A New Goal
I took my daughter to the fair Thursday night. We looked around, found her daycare project first, and then I managed to get her to pay two seconds’ worth of attention to anything other than her own project and the rides. (Which—okay, she’s five. These things happen.) The Children’s division is housed in a little room off the main Open Class displays, so we wandered through Open Class for a while.
I was in 4-H for a couple of years (I remember doing geneaology, cake decorating, and microwave cooking), but dropped away from it… I don’t remember why. My mom’s family has a strong 4-H presence, as one might expect a midwest farming family to do, but my personal upbringing was a little different and I don’t think it fit as well into our life as it did into others’. (I also think I started my discomfort with organized group activities, especially those requiring me to call any attention to myself, at an early age—but that’s another story.) Consequently, I tend to think of the fair more as a destination and an attraction than as something to be actively involved in.
Fiber arts are, like, classic fair stuff, right up there with quilts and preserves. I hadn’t thought of that, though, until I was standing there in front of the display case full of knitting and crochet. The idea wormed its way into my brain a little bit, but didn’t really start to bloom until we left the building. This particular building has a little porch for display of plants, and on this porch were a couple of Master Gardeners hanging out to answer questions. One of them had a small spinning wheel. I drew Natalie’s attention to it, and she was duly fascinated.
The spinner introduced Natalie to her basket of batts (wool, alpalca, and a blend of the two) and let her feel them. Natalie looked up at me and said softly, “You can turn any kind of hair into yarn, right Mommy?” To which I gave an indeterminate “Well, sort of…” (Because I guess you could, technically, but some hair would produce pretty horrendous yarn.) One of the spinner’s friends gathered from this exchange that I had some familiarity with fiber and asked if I was a spinner. “Oh, no,” I replied. “A knitter.” The next logical question was, of course, “Oh—do you have an entry in there?”
I don’t yet. Not this year. I had never even thought about it; if I had, there are a couple of things lying around I probably could have snatched up to enter. But I didn’t. Now I’m thinking about it, and… Why not? It costs nothing but time, it’s something I’ll be doing anyway, there’s nothing at stake, and I honestly believe that I do have the skill necessary to at least place my work beside these others without shame.
So I’ve set a reminder for myself to look into it when the time rolls around next year. My goal is to have something made by then which I feel comfortable entering. Maybe I’ll get ambitious and enter something else, too… like preserves, speaking of classic fair entries.