Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 North Carolina State Fair Winners: Biscotti

The 2017 North Carolina State Fair opened this week and my daughter and I checked out my entries to see if had I won any ribbons. I wasn't expecting as many ribbons this year, but, nevertheless, I did win several ribbons. (I also had some "also-rans" which I will describe in a separate posting.)

My only 1st place award was not in a fiber craft at all. For the 2nd year, I entered the biscotti competition and beat my last year's 2nd place win with a blue ribbon this year. I baked the Butter-Pecan Biscotti recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

The recipe called for butterscotch bits along with toasted, chopped pecans, and, to increase the buttery flavor, I used Lorann Professional Kitchen's Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion instead of regular vanilla extract. 

Oh my, these were tasty and I will be making them again.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

NC State Fair Update

If you've wondered why I haven't posted anything for several weeks, it's because I've been busy working on my North Carolina State Fair entries. Crazy me, I registered 11 fiber-related entries this year. This morning I finished the last of 9 out of the 11. Of the 2 that I'm not entering, one, a filet crochet table runner, is larger than the rules require (I should have read the rules more closely on that one), and the other (a tatted edging on a handkerchief) is because I just ran out of the time and momentum to finish it (maybe I should start on next year's entries next month 😊). Even though I'm retired apparently I still can't stop creating pressure and stress for myself by setting strict deadlines and then procrastinating until the last minute.

I'll be dropping everything off tomorrow morning, and then spending the rest of the day baking my 2 cookie entries.

I'll post photos of everything after October 10th, the day entries are judged, and then photos of any ribbon winners I might have. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Another shawl made from one skein of yarn I bought at the 2017 Carolina Fiber Fest. The yarn is hand-dyed 100% superwash merino wool in 1-ply fingering weight from Iria Yarn Company out of Raleigh, NC. The colorway is "Boho."

The pattern is "Close to You" by Justyna Lorkowska. It's available as a free download on Ravelry at

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Keeping Busy

Not much to post these days as I am busy working on my ELEVEN! North Carolina State Fair fiber entries, and I don't like to post photos of them until they've been entered in the fair. It remains to be seen if I will be able to complete pieces for all the categories in time, but with several weeks before the fair opens in October, I'm working hard to get things done.

I got a happy surprise this week when I visited the Lace Knitting Facebook group. One of the photos of my butterfly scarf was used as the group's page banner. I had no idea that they would feature the scarf since it is not as lacy as most of the pieces on the page.

Despite all the activity devoted to the fair, I've also signed up to participate in a gigantic art installation Love Across the USA - Raleigh. Dozens of participants will be crocheting 2' by 2' squares that will be assembled into a huge mural that will be installed on the Raleigh convention center in October. It will be the third mural in the series planned by Olek, the artist designing and managing the project.

The design (portrait and quotation) will not be revealed until the mural is installed. The first two murals were Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, NY. I finished my assigned square quickly so I could get back to my fair projects.

Friday, July 28, 2017

June 2017 Knitting: "Butterfly" Scarf

This was an interesting and, for me, a challenging project: each ruffle is knitted on top of the previous ruffle. The last row of stitches of the previous ruffle are knit together with the next ruffle that has been formed...and so on till one side of the scarf is finished. After the second half is finished, the halves are joined together. 

The yarn is Jojoland Melody Superwash in 100% wool in colorway "Lilac Rose." The pattern is "Butterflies Are Free" from Lace One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant (Storey Publishing, 2013, ISBN: 978-1612120584). 

The pattern calls for 700 yards of yarn, but I didn't have that much in my stash. After a bit of measuring and weighing I made some adjustments to accommodate the amount of yarn I did have. Each ruffle is supposed to have 3 repeats of the charted pattern, but I did only 2 repeats. Each side is supposed to have 9 ruffles, but I only have 8 ruffles per side. With these changes I did not run out of yarn, and I think the final result looks fine.

June 2017 Knitting: Lacy Hand-dyed Yarn Shawl

Another shawl made with yarn I bought at the 2017 Carolina Fiber Fest. The yarn is hand-dyed from Iria Yarn Company out of Raleigh, NC. The fiber is a 2-ply lace weight, 60% suri alpaca, 40% merino wool in colorway "Raspberry."

The pattern is "Magenta Mohair Lace Stole" from Lace One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant (Storey Publishing, 2013, ISBN: 978-1612120584).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Latest Blinged Tatting Shuttles

Here's what I've been playing with lately: Bling on a Roll. The "jewels" are attached to a clear strip of sticky tape. You just cut the length you need and attach to the shuttle. I then applied clear protective coats to secure everything.

I bought Bling on a Roll at AC Moore in the scrapbooking department. For a person who does not scrapbook, I sure buy a lot of supplies there.

Here's some closer views of the shuttles

It was hard to get a good shot of the pink one; it looks much better in real life.