Ghosts of state fairs past

This weekend as I worked on crocheting the cookies needed for my 2013 North Carolina State Fair project, Cookieghan 2.0, I found myself thinking of the projects from state fairs past and how each of them has, in some way, contributed to the project I am currently working on.

My most recent state fair project was this afghan, based on a photo of an Amish Quilt in a book I perused while at one of my son’s trumpet lessons:

An overview of my 2012 multicolor textured crochet state fair crochet project
An overview of my 2012 state fair crochet project

From this, I learned something about the value of adding texture.

The year before that, I started out with a center square that was reminiscent of the central motif of a log cabin quilt:

a multicolor crochet blanket made of crochet squares and crochet rectangles
My 2011 North Carolina State Fair afghan

As the afghan was displayed with the wrong side showing, I learned to explicitly tell the volunteers at the state fair which was the front and which was the back of the project.

In 2010, I at long last made a crochet rendition of a Hilbert curve:

A Hilbert Curve in crochet from state fairs past
A Hilbert Curve in crochet from state fairs past

While I did, at times, find the amount of neutral “color” overwhelming, I learned that off-white was not as lethal as I had imagined, and it did give the project a certain verve that is difficult to duplicate when one limits oneself to vibrant colors.

My 2009 project was an attempt to explore the possibilities of the granny square:

2009 North Carolina State Fair crochet project
2009 North Carolina State Fair crochet project

While I did not make it as large as I had intended to, it is not at all precious and in the intervening years, it has become a favorite of mine for any occasion where I need a layer of protection between me and any grassy surface I might have to sit on. Made with Red Heart Super Saver, it washes up beautifully.

The year before that, I had tackled a much larger project composed of small bits of color:

A crochet blanket or pixelghan made from 1681 crochet squares
A ghost of state fairs past from 2008

While it garnered no notice from the judges at the state fair, it did become, in its way, a signature piece of mine, and since I completed it, I have been absolutely fearless when it comes to weaving in ends.

I had made the above “pixelghan” as I have come to call it, after my 2007 Whirligig inspired entry also got no notice from the judges:

2007 North Carolina State Fair project
2007 North Carolina State Fair project

I had taken my color cues from the summer confection of rainbow sherbet, the but the judges were unimpressed.

The previous year, however, this massive 12-day effort had resulted in my second state fair blue ribbon:

crochetbug, crochet squares, crochet circles, crochet afghan, crochet blanket, crochet throw, crochet curlicues, hyperbolic crochet
Twelve-day afghan

which had been, in it’s own way, a variation on this circle and square theme I had explored in my first ever state fair entry:

crochet squares crochet circles crochet blanket
One view of the Sistine crochet afghan

I never know what it is I will learn when I set out on these state fair crochet adventures, but hook in hand, I am ready to move forward and see where it leads me.

7 thoughts on “Ghosts of state fairs past

  1. Would love to have the pattern for your 2012 quilt, or all of them really. Would you be willing to sell? Beautiful AND unique. You are one talented lady.

  2. I envy your patience and crocheting talent. I especially love the designs of your 2009 and 2012 projects. Congratulations.

  3. Your work is breathtaking to me. I find your projects such an inspiration. Your speed at finishing projects is amazing. I am truly a snail in the crochet world. All of your entries are stunning.

  4. It’s so much fun to see them all at the same time. . .your heart must just swell with pride when you see your work laid out like that!!!!

    I love, love, love the 2012 state fair winner!!!! I can’t wait to see it in person one day!

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