Life on Silverhill

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!


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