Well, another grange fair has come and gone. If I'm not confused on my count, I believe this was my 24th year. Last year I was sick as a dog and thought for sure no entries, but I searched for projects I completed during that year and found an item to enter for judging. Glad to say it won a ribbon. Not a first place, but that's okay with me!
This year, I had 4 entries. I have been hoping to beat my all-time high of 12 entries in one year, but my crochet mojo comes and goes. I have done more crocheting this year than I have in the last several years, but a lot of that has been little crocheted hats for a NICU and not entries for the fair. It's okay though, as NICU hats are close to my heart. I love making hats for the smallest and most delicate of God's children. My older son spent time in the NICU as a newborn. His bilirubin count was so high that it required 2 complete blood exchange transfusions to try to bring his count down. He survived it and thrives today with a wife and 2 boys of his own!
My entries this year consisted of a hat, scarf, Christmas ornament and an apple-shaped dishcloth, all crocheted. 3 out of the four took ribbons. Third place for the dishcloth and Christmas ornaments, and a first place for the hat. Imagine my surprise when I stopped in the fair on opening day and found a blue ribbon on my hat - but the tag had been changed by the judges to move it to the knitted category! First place for a knitted hat! The hat was correctly entered as crocheted (here is a link to the youtube video for the hazelnut beanie, if anyone wants to give it a try). The judges mistook it for brioche knitting, which I've never heard of. Seeing this, I felt funny accepting the ribbon so I e-mailed the fair personnel to let them know about the mistake. When I went to pick up my items on the last day of the fair, I spoke to a fair worker in the needlework area. She said they received my e-mail and they wanted me to take the ribbon anyway, as they loved the hat and thought it deserved first place, even as crocheted. I highly recommend trying this beanie, if you love to crochet. It was a fun piece to work on, and I may try small versions to donate to the hospital. Below are the pictures of my entries and some pictures of the NICU hats I'm making.
In March we went on a cruise to the Caribbean. That's where I got a lot of hats finished. Best part of some of my days was relaxing in the coffee bar with an iced coffee or iced tea and crocheted in quiet comfort.