theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 23, 2007

From Susan — The Minnesota State Fair is HERE

OMG — check out this Big Guy from the Minnesota State Fair:

WhattaBoar.jpg picture by lv2knit

I’ll try not to boar you any longer!  I just had to go to the Fair today, come rain or shine (it was VERY rainy 🙁 ) and despite the fact that I was sick.  I had entered multiple knitted items in the fair and needed wanted to know how they did.  Attending on the first day is a ritual for me.

Okay.  I am just going to spill it, and you can decide for yourself if I am as big a pig as my friend here, but I entered ten things in the fair. They all received ribbons: 6 first place, 3 second place and 1 third. I also won the Sweepstakes. 

So, what did I enter?  Here are two items: My silk Diamond Fantasy Shawl and Camilla Gloves:

DFSandGloves.jpg picture by lv2knit
I entered the gloves last year and got 2nd place.  If you do not get a blue ribbon, you can re-enter the item. I should have quit while I was ahead ;).  I was extremely pleased that the shawl won something because I did not expect it at all.

I also put in the little lace top from Vogue Knitting that I made for my youngest daughter:

VogueLaceTop.jpg picture by lv2knit
She won’t even wear it, but at least it got a ribbon!

Next are a pair of socks I made right before the fair.  I wasn’t sure that they would win anything because so many very talented people knit socks…lots and lots of socks — they did get second place even though you can’t see the ribbon:

Socks.jpg picture by lv2knit
The pattern is from “More Sensational Socks” and they are knitted with Fortissima Socka Bamboo in Color 07 Ocean.

I also threw in one of my Lace Tams for the heck of it and was stunned it got a BLUE ribbon:

LaceTam.jpg picture by lv2knit
It is knit in Rowan Silk Wool DK.

I finally got the zipper sewn into Eris and it received a blue ribbon:

EriswithRibbon.jpg picture by lv2knitEris.jpg picture by lv2knit
I struggled mightily with the zipper pulls.  I cut off the ones that came with the zipper — perhaps an OOPS! — and then made 457 attempts at “pretty” zipper pulls.  It was crazy. I finally ended up using some beads I already had and attached them with wire wrapping.

My Peacock Shawl did very well and I was surprised and very pleased about that.  I know a lot of people knit fabulous shawls so I knew the competition would be tough:

PeacockShawl.jpg picture by lv2knit

The Modular Tote also did well:

ModularTote.jpg picture by lv2knit

Another total surprise was Ballerina.  I finished Ballerina last year but did not have a category to put it into, so I entered it this year in the plain knitting cardigan category.

Ballerina.jpg picture by lv2knit
You can see it also won the knitter’s Guild Award, but I have no idea how that is determined.  And I’m not sure what it means either! 

When I got into the building I started looking for my things and could not find Oregon anywhere.  It was not in any of the main knitting cases.  Sometimes they place knitting in odd places as part of a theme (i.e., Norwegian Sweaters with rosemaling, etc.), so I started searching high and low. I found Oregon between two gorgeous quilts:

OregonSweepstakes.jpg picture by lv2knit
Oregon surpassed all my expectations.  I was hoping it would do well because it was such a thorn in my side for so long and was so darned much work!!  I was beside myself!  It was thrilling to see those ribbons, I must admit.

I was equally thrilled to see that my dear friend, Kim, won a blue ribbon for her gorgeous Cats and Mice mini-afghan:

KimsBlankie.jpg picture by lv2knit
When I got there, the little cats were standing on their heads, so I asked them to flip it around — and they did!  I knew this darling blankie would do well.  I’m so proud of Kim.  It is an Alice or Jade (?) Starmore design.

I’m also VERY proud of my friend Linda who won second place for her cookies. 

LGsCookies.jpg picture by lv2knit 
She is a great cook and very deserving!  The only bummer was that my other friend did not get a ribbon for her ethnic bread, but she will try again next year.

Now, could I do a state fair post and leave out the infamous Sock Monkeys — au contraire, mes amies!  Our lil sock monkey fiend friend has been hard at work all year exploiting perfecting the sock monkey concept:

SockMonkeyChair.jpg picture by lv2knit
And perhaps more practical for you:

SockMonkeyHat.jpg picture by lv2knit

All in all a great time — until I got laryngitis.  I mentioned that I was sick and it did go into my chest/throat.  I hope this bout is shorter than last time (a full week!). 

I’m sure by now you are thoroughly bored, but are you as boared as this 1200 pounder?

Boar.jpg picture by lv2knit

And I know what you are thinking — yes, they are HUGE!!


  1. Ha! I THOUGHT I recognized Eris in the background of Jeanne’s picture of her pink socks over on k3tog ( That is her sock in the upper right foreground of your first picture of Eris. Congratulations on all your [well-deserved!] winnings! We are thinking of going to the fair some day next week – I plan to stand in front of the knitwear and point to your and Jeanne’s ribbons and tell everyone passing by that I know you. 🙂

    Comment by kmkat — August 23, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

  2. I had been wondering whether you entered anything this year. Obviously, you did and won a whole slew of ribbons! Congratulations!

    Comment by Marina — August 23, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

  3. Unbelievable! I will not move to MN and try to enter anything into the fair…ever!

    I am so proud to be even READING your blog! Congrats!!!!

    Comment by suzanne — August 23, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

  4. Wow! Congratulations! And thanks for all of the lovely pix, including the sock monkeys and the (ahem) boar.

    Comment by AuntieAnn — August 24, 2007 @ 12:00 am

  5. My sister is a piggie.

    I’m a very good knitter. I know that to be true. But my sister is an exceptional knitter, especially when it comes to finishing and details. I’m not surprised she won so many ribbons. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! (Thank goodness I moved away from Minnesota so I don’t have to be humbled every year.)

    And congratulations to Kim on the blue ribbon for her beautiful cat-and-mice blanket. I love that pattern (which she knows).

    I AM a little surprised by the boar pictures. No wonder he had to lie down.

    Is it wrong to want a sock monkey chair?

    Comment by surly — August 24, 2007 @ 12:21 am

  6. I.

    (Oh and I really like the top you made for Jena!)

    Comment by Nora (surly's daughter) — August 24, 2007 @ 12:27 am

  7. Did you get a Gedney Pickle hat?

    Comment by ruth — August 24, 2007 @ 2:47 am

  8. Wow! What a haul, you did so well – Congrats. The color work on the Oregon sweater is gorgeous.

    Is it odd of me that I so want that sock monkey chair?

    Comment by michelle — August 24, 2007 @ 3:02 am

  9. wow wow wow! congratulations!

    Comment by vanessa — August 24, 2007 @ 6:56 am

  10. What a gorgeous body of work. Congratulations!

    Comment by Gale — August 24, 2007 @ 7:40 am

  11. Congratulations, Sue! What a wonderful testament to your work and skill! I have always envied Americans their State Fairs, it just looks like so much fun – but seeing your stuff, I’m glad I am not in Minnesota trying to compete…

    And thank you for the sock monkeys in all their various and assorted forms, and for the boar…

    Comment by Deirdre — August 24, 2007 @ 7:49 am

  12. OMG, not the monkeys again! LOL.

    I will be going to the Fair this weekend – I will look for your stuff (and eat like a pig). Congrats on all your ribbons!!!

    Comment by June — August 24, 2007 @ 8:51 am

  13. Well, blow me down, Susan! Outstanding work, but then you would have done no less than the best. Well deserved recognition.

    Now, where can I get the monkey chair and some of your friend’s yummy cookies? 🙂

    Feel better soon, m’kay?

    Comment by Karen B. — August 24, 2007 @ 9:48 am

  14. Excellent post! And…WOW…congratulations on the much deserved recognition for your beautiful work. They all looked like “firsts” to me. Love the cat and mice blanket your friend made too. Wasn’t boared/bored a bit! He’s such a great foil for all the beautiful knitting pieces!

    Comment by Cathi — August 24, 2007 @ 10:31 am

  15. Congrats- as always you never cease to amaze!!! beautiful – beautiful. Love the sock monkey chair!

    Comment by Tonia — August 24, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  16. Susan- Well, there is certainly nothing wrong in being a yarn-hog.
    Many congratulations on all the ribbons, well done!

    I remember a school field trip where we saw a pig about that size-
    his name was “Sir Francis Bacon”.
    I thought that was hysterical.

    Comment by Lorraine — August 24, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  17. Fabulous work! I had so much fun and felt like I was at the fair! Congrats on all of those ribbons, your work certainly deserves it. You are a great knitter and I admire your abilities and your will to complete your work.

    Comment by kellistarr — August 24, 2007 @ 11:37 am

  18. Wow! I so wish I lived within a reasonable distance so I could come and see your beautiful pieces in person (New Jersey is pushing the distance a bit). One is prettier than the next. What a pleasure it is to get a chance to share in your craft. Congratulations, you are one helluva knitter!

    Comment by Michelle — August 24, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  19. Beautiful!!!
    Congratulations on all of your ribbons–they are well deserved!!!!!

    Comment by Rene' — August 24, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

  20. How awesome! Your fair must have a lot of knit catagories. At our county fair there is one “knitted garment” catagory with only one entry per person. If you want to enter other knitted items you have to enter them in one of the sewing catagories where they compete against non-knit items. I’m trying to convince the people that run the Creative Living building to make some changes.

    Congrats on all the ribbons.

    Comment by Risë — August 24, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  21. Congrats on all the ribbons! I love the fair!!!

    All I have to say about the Boar…he is all man (said in my thickest midwest accent).

    Comment by Mary — August 24, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

  22. Fairs are some of my very favorite places! And you’ve done so very well! Congratulations! Big Hugs! Hope you’re well soon!!!

    Comment by Nancy — August 24, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  23. I have seen most of your pieces at one time or another here on your blog, but to see them all together, as one body of work is just mind boggling. Your skills are incredible, and your work is so lovely to look at. Just awesome.

    Comment by Melanie — August 24, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  24. Awesome again! I haven’t been to the Ohio State Fair in a couple of years, so I don’t know how the entries are going. Anyone know out there? Our county fair has 4 knitting classes to enter, one entry allowed per person, per class. If they’ve been awarded first, second or third, they can never come back. Must be completed in the last three years. Jeez, even I can come up with four items a year, but I don’t do afghans. They have tinkered around a bit and combined the felting class with crochet items, and added a pairs class in knitting. So suggestions do get noticed:)

    Comment by Denise — August 24, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

  25. From Susan — Adding felted items to crochet??!!?? How does that help or make sense? Can’t they just add some additional categories? Our fair tinkers a bit with the categories, too. They changed plain knitting to include garter stitch, which makes much more sense than before when it was considered “texture” and competed against Aran knitting.

    I saw the pickle hats — didn’t grab one — and did get an Oink Hat when I visited Sir Bacon. 😉

    Comment by lv2knit — August 24, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

  26. Oregon pretty much stands on its own; however, I think you found the perfect accessories in all those ribbons. Well done you, many times over.

    Comment by Susan — August 24, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  27. Congratulations! I might have given you all blues! Do you get comments from the judges after the fair? I remember from my 4-H days getting comments, which were both (sometimes) the hardest part, and the most helpful. When I entered in our fair here a few years ago, I got my ribbons & nothing else.

    Thanks for sharing all the sock monkey stuff – I plan on sharing that with MY daughter when she gets home.

    Comment by Pam — August 24, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

  28. Oh my goodness, Susan. Great rewards for lovely work. Thanks for sharing… and inspiring.

    Comment by Ann — August 24, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

  29. Congratulations on all the ribbons. I love that someone I know won soooo many!! Your work is very beautiful.

    Comment by Marsha — August 24, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

  30. Oh you scamp. Mother and Gramma must be smiling down on you. I hope your Mom has seen these photos. I just love bragging that my cousin wins sweepstakes at the fair. For anyone out there in blogger land who doesn’t understand the importance of the Minnesota State Fair Sweepstakes ribbon … it’s a little like the Tony or the Grammy or the Oscar, only better. Because on the way to seeing what you win, you can eat a corndog or fantastic roasted corn or the BEST milkshake directly from the Dairy Building (where you can also see the world famous butter head carvers).

    Comment by cousin marti — August 24, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

  31. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Congratulations! You da bomb. 🙂

    btw, I love what you did to Oregon. IMHO, your modifications make it even better than the original. And it’s my favorite St*rmore fair isle.

    Comment by Romi — August 25, 2007 @ 1:04 am

  32. p.s
    love that lump of love layin around the fair! he’s dreamy!!

    Comment by Michelle — August 25, 2007 @ 8:37 am

  33. Susan,

    I guess I wasn’t too clear on the felted category. They’ve COMBINED the felting category to include knitting and crochet. That left one more category open for knitted pairs. Wooo-hooo a category, for socks! They can’t open up any more categories because the county Fair Board will not allow for any more premium money.

    I did notice this year, that my county has far more crocheters, than knitters. I’ve always looked at the entered items, but never really paid close attention before. Our really huge number of entries are in the quilting classes. Our Fair Board is really a great bunch of local guys, who volunteer a lot of time. Maybe I can work on my neighboring farmers to open up a bit, but with so few entries in some categories, I’m not so sure.

    Really I should knit because I love it and will actually use the items, but those ribbons are such a nice affirmation. By the way, that HOG!!! I do miss the state fair.

    Comment by Denise — August 25, 2007 @ 9:47 am

  34. Congratulations on the awards won for your beautiful and prolific knitting. I am a tremendous admirer of your work. I noticed that your Eris sweater has a different finishing technique than the pattern calls for. Did you knit this in the round? I’m thinking of knitting the cardigan and would like to knit it the round with steeks – any and all advice that you may be willing to share will be most appreciated.

    Comment by marie — August 25, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  35. I am so happy for you ! You deserve all the ribbons as you are a first place knitter.What do the other awards mean? It has to be a great honor to receive them.

    Comment by katomliz — August 25, 2007 @ 10:04 pm

  36. Congratulations on all the ribbons! Everything looks great. And, thanks for the sock monkey pictures; have to love the energy that goes into making those. Your new afghan project looks great, too.

    Comment by Nancy — August 26, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  37. Congrats on all the ribbons!!! I LOVE that sock monkey chair!!!! Its FANTASTIC!!!

    Comment by KateMet — August 26, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

  38. I am always inspired by your blog, and today’s visit was no exception.. but I have a question – do you sleep? I’m just a beginning knitter, but you are making me look BAD… LOL!

    (Congratulations on all those ribbons!)

    Comment by Susan — August 27, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  39. All of those items are gorgeous!!! Congrats on all those ribbons. That fair isle is VERY admirable, you deserve your blue ribbons and then some!!! How much are the premiums that they pay out?

    Comment by anna — August 27, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

  40. Congratulations! I admired your work (though I did not know whose work it was specifically) at the Fair on Saturday, and coveted the Oregon sweater, or at least the knowledge of how to make my own someday. Your work is beautiful, and deserved the ribbons that it won.

    Comment by Katy — August 29, 2007 @ 12:17 am

  41. Wow, wonderful!! Congratulations! Those are some stunning knitted items.

    Comment by Kat — November 17, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

  42. I am commenting about the little lace top from vogue knitting. I was wondering the magazine that you got it from if you know it could you please let me know i would LOVE to back order the issue and make this top it is just beautiful. thanks so much. Kimberly.

    Comment by Kimberly Vensek — August 30, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  43. I have long been a fan of your Oregon cardigan…felt the need to let you know.

    Comment by Judy — April 12, 2016 @ 5:46 pm

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