Life on Silverhill

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fair Photos

Here are some photos of the Fiber Arts department at the Island County Fair on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fair Days!

I've been busy at the Island County Fair for several days now. First I helped to check in the entries for the Fiber Arts department. And, I am pleased to say, we had close to 200 entries, not including items knit with commercial yarn, which went to the Needlework area. We had about 65 skeins of yarn (more on this later). I got brave and entered several items of my own, including a lace shawl knit with commercial yarn, several things woven with commercial yarn, a scarf woven with handspun, and two shawls knit with handspun. I didn't enter any skeins (thank goodness! - more on this later!)

Tuesday was judging day. My job was to play scribe for the spinning judge, recording her scores and comments on the individual judging cards. The judge was very thorough, spending from 10 - 20 minutes on each skein! If you do the math, you will see that there's a problem brewing! Thirteen hours later, at about 10 PM, with 25 skeins left to be evaluated, the judge decided that perhaps she should stay overnight and finish judgeing the next day! I agreed to come back the next morning, and the department Superintendent managed to find a room for her.

Wednesday morning we started working on those last 25 skeins. In addition, there were 15 handspun "garments" (knitted and woven items) that needed to be judged. Thank goodness I had opted not to enter skeins! At 4PM the judge finished the skeins but had to leave without judging the garments, so our poor Superintendent had to really scramble to find a judge for the handspun garments at the last minute. Believe it or not, she actually did manage to find a well qualified judge who arrived at 5:30 and judged the remaining items, which took her a little over one hour. It was actually a blessing in disguise, as the skein judge told me that it takes her about twice as long to judge a garment! We would have been there all night!

Those were two looooong days at the fair, but it was fun and I learned quite a bit from the spinning judge, what I was able to overhear from the weaving judge, and the way that the Superintendent handled all the monkey wrenches so calmly, with good grace and a sense of humor.

The judging was done under the Danish system, which means that each item is judged against a set of standards, rather than ranking one item against another. So, it is entirely possible for every entry to be awarded a blue ribbon. I am amazed to say that I was awarded a blue ribbon for every item that I entered, and I received an additional merit award for my llama triangle lace shawl!

This morning I was back at the fairgrounds to spin in the fiber booth from 9:30 - 12:45. I picked this time because I thought the fair would be pretty quiet on Friday morning (Thursday was opening day) and I was right. DH met me when my shift was done, and we spent the next 7 1/2 hours wandering through the fair! I am pretty tired after yet another 12 hour day at the fair, but it was fun!

I took a bunch of pictures and will try to post them on Sunday!

oops - forgot to mention that DH and I also warped a loom for the booth!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Wonderful Whidbey Day!

Sunday morning I looked out the back window and saw five coyote pups, eating blackberries! They are very cute, with huge ears, and they bounce around like Pepe LePew when he chases the girl skunk! A little while later, we saw mama in front of the house. This is why our cat goes outside only on her leash, with two large people! (well, large from a coyote's point of view, anyway!)

We went to an art exhibit by a Native American artist, Windwalker, and his wife Mary Jo. Such talented and nice people! They paint, make jewelry, and create Fairy Houses, which are little whimsical dwellings. We must have talked with them for almost an hour. I am sure our paths will cross again.

Next, we went to a sculpture and print show at Froggwell Gardens, which is a private home and garden. The owner has had his gardens for 25 years, and they are spectacular! The hydrangeas are blooming now, in amazing colors. I took pictures, but they are at a high resolution and won't upload to Blogger. I'll have to remember in the future to take some pictures at low resolution for the blog! He likes to have a couple of open house art shows a year, as an excuse to share his gardens with his island neighbors. Lucky us! His partner told me that he will have a quilt/textile show in May when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

Later, we went to the 4:00 showing of the Pirates movie at our amazingly cute little theater, The Clyde. It is owned and operated by a nice lady and her husband, rather than some huge faceless conglomerate. Admission is only $5, and you can get popcorn and a drink for $2. AND, it is the only place I know of on the island where I can get Coke (yeah!) rather than Pepsi (boo!) Their website is worth a visit. Be sure to read the history of the place.

It was such a nice day, spent sharing time with some of the wonderful people who call Whidbey Island home.