Monday, August 13, 2007

Fair Post the Second

We have many categories for our fair entries: wool fleeces, camelid fleeces, handspun items (knitted, crocheted, woven), woven items (either handspun or commercial yarns) and felted items. There is another Clothing and Textile display at the fair where lots of knitted, crocheted, and sewn items are displayed, mostly using commercial yarns (handspun is not excluded, but not often shown there). Consequently we show no knitted or crocheted items done with commercial yarns, only those using handspun.

We have an unusual category called Spinner Maker, wherein two people can participate, one as the spinner, the other as the maker, either knitting, weaving or crocheting the finished article. A favorite at this years' fair was Sue and Patricia's Spinner Maker shawl:

fair9 2007

First place and Best of Show in the category, plus lots of votes for People's Choice. [Edit: I found out this morning that Patricia did win People's Choice Award overall in our area! Congratulations Patricia!] The same duo (Patricia and Sue) also entered a pair of socks:

fair3 2007

They took first and second in the category.

Judging is fun to watch. We have Open Judging, which means anyone can attend (but must keep silent). We have a few who come to watch, the rest of us are pressed into service to gather, tag and coordinate things for the judge.

This year, I helped the weaving judge, and once or twice was hard-pressed not to comment or influence the judging. The first time was when this scarf came up (Woven items, Category: scarves, always a big batch):

fair6 2007

Dee wove this, and it is the first truly iridescent handwoven fabric I can recall seeing. It is silk, and quite quiet if just seen hanging as a scarf. But the minute the fabric is picked up, it moves and dances in the light. I later asked Dee about it, and she said she consulted a color expert friend (wouldn't we all like one of those?), who thought that two very-close-in-value medium hue colors would best accomplish iridescence. The weave structure is an 8 harness block twill, which allows the threads to be seen in warp and weft direction, accentuating the shine of the silk, and (me speculating here) perhaps helps accomplish the iridescent effect.

Beryl also used two close-in-value silk yarns for her scarf, done in an original twill to the same effect:

fair10 2007

Beryl's scarf came up in the judging after Dee's and once again, I had to stifle a gasp, so as not to influence the judge. These two scarves took first and second, so the judge obviously thought well of them too, but she never mentioned the iridescent effect. She may have seen more of this type of fabric than I have, and not been so surprised, nor considered them gasp-worthy. But I was so impressed, and just stunned by their gorgeousness (stunned silent, thanks to all the gods).

A big hit was this small group of felted animals: two dogs, a sheep and a goat. The felter, a young woman, created a sculpture of each of her own animals:

fair11 2007

On the manikin behind the felted animals is Jan's soft-as-butter handspun vest.

Socks were everywhere:

fair12 2007

Dee's, handspun, plied with a commercial thread (next to Jackie's double woven coasters).

fair5 2007

Sue's (here) and Eileen's handspun socks. Eileen bought a new wheel this summer (a Lendrum) and just can't stop spinning. She's up until 1am several mornings a week, spinning and plying. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for next year :).


and Steph's, one of our artisan dyers. Stephanie also entered several things in the *other* Textile showcase, so we didn't get to see and photograph all of her entries.

We also had some beautiful clothing:

fair 2007

Sue H's top (sorry for the dark photo), and Dee's fully lined jacket:

fair8 2007

which had a hand-stenciled silk lining, with lots of hand sewing and custom details.

A new category this year was handspun baby and small child items:

fair2 2007

This is Sue's gansey for her grand daughter.

We also had yarns, woven bands, bags, baskets, and hats, kitchen items, shawls and fabric. Too many things to mention, and lots of people demonstrating each day: rigid heddle weaving, spinning, silk worms, card weaving, inkle weaving and even a small floor loom. There are other posts here, here, here and here, and lots of fond memories as the take-home lesson.

Now, if I can just stop craving fair-food. A week's gluttony of onion rings, bratwursts, baked potatoes, corn dogs, nachos and ice cream bars have left me wanting more. Next year!


Blogger Sharon said...

Amy and I had the spinach/mushroom knishes at the Jewish League booth. That is the best fair food I've ever had and also the only place I've found those. I know where to find them in a year~

So Eileen bought a Lendrum - I think we knew she would. Thanks for showing me how to use the super-fast flier - it eliminates the need for aerobic treaddling.

10:00 PM  
Blogger JQ said...

ooooh fairs! Those iridescent scarves look fantastic! I can just imagine seeing (and touching)them.

I am receiving my very first spinning wheel at the end of this month (secondhand from a lady is Saskatoon). So far I've been using a handmade drop spindle consisting of a CD, a piece of wooden dowel and a cup hook. :) But I am already in love.

*sigh* there are so many things I want to do and so little time in a day!

9:40 AM  

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