Lake County Fair 2014 – Part 2

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Since my last post was mostly about my entries in this year’s Lake County Fair, I wanted to run a second post and show you some of my favorite things on display in the Arts building that were entered by other people.  The quilts are always amazing to see.  My two favorites happened to have the same subject matter:  cats.

I love the colors in this one:

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I would totally display it in my house.

 

I love the whimsy of this one:

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Speaking of cats, I also admired this bag that was entered in the sewing division:

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This was one of my favorite baby blanket entries:

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I love to see the knit and crochet pot holders.  The entries this year were so cute!!!  Unfortunately they weren’t displayed very well, so it was tough to get good photos:

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The first place winner is all of the way on the bottom right of the photo above.  Only a corner of it can be seen, but it is a really nicely done sunflower and I love it.  Next to it, partly covered by that red ribbon, is a mug of hot cocoa.  I think the pom-pom marshmallows is such a cute idea. 

 

This winter bird was one of my favorites:

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I’m pretty sure it was cross stitch.  It took a second place ribbon.

 

Here was a crocheted afghan with little dogs on it:

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I also love the purple and green one hanging to the left of it.  It reminds me of cabbages growing in a garden.

 

This knit baby sweater and hat was really well done.  It took first place:

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And here’s a children’s sweater with little sheep on it that earned a second place ribbon:

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Aside from the crafts, I also enjoy seeing the antiques on display at the fair.  They are shown on the third floor of the arts building, so I always walk through to see what people have entered.  I keep saying that one of these years I will enter some of my antique sock stretcher/dryer collection.  One of these years…

Since I obviously enjoy fairs and ribbons, I thought it was so fun that some people entered their antique Lake County Fair ribbons:

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How neat to see these old ribbons from years passed.  These are from 1958, and this person won a ribbon for his/her ribbon collection!

 

This person had so many ribbons that he/she had a flag or a banner made out of them (seen here folded up in the display case):

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What a neat idea!

As much as I enjoyed this year’s fairs, I am glad that the fair season has come to a close.  I am always so tired and “all faired out” by the end of August.  I’m looking forward to next year’s fairs (and hopefully next year I’ll be a bit more prepared than I was this year), but now I’m ready for pumpkins and cider and fall leaves. 

~Happy knitting!

FO: Cladonia Shawl (Camp Loopy Project 3)

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As mentioned in previous posts, I finished my Cladonia Shawl on August 19th, but I haven’t been able to post it as an official finished object since it has been a rather busy shawl, on display at the Will County Fair for the last 5 days.  I have been waiting for a chance to get some decent photos of it, and even though the sun was already going down this evening, I decided to give it a shot.

Here is a blocking photo (with the shawl stretched and pinned out to open up the lace), the night before the fair:

I knit this shawl from 3 skeins of Madelintosh Tosh Sport:  2 in the colorway Sequioa and 1 in the colorway Twig.  It was knit on size 8 Addi Turbo Lace 32″ circular needles.  The pattern is Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur. 

This shawl was the Best Of Show winner in the hand knitting division this summer at the Will County Fair.  It is also my final project for this summer’s Camp Loopy (project 3).

I love it because it is soft and warm and the colors work well together.  I already have plans to make another one.

 

You can double-click any of the photos for a closer look.

~Happy Knitting!

Adventures in Cotton Knitting

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Sorry to have been a bit of a stranger lately.  There is a lot going on at work and at home (as usual), but I HAVE been knitting, despite my recent lack of blog posts.

I have mentioned before that one of my all-time favorite yarns is Lion Brand Amazing.  Well, yet another Lion Brand yarn has caught my eye, and I decided to start a project with it.  Have you seen the Recycled Cotton yarn?  It is composed of leftovers from T-shirt manufacturing.  The yarn is very natural and Earthy in appearance, which I like (and it’s Earth friendly). 

I chose to work with it in the color ‘Pebble Beach’.

Since it was the great Ann Budd who helped me to acquire my understanding of sock construction via her book, Getting Started Knitting Socks, I decided to rely on her again in hopes of gaining some basic mastery of sweater construction.  Besides, I REALLY want a sweater made in this cotton.

 

Using The Knitter’s Handy Book of  Patterns, I decided on a pullover.  I figured this would also be a great project to finally try out some Addi Turbo Needles, so I ordered some size 8’s from The Loopy Ewe.  I have already completed the back of the sweater, and I have started the front.  The texture of the yarn is so lovely once it is knit up.  The cotton feels a little stiff when wound in a ball, so I was happy to see it soften up when worked into stockinette stitch.  It is also not as difficult to work with as some stiffer, 100% cotton yarn can be.

In other cotton-ey news, I have made some more progress on the set of dish towels I am now hoping to complete for my brother as part of his Christmas gift.  He likes the color already, so I think he will enjoy them. 

And lastly, I also started a plain, striped scarf from some cotton blend yarn that had been sitting in my ‘stash’.  I noticed the compliment of the colors, and I loved the green and brown together.  This cotton blend is really, really, soft, and should be cozy and cute to wear when I’m chilly.

Despite my ‘project schizophrenia’, things are coming along nicely, even if it’s a little at a time on several different projects.   For me, this versatility in projects to work on helps keep me interested, since I can switch around depending on my mood.

Three last things…….

1. Yay for coffee.

2. Yay for the weekend.

3.  I don’t know about you, but I am wiped out.  For those of you with a bit more energy left over after your work week, Sheep’s Clothing in Valparaiso, IN is having an all day mitten knitting class today (Oct 15th).  So if you are in the area, you are hoping to learn some mitten knitting skills, or you just want to hang out with like-minded people and support a great Midwest Local Yarn Shop, consider attending.  You can read about it HERE.

We are having great fall weather here in the Midwest.  We’ll be needing our mittens soon.  Enjoy your weekend, and happy knitting!

Behind the Scenes

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Even though I had a nearly knitless week (gasp!), here is some of the planning and gathering I managed behind the scenes.

A while back, I ordered this:

It’s Stroll sock yarn from KnitPicks.com.  If you don’t know about KnitPicks, it’s magical.  KnitPicks offers high quality, luxury yarns at low prices, relative to most name brands.  It really is nice stuff, and I wanted to try some of the yarn.  I am thinking about using it to knit this :  CLICK HERE

Just FYI, I also ordered KnitPicks sock blockers to add to my collection.  They come in pairs, and they are much less expensive than the others I have purchased.  In this case, It seems you get what you pay for (funny how that works…) because the KnitPicks sock blockers have such a rough edge on the plastic that they snag my (expensive) yarn to the point that I can barely get the sock onto the blocker.  Not a little bit snaggy —  completely and totally snaggy.  Not good.  I’ll probably sand them. 

My Loopy Ewe sock blockers are light-years better, and speaking of The Loopy Ewe:

My Addi’s came in, as I mentioned, as did my Noro sock yarn from the clearance sale along with a surprise present that I just LOVE! 

Isn’t it CUTE?!  It’s  a little stitch marker for knitting in the round.  Super cuteness!  Being the super practical, utilitarian gal that I am, I actually didn’t own any flouncy, fancy knitting bobbles. 

I have an idea in mind for the Noro, too, but I’m dying to try my Addi Turbos.  I’ll probably start one or the other project today depending on what kind of mood I’m in.

Meanwhile…

…I keep plugging away on the lace with what little free time I find…

~Happy knitting!

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Read Knitting Blogs and Eat Cake

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I hate only posting on weekends, without posting during the week. 

It was one heck of a week.  Until last night, I had no time to knit (NO TIME TO KNIT!!!).  You can imagine how grumpy I was at work.  It was a good time. 

I’m teaching Anatomy and Physiology to the new class in our program, and it requires a lot of my time — lots of late evening study sessions with the students.  I enjoy it, but it became a bit of a marathon this week.  Hence the lack of posts and photos of knitting in progress.  I did actually take some photos after last weekend, but never had the chance to load them into my computer, let alone post them.

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I got a surprise raise at work this week!  That was a great boost that helped to cheer me up.  I haven’t even worked there a year yet, so I was taken completely by surprise.  (More yarn for me!)

So it’s Friday.  And I’m too worn out to be excited.  I’m too worn out to knit (well maybe just a few rows…).  So I’m sitting here, with my dogs, reading knitting blogs and eating cake.  (OK, one of the dogs is eating cake, too).

I’m also plotting my next knitting projects so that I’m ready when my super-powers return.  The Addi Turbos and the Noro came in 2 days ago.

Lazy Saturday

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I just ordered my first Addi Turbos!!!  

 I have always liked wood and bamboo knitting needles best.  Now that I have ventured into lace knitting, I find that the metal needles actually allow me to move along more quickly.

I have always coveted Addi Turbo circulars, but felt they were too much of a splurge.  They run somewhere just short of $25 at my local yarn shop.  Loopy Ewe has them for $15.95, and they also have a “Last Call”, discontinued yarn sale going on (I love clearance yarn).  I ordered some Noro sock yarn that I have been waiting to see on sale, and two pairs of Addi Turbos.  It was time.

I visited my parents this morning and worked on the Fern Lace Scarf while I was there.  I’m not sure why, but I am so tired.  I have been doing little besides sleeping since I got home.

If I can find some energy, I am itching to get some knitting done.