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.