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Poor Prospects For The Fair

This year’s Premium Book was just released, and I am disheartened. The Premium Book is what lists all the categories of county fair competition, the prizes, the submission information and rules – all the technical stuff.

Here’s how it works when you submit something for competition, be it a knit scarf or a baked pie or a pig: your submission falls into a specific category (called a “class”). You are competing against every other entry in that class. You are also, in a less immediate sense, competing against all the entries in that particular division. But the nitty gritty, the thrown elbows, that all happens between class entrants.

Obviously, therefore, the fewer entrants into your particular class, the easier your competition will be.

I could have sworn that “Shawls” was a separate class in the hand-knit division. I couldn’t check, because by the time I got around to planning it, last year’s Premium Book had already been taken offline. (I saved a copy of this year’s Premium Book PDF so this doesn’t happen next year.)

But no. Shawls belong in the “Accessories” class, along with hats, caps, gloves, mittens, scarves, etc. Which is to say: all the things that people want to knit. This category is so crowded with outstanding entries – including some stunning lace shawls – that last year my Selbuvotter mitts barely got a look in.

The full list of classes in the Hand-Knit division is: Sweater/Pullover, Cardigan/Vest, Suit, Accessories, Dress, Baby Set, Baby Blanket, Doily, Pillow, Toys, Afghan, Other. Short of trying to figure out what might fall into “Other,” I think my best bet for next year would be to knit a dress (!!) or a suit (!!!).

(Can anyone recommend a “beginner’s doily pattern”? I just searched Ravelry’s Patterns page for “doily” and I was all like, NOPE.)

In other news, this week I found an adorable frog. It hopped onto some ferns, and I had to run inside to get pictures before it hopped away again. Such perfect camouflage!

green tree frog

Excellent work, good sir.

green tree frog

I award it a blue ribbon in the “Small Frog; Decorative” class.

green tree frog

13 comments to Poor Prospects For The Fair

  • I wonder if you can write to the organizers/judges/whomever and ask/plead/beg them to change how their accessories are classified so that shawls are put into their own category? Because a stunning lace shawl competing against mittens is riddamneddiculous.

  • moiraeknittoo

    That IS a fabulous frog. I wish I could do a pond that would entice amphibians to my yard. And put up a bat box to take care of subsequent mosquitoes.

    I actually thought about trying to do something to submit to the fair this year, but good gods lace against mittens? They’re smokin’ some kind of agriculture for sure.

    Random: I read one line as “baked pig and pie”, and was like “mmmm baked pig”. ;)

  • Another Erika

    Is a doily more of a crochet project? Personally, I can’t make heads or tails of crochet.

    And who would want a knitted suit?

  • tari

    Blasphemy! Shawl vs scarf? Crazy. And who knits suits these days? I can sorta see a knitted dress, but a suit? (I guess socks are “other”?)

    The frog, on the other hand, deserves a blue ribbon for camouflage as well as for being decorative.

  • Hemlock Ring?

    Shawls vs. hats, good grief. A shawl is a major undertaking and lace demands exquisite counting skills and being able to read one’s knitting when said knitting is nearly impossible to read. A hat? Pffft. Not that there are not some great hats out there, but no hat requires the level of skill of a lace shawl.

    Mr. Frog: excellent green.

  • Sounds like no one’s updated the fair classes since the 1940’s…
    Love your little frog!

  • Cristina

    At my house, he’d be competing in the Critter Division which includes pet dogs, strays, snakes, frogs, lizards, hairy neighbors, birds of prey, wading birds and songbirds.

  • Erika

    Ha! I think my frog will definitely take the blue ribbon for “Amphibians, adult”!

  • kt

    Oooh, I’d put that lovely green fella in the “Garden Worker” category, too….eating up all them skeeters and such….more than just a decorative face!

  • Northmoon

    Lovely frog. Perfect match to the fern.

  • Claudia Ridgway

    Knitted doilies or crocheted doilies? I actually have some knitted doily patterns … lol. I also have some absolutely stunning knitted dress patterns :)

    Beyond that, there goes my idea of starting a lace shawl now so that I can get it done for the fair NEXT year. Maybe I should take one of these absolutely stunning dress patterns myself and start knitting.

  • Erika

    I don’t know. I think about trying a knitted doily… but this year’s experience with the bureaucratic disaster that is our county fair has really soured me on the whole thing. Every year there is some kind of mess, but it seems to get worse every year! The stupid sorting of categories is jut the icing on the cake.