Oh, I've had this idea for so long. Long ago in the summer months, when there wasn't much competition at the 2005 state fair, even though I knew all you incredible stitch-n-bitches were out there making great things. And even though it's free to enter and get ribbons! Long ago in the fall, when the rain began and I thought "There's still time..." Long ago in the winter months, when I was dreaming of the sun coming back.
I thought "What we need is a State Fair Knitalong. To get people old-fashioned-crafting and honoring the grandma aesthetic of pies and lemonade and hand quilting. People all over the world can join, because even though they may not live in a state they may have a local fair. And if people live in those states where they require you to win a county fair first (though Oregon doesn't), then those people in those states can enter county fairs!"
(In my dream of a hazy crafty summer, everything is punctuated with great drama. Sorry about that.)
I thought "We'll all have such a great time knitting challenging and fulfilling works of great utility and beauty. And then we'll bring them to the fairs and get our props. Oh, and if people who do some other craft instead (table setting?) want to join, they can join too. It'll be a Fair Along!"
But did I do anything about it then? Did I invite people to join and whip up a frenzy over the idea? Oh no. I waited. Till the time was good and ripe. That would be two DAYS before the kickoff of the State Fair Knitalong that I'm co-hosting with Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks in Sellwood (Portland, OR).
So, my last-minute lovelies, please come to Abundant Yarn on Monday night at 7 pm (that's June 5th) for a kickoff party with door prizes. And if you have won anything at a fair before, please bring that thing and/or your ribbons to show off. There will be a special table set aside for such geekery.
And for all of you - Portland or not - please join this along right here, online. There will be prizes! There will be e-ribbons for anyone who enters a project anywhere in a fair to put on your blogs and websites. There will be a flickr group. There will be pie and jam and funnel cake. Deep fried twinkies, and a sense of accomplishment. What more can a crafter ask for?
- You can knit, crochet, spin, quilt, sew, bake, make jam, raise giant pumpkins, or sheep, or set tables (in honor of Sarah, who used to do that as her sport - in junior high, was it?)
- You can enter into any kind of local or regional competition wherever you live. (More on how to enter Oregon's state fair, and links to other states and places, are coming soon).
- You must send me your name, email, and blog address in the comments below, and I will add you to a master list of fair-alongers.
- Please use the pretty button up above, and save it to your own computer before uploading to your site.
- By fall, you should plan to upload at least two good photos of your work to our soon-to-be flickr group.
- Between June 5 and July 31, if you are in Portland, you should join us at Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks at 7 pm any Monday or Thursday evening for crafting among friends.
- July 31 will be the final party at Abundant Yarn, at which there will be tiny bite-sized pies and more door prizes.
Yay! Summer is on.
And a big thank you to quiet cricket for letting me bastardize her beautiful photo of plum jam to make the button above. Would anyone be willing to take a stab at making a lovelier button out of the jam photo?