So, last Wednesday, I was at the Maryland State Fair, judging the spinning and weaving competition for the third and final year (at least for now.) They will have new judges next year, so if you haven’t liked the way that I or my cohort have judged the contest, you can relax, as next year, you will have someone else looking at your work. (I say that, but no one has ever come back to me with any complaints about the judging.)

No one tried to cheat this year (nor last,) though there is still a problem with people reading the directions on how entries are to be prepared and presented. I guess when people see a lot of lists on the page, they just don’t feel like reading everything.

As for my general advice about entering fairs, it remains the same. I do recommend that if you are going to enter your spinning into competition, that you learn how to form a proper skein with proper ties. Some of the skeins were tied such that examining the entire skein was difficult due to the two “death grips” at either end. Also, take the time to remove the tags from previous fairs that you entered your work in. (Actually, if you are entering the same work in multiple contests, take the time to go over the piece between each contest, as the means of display from the previous fair may distort parts of it where it was tagged or hung.)

As for not judging next year, the reason is to get some fresh eyes in there. This is what most fairs do (or should do.) If you judge the same contest enough times, you get to recognize people’s work, and that can form a bias. Newer entrants tend to be all over the map with entries as they are just learning all of the wonders of a craft, while people start to specialize as they gain experience and find the areas of the craft that they really like. With the experience also comes (hopefully) better results, so the better items in a category (say table linens) tend to come for a certain group of weavers that the judge will eventually come to recognize particular weavers due to their choice of structure, color, fiber, etc.

In all, it has been a great experience. I get to fondle lots of fiber for a day, and it doesn’t cost me anything to do it. Sounds pretty good.

Copyright 2010 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com



Well, here it is, the why and the how of entering your local county and state fairs? I am going to try to keep this as general as possible, not focusing on any craft or art in particular. Most fairs have a category for anything you can think of, so finding a place for you should be no problem. Continue reading

Seems You’re Much Too Busy


Posts here are going to slow down. (Actually, they have already slowed down, but they are going to slow down even more.) Here’s why:

Remember these?

View from the back door

Well, it is that time of year; and keeping up with the leaves takes quite a bit of time. As one of our neighbors put it, “[The previous owners] didn’t tell you that you had another full time job, did they?” Last year, we had bags of leaves waiting to be picked up by the trash man until the middle of December. I am reconsidering whether autumn is my favorite season.

Also, the in-laws are coming! This Sunday! For a week’s stay! This is an opportunity for me to get to know them better, as I have only met them about four or five times, the last time being two years ago when I helped them pack up for their move down to South Carolina. Mr. Penney is anxious to see them, I know. Heck, I miss seeing my parents as often as I used to, and I get to see them a couple times a month. It has been two years for Mr. Penney.

I am trying to finish the spinning of September’s Hello Yarn Fiber Club merino, but it is going slowly. I don’t think I will get the single done before the weekend, but here is hoping.

Also, this Sunday, is the Race for the Cure, so if you would like a chance to win this:

First Prize

or this:

Second Prize

please go here to find out more, and here to make a donation. Thank you to all who have donated so far. Your help is greatly appreciated!

You Better Run


UPDATE: I have made a separate page for this so everyone doesn’t have to go looking through old posts to keep up to date on this.

I need your help. I am signed up to run in the Komen Maryland Race for the Cure on October 14th, and I would like you to sponsor me. If you would like to learn more about the charity, click here. This cause is kind of dear to me as my sister-in-law just went through the whole series of treatments last year after being diagnosed with it in 2005. Right now, it looks like she may have licked it. That’s what we all hope and pray. Continue reading