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 Ravelry.com and I just love her design. Her pattern will soon be for sale via Ravelry.com.

^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 Ravelry.com and her pattern is up for sale as well! Edit: My Spring Blooms Wrap received an honorable mention ribbon!

Contests, Giveaways, and Drawings

Contests

My local yarn shop is doing a series of contests over the summer with the winners (and a random voter!) winning sweet, sweet yarn. It is $60 for the winner and $30 to the winner of the voter’s drawing. What a great promotional idea, right?? Anyway, the first contest is a knit monster. Ooooooo scary. No, they’re actually pretty cute. 🙂 You can vote for your favorite monster on their Facebook page here or on Nancy the owner’s blog here. Folks are allowed to vote once through each venue. Don’t forget, that’s two entries to win $30 of free yarn!!

And my own shameless promotion… my monster is #11 – Mr. & Mrs. K2tog and I if you are a KT customer I would sure appreciate your vote. 😉 Don’t forget you have to “like” Knitted Together on Facebook in order to vote on their page.

Tasha's Mr. & Mrs. K2tog

Mr. & Mrs. K2tog

Giveaways and Drawings

Let me start by saying I have always been a fan of giveaways and contests. Sign up for “this” and get “that” free. (Though more often it is “…have a chance at getting that free”!) Every year I go to the Iowa State Fair and enter the Varied Industries Building with sign-ups in mind. Hot tub? Yeah, that’d be sweet. A set of fancy pans? Of course! A new lawn mower? Why not! Or so my thinking goes… I even have an email specifically for companies, contests, giveaways, coupons, etc. 🙂

That being said… I have never won a drawing. Ever. For anything. Ahh, persistence… I will not give up! Haha.

Anyway, that brings me to the real meaning of today’s post. I found a post on Ravelry where crafters (namely knit, crochet, and yarn folks) can list their sales, blogs, contests, and promotions. Yippee!! I spent most of Saturday morning signing up for April contests and then bookmarked the page for future reference.

You will find the post in the “Needlework on the Net” forum. There is a new post every month or so titled, “Sales, blogs, contests or promotions? Post here! (Month Year)”. A lot of the bloggers ask you to do one of many things with each item being an entry to their giveaway. Here are the most common requests:

  • Comment on the blog by answering a question
  • Follow their blog, Twitter, Etsy, etc
  • Pick a favorite item from their Etsy or Ravelry shop
  • “Like” their business/shop on Facebook
  • Tell others about their giveaway, contest, etc.

Again, great promotional idea, huh? I also got a great idea from Crochet My Love Designs on Ravelry. She posted a new pattern and put a link to her Facebook page in the pattern’s description. She then told potential buyers that a “Like” on her Facebook page would earn them a free pattern! Woo hoo! I love all of these promotional ideas and am excited to try them out when K1 Sew Too is a little more robust. If I am going to have a lot of people viewing my pages and work I want to be able to “show them what we’re made of”, so to speak!

Alright, so here are some of the drawings I entered in the last couple of days. Perhaps I’ll win one… Perhaps…

  • Blog – A yarn giveaway! And some cutsie pictures. Mmm…. yarn!
  • Blog – Winner gets pretty dishcloths, chocolate, soap (the kind I use!), and chap stick.
  • Blog – Winner gets one of three patterns. There’s a really cool shawl/jacket and a nifty hat/cowl as well.
  • Blog – The first ten to post get the materials to make a military doll. Even if you don’t win the yarn there is a free pattern for said military doll. Cute. And it’s meant to be made for soldiers and/or their families. Who doesn’t like a good cause? 😉
  • Blog – This contest was to win some BEAUTIFUL yellow yarn. The contest is over and I didn’t win… but the yarn is still gorgeous and I have added a new, cool company to K1 Sew Too’s likes on Facebook.

Well, that’s about all I have for now. I hope you enjoy the drawings, giveaways, etc listed. Is there a special place you go for great deals? If so, please share!

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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