Iowa State Fair

I love the Iowa State Fair. I go every year with my mom. One place we never pass up is Snakes Alive. I have a photo from every year since I was 5. It’s kind of fun to have a picture from every year, even if I do have a huge snake draped around my neck. 🙂 I always make room for at least one lemonade and a corn dog… then there’s the bucket of cookies from the amazing cookie place in the Varied Industries Building… the apple cookies…  the pork chop on a stick… pineapple ice cream… some cotton candy and a caramel apple for mom. Oh, and don’t forget all of the free samples from the Iowa Beef Council in the Agriculture Building! There are hard boiled eggs and usually there’s some kind of milk, too! As you can see, mom and I go to the fair mostly for the ridiculous food! Ha, not really, but it is super tasty! We also go to see some of the animals, do a little people watching, and of course check out all of the awesome photography, doll houses, and needlework!

So speaking of needlework… I entered five items into the Fabric and Threads category this year. I heard that even if you don’t get a ribbon you get a good critique from the judges on how to improve. Nice! Below you will find the items I entered. It was a lot of fun making them and I think I will benefit from the experience.

While you’re looking at the pictures below… think about this… do any of you go to the fair every year?  Have you ever entered an item for judging to your local fair? Just how far do some of you travel to get to the fair? It’s only about a 15 minute drive for me so I consider myself lucky. 🙂 Is there some other activity you do yearly with a parent/child?

^Going clockwise starting with the blue hat: Tidepool Brioche Hat, Spring Blooms Wrap; In Bloom Cloche; Owlie; Genevieve Cardigan (withdrew this entry); Frogger

^Tidepool Brioche Hat – This was a test knit for a woman by the name of Sharon Fuller. She is sharonf on and I just love her design. Her pattern will soon be for sale via

^In Bloom Cloche – You may remember this cloche. It is a hat I designed not too long ago. Edit: My In Bloom Cloche received a 2nd place ribbon!

^Spring Blooms Wrap – This was a test crochet for a woman by the name of May Cheang. She is maycheang on and her pattern is up for sale as well! Edit: My Spring Blooms Wrap received an honorable mention ribbon!

Lady Sparrow Scarf and Hat

Back in February I was browsing the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry  and came across Nitza Coto’s Lady Sparrow Scarf.

Lady Sparrow Scarf

Nitza’s Lady Sparrow Scarf

It is beautiful, no? And my love for birds just spurred my need to volunteer as a tester. I found no errors in the pattern and quickly memorized the rows. I think I got it down to approximately 20 minutes per repeat which means this lovely scarf really didn’t take too long to complete.

I have worked on lace before, but I would say this is my first completed project involving lace. 🙂 I think this is important to note as one gets a beautiful end product with a fairly simple lace pattern. I would for sure recommend this as a first for those who want to try their hand at lace.
This scarf also involves the kitchener’s stitch which I had never done. This is a wonderful technique to add to your repertoire and Ms. Coto explains it very well in the pattern. She also has a video on her blog that shows the stitch in detail.
Anyway, the matching hat came out for testing a short while later and I volunteered for that as well.
Lady Sparrow Hat

Nitza’s Lady Sparrow Hat

 Unfortunately I had none of the dark blue yarn I used for the scarf left over to use on the hat so I now have a blue scarf and a purple hat. ‘Tis unfortunate… However, I have decided on a solution to this problem! I am going to make this set in a beautiful winter blue and enter it at the Iowa State Fair! Any ideas on what I should call the set? I am thinking winter sparrow scarf and hat or snow bird scarf and hat… Hmm…

I am very excited to start this project again and very much recommend the purchase of one or both of her patterns. The end result is just lovely. You may purchase both patterns on Ravelry by clicking here or on her blog by clicking here.

Oh, and below are my finished products from both tests!

Lady Sparrow Scarf and Hat

Tasha's Lady Sparrow Scarf and Hat

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