September 25, 2021

Supporting Our Local Fall Fair!

 A friend asked me if I'd enter some items in the local fair.   It was cancelled last year and was scaled back this year, still due to Covid restrictions.    There were far fewer classes than other years, to help keep contact risks down.    However there were weaving classes!  I do like to support local events, so of course I'd enter something.    I entered 3 items.   I had a couple of others in mind, but they were for jams, preserves and such.  I wasn't sure I had the time to get them ready, so I went with just the crafty ones.  I really wasn't expecting too much because I've seen the entries in other years and there is an amazing array of talent shown at the local fairs.

I think I did okay though.   I didn't feel right about taking any prize money, especially when times are lean for the local Ag societies, so I asked for my winnings to be donated back.   

This is my rug hooked with hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn.   I really didn't expect this to win at all because in past years there have been some pretty amazing rugs shown.   The second place rug was technically perfect and had absolutely gorgeous colour choices.   The gal who hooked it said she was happy the judge took into account the hand dyed and spun yarn.

This wasn't the scarf I was going to originally enter.  I had one with a lovely hand painted warp, but I'd taken it to a meeting to show off and left it in the tote bag.  Of course I hunted high and low and couldn't find it.  I entered this scarf, wool and silk blend, in a bumbaret weave structure.   It's interesting but not quite as striking as the hand painted warp.  Still, I'm happy with it.   

And yes, I found the missing scarf almost as soon as I got home from dropping off my entries.

These placemats were a last minute decision.   It wasn't in the weaving section, but the general crafts.   They are made with a commercial yarn.   I thought they'd go in my kitchen, but the colours don't match.   But they are machine washable and durable, every day sort of placemats and it must have meant something to the judges.   There were some cute appliqued Santa placemats in second place.

So hubby also had the winning bid on a silent auction item and we took home a dry wall lifter for doing ceilings, for the grand total of $35.   He was pretty happy about that!

I was happy to get to hear one of the John Denver impersonator's sets.  He was really good!

I will have to say that local fairs are becoming fewer and fewer.  There are a few big ones which are well supported, but many others struggle to survive!   Next year, please go out and enjoy the fall fair events in your area, even if they are sometimes a little old fashioned.  The livestock competitions are fun.  There are often lots of activities for kids, fair food and more.  You can ohhh and aww and sometimes giggle over the entries in the homecraft divsion and see farm crops, veggies and giant sunflowers.   Sometimes they get the 4H clubs to do educational displays, which can be awe inspiring, when you realize that these are kids showing off some amazing skills and knowledge.  

September 17, 2021

How Time Flies!

I wanted to knit a new winter toque.   The pattern called for a heavy worsted weight yarn.    I tried with a commercial yarn but it wasn't heavy enough, plus the colour didn't rock my world.   The pattern has a wide, cabled band.  I hunted through my stash and found some merino which I thought was an appropriate grist, which I'd spun worsted.  A worsted spun yarn would give really nice definition to the cables.   First, I dyed the white yarn to a mottled ecru colour.    It was nice and I liked it.   I started knitting and the cables looked wonderful.  By the time I was at the final 10 rows, I was questioning my choice.  The yarn was obviously just a tad bigger than needed, so even with my choosing a smaller size, the hat was too big.   Plus, this was a robust yarn.   My hat was really heavy!   So it's been frogged, with nary a photo for remembering it.

I made and canned salsa.  The recipe said it should thicken up with about 10 minutes of boiling.   It took over an hour.   Next time, I'll just run all the veggies through my food processor to rough chop as hand chopping took forever.  I have enough for half our winter needs though.

Apricot jam made from an 1832 recipe for Apricot Marmalade.   It's very delicious.   Apricots were crazy expensive at the market this year so it's also the most expensive jam I've ever made.   It's a good thing it's so tasty!  Just to mention that I've no problem using grocery store fruit, but I only found imported apricots this year and no little baskets or containers of local apricots.   I was happy to find them at the market.

This bowl of garden fresh tomatoes and basil became a really good marinara sauce.  I didn't peel the tomatoes though.  I just chopped them up, added some onion, garlic, parsley, carrot, zucchini, and a bit of dried italian spice.  I tossed everything in the slow cooker and set it on low.  I stirred it twice, otherwise ignoring it.   About an hour before it was done, I shredded and added the basil leaves.   I liked it as is, although hubby added some chopped leftover hamburger patty to it.  It was good day one, but it was spectacular on day two.   There are several meals of pasta sauce in the freezer too!

This is a bad photo of this year's bounty of canned tomatoes.   I ended up with 38 pints.   I actually ran out of clear jars and had to use a green glass jar, so one of the jars looks like it has ugly brownish tomatoes in it.  I'm aiming to using that one first.

Hubby has been chopping and splitting wood.  Not only did we get several loads of logs delivered, but a huge willow tree dropped a couple of branches on the neighbour's field, so he was out there cleaning up that as well.   The neighbour is in his 90's.  It really seems like there are not a lot of young independent farmers out there.