Friday, August 24, 2012

Cast On Frenzy and Fair

The Evergreen State Fair started yesterday here in Washington.  For the past few years (2 or 3?) I have entered knitting and spinning into the needle arts competition.  I love to go and look at everyone's work and it's cool to win ribbons, too.  Even though it's a point system like school (90% is blue ribbon, 80% is red, etc., so there might be a bunch of blue ribbons in your category) it's still very fun to see your work adorned with ribbons.  However, it's best to see your work adorned with "special" ribbons - the big, colorful rosettes - and I only have one of them, for "presentation".  And I don't know what that really means.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I drove out to the fairgrounds to turn in my entries.  I entered a Pi shawl made from Wollmeise lace and my Earth and Sky shawl, also made from Wollmeise, into the knitting category.  My plan always is to enter my sock yarn blanket and really wow them (big rosette, yeah!) but somehow it's never finished.  Another detail:  how is it possible to know that the fair is coming every year in August but yet be surprised when the postcard with the entry dates comes in the mail and not really have anything done that's suitable to enter?  Don't know.

I entered more things into the spinning category.  I made two pairs of pretty cool socks out of handspun yarn.

 I also entered two or three skeins of yarn that I spun.  I was planning to enter a shawl made from handspun singles, but somehow that didn't get finished and the other handspun shawl I was considering for entry got frogged for the third time when I ran out of yarn.  The best laid plans.....

I will be demonstrating both knitting and spinning at the fair on Sunday, so will know what I won in just two days.  I'm excited to see everything, learn my results, and just spend a day talking to people about knitting and spinning.  A fun day.

Meanwhile..... I've finished a couple of things and cast on a few more.  I've been working on a scarf for my MIL's birthday and finished it the other day.  It's the Rivolo by Anne Hanson and made from Wollmeise Pure yarn in the Blue Curacao colorway.  I think it came out nicely.  Here's a photo in progress.

I also finished a strip of knitting out of worsted scraps that will be used for yarn bombing at the fair.  Someone decided to liven up the big old barns that are used for display by covering the pillars with knitted fabric, so I decided to contribute.  I'll take some photos of how it looks on Sunday.

I cast on Hannah Fettig's Featherweight cardigan in Wollmeise Pure in the Rittorsporn colorway (I'm sensing a theme here in choices of yarn).  It's looking a little more variegated than I thought it would, so I hope it doesn't look too stripey. I'll keep an eye on it as it gets larger.

Then, because I couldn't just work on that, I cast on another shawl out of the cursed handspun that I've tried to make three projects out of already.  The yarn is holding up fairly well after all the ripping and I hope that this shawlette will be successful.  It's Sugared Violets by Rose Beck.  She has a booklet of 5 shawls and I think they're all really nice.

And, since I'm easily influenced, and need to have some socks going, I cast on some plain socks in a self-striping, beautiful yarn that I got at the last Sock Summit.  It's from Canon Hand Dyes  and is sparkly!  I listen to a podcast that is doing a self-striping KAL so I decided to join in and knit up one of the skeins of self-striping yarn that I had stockpiled.

This was a little challenging to get going; I wound up the yarn and cast on.  I was pulling from the center and the yarn got tangled.  I tried to rewind the yarn from the other end and not disturb the cast on.  The yarn wound too loosely and flew off the ball winder in the middle of everything.  I tried to untangle the mess and had to break the yarn.  After some time and some choice words, I took everything to the sofa and wound it back up by hand.  After knitting a couple of inches, I decided that the sock was going to be too big so I started over on fewer stitches.

Things should go smoothly now.

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