Saanich Fall Fair 2014!

Finally, the fall fair! We went last weekend, and I haven’t had time to share the news until now (because we also moved last weekend… busy times!) This post has kind of a ton of photos, so I hope you’re into that.

First, I won’t lie, I went to check out the Needlework Room, since that’s where my entries were! (In case you missed it, the post about what I entered is here.) Out of four entries, two won blue ribbons! SO EXCITED! Both the cabled mittens and the Shepherd Hoodie won in their categories :) The other two things just got to be part of the fair, which is also pretty excellent as far as I’m concerned. The Shepherd Hoodie also won the Victoria Knitters’ Guild award for best Fancy Knitted Sweater! So cool. I love fairs. (And if I’m honest I really like winning stuff too.)

Winning Mittens! (The white ones)

Winning sweater! (The white one, again)

My garter spectrum blanket!

Other awesome stuff we saw in the Needlework room: an incredibly cool knitted salmon, a crazy intricate knitted gingerbread house…

Coolest knitted SALMON!

Incredibly intricate knitted gingerbread

The whole room was full of amazing things, which of course I failed to photograph. Oops! I did snap lots of other cool fair stuff though. Vegetable dude!

Incredible vegetable dude

Tiny adorable plants!

Tiny tiny plants

Apples make me feel like fall is right there. Right?

APPLES GALORE!

Beautiful and leafy!

Thanks for the instructions 4-H!

How to Ice a Cake. Thanks 4H!

I ate these. Also mini-donuts which I failed to photograph :)

Hot dog. Onion Rings. Yes.

MOHAIR GOATS!

Regular goats and mohair goats!

ALPACA PARTY! I got to pet one. What.

ALPACA PARTY! I got to pet one.

Sheep haircut time! Just a trim.

Sheep in the beauty chair

Brad: “Do you know why some of them wear coats?” Me: “YES! It keeps their wool cleaner and prevents it from being discoloured by the sun. KNOWLEDGE!”

Sheep in coats

Sheep buddies :) Their faces are basically the cutest.

HI SHEEP FRIEND!

Cows

Sunflowers

Fluffy bunny

Prize winning eggs! This colour is bananas.

Prize winning eggs

Bye fair! I’m already excited and planning for what I’d like to enter next year.

Bye fair!

Is there a local fall or agricultural fair near you? I heartily recommend them :)

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GUESS WHAT TIME IT (almost) IS!

It’s aaaaaaaalmost FALL FAIR TIME!

Sign

As you may remember from last year, I am a HUGE fall fair fan. I just kind of love everything about them, a quality which has baffled a lot of my friends lately. But seriously, what’s NOT to love about them? Crisp weather (hopefully), adorable animals of all kinds, deep fried foods, farmer’s marketey produce and products, a midway, and exhibits full of hand made entries! I love love love fall fairs :)

Last year was the first year I entered things I had made into the fair since I was a kid, and it was definitely as fun as I remembered! I even won some ribbons, which was delightful.

A few days ago, I dropped off my entry form for this year’s fair. Eeeee! Not the actual entries yet, those don’t need to go in until shortly before the fair in a few weeks.

Entries!

So, based on those only slightly cryptic categories, can you guess what I’m entering? (You don’t actually have to guess… I’m going to tell you because EXCITEMENT!)

First, a plain sweater, which can only have garter, stockinette, and ribbing. Remember this guy?

Cozy!

Plain! And cozy :)

Next, a sweater with “fancy stitching”!

Shepherd

Basically, there are 3 categories of sweater – plain, fancy, and traditional aran. Even though this sweater has aran elements, I don’t think it’s a “traditional” aran. Hence, fancy stitching! I’m really really proud of this sweater, so I hope the judges like it.

The third entry is a baby’s blanket. I’m entering this happy thing!

A pop of colour!

I know the difficulty level is very low, since it’s all garter stitch, but I love the colours, so I’m going to enter it :)

Last thing! MITTENS! I’m entering these softie cabley beauties.

Here's to warm hands!

That’s it! I still have a few weeks to wait until the actual fair, but I’m really looking forward o it already. Are you entering anything in your local fair? If you never have, DEFINITELY consider it! It’s really fun, and helps to support agricultural fairs so they can continue to exist. Yay fairs!

Something finished, something new.

Something finished!

I finished both of the Magic Mirror mittens, made from 100% angora yarn that I picked up at Maiwa on Granville Island a couple of years ago. I gave them a quick wash and then let them air dry, to help even out the cables.

Here's to warm hands!

They’re lovely and soft and if it’s still cold here this winter I will wear them! Pretty and girly and not very practical :)

Something new!

Because my other in-progress projects are either a. long term (the Six’es blanket – I now have 66/189 hexagons complete), b. SO CLOSE to being finished I can taste it (the Shepherd hoodie!), or c. lace that means I need to pay attention (I haven’t shown you the lace yet!), I started something new.

Because I have a slim budget at the moment, and because I have plenty of very nice yarn already, I’ve been choosing new projects the last few months by searching through my yarn closet until I feel excited. (Okay there’s other stuff in the closet besides yarn… I just mostly care about the yarn.) Sometimes it’s texture that grabs me, or wanting a particular finished garment, but usually it’s colour.

When I opened the closet, I saw this gorgeous yellow mohair I’ve had for a while (also acquired on Granville Island, but at a different store!) I still haven’t really decided on the perfect pattern for it, despite thorough Ravel-diving.

Sunny mohair

I also noticed these yarns together:

Happy colours

SO PRETTY! I imagined a tubular cowl with narrow stripes in all of these colours and got REALLY excited. On closer examination, I remembered that the white and yellow are heavier weight than the other colours (they’re sport weight, and the rest is sock weight); swatching confirmed that they will not all play nicely together after all.

The white and yellow, however, are both the exact same yarn, and it was the happy sunny yellow that most caught my imagination. This yarn is squishy and bouncy, an 80% merino, 20% bamboo blend with lots of energy and twist.

Stripe time

So, instead of the rainbowey stripey concoction I imagined, I cast on a tubular, striped, chevron cowl in white and yellow. I’m adapting from this pattern.

Chevron stripes!

The dark blue is a provisional cast on – I’ll unravel it, at the end, so that I can graft the two live ends together and make everything seamless and fancy!

Chevron stripes!

It’s good to have this project on the needles. Easily memorized pattern, good for working on while watching tv or listening to vlogs & podcasts, shortish rows, bright happy colours. What are you working on?

This week, I’ve been…

1. … kinda sick. I’ve been drinking lots of hot liquids. Mostly hot water with honey, lemon, and ginger.

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2. …working on my super soft angora mittens (pattern here, yarn here). This project has gone SUPER quickly.

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3. …making soup. This is the beginnings of very tasty onion soup. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, except I didn’t have wine (sad), and I added some rosemary and a parmesan rind, because obviously. I didn’t bother with the croutons, but I did add cheese to my bowl. Soup is good for sick people.

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4. …blocking the finished mittens! Yeah!!

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5. …not finishing my Shepherd sweater. Not yet, folks. I did wind up yarn for a new sweater project, though! More details when I get it cast on :)

Mitten fit.

So, here’s the thing. I’m an experienced and pretty confident knitter. I adjust patterns all the time to create garments that will fit me the way I want them to – shorter sleeves, adequate busts, buttons where I want them, all kinds of modifications.

Even though I can and usually do take my actual body’s measurements into account when I’m knitting, until now, I’ve only ever knit mittens that are too big for me.

I really have no explanation for this. I tried them on as I went. I could see that probably they would be “a little bit long”. But I still finished them.

Exhibit A: a basic mitten recipe, and handspun that I got at one of Victoria’s yarn stores.

Long

The cuff is WAY too long. The wrist-to-fingertip portion isn’t too bad, but the too-long-cuff means it never sits quite right. Also notice the lobster claw thumb, which is weird and wrong but I love it.

Exhibit 2: Beautiful cabled mittens out of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter yarn, which is unique and gorgeous.

SO long

WHO HAS ARMS LIKE THIS?! (Just to be clear – the birth mark on the left of the photo is about 1″ away from the inside of my elbow. Is there a name for “inside elbow part”? Inbow? Brb googling… “Antecubital Fossa”.) Pattern, you crazy. Sarah, you also crazy for not realizing you made a mitten sleeve, and then MAKING ANOTHER ONE. So beautiful, so too long for me.

Exhibit III: Okay fine, these pretty much fit. But the button loop at the end makes them a little bit impractical… or at least a little bit quirky. (The pattern is by the super talented Ysolda Teague.)

Also kind of long

Finally, enter New Favourite Mittens That Fit And Also Have Nostalgic Childhood Resonance!

Just right :)

Following another Raveller’s modifications, I eliminated several sections of the (very nice, and very free) pattern, in order to shorten the cuff, the palm, and the thumb, substantially. And behold! A my-hand-sized mitten! It’s made out of 100% angora, which is BANANAS soft.

Mitten party!

When I was a kid, I had a pair of plain white angora mittens and a matching hat that were super super soft, and only for special occasions, and I treasured them. They weren’t handknit, or cabled, but they were soft and pretty and made appearances on the kind of days when my sister and I had to wear matching dresses my mom had sewed with crinolines and too tight sleeve elastic. I’m pretty stoked about the new, adult version, that I can wear anytime I want :)

Pretty mitten!