I'd like your help to rewrite the rules for county fair knitting. No, not MY knitting for the county fair -- the RULES AND CRITERIA for knitting at the county fair. When I chatted with the University extension guy who works with 4H clubs in the county, he mentioned that people have told him that the existing rules and criteria for knitting are out of date and that people don't knit like that any more. I offered to help update them.
So now I am going to ask YOU to update them; actually, to help me out.
All our heads together are way smarter than my own head.
Here is what the fair guide says for the knitting category, open division. (The rules for 4Hers are very similar, the major difference being that there are several divisions based on age and skill level.)
RULES: 1. All articles must have been made by exhibitor since last year's county fair.
2. All articles must be accompanied by a 3"x5" card with the following information: A. Fiber content of yarn(s) - state percentage(s) B. Intended use and care C. Size of needles or hooks used
CLASS A: KNITTING SECTION Lot No.
1. Child's sweater
2. Adult's sweater or vest, may have pattern
3. Sweater, mixed colors, carrying yarn
4. Gloves or mittens, 4 needles
5. Socks, 4 needles
6. Baby set, 2 or more pieces
8. Afghan, baby (approx. 36"45")
9. Knitted item from hand-spun yarn
11. Any other knitted item
Allow a two-year period for adult sweaters and afghans; some of us are slow knitters, some of us don't have enough time to knit, some of us are, ahem, women of substance who require something larger than XS, and a sweater knit on size 3 needles obviously takes a lot more time than one knit on size 11s. Or maybe just substitute the word "completed" for "made".
Add the word "stitch(es)" after "pattern" in #2, to distinguish pattern stitches from the colorwork of #3.
Add a category after #3: "Sweater, mixed colors, intarsia".
Substitute "knitted in the round" for "4 needles" for gloves/mittens and socks. This seems to me to be the criterion that is the most obviously out of date.
A separate category for lace, although I am not sure there are enough lace knitters in the county for the category to have more than roughly one entry.
What else? Are any of you familiar with the rules for knitting at your own local fairs? Are they better/worse and how so? TIA!
Found at MyLifeIsAverage.com, aka MLIA. Enjoy! I laughed until I cried at the first one and was pretty much limp on the floor by the last.
Today I had to take an AP biology test about safety. The question was List 3 types of behavior not acceptable in a laboratory. I listed: Kicking another person in the teeth; Re-enacting scenes from Walker Texas Ranger; and Pretending to be a cartoon character on speed. Full credit was given. MLIA.
Today, my drum line had a drum battle with another marching band's drum line. When the other school was done, they threw their drum sticks down, acting all hard core. My drum line stole their sticks and ran away. I'm pretty sure we won. MLIA
Today, I was grocery shopping and had several items for my cat, including litter, food, and a flea collar, in my cart. While exiting the pet aisle an older man stopped me and asked me if I had a cat; looking at him blankly, I informed him that this was for me. His face made grocery shopping enjoyable. MLIA
Today I was proofreading my little brother's story for English when I came across this interesting comparison. "The boat gracefully glided across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't." He's in sixth grade and I'm pretty sure he's the reincarnation of Shakespeare. MLIA [kmkat note: I think this is actually an opening line from a Bulwer-Lytton entry, but it's still good for a laugh.]
Today, I was rummaging through my drawer looking for a stapler when I found my old Pokémon stamp. My homework is now Pikachu certified. MLIA.
Last night, I looked out my window and noticed that the streetlight in front of my neighbors' house was out. This intrigued me, so I looked closer and saw that all the streetlights near their house were out. I don't know why Dumbledore was visiting my neighbors, but I'm going to start being a lot nicer to them. MLIA.
I went to Disneyland dressed as Waldo. All day long, whenever I saw someone take out a camera, I would freeze in the background of their photo. Best day ever spent. MLIA
Yesterday in biology, I got really excited and looked under my table. Taped under it was a bag of chips and a note for me. My lab partner looked extremely confused. Little does she know that my sister and I are secret agents and leave notes for each other around school. School has never been more
Today, I received a knock on the door from two teenage boys dressed in doctor suits with a giant needle. They asked me if I've seen somebody suspicious lurking around my property. At that exact moment another teenager in a straight jacket ran by and the two chased after him. I still can't stop
and I were in the living room watching TV when I decided to watch "All
Dogs Go to Heaven." As I pressed play, my cat looked at me, got up, and
left the room. I sensed a note of hostility. MLIA
We were in class and for some reason our teacher wasn't showing up. Suddenly the principle of our school ran into the room, screaming, "THE BRITISH ARE COMING! THE BRITISH ARE COMING!" and ran out as fast as he could. Five minutes later our British substitute walked into the room. MLIA
Today, I realized that even if T-rexes have arms that are too short for hugging, they can still chest-bump each other. This made me feel a little better for them. MLIA
My friend showed me the late slip that he turned in. His excuse was that he had been "stuck at Platform 9 and 3/4". It was approved as a valid excuse. It made my day. MLIA.
The other day in church the sermon was on lasting relationships, so my preacher asked all the couples that had been together for 50 years to stand. He continued increasing the years until there was only one couple left standing. The congregation politely applauded, and the guy held up his hand for a high-five from his wife. She slapped his butt instead. I think God would have approved. MLIA.
And the very, very, very best one of all? The one that made me stop reading because nothing could ever top it?
Today after reading a MLIA about a purse that said G-unit on it I decided to look it up on Urban dictionary because I myself did not know what G unit meant. Third definition down was, "Super hardcore ghetto slang for, 'Gee, you knit?' " Forget anything about rapping. THIS is the definition I now choose to believe. MLIA
I finished the things I was knitting for the Friends of the Polk County Libraries booth at Autumnfest. These are fulled wine bottle sacks -- a re-usable gift wrap when you give a bottle of wine.
Hmmm. I really need to restain the deck railing.
Let's take a closer look. Aren't they cute and colorful?
These were tremendous fun to make, although I was getting a just a teensy bit tired of them by #5.
The big question is, how much to charge for one? What say y'all? Keep in mind this is an impoverished rural county. I am thinking $10/each, but that may be more than people are willing to pay. There will be at least two local wineries exhibiting at the festival; I'm hoping I can get one of them to put one of our sacks in their display.
The dirty deets:
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, except for the blue in the center sack which was some Lopi Lite left over from another project. It didn't felt quite as well as the WotA but that didn't spoil the end result. Needles: Knit Picks Options circ, US#8/5mm (I'm trying to learn the metric sizes); Magic Loop. Pattern: A freebie that another member of the Friends found here. Mods: None, except that due to inadequate pattern reading, I decreased on every row of the bottom instead of every other row. A tribute to felted knitting: it didn't matter.
Oh, and the pattern called for the tie to be a crochet chain; I made I-cord for the first two, but then switched to the chain. A crocheted chain takes roughly a minute and a half, I-cord of the same length somewhat longer. The Kat™ = Lazy.
The big fun of the project was choosing the colors. I put one skein of each color that could possibly be considered autumnal into a laundry basket; I picked one or two colors that appealed to me, then added and swapped out other colors until I had five that went together. I seemed to always end up with three darker, more intense colors and two lighter, more neutral colors.
I used a variation of the Fibonacci sequence for the stripe pattern: 2, 2, 4, 6. Since I had five colors and a 4-stripe pattern, the color sequence shifted over the course of the knitting. This had the added benefit that I used roughly the same amount of each color yarn in any particular sack.
It turns out that my Maytag front-loader fulls/felts just fine, even on the warm wash/cool rinse cycle. The sack at the far right in the first photo that is a bit shorter than the others didn't felt quite enough the first time through, so I threw it back into the washer for another go. That made it smaller than the others, but still okay. As Smokey and I like to tell each other when we find ourselves being way too anal over some inconsequential matter, This ain't brain surgery. Just do it and let's move on.
I got a package in the mail! Yarn for this year's Red Scarf:
(Yes, that is seven (7!) skeins of yarn, 861 yards, for one scarf. I haven't made a DK weight scarf (since pre-Ravelry; hence, no record of yardage used), so I bought enough to be sure I didn't run out. Presumably I will have some left over for preemie caps or fingerless gloves or something.)
and yarn for a second chemo cap* for Smokey's co-worker**:
En Esch was kind enough to help me out in the photo shoot.
He even stuck around while I was knitting on the deck.
He likes to remind me of his ultimate cuteness...
...completely unencumbered by brains.
* I would like to request that no more of my relatives or acquaintances or co-workers be diagnosed with cancer. This will be my fourth chemo hat since June. Enough, already! Cancer, begone!
** Remember when that championship golfer's wife was diagnosed with cancer and he withdrew from the pro tour to take care of her? Not to minimize their ordeal, but at least she has, 1, partner to do that, and b, the financial resources to make it possible. When we saw the story on the news, Smokey got a little indignant, saying, "What about other women with cancer? The ones who rearrange their work schedule so they can have their chemo on their days off? The ones who have to keep working because they have no choice?" He was thinking of his co-worker. I have thought of her many times since that.
When I sat down at the computer this morning there was a reminder waiting for me.
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, I had no commitments for the day, and after catching up on my email and blogs and coffee, away I went.
This is what greeted me as I drove into the parking lot.
Is that a timeless picture of childhood or what?
Is this the right place?
Indeed it is.
I got there near the end of the day and heard only the last speaker, who spoke about the prayer shawl ministry. She made several good points:
It doesn't have to be a shawl. The item could be a hat or a pair of socks or a scarf. Not everyone, i.e., the male half of the population, will wear or appreciate a shawl.
It doesn't have to represent a prayer; it can say, I am thinking of you or Here's a hug or whatever. No need for a Come-to-Jesus conversion.
She teaches in an alternative learning center. For those of you not familiar with that term, an ALC is a school, often a high school, for students who are not suited to the regular classroom. Generally not for developmentally disabled students, the ALC is geared toward those who might well otherwise drop out of school -- teen parents (day care is provided for their babies and toddlers), kids with severe ADHD, kids with anger management problems, kids with issues.
She told a story about knitting caps for the kids in her first class there, which made me think about the kids that Smokey works with at the hospital.
I may knit some caps myself if he can distribute them.
Knitters, when present in an audience, always look alike.
Here's what I mean: see those busy hands?
One of my table mates was interested everything.
I did bring home a little something.
A closer look (aren't those colors fun?):
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On the drive home I saw somethi--, er, somebody in the road.
It was crossing the road after leaving this, a little stream that runs through a wetland -- nearly dry because we are in a three-year drought -- then flows through a culvert under the road.
I knew it had come from there because I could see the trail it had left in the mud.
Ugly suckers, mud turtles (I think; I didn't put my fingers close enough to find out it was really a snapper)... (ETA: I have since been corrected by, not one, but TWO, biologists. This is a indeed a snapping turtle. Mud turtles only grow to about 5 inches in length. This guy's shell was a good foot long. Thanks, lisa and sparrowgrass!)
Just in case you need a little extra incentive to let out your inner pirate:
How can you resist?
My pirate name is:
Red Mary Kidd
Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
I was driving home yesterday and decided I needed to take some photos.
This is the township road that leads to the gravel road that leads to the dead-end road that leads to our driveway. My favorite time of autumn is when there is still lots of green, so that the occasional burst of color really stands out.
If you should ever find yourself in a position where you have to give the prayer, or invocation, or some such thing in a public forum, and you also find yourself to be clearly at the atheistic/agnostic end of the spectrum, here is a *prayer* that might serve:
May our sense of fairness enable us to deal openly and evenhandedly with whatever comes before us.
May our consciences remind us to respect each other, both here and elsewhere.
May we be open-minded enough to recognize that an idea may be a good one even if it is different than our
May we remember that we are here to serve others, not our own vanity or self-interest.
May we remember that those others may be yet unborn.
May we remember that we are stewards of our public resources.
May a saving sense of humor liberate us from arrogance, pompousness, and from thinking ourselves more
important than we are.
May we grow our own integrity though these actions.
May we be as good in our hearts and actions as we have always wanted to be.
This month it was my turn to give the prayer at the beginning of the county board meeting. While I can respect the tradition of asking for wisdom in such a circumstance, there was no way I was going to invoke God-Jesus-Buddha-Allah myself. So I googled "prayer -god" and eventually found something -- I think it was a Unitarian prayer -- that I could use. (I tweaked it considerably.) That prayer seems to have been based on a prayer (#496 in the Unitarian hymnal by the Rev. Dr. Harry Meserve:
"From arrogance, pompousness, and from thinking ourselves more
important than we are, may some saving sense of humor liberate us. For
allowing ourselves to ridicule the faith of others, may we be forgiven.
. . ."
Apparently my *prayer* was heard because I got several compliments on it. Today I ran into a friend who had come to the meeting to hear what would transpire on a certain issue of local import; he asked for the prayer because he finds himself in a similar situation.
That made me think there may be others like us. If so, here ya go -- use it, change it, personalize it with my blessing.
I finished the chemo hat for my sister-in-law. It started out like this,one skein of KP Shine Sport. I have used Shine Worsted for preemie caps and loved it because it makes such soft, comfy hats. SIL lives near Houston, though, and I was told that the temps there are still in the 100 degree range. So I wanted her hat to be lighter weight than the worsted preemie ones.
Unfortunately I didn't think about yardage. The assumption in the back of my mind was that one skein is ALWAYS enough for a hat. But at some point I happened to to look at the other hat I had made from this pattern on US#4 needles and saw that it had required 175 yards. (If you follow that Ravelry link you will see that it actually took 107 yards. Apparently I cannot read.) The Shine is 110 yd/skein. And the first hat was for a head that was 2" smaller in circumference.
So I ordered more Shine Sport. Two skeins, just in case my singleton skein turned out to be the last one of its dye lot.
Much finger tapping and checking of the mail box ensued.
Finally the yarn arrived. Good to go! The actual knitting only took a couple days.
I think I can safely say that I have conquered this 4-row lace pattern.
An op-ed piece from the Miami Herald by two retired U.S. generals, denouncing former Vice President Cheney's support of torture. Full text here.
Fear Was No Excuse to Condone Torture
By Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoa
In the fear that followed 9/11, Americans were told that defeating Al
Qaeda would require us to “take off the gloves.” As a former Commandant
of the U.S. Marine Corps and a retired Commander-in-Chief of U.S.
Central Command, we knew that was a recipe for disaster. But we never
imagined that we would feel duty-bound to publicly denounce a Vice
President of the United States, a man who has served our country for
many years. In light of the irresponsible statements recently made by
former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, we feel we must repudiate
his dangerous ideas – and his scare tactics.
We have seen how ill-conceived policies that ignored military law on
treatment of enemy prisoners hindered our ability to defeat al Qaeda.
We have seen American troops die at the hands of foreign fighters
recruited with stories about tortured Muslim detainees at Guantanamo
and Abu Ghraib. And yet Mr. Cheney and others who orchestrated
America’s disastrous trip to “the dark side” continue to assert –
against all evidence -- that torture “worked” and that our country is
better off for having gone there.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Mr. Cheney applauded the
“enhanced interrogation techniques” -- what we used to call war crimes
because they violated the Geneva Conventions, which the U.S. instigated
and has followed for sixty years. Mr. Cheney insisted the abusive
techniques were “absolutely essential in saving thousands of American
lives and preventing further attacks against the United States.” He
claimed they were “directly responsible for the fact that for eight
years, we had no further mass casualty attacks against the United
States. It was good policy... It worked very, very well.”
Repeating these assertions doesn’t make them true. As more of the
record emerges, we now see that the best intelligence – that led to the
capture of Sadaam Hussein and the elimination of Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi—was produced by professional interrogations using
non-coercive techniques. When the abuse began, prisoners told
interrogators whatever they thought would make it stop.
The U.S. military has always known that torture is as likely to produce lies as the truth. And it did.
What American leaders say matters. So when it comes to light, as it did
last week, that U.S. interrogators staged mock executions and held a
whirling electric drill close to the body of a naked, hooded detainee,
and the former Vice President of the United States winks and nods, it
The Bush administration had already degraded the rules of war by
authorizing techniques that violated the Geneva Conventions and shocked
the conscience of the world. Now Mr. Cheney has publicly condoned the
abuse that went beyond even those weakened standards, leading us down a
slippery slope of lawlessness. Rules about the humane treatment of
prisoners exist precisely to deter those in the field from taking
matters into their own hands. They protect our nation’s honor.
To argue that honorable conduct is only required against an honorable
enemy degrades the Americans who must carry out the orders. As military
professionals, we know that complex situational ethics cannot be
applied during the stress of combat. The rules must be firm and
absolute; if torture is broached as a possibility, it will become a
reality. Moral equivocation about abuse at the top of the chain of
command travels through the ranks at warp speed.
On August 24, the United States took an important step toward moral
clarity and the rule of law when a special task force recommended that
in the future, the Army interrogation manual should be the single
standard for all agencies of the U.S. government.
The unanimous decision represents an unusual consensus among the
defense, intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security agencies.
Members of the task force had access to every scrap of intelligence,
yet they drew the opposite conclusion from Mr. Cheney’s. They concluded
that far from making us safer, cruelty betrays American values and
harms U.S. national security.
On this solemn day we all pause to remember those who lost their lives
on 9/11. As our leaders work to prevent terrorists from again striking
on our soil, they should remember the fundamental precept of
counterinsurgency we’ve relearned in Afghanistan and Iraq: undermine
the enemy’s legitimacy while building our own. These wars will not be
won on the battlefield. They will be won in the hearts of young men who
decide not to sign up to be fighters and young women who decline to be
suicide bombers. If Americans torture and it comes to light – as it
inevitably will – it embitters and alienates the very people we need
Our current Commander in Chief understands this. The Task Force
recommendations take us a step closer to restoring the rule of law and
the standards of human dignity that made us who we are as a nation.
Repudiating torture and other cruelty helps keep us from being sent on
fools’ errands by bad intelligence. And in the end, that makes us all
Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999.
Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991
Last week I got a belated birthday present from #1 son. He sent me 9 CD-Rs filled with music that he had acquired. About half is classical: Bach (Goldberg Variations), Beethoven, Brahms. Chopin, Debussy, Dvorak, Handel, Hayden, Holst, Mahler, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi; much of the rest is 20th century: Philip Glass (I love his music but don't have much), Shostakovich, Stravinsky; some minimalist: Steve Reich, Terry Riley; some I had not heard of: Gyorgy Ligeti, Anro Pärt, The Magnetic Fields; and Tom Waits (for someone with a weakness for gravelly voiced singers, I find it odd I had never gotten into his music).
It's gonna take a long time to synch my iPod...
* * * * *
Bullwinkle is asking for our help to get to Antarctica. Go read her blog, then go vote for her if you want
Another chuckle for you. Smokey emailed this to Andrew, our med student son, today:
"I am often asked "How's it going." Sometimes I am asked this by
adult patients and some of them are schizophrenics. I have a new answer for them from an old song by Pink Floyd. I just say 'Well, there is someone in my head, but it's not me.'
"I'm sure this will help me to build stronger relationships with my
patients, and they will respond, saying 'I know, the same thing happens
to me.' "
To which Andrew replied:
"The line [in the song] refers to the mental state of a man who's just had brain surgery. Maybe Lucy's [ one of our dogs] been gnawing on your head while you sleep."