If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Congratulations, Darlings

Dear Kay,
While everybody’s voting for the Perfect Project (if you haven’t voted, scroll down to find the ballot), here is some news that we should file under “Justice, Blue Ribbon.”
Item 1: Monster in Texas
Remember this cute little guy? Back in July, Susan told us she was entering this felted monster–her own design–in the Texas State Fair. Well, by jinky, he took the blue ribbon in the “Original Stuffed Toy” category. And–get this–Susan’s coworker took the blue ribbon for peach jam. Can you imagine? The best peach jam in Texas? The best felted monster in Texas? It’s rarefied air they’re breathing down there.
Justice, Part 2
We have finally figured out why Mary B. of Richmond, Virginia, remains tragically unblogged. It’s because she’s too busy collecting blue ribbons at the Virginia State Fair. Consider, please, the following report:

Great news: There was no need for me to follow through on my threatened temper tantrum at the Fair: My quilt did, in fact, get a ribbon!
In fact, I did pretty well.
My “Elsbeth Lavold” vest, from an old Knitter’s Magazine, took Second Place in the “Vest” category. (There was another vest from the same pattern which did not win a ribbon; I thought it looked like a good job, so I don’t know why mine won, unless it was the way-cool buttons in the shape of Celtic knots I found for mine.)
My quilt, about which I promised a complete meltdown if it were ignored, won First Place in the “Quilts not intended for a bed” category. Pretty pleased with that! The winner of the Bed Quilt category, which also won “Best in Section” for quilts, was a hand-appliqued, hand-quilted beauty in a traditional design . . . as is generally the case at the State Fair. Mine was contemporary, art-y, and, frankly, rather “odd,” so I was happy with my blue ribbon. I think it’s possible my work gives headaches to the State Fair Quilt Judge Ladies.


And my Charlotte’s Web, which I “ponchified” per instruction from Stephannie Roy won First Place in “Lace: Amateur,” which is defined as lace made by someone who has only been making lace for two years. But it also won Best in Section for Lace, which means it was better than the winner in the Lace: Expert category! That really knocked my socks off.
So I’m a happy State Fair attendee today. I smell like a farmyard, my fingers have been nibbled by adorable goats, and I’ve eaten a Jumbo Sweet Potato with Everything, more than one bag of Kettle Korn, and half — only half! — an order of deep-fried Oreos. Really, they should be illegal.
NEXT year I shall enter the World’s Perfect Handknit. I promise.

Mary, that quilt is fantastic–the little words floating across the curves (mellifluous, whimsical) must have given the judges fits. “Louise, I think she’s being artistic or something. Give her the ribbon!”
And one question: were the deep-fried Oreos batter dipped, or do they just dump them in a vat of boiling oil straightaway?
And in Ohio . . .
Jeez, I thought I’d lost the link to Natalie’s You Are There report from the Hamilton County Fair: Journey with Natalie. It’s a regular Profiles in Courage tale for a new knitter.
Congratulations, you guys. So relieved you don’t live in Tennessee–you’d wreck the competition here.




  1. Blue ribbons! How productive! How industrious! You mean other people don’t sit amongst piles of garbage and feel sorry for themselves? These ladies are truly to be admired. I’ll take a lesson.
    So, what’s new with you?

  2. Am I worthy to be a Mason-Dixon reader? I’m in awe of all the State Fair worthy projects, not to mention the ribbons that they keep on winning. It’s all a bit much for me, I’m feeling rather faint. Maybe I need some deep fried Oreos, or something.

  3. Congratulations to MaryB!! I will not be able to get over to Richmond in time to see her shawl, so I am glad you posted a photo. But I do know it triumphed over my shawl which received third prize (Mystery Shawl from the Yahoo group, in ivory silk/wool). Hmmm, I’ll have to come up with something special for next year. Also, a very belated congratulations on your lovely Fern!

  4. Speaking of Virginia State Fair Winners, my blogless friend L-B took 2 first place prizes in knitting there — one for her Inishmore (man’s sweater category) and one for her Rainbow Sheep (woman’s sweater category).
    And I believe that tomorrow she will be competing in the fastest knitter competition! Go, L-B!

  5. Ah, the Oreos: Yes, they are battered and then deep-fried. Powdered sugar is then dumped (NOT “sprinkled”) on top.
    There are six of them in an order. I ate only three and I think eating more than four could cause a diabetic coma.
    You are all very sweet! Thank you for your nice words!

  6. Mary Beeeeeee! I love the quilt! Love love love. Awesome.
    P.S. Who got first place in Any Other Pie?

  7. yummm deep fried oreos – I had them at the fair one time……melty and gooey and wonderful!! if you must go into a diabetic coma, these are the way to go!!

  8. Richmond is my home town, so perhaps next year I will have to make a return visit and accompany Mary B. to the fair. What neighborhood are you from Ms. Mary B? I hail from the Southside – Riverside Drive in Westover Hills….

  9. Mary B, your quilt is so, so, so, so sosososososo beautiful. Just the corner is inspiring.

  10. Congrats to all the winners! Best lace and jam too! And special congratulations to anyone who could eat a deep-fried oreo cookie! Blech!

  11. YEAH!!!!!! So proud of ya!! Heading off to my county fair Friday for a bit, knit outs every Wednesday and Thursday :-), but the kids have soccer so can’y go then. If I see sumthin worth mentioning..I will 🙂

  12. deep fried oreos (and deep fried twinkies, and candy bars, etc) are an urban legand up here; I’ve heard of them, but have never had the chance to try them myself. I’ve heard they are great for keeping doctors in business though, and for that alone applaud anyone who enjoys them. (my last experience at a fair was 100% organic – even the fried dough was made with wheat flour and honey instead of sugar…perhaps I need some more fair experiences?)

  13. Congratulations on Representing so well in the State and County Fairs! Mary, that quilt is to die for …

  14. Awesome entries! I have been intrigued about the Georgia State fairs for a while and all these threads about other state fairs are giving me an itching to go. I’m off to the North Georgia State Fair this weekend (not to be confused with the Georgia State Fair or the Georgia International State Fair) to check out the competition.
    Ann and Kay, thanks for keeping me entertained on a regular basis. I love your blog and wish I had time to comment more often.

  15. The Texas State Fair is honoring Elvis this year with a 50-pound likeness of the King carved from pure butter. And fair-goers will be able to purchase a deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwich dusted with powdered sugar, natch.


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