Monday, August 22, 2005

What a week last week was! It’s always such a letdown when the fair is over. The Sheep-to-Shawl was a great success, though very low-key. We were the only team this year, so we just did it as a demonstration instead of a competition. I think the shawl came out beautiful, though the fact that it wasn’t a competition made everyone a little lackadaisical about it. There was much more chatting and taking breaks than in previous years and the yarn quality reflected that. As plyer, I got to see everything, and there were lots of overtwisted areas. However, with judicious removal of the corkscrewed areas as I plyed, the weft looked fine, and the overall effect was fairly consistent through the length of the shawl.

I really like the pattern of stripes that the weaver designed. It’s asymmetrical but looks balanced, even with the weft stripes only at one end. Kathy, the weaver, did a great job, despite problems with the borrowed loom losing warp tension at unexpected intervals. There was only one area where the pattern was messed up, and that was just two missed treadlings. She’ll be able to repair it fairly easily. We haven’t twisted the fringe yet, and it still needs to be wet finished, then it can go to the raffle winner.

And remember all the hardanger and crocheted pieces I put in the Sales Booth? Well, I sold all five of the hardanger sachets, two of the hardanger bookmarks, and got an order for a third bookmark (the woman who ordered it wanted one that had already sold, so I said I’d make another like it for her.) None of the crocheted sachets sold. Maybe I had the price set too high for those, since crochet is more commonly seen than hardanger.

I also was asked if I would sell the snowflake mobile! I think I will, after I fix it up a little. After all, I can always crochet more snowflakes. I have no idea what price to set, though. Any ideas?

One last picture and then I promise I’ll stop talking about ribbons and prizes. This is the haul this year:

The two strings of origami cranes in the front are the special prizes for Best of Class and Best of Show. They were made by Textile Guild members, and all the “Best of” winners got them. We started a tradition two years ago of giving these special prizes, and I think it’s really nice. The first year we did super-fancy tassels, and last year it was bookmarks. It’s more personal than just the ribbons.

You can also see the red, white, and blue ribbon I got on Saturday. The sewing thread doily won the People’s Choice Award!

And here are a few more miscellaneous photos to round out your fair experience (and to prove that I didn’t stand around admiring my ribbons all the time!). First off, we have Emma learning to weave:

She really got into this! I started the stick shuttle through the shed then she pulled it through the rest of the way. I evened the yarn with the selvedge, and she pulled the beater down. Repeat, repeat, repeat. She wove a good three inches before she wanted to get down.

One of Emma’s favorite parts of the fair was the livestock. The horses were a big hit, but it was the sheep that she really liked. This one was the best:

These lambs (there are two there, the other one is behind the ewe) were born on Wednesday morning, at the fair. We saw them for the first time on Thursday morning, when they were less than 24 hours old. You can’t really see it in the picture, but they still had their umbilical cords attached! They were so sweet and fuzzy and cute. Emma stood at the pen and just looked and looked and pointed and said “beebee SEEP” (that’s “baby sheep,” in case you don’t speak Emma-talk) and giggled and pointed some more. She also liked the piglets:

Which were about a week old, and liked to sleep piled up in the corner of their pen. She wasn’t much interested in the adult pigs, but she kept going back to the piglets and saying “Ny-ny piggies, ny-ny piggies” (night-night piggies).

And here’s a picture of the Grand Champion sheep pair, two Dorset cross ewes. At least I think they were ewes. I’m ashamed to say that I can’t remember. Whatever they were, they were beautiful. Bright white wool, and incredibly soft. Sheep always look so clean and tidy when they’re freshly shorn. I think black-faced sheep are my favorite.

It was a very fun week.

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