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2011 State Fair Results

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Of course, the results of all of my hard work had to be posted at some point, but I have to admit I was very disappointed with the quality of the judging this year. In some of the categories I felt the judge did a wonderful job and really pulled some top pieces into the ribbon pile, but in others I thought a 3 year old picked the top placing projects. No, really. There were some great pieces (and I don’t mean just mine) that were missed, and other pieces that never should have placed. It just reinforced my decision to refocus on knitting the projects that I like and if I have something to exhibit next year, that’s fine. Now, then, on to my commentary.

Somehow, I missed taking pictures of my baby blanket and baby sweater, but they did not place.  I’m not sure why the blanket didn’t place, but whatever.

My plied skein didn’t place and that was fine. It will make something very pretty, but I didn’t expect it to place. The blue and purple skein next to it (you can only see part of it) didn’t place either and it was really a nicely made yarn. Why it didn’t place is beyond me, and I will grant that I couldn’t touch the skein, but you can tell quite a bit about yarn from looking at it. Oh, and the Grand Champion spinning was a novelty skein. I’m sorry, but I’m prejudiced against novelty skeins. I just hate them.
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My handspun handknit was 4th. I suppose that’s fine. I wasn’t impressed with the projects that placed above mine, but I wasn’t expecting much in this category either.
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Now we come to the lace category. My lace shawl was 4th in it’s category, and again, I wasn’t impressed with the ones that placed above it. Poor blocking, bad cast offs, and other obvious errors abounded. AND, the shawl that should have won the category didn’t place at all.
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I didn’t manage a particularly nice shot of the blue shawl that should have won the category, but you can see a little of it behind my tatting picture. Isn’t the edging nicely done? The nupps are lovely too. And it didn’t place at all. Honestly, how does this project not place? (Oh, and my tatting didn’t place, but I knew it wouldn’t. I still love my hedgie.)
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The marshmallow bunny peeps didn’t place, but I knew they wouldn’t place. I knit them for the hell of it. 🙂
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The Brambles Beret was second and that’s fine. Now my problem is finding someone to give it to.
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Cait’s Ravinia sweater placed 2nd. The sweater that won the category was a nicely cabled little number, and while I would have liked to win this category, the project that beat it was nice.
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My socks earned an honorable mention, which is nice.  I wasn’t expecting them to place well, and an honorable mention is just out of the money. That’s fine though, I just wanted to make the socks.
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I will say that the mittens that won this category were stunning. I mean, they were knock-out mittens. This was the best picture I managed of them, but they were truly lovely and well deserving of the grand champion ribbon.
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Cute little Liblikakiri didn’t place, but again, I wasn’t expecting it to do so. I knit it because it made me happy. It still does. 🙂
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My Leitmotif Cardigan was 2nd to the ugly fun-fur covered hideous thing you can sort of see in the corner of the picture. I feel cheated in this category. It is supposed to be for evening or dressy sweaters. Not cat yak. (Hmmm, I also hate fun-fur, can you tell?)
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Kim, your favorite sweater with the leg o’mutton sleeves was 4th. A bit of a surprise, that one. Not sure what to do with it now. I liked the pattern, but I’m not a huge fan of wildly variegated yarns like the one I used.
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I must admit I was a bit disappointed in the next placing. The sweater that placed first is to the left of my Point Gammon Pullover. It’s a much simpler cable pattern and short sleeved, so not as technically difficult as mine, yet it placed higher. Makes me wonder. . .
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My Old Port Pullover was second.
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My Mitered Crosses Blanket placed third, which surprised me again.
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And the Luminen sweater was second too. You can see the first place sweater in the coat or jacket category to the left. More novelty yarn crap. I really hate novelty yarn. I feel a bit cheated in this category as well. I feel that my sweater should have been first.
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But what really honked me off was this travesty in the 2 or more color sweater category. These are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place sweaters.
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Now, it’s not so much about the “sweater that never ends” not placing as it is two other sweaters not placing.
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This was the best picture I could manage through the glass, but you can sort of see the nice deep round yoked sweater to the right in the picture. There were TWO of these sweaters entered and neither one of them placed. Two beautiful colorwork sweaters and they didn’t place AT ALL. And they were nicely done, very nicely done. I could see so much of their beauty through the glass. It just pissed me off that these two exhibitors were cheated out of placing.

So, that is my State Fair report. Overall I’m feeling pretty “meh” about the whole thing. I saw several great projects that didn’t place and several really awful ones that did. I’m not sure that I trust the State Fair to hire judges with any competence. So, yeah, from now on I’m focusing on what I love instead of knitting for the fair.  I’m not even sure that I WILL enter the state fair again at this point.  I’m waffling back and forth right now.

4 thoughts on “2011 State Fair Results

  1. So very sorry about the crazily-mixed results. Can’t be helping your current state of mind. (We’re a pair, by the way, huh?) Were there different judges this year, or did they forget their glasses or something?

    KSD(tryingnewblogID)

  2. I sympathize with your frustration. I did so well last year, placing 6 for 6. This year I only had 2 out of 6 items place, and one was disqualified because the judge thought it was machine knit. So I was accused unfairly of cheating and got screwed out of a ribbon.

    Several other people have voiced their frustration on ravelry. I’ve contacted the fair through the ‘Contact Us’ link on the website and have encouraged others to do so as well. The judging this year was really abysmal. Maybe if enough people contact the fair they’ll get their act together and get someone who is really qualified to judge next year.

    I’m with you though, I don’t even know if I want to enter next year when I’m accused of being a cheater just because I’m a skilled knitter.

  3. Oh keep entering, but don’t kill yourself trying to produce a ton of stuff. Do what you think is beautiful and will make you happy.

    I was PLANNING to enter a shawl this year in our big Puyallup fair….got as far as finding the pattern, learning to entrelac, and finding the yarn. NEXT year, I will knit the shawl!!

    Wouldn’t be nice if they would create a novelty/fun fur catagory, so all that crap didn’t contaminate the work of REAL knitters. (I hate that stuff, too. Can you tell??)

  4. What awesome entries! I skipped the county fairs this year – I think you have wonderful items on exhibit. Didn’t make it to the State Fair this summer – hope to view all the exhibits next year ; )