Home > Uncategorized > A visit to the fair

A visit to the fair

Much like when I was young, I still enjoy the Atlantic National Exhibition that occurs every year at this time. However, compared to when I was young and went for the rides and games and expensive greasy food, I now go to see the livestock displays, the handcraft competitions, the skill demonstrations.

I got a few pictures of some of the excellent handcraft entries this year. It seems that the competition is branching out in terms of what it will recognize and judge. In years past, I’ve seen 2 categories for knitted dishcloths, for example, and the one that invariably takes First Place will be a garter-stitch dishcloth in the exact pattern you can find on the ballband of any ball of dishcloth cotton. Sometimes the one that takes First Place has obvious flaws in it, bad tension or a dropped stitch here and there, while well-constructed items like sweaters with complex lace or cable patterns go unrecognized because too few people would make and submit them for consideration. It bothered me, partly because the hard work and creative talent of so many people were going unrecognized, but also because people were winning prizes for things I could have done while half-distracted by television.

But things seem to be better this year. There were more categories, and dishcloths were actually overwhelmed by lace afghans and scarves. I saw some real creativity demonstrated. Sure, I saw some things win prizes when they weren’t particularly impressive, but I think some of them won those prizes because nobody else actually submitted anything to the category, not because the judges have poor taste.

Anyway, I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted, but I did get a few, and I wanted to take a moment to show off some pieces that interested me.


This appliqued bunny quilt was adorable, very cute, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it in years past. Not here, at least.


This quilted wall-hanging, done in 1-inch squares, is impressive because sewing that many squares isn’t necessarily easy even if you’re not making a queen-sized quilt! I like the colours and the pattern that the quilter used, and I took the picture because I want to someday make something like this for myself.


Endulging in a bit of geekery here, I adore this nyan-cat pillow. It was even labeled “nyan cat pillow”, which impressed me almost as much as the pillow itself, since it shows that either the judge recognized it or else they didn’t just erase part of the description on the submission form. It’s very cute, and I wish I knew how to get in touch with the person who made it, because I’d love to commission one!

Next year I’ll take more pictures of the various handmade things. Next year, I also want to submit something myself. There are a few things I know I could stand a chance of winning a prize with. The homemade jams I enjoy making, one of my cross-stitch projects, perhaps a knitted lace shawl or blanket. I don`t think they have a category for woven things, but I`ve wanted to learn card-weaving for a while, and maybe if I try they might let me submit something like that.

I`d best get to work!

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