Tuesday, June 02, 2009

State Fair.

I have some actual knitting to show you, and I will. Soon. But not today.

With summer now in full swing (at least in my mind), the State Fair came into my head. I don't know why. I really love the State Fair. I don't know exactly why and you can make all the judgments you want as to what that says about me. But to me is is the nostalgic end-of-summer activity. I also enjoy food on a stick and fried food and weird shaped vegetables and butter sculptures and ginormous animals.

The Iowa State Fair, and I assume the other 49, have a whole host of contests. Included in that is a category for Fabric and Threads - namely knitting, crocheting, weaving, and quilting. Every year since I started knitting I've said that I'm going to enter something, and without fail, every year it's completely slipped my mind until it's too late.

Thanks to the random thought I had today, it occurred to me. So I went searching for the rules and dates and categories. I found them here.

So now I need to decide if I (1) am really ambitious enough to tackle a project this summer, (2) will have the time to finish it (whatever it is) by the end of July, and (3) if the answer to the first two is yes (or maybe), then I need to figure out what the it is.

I'm under no presumption that I'll win a blue ribbon, or any ribbon for that matter. In viewing the entries each year in the past it's very clear that the judging is highly subjective based on taste and perspective. And honestly, to a certain extent, I'm not sure how it couldn't be. So why do I want to do it? Well, because I don't have a life and need a project. And sometimes deadlines are a good thing.

In addition to the knitting, I can think of nothing more kitschy than winning a blue ribbon for a recipe. So I'm also perusing the food categories as well. Perhaps I have the wrong impression, but in my head, I imagine the individuals who participate in the recipe contests as hard core and ultra competitive. Maybe there's even some sabotage - at least that's how I like to imagine it. Of course, perhaps my interest in the food categories was further piqued when I learned that my future brother-in-law once won a blue ribbon (in some fair) for his chocolate chip cookies which were taken verbatim from the back of the Toll House bag. (ETA: Holy crap. I just looked at the food categories and the booklet is almost 70 pages long. How would someone ever pick a category to enter?)

So what do you think? Should I enter? Any ideas on what the it should be?

*I did once enter some photographs when I was in college. I didn't win a ribbon and it made me jaded. But then again, I was probably already jaded to begin with.

9 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Ruby Banshee said...

I only went to the Iowa State Fair once...the summer before I moved out of Iowa for real for real. It definitely piqued my competitive spirit.
I did win the 4-H presentation contest, by stuffing sausages (solo) on stage as an 11 or 12 year old, thus entitling me to take my presentation to state. However, I was one year too young to be eligible, so I had to take it to Cattle Congress instead. What a rip-off!!!!
Good luck!a

Knittripps said...

I love the Iowa State Fair. It is really one of my favorite things of the year. You should absolutely enter both knitting and food. I've entered knitting the past two years (lace shawls in year 1 and socks in year 2) and won a ribbon both times. I am entering this year again but haven't decided on a category yet. It is a lot of fun and a great experience.

Sara said...

You should definitely enter. Your food creations always look so delicious and your knitting is impecable.

I'm very tempted to enter the Scandinavian dessert contest...I have a great family recipe for krumkake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumkake

Emily said...

Those contests are fixed.

Anonymous said...

Fixed I guarantee they are not. There was nothing more heart breaking or satisfying seeing the little old ladies with their chocolate chip recipes that have been handed down for generations have it handed to them by a 13 year old with a Nestle Tollhouse, I mean, secret recipe in hand. LOL :)

I need to make the ol' Blue Ribbons again one of these days.


L said...

Sara - Krumkake looks interesting.

G - Prove it. Enter those blue ribbon cookies in the State Fair.

amy said...

You must enter your knitting. Doesn't it just piss you off when you trudge up those stairs all sweaty and hot with hands sticky with caramel from the best caramel apples on the earth (they must be from the horticulture bldg - nowhere else) just to see some nasty variegated Red Heart sweater win a ribbon. i walk away every year thinking i should enter. do it. i'll be looking for your entry.

Anonymous said...

I just checked the Iowa State Fair website. Says you have to include recipe cards for possible publication in a cook book. I don't think "take Tollhouse recipe, don't separate wet from dry, use butter" would be a very good entry.


Anonymous said...

ENTER ENTER ENTER...entering anything in the State Fair is a great experience. I entered one food item my first year just to say I did.I ended up winning a ribbon and "big" prize money($2).Not to discourage you but there is one gal who wins almost every category.It seems like she enters something in every category possible.Good luck!

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