For as long as I remember my childhood summers ended with my great-grandmother talking over her Mid-South Fair art entries. Her submissions usually landed some sort of ribbon, and in my youth, I was too selfish to note what they were. For years after, those ribbons hung from the paintings that won them all over her living room. Her little house was just about held up by paintings and family pictures. Now, her art is shared amongst the strangers who bought it from art shows and family. The ones that grace my walls now may not have been winners or even entrants. I’m really not sure. She was heavy in my thoughts as I walked up to the Delta Fair drop off for contest entries. Filling out the tags, attaching them to my five entries, handing them over to the volunteers. I can only imagine her dedication as she did that year after year, sometimes placing or sometimes not. Her heavy, matted and framed, art entries weighing down her Crown Victoria trunk and her own small frame. She must have really loved it.
My entries aren’t nearly as glamorous as hers, only making it to the craft and culinary contests, but I bet my flutters of excitement were the same.
This was my third time knitting the Nemesis pattern. I was sure I wouldn’t make any mistakes. mostly, I didn’t. However, I got lazy on the gusset, if you look really closely, you might be able to see it did not experience a smooth decrease. And the toes of each sock are slightly different – neither is actually knitting correctly. Familiarity doesn’t usually breed contempt for me. I like people I’ve known forever. Familiar places start to feel like home. Ritual is comforting. Developing family traditions feels so right. But this knitting pattern has seen its last sock from my hands.
This sock was my Ravellenic Games challenge (I failed). It was a perfectly reasonable goal that saw miserable effort. And I sat to watch the Olympics most nights. I’m not sure what I knitted. Still pleased enough with the result, I entered these into the socks category of our local fair.
Stitch definition could be better. This was a kettle-dyed yarn (knit one, crochet too crock-o-dye). I had hoped the variations would end up more of a blur than they did. the patterned heel section is my favorite.
I also entered this baby sweater. The Sunnyside Cardigan. It’s as perfect as I know how to get it. Well – without putting a baby in it anyway.
I won the blue ribbon for the socks, and a blue ribbon for my blueberry basil jam. An encouraging experience, to say the least. I’m already looking forward to next year and thinking about what I should enter.