I made, now in use in my sister’s kitchen.  It took third place by default (only three entries in this whole category!!!).  It can be seen all of the way at the bottom of the picture below (white ribbon).  Notice, the blue ribbon winner in this class took the division Best of Show (big purple ribbon).

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 I knit my first baby sweater earlier that year, and I entered it into this fair.  This class was set in a division called Infant’s Garments.  I really like the sweater that I knit (The Maile Sweater pattern in Malabrigo fingering weight yarn, colorway: eggplant), and even used vintage buttons from my beloved antique button collection on it.  I was hoping for a real shot at Best of Show. 

The night before the fair, I was rushing to block and finish everything to my satisfaction (as usual), and I ended up accidentally overblocking the sweater to within an inch of its little life.  It looked totally stretched out, and it was too late to do anything about it. 

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It took second place!  Argh!  I worked so hard on that sweater.  I was bummed to have missed a shot at Best of Show (all of the blue ribbons in a division are judged against each other for Best of Show). 

Here is the super-cute, fluffy (not stretched to the point of fatigue) first place winner:

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Notice that this entry also took Best in Show for the division.

Here was my favorite baby sweater that I photographed, not only to share the cuteness with you, but also because I must make one someday too:

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You can click the photo to see the details (duckies!!!).  I just LOVE this sweater, and as far as I could tell, it did not win any ribbons.  Fairs are funny that way.  Sometimes, you just never know.

 All of my other entries were in the division called “Knitted Articles”.  I entered two hats, and took both first and second place in the class (seen at the top of the photo below).

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 I entered two pairs of socks and again took both first and second place in the class:

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RedMapleSocks2    BrokenSeedSt4

 

 In scarves, I entered both my Breath of Fresh Air scarf and my Linen Stitch Scarf.  The first did not place, and the Linen Stitch scarf took 2nd place.  Somehow, I took no photos of my winning scarf at the fair, but here is a pic of the scarf after I made it:

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And last, but not least, here are some additional winning entries (not made by me) that I loved.  I just had to take photos so that I could share.  This bag, clearly a first place winner, was huge, and so well done!  That green color never gets old to me.

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I can’t remember what class this ribbon was for, but it had to have been either ‘crocheted baby blanket’ or ‘crocheted afghan’.  Either way, it’s gorgeous!

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Here was one of my all time favorites at the fair.  This pencil drawing of a horse is so amazing.  This person is SO talented!  You have to see it in person to get the full effect. 

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There you have it:  my Will County Fair experience for 2013.  This year, I will make a mental note to get better photos of my own entries.  I also entered the Lake County (IN) Fair in 2013, and I will try to post about the fun I had there soon.

~Happy knitting! 

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