2016 PA Farm Show Results

Farm Show Results:
This year I entered 12 items into the Family Living Department at the PA Farm Show. And in total I was awarded two honorable mentions, one 5th place, three third places, and 1 second place.

Honorable mentions are always particularly exciting because for all of the numbered place I watch online for results. But you only find out about honorable mentions when you go to the show and pick your stuff up. Both of these projects were random crafts that I had made during 2016 and randomly was able to submit into various categories.

The quilling for my greeting card was talked about here. I realized that I could squeeze it on a greeting card. Although it had at some point during the months between quilling and card attachment sustained a bit of damage that I couldn’t figure out how to repair.

My small tote bag came about because I always like having project bags around for things and fat quarters went on sale at JoAnns. I loved matching all of the fabric colors and then finding this fairly intense (for me) sewing pattern online. I like sewing but it always seems to take forever.

This 5th place jazzy jar was quite fun. I never would have thought to make a “jazzy jar” except that it was a category in the farm show. The little papercut was so much fun to make. I’m particularly proud of the super tiny lamp post. The snow paint on the other hand was less fun. Most notably when I managed to spray myself accidentally - good times.

Winning third place yarn was also pretty awesome. And a friend won first! She and I were talking and we have no idea what they are judging for when it comes to the yarn. It seems to be super random which is pretty frustrating. Right now our best guesses are that they like if you include a tag describing the yarn/how you spun it. Spindle spinning might be a plus in their minds. And we think they really like soft things. Also they may be judging on color.

This third place knitted bunny doll is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever knit so I was actually a bit disappointed in third. But I probably shouldn’t admit that out-loud.

The bookmarks were supposed to be themed around “Celebrating 100 years at the Farm Show”. It was fun to mock up a bunch of random farm show things and cut them out. The only thing I wonder is with cutting machines becoming increasingly common in the crafting world do they assume that's what I’m doing, or do they acknowledge the awesomeness that is Scherenschnitte.

And my best placing of the year was this crochet sweater. I’m mostly proud of it for the color bands which I dyed myself when I couldn’t find the colors I wanted in the store! Alas the yoke fit is a bit strange when I actually wear it, so I haven’t. I really ought to see if maybe I can block it into submission.

And finally I must talk about the sad story of the most amazing cabled sweater. I knit this for my father. It is huge. It is amazing. I gave it to him for Christmas and then immediately took it back just so I could enter it. So I felt really bad when it didn’t win anything. But I’ve since made a matching hat and a woven scarf with the same yarn. So hopefully the wait is worth it for him.
Father was unavailable so I had to use the model I keep on-hand.

February Goals

With February being a short month and it already being February 3rd I’m rather behind on establishing goals. But I can do whatever I want (and I’ve already been working on some of these):

Find a Wedding Venue and Pick a Date - This must happen and the sooner it happens the better I will feel about everything wedding.
Finish Lemon Blueberry Shawl - This is my top crafting priority. I am determined to wear it on my birthday (the 5th) which means I need to top typing and finish so that I can block overnight tomorrow!
Spin 1 skein of yarn - I have two Hobbledehoy fiber projects already started so I just need to pick one and get it done! It will probably be the project I have on the wheel which is a test to see if I am capable of spinning low-twist singles on the wheel. It seems to be working so far!
Wash 2 lb of Farm Show Fleece - I’ve been slowly starting the washing in batches of around 6 oz each using my newest fiber prep tool: a salad spinner. The new process is pretty awesome and much easier than my old methods so it shouldn’t be difficult to tackle at least 5 batches.
Ruana progress - I made a plan to get [this - link calculation post] accomplished in 2016 and then promptly ignored it in January. So in Feb I would like to finish the planning and sampling process. Then wash least 1.5 lbs of fiber. And finally comb at least 6 oz of fiber.
Sheepy Sweater - Alas this project has gotten pretty tedious. But I must make progress! I’d like to finish through the waist shaping on the body so that I can start the sleeves. The whole thing will be a bit haphazard as I’ll stop the body and leave it on the needles, then tackle the sleeves, before returning to the body due to potential lack of yarn.

Bonus objectives:
Rewash polypay fleece
Comb polypay fleece
Flick and card merino
Find a wedding dress or at least try a bunch on

Plan/Buy Yarn/Swatch Wedding Ring Shawl

Big Plans for 2016

I've never been much of one for new years resolutions but there are a few crafty type big/long term projects that have been churning in my mind for a while now that I would like to accomplish.

1. Plan my wedding. I forgot about this at first but I'm going back now after hitting publish to edit it to the top of my list. So Bran and I are engaged now and I suppose I'll actually have to like plan the wedding at some point. I've already suggested going to the courthouse twice, but realistically thats not the way we'll do things. Maybe I should knit myself a wedding shawl. That sounds much more fun than the rest of the planning.

2. Sheepy Sweater. I've already started this project but there is still a ways to go before it is finished. Plus I'll actually need to be brave enough to steek it when the knitting is finished.

3. Fox Paws. This pattern is amazing and a few months back I used a knitpicks gift card from my Aunt and Uncle to buy enough yarn for two of these scarves using different color palates. But I know it will take some serious knitting fortitude and therefore expect the project to take forever.

4. Sweater with a colorwork yoke using handspun alpaca. I spun this yarn during the TDF with this project in mind. I may actually end up needing a bit more yardage which would be fine. But more importantly I also need to pick a pattern and do all of the knitting.

5. Ruana for Carolyn. She gave me a literal car trunk full of alpaca fiber this summer. Turning some of that fiber into a garment for her is only appropriate.

6. Another sweater from handspun. Exact fiber and sweater pattern tbd. But probably something fairly plain that features the yarn. I had this in mind when I purchased the Polypay X fiber so that would probably be ideal. But really there are many options.

7. Striped featherweight sweater. This summer one of my laceweight TDF yarns was destined for a shawl but a friend tried to convince me it should be a sweater instead. I stuck with my original plan but the handspun striped sweater idea is also awesome and should totally happen. Plus I've already made like 3 featherweight sweaters so they are obviously quite doable (if we ignore the fact that there are already way too many sweaters on this list). And I may have also already knit a swatch back in the summer to test the idea.

8. Linen stitch scarf with handspun singles. This is an idea I've been working on. I've already spun up a few fibers from Hobbledehoy with this project in mind. I don't actually need to finish the whole thing during the year as I'm envisioning it as a project of many different yarns all blended together. But a solid start and some progress would be nice. The swatch has already been knit.

Other less specific but still worth goals:

9. Spin at least 1 skein of yarn each month. In the past my spinning has been rather bunched into big bursts often related to big events. A more regular habit would be nice.

10. Blog more often. Once a week really ought to be more than doable.

11. Weave things. I got a wonderful rigid heddle loom for Christmas from my parents! I've already made one scarf and need to get better at using it.

12. Project 366. Take at least one photo a day. Likely to be all phone camera photos posted to Instagram because its convenient and therefore more likely to happen.

13. Get better at dyeing. Pretty much just by doing more of it. I also really need to figure out a recipe for a nice brown. Or cave and buy a brown dye.

There are probably other ideas that I have forgotten but really I think if I accomplish half of these things I will be quite happy.

PS: Helo helped write this post (this is not posed, he climbed up when I was already typing):