Archive for July, 2012

Fair Apple News

July 31, 2012

The Ozark Empire Fair started on Fri. The first day that I went to the Fair was Sat. for the pie contest. I turned these,

which grows on a tree in our backyard, to this. . . .

Isn’t it pretty? And it tasted pretty good, I think. It turned out a little dry, however, and the crust on the bottom didn’t get quite done. (I’ve made this mistake before, but DUH I did it again! Hubby said “Why don’t you make a note on your recipe so you’ll remember next year?” Well, DUH again! So I did!) So, needless to say, my apple pie didn’t win a ribbon.

I have issues with the pie contests this year, so if you can bear with me, I feel like I need to vent a little. The Fair board made a lot of changes this year with the Fair and one of them was to combine all the fruit pies together into two classes (berry pies and any other fruit pie) instead of having separate classes for each kind of pie. This was not a good idea, IMHO.

First of all, there are so many different brands of apples that it’s hard to judge pies made of so many different kinds. (This is not my opinion — it’s the opinion of the judges and I’ve heard them say this almost every year since I started competing.)

Second, they shouldn’t confuse the judging of all these apple pies by putting other fruit pies with them to be judged in the same class.

And third, the apple pies have always been the most popular class because of the diversity of the apples. Why did they do away with the most popular class of pies? It was sad, to me, because it’s always been so exciting to see all the competition just in that one class.

This pie class was very hard to judge, (again, not my opinion — directly out of the mouths of the judges.) But I can see why, especially when some of the pies had two or three different fruits in the same pie! Made the competition very interesting to say the least — there was even a green tomato pie! (Which won the blue ribbon, BTW.)

So, even though a contest for a “pie of many fruits” is a nice addition to the class of pies, (and personally I hope they keep that class,) they should bring the different classes of pies back for next year and have a category just for apple pies again.

Fairly Ready

July 21, 2012

Because of all the new rules this year, I haven’t been as excited about the Fair as in years past. It’ll be interesting to see how the new changes will affect the entries, judging, etc. But because of the new fee for the entries ($2 each for everything), I’m sure there will be fewer items entered. In addition, with less/combined categories, there will be more competition within those categories as well.

Consequently, this is all I’ll be entering this year:

This baby afghan I crocheted earlier this year to be entered into the CMN (Children’s Miracle Network) category,

My blue knitted sweater,

The granny square tote bag of many colors,

And some new items that I’ve finished recently — three painted ornaments from my little shop out back, (the one with the tag is the one going to the Fair),

A cookie jar painted with Granny on it from my little shop out back as well,

And a little gingerbread man Christmas ornament that’s already had a couple of bites out of him — Oh No!

My quilt will go to the Fair but will not be judged with other quilts. (I’m not that crazy!) It will go into a special contest called The Color Green that will be judged during the Fair.

And of course, I’m entering the tote bag contest again this year, (that’s one of the special contests that they didn’t do away with). Pics will follow.

In addition to the crafts, I’m only entering three baked items this year. More about that later.

Today is check-in day and I have to go to work as well. So, I’ll be leaving the house a little early so I can run these crafts out to the Fairgrounds. In fact, I should be in the shower right now.

Needle Review

July 19, 2012

Reviews aren’t usually my “thing” to write about because reviews are basically someone’s personal opinion on something. (Not that anyone would be interested in my opinion anyway.)

Reviews are, however, interesting when you’re thinking about buying that item and you don’t know anything about it. You can weight the pros and cons that others have discovered before you take the plunge and spend money.

So, for what it’s worth, here’s my review/opinion on some new knitting needles that have been around for a while, but that I’ve just recently acquired.

My dear friend Carolyn just got back from a vacation to Tenn. I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries about teaching her to knit and the fact that I think I’ve created a new knitting monster. 🙂 So needless to say, she visited some LYS (local yarn shops) while on her vacation.

We’ve talked about the newer cube knitting needles before, and she was wondering if I had ever used them, which I haven’t. She’s a little more curious about them than I’ve been, I guess, because she bought herself some while visiting some of those LYS. And she brought a pair of them back to me!

Aren’t they pretty?

We had lunch yesterday and she showed me all the goodies she bought, showed me pics, and told me that she taught her daughters and granddaughters how to knit! (Yes, the student has become the teacher!)

And she gave me the knitting needles and also a beautiful, hand-turned wooden button that will be perfect to hold a cowl or shawl together at the neck.

What a sweet, thoughtful friend! Thanks again, Carolyn! (She reads my blog.)

Well, needless to say, I was itching to try out the needles after I got home from our lunch. However, other things came up that needed tending to, so I didn’t get to try them out until this morning.

This swatch is knitted half-way up using the cube needles and the other half using the same size round needles.

There’s NO difference in the gauge, which surprised me. The needles looked smaller in size, but since the gauge is the same as round needles, it must be the corners of the needles that make up the difference. So they’re easier to hold because they’re not as big around they’re light-weight, so smooth that they go through the stitches with ease, and they’re beautiful as well!

Yes, I was a little skeptical because of the corners on the cube needles. But my opinion of these cube needles are that they are wonderful! I liked them so much that I’ll be looking for more in different sizes.

Now, I think I’ll go knit a wash cloth or something with my new cube needles!

Stash Building

July 7, 2012

As if I need to build my stash. Um, no. But with my teaching knitting to a couple of ladies lately, I’ve been exposed to new yarn outlets. From the web to LYS (local yarn shops), I’ve seen so many new and pretty yarns! Especially since knitting (and crocheting) have become so popular in the last decade or so.

I LOVE YARN! If only I could own just one skein of every kind of yarn available — well, we’d have to move to a larger house for sure! 🙂

This is what came in the mail a couple of days ago.

It’s Malabrigo, 51% silk and 49% merino wool. OH. MY. GOSH! And it was on sale for 80% off!!! Of course the only color available was this raspberry color which, BTW, happens to be one of my favorite colors. It was meant to be. Now to find the perfect pattern for it. No, I have no idea what it will be at this point — but it was 80% off!!

Several months ago, I mentioned a yarn shop, called A New Yarn, that my friend Carolyn had told me about. Of course I had to check it out. It was right here in town and had only been open a couple of years. Naturally, I bought some yarn.

Well about a week ago, while I was reading a knitting forum on the web, a lady mentioned a yarn shop that was going out of business and the next day was their last day. It was A New Yarn! Everything in the store was 45% off! After half-way recovering from the shock, I grabbed my purse and ran out the door in a frenzy! Get out of my way, I’m heading to a yarn shop that’s going out of business and they have all their yarn on sale!

This is what I came home with,

minus a ball of yarn that I’ve already knitted into another baby hat.

It’s mainly white, but has a yellow tint, and also some little tiny specks of other colors in it. The picture doesn’t do it any justice.

All this to add to the purchase that I made at the yarn shop in Rogersville that Carolyn and I visited several weeks ago as well.

Not to worry, though. I went through my stash that’s been around here a while and picked out some yarn to make another baby afghan which I’ve already started. It’s crocheted in white strips in a lacy pattern. Then it’ll have another color, blueish teal, that will border the white strips and be crocheted together to complete the afghan.

It’ll be pretty, I think.

There’s still a lot of yarn in my sister’s stash that I inherited that’s been calling to me lately. Hopefully after the Fair is over and this HEAT dies down somewhat, I’ll start digging my way into it again and make another afghan or two. So all hope is not lost, even with the new additions to my stash.