State Fair Success!

After attending the Illinois State Fair in 2014 and walking through the Hobbies and Crafts exhibit hall, I challenged myself to send in an entry for competition in 2015.  I decided to make a crocheted blanket, since I can do crochet easily, while talking, listening to music or podcasts, or watching tv.

I wanted to use a basic pattern because, in all honesty, I didn’t think I’d follow through and complete the project.  I went with a traditional, very basic Solid Granny Square pattern.  I didn’t want a pattern that would end up too lacy, with lots of openings through it, so this was perfect.  It’s one of the oldest, most standard patterns and can be found lots of places online.

Then I went looking for a cotton-blend yarn and selected Bernat’s Cotton-ish.  It’s a soft, lightweight yarn that just felt better than acrylic.  Also, I didn’t want the hassle of having to tie lots of ends in, so I decided to do solid color squares.  So I wanted to choose a yarn brand that had a nice color palette, and the Cotton-ish was perfect.  It also helped that this yarn was easy to find and affordable at my local Joann store, which frequently puts all their yarns on sale.

The pattern works in rounds.  Here’s what one of my squares looked like as I worked on it.

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I used a size G hook and made the same pattern in multiple colors of Cotton-ish.  According to the IL State Fair competition rules, there were minimum size requirements of 45 inches by 45 inches.  So I laid the squares out once in a while to see how they looked together, and to give me an idea of how many more rows of squares I’d need to add.  I used this method of joining the squres from Attic24.  The joining seams were completely hidden in the back, so the finished product looked like the squares sitting neatly side by side.

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I mailed off my registration form, paid my $1 fee, received my entry tags, and sent my creation off without any expectation.  I was just happy to complete something small from my bucket list.  I had no expectations- I didn’t even know if the package would arrive safely!

So what a happy surprise to arrive at the fair and see an Honorable Mention ribbon on my blanket!  My blanket was one of three Honorable Mentions.

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I know that this hobby of mine is a little old-fashioned, and not on trend.  But I was so happy to be able to follow through on a project, and while that alone was fulfilling, it was an even greater joy to see my efforts recognized, and to have had a chance to enjoy the day with my partner and friends.

Well, of course, now I’m thinking about what to enter for next year.  I just started doing some of these squares that uses back post stitches to create interesting multi-color patterns and textures.  I’m working them in navy, gold, lavender, and off-white.  They’re turning out nicely, so I might make a blanket of these.  I’ll post about these once I make some progress on them.

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