The Envelope, Please…

August 27 thru August 31, 2016

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Over the years, I’ve heard the phrase, “An expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.”  It makes sense; I have many examples of this in my life.  However, with each stitch I crocheted or sewed on my blanket for the State Fair, I had an expectation about its success in the ribbons department.  Yes, I used the plural because a small part of my hope / expectation was that it would earn more than one.

The results were emailed yesterday afternoon, and I am thrilled to say that I got 9 ribbons out of 10 entries.  Four of them are first place blue ribbons.  The one entry that received NO ribbons, not even an Honorable Mention, is the blanket.  The blanket that was specifically made for the Fair based on its theme this year.  The largest item I’ve ever attempted in 25+ years of crocheting.  The only thing I’ve ever made that wasn’t 100% to the pattern and required me to put on my thinking cap to make it work out how I wanted it.

So, yeah…there’s some resentment going on.  I’m sure that whatever did win, place, show and was honorable is simply fantastic.  You should have seen how many items were piled up on the tables when I turned in my entries.  The portions I could see of many of the folded afghans were gorgeous.  I started to have doubts about my chances, but the ladies who processed my entries were all oooh’ing and aaah’ing over some of my things, and the blanket was one of those.  One lady even asked us to hold it up so she could take a picture.  I guess they weren’t judges.

I think if I’d received just 1 ribbon out of 10, and if that ribbon had been for the blanket, I would be content.  I can say that because that’s not what happened so I don’t have to be held to it.  But, I will admit that my pride and ego were bruised when I looked at the list of entries in the email and saw “NW” next to just one item.  “NW” = Non-Winning.

Don’t let my whining fool you though.  I am really grateful and happy about the other nine.  Here are the results (and my comments, of course)…

Honorable Mention

  • Yellow Rose Doily (category: Doilies up to 12″) – This one kinda makes me scratch my head a little, but I’m OK that it didn’t place higher.  (It did place higher.  See newer post.) The ladies at the Fair commented on this item too, saying that it was nice to have an entry where they could write a description other than “ecru pineapple pattern.”  They commented on the yellow roses for Texas and the little pearl beads in the center of each flower.  But, hey, the HM ribbon is yellow so it will pair nicely with this when they’re in the dresser drawer together. (It’ll look much nicer in the drawer now that I’ve realized it got a blue instead!)
  • Overlay Mandala (category: Any item not mentioned in another category) – Of all the entries, I expected this to be the one I’d have to pick up before the Fair because I really didn’t expect it to win anything.  So, I’m happy it got a ribbon.  I bet I can guess what won first in this category.  Someone crocheted a zebra head!  I have the pattern book that includes the zebra, and I’ve been dying to make one.  Now I won’t be making it for the Fair though.

Third Place

  • Long Striped Doggie (category: Stuffed Toy) – I have to keep reminding myself that the number of entries for the State Fair is exponentially higher than for the little Hunt County Fair in the spring.  However, in this category, I have seen some really basic, dated designs.  I’ll be looking for the other toys that won just to see what the judges prefer.  I’ve already got some ideas for next year.
  • Christmas Treats Doily (category: Holiday Table Decoration) – This category is not strictly for crocheted items.  The Holiday section has numerous categories for various holidays, but there was not one where a doily would fit in, so I entered it in this broad one.  I am sure I was up against all sorts of amazing items, so I’m grateful this one placed at all.  I did wonder, though, if I had axed the Yellow Roses Extravagant Doily and entered this in that category instead would it have shown better.  I guess we’ll never know.

Second Place

  • Fall Splendor Doily (category: Thanksgiving) – This is another of the categories that isn’t just for crochet.  And, I really did expect it to be one item that didn’t get a ribbon as it’s not REALLY Thanksgiving-related; it’s just fall colors.  So, this ribbon was a nice surprise.

First Place – I am truly happy about winning more blue ribbons than any other this year.  The magnitude of this is not lost on me, and I’m excited to be able to say that I’m now a State Fair of Texas blue ribbon winner.  (Folks, you’ve gotta be from Texas to get how cool this feels.)  I guess I have no more Bucket List items when it comes to the Fair.

  • No-Flower Cardigan (category: Toddler Sweater) – So many people have said they want this for their granddaughters, and it won a blue ribbon plus 2nd overall in the Needle Arts division at the County Fair, but I didn’t think that would translate to a blue ribbon at the State Fair.
  • Maywood Purse (category: Knitted or Crocheted Felting) – I love this bag because of how it turned out after attempting some things I’d never done before.  This may be the ribbon I’m the most happy about.
  • A River Runs Through Alice (category: Neck Scarf) – I made this cowl for myself as a companion to the gorgeous knitted one made for me by my partner in a swap on Ravelry.  It was never meant to be a Fair entry; however, when I was filling out my form and trying to decide what else I could finish before the deadline, I knew I couldn’t start and finish a new scarf (not the one I had in mind anyway), so I threw this in as an afterthought.  And now it’s a blue ribbon winner.
  • Extravagant Doily (category: Doilies up to 18″) – If I were planning to shut down this blog, this would be the perfect time to do so.  This doily is what caused me to miss entering anything in the 2014 State Fair.  This doily is what led to this blog.  And now, after winning Grand Champion at the 2015 Hunt County Fair, it’s also a blue ribbon winner at the 2016 State Fair of Texas. (Blah, blah, blah.  None of that applies now that I’ve re-read the results and realized it won an Honorable Mention instead.)

Making things for the fairs has really kept me going the past few years.  It’s kept my mind off so much that’s happened.  It’s given me an excuse to crochet since I always feel like what I’m doing needs a purpose, particularly as a gift or, lately, a fair entry.  And, in some cases, it’s given me an excuse to just stay home when I don’t feel like facing the outside world.

The first time I entered something in 2013, I was in love and excited about the future.  I had a boyfriend, and a dog, and I had money in the bank.  I was virtually debt-free.  Here we are 3 years (3 YEARS?!?!?) later, and I don’t have a boyfriend, a dog, or money in the bank.  But, I do have debt!  And I now have a pile of ribbons (or I will when the Fair ends in October) to add to my scrapbook…whenever I get around to that project.

To anyone who’s been reading this at any point in the past 2 years, thank you for following along on my adventures.  Let’s see where the next one takes us.  All I know for sure is that I’m taking that stinkin’ blanket to the County Fair in April and hoping it gets a ribbon there.  But, no expectations!  I’ll do as the graphic up above suggests and enjoy the blanket for what it is…a blanket…and not put expectations upon it to be a ribbon-winning blanket.  Until April, 2017 though, that blanket is going to be in a plastic bag so that cat of mine can’t rub her furry little body all over it.

 

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