Today was the day. Even though I hadn't entered anything this year, we went anyway. Partly so the Goober could see all the critters, and partly so I could revel in my farm-country roots. (My father was a factory worker, but we lived in farm country and I grew up running around with my friends on their family horse farms, dairy farms, and helping school chums raise sheep and pigs for the county and state fair competitions. (In the case of the pigs, I also helped eat them later, teaching me the lesson to never name your food, or play with it.) The county fair where I grew up (Stark County, Ohio), is about the same size as state fair here.
So, anyway, off we went to Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina, where the fair is held. "We're going to see piggies and chickens and bunnies and cows!" I told the Goober, to which she replied "Moo!" The cows kind of freaked her out, I think because they were so big. After all, she's used to looking at them in books. She got to pet a bunny, and that was okay too, but the BIG excitement came when we hit the pig barn. I think they look the most like the pictures in the books she looks at. So she and the pig had a great conversation, oinking at each other (make sure to turn it up, so you can hear the oinking):
After tours of the animal barns, we decided to go look at the knitting. As the Husbeast said, "This ought to be good." Remember last year, how the Blue Shimmer didn't place at all? This year's FIRST PLACE in the women's sweater division was a Fair Isle vest (like, with no sleeves):
It's knit at about five stitches to the inch, a little puckered, and the ribbed edges looked like the bindoffs were too tight. Just saying.
More poking around, and we found the other first-place winners, including the winner of the lace division:
It was folded, but appeared to be baby blanket/christening shawl sized. The parts I could see were stitch perfect, and the whole thing was at about nine stitches to the inch, with lace weight yarn, on maybe size one needles. With the all-important knit-on edge. Beautiful work.
We started poking around again, looking for the "Best in Show" winner, the person whose work was considered the best of all the knitting entries, in all divisions. Finally, I found it; I'd walked past it twice. Brace yourselves.
A knit purse. With fun fur. The Husbeast said, in his carrying Husbeast Voice, "I'm no expert, but that's fucked up."
Interestingly, all of the first place winners this year were from Columbia, except the lady who knit the lace (and should have won the Best in Show). It makes me really, really glad I didn't enter this year. If you're the one who knit that lace, all my sympathies.
The Goober is really tired now.