Friday, July 26, 2013

Backstage at the Ventura County Fair

I was going to enter something in the Home Arts department at the Ventura County Fair.  My friends kept talking up the new Tunisian crochet section, and how everyone ought to enter something.  It's a new category and they really wanted it to be popular enough to stay around for awhile.

A few years ago, I came up with a Tunisian baby blanket pattern--which is for sale in my Etsy shop, btw--so I thought, I'll just whip out another one and enter it in the fair.  Here's the most recent version of the Marble Bear Binky:

"Just whipping one out" sounds like it took half an hour, doesn't it?  It took quite a few half hours.

And then came moving.

I finished the blanket, but I just couldn't deal with one more thing to do, like dropping off a blanket at the fairground, and/or filling out a form.  I was already running far too many errands and filling out far too many forms.  Rental agreements.  Changes of address.  Yadda yadda ad infinitum.

Besides, I was moving out of that county.  It just didn't feel quite right.  You're supposed to be a county resident.

Plus, I kept hearing that only amateurs could enter their items, and considering that I do sell patterns and Finished Objects, and I sometimes teach, and I work in a yarn/fabric shop, and I do repair work, and so on, does that not qualify me as more or less professional, I asked?

I got some hemming and hawing and avoidance in response to that question, and I am assuming that means they just REALLY wanted more entries.

An earlier one
So when my pal Elisa, a great crocheter, Tunisian and otherwise, asked in an email if I were going to enter anything in the fair, I cringed inwardly and avoided answering.

Then we met to knit-crochet-chat at an LYS, and Elisa asked again if I had entered, and I cringed again, and sheepishly (or llama-ishly) said, "No," and she seemed to think that was good news!

Turns out, she had been asked to judge the crochet items, and she needed a clerk, also known as a scribe, a title which, of course, I love.  If I had entered something, I wouldn't be allowed to scribe or judge.

The scribe keeps track of section numbers and item numbers, which are next to the names of the contributors, and the judge is not allowed to see the names, in order to remain impartial.

Naturally, I agreed at once.  A fun day at the fair with friends, BEFORE THE FAIR OPENS!  First look at the entries.  No crowds.  Sign me up.

Another earlier bear binky
Double Bears!  From way back when.

I meant to take some pictures of the huge building full of dozens of tables piled with quilts, knitted and crocheted items, jams, gourds, and all manner of what-not, but we got busy right away with the judging and before I knew it, I was done, but with no pictures.

It was fun to see what people had entered--some things were really cute.   Met some neat new people and saw some familiar faces too.

But no Tunisian blankets had been entered.  Mine would have been the only one.  I am delighted.  Getting first place by default is not particularly flattering.

Now, next year, I want to see lots of Tunisian at the fair, everybody!  Get your crochet hooks ready!  (I can't enter, so why don't you make a bear?!)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love your Tunisian blankies! Great design.


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