Sunday, August 10, 2008

Motoring to the Fair

Yesterday, we planned to visit the San Mateo County Fair. Our idea was to check out the Home Arts exhibit area where my Paisley Long Shawl was entered for judging and then go to the evening concert featuring KC and Sunshine Band and the Village People.

The best laid plans of mice and and men often go awry.

A week ago, I ordered a new car from a
Mini dealership. Since that time, we've been hunting around the Internet for information on our new baby, soon to be built at the factory in England. We found a local group that meets once a month for a "Mini run" to various locations in California. On Saturday, they met at Tesla Motors in Menlo Park for a run to Half Moon Bay.

Tesla is the electric car that is making headlines throughout the motoring world. It can do 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, gets 220 mpc (miles per charge), and redlines at 13,000 rpms. (If you think knitters have a lot of abbreviations, just try to understand a few motoring enthusiasts chatting in acronyms.) The Tesla is a beautiful vehicle with a beautiful pricetag: $109,000.

The Minis were lined up outside the Tesla dealership, and we spoke to a few owners to gauge their satisfaction and to learn more about our Mini-to-be. Then, for a lark, we took off on a wild ride to the coast, following along behind a colorful caravan of Mini Coopers.

Instead of taking Highway 92, as we thought they might, they drove over Alpine Road, a winding, narrow, wooded byroad several miles south of 92. Let me tell you, these Mini drivers are escape artists who love fast cornering and zipping over hill and dale with aplomb. We kept pace in our Toyota, but it wasn't easy.

Hairpin turns through densely wooded glens with glimpses of impressive dropoffs -- what a trip! We took a sharp turn onto Pescadero Creek Road, another narrow, twisting path through Loma Mar and Pescadero. Nearing Pescadero, the cooler air signaled the proximity of the ocean, our homeland.

Our route through the trees ended at Pescadero State Beach. We turned right and headed north toward Half Moon Bay.

Not surprisingly, we were a bit tired from our Mini adventure, and we almost nixed the Fair in favor of the Olympics. We watched them a bit, but decided to take a short nap and head to the Fair later on in the evening.

We didn't perk up again until around 7:00 pm. We knew we might miss the beginning of KC or the Village People, but went anyway, speeding south on Highway 280, remarking about how fast those Minis scooted around tight corners.

We got to the Fair and were told that the concert was sold out. What?! No KC? No Sunshine Band? No Village People? The dream of reliving my disco youth, shattered?

I was disappointed, but not for long. We headed toward the Home Arts area to view the textiles and needlearts.

The Home Arts displays were in a big tent, rather than one of the buildings at the Fairgrounds as they were last year. The tent was the same one where I had dropped off my entry a couple of weeks earlier.

Although there was more room than last year, the lighting was rather poor. Still, the works displayed were lovely. I snapped several photos of items made by people I knew from the knitting groups.

And I found my Paisley Long Shawl displayed on a table with a Best of Show rosette!

I spoke a few minutes to Julia Curry, the Home Arts Department Coordinator, and she gave some insight into how the items were judged.

Julie is a quilter. None of her work could be entered under her name, but she had worked on at least 30 quilts in the exhibition. She said that some of the amateurs sent their hand-pieced quilts to her for finishing work.

As for the Paisley Long Shawl, she mentioned that the knitting judges remarked about the difficulty of knitting with linen and how my stitches were consistent and even. Cool!

I asked if she had a few pins to tack the shawl down to the tablecloth. Although chains were around the table, my shawl was just lying on top of a tablecloth. I liked that they chose to display it on a light background, but anyone could pick it up. She was very helpful and said that she appreciated hearing feedback about the displays and how they could be improved.

I walked around looking for some of the items that were entered by people I knew. Some won ribbons and all were beautiful.

Nancy's weaving won a 1st place blue ribbon. Gorgeous colors and inspiring!

Jane had several entries. This rose bag is luscious.

Jeannette's miniature sweaters are just perfect displayed on fingertips.

Patt's color choices are always stunning. This woven scarf is a miracle of color and texture.

Julie's blue scarf won a 3rd place ribbon! Congrats!

Jane's wool dickie won a 1st place ribbon! Way to go!

I'm embarassed to say I don't know whose hat this is, but it is a lovely one.

Another creation from Jane - a darling green child's pullover.

And Jane's afghan won a 1st place blue ribbon! Great color choices and the textures are wonderful!

Matthew's mermaid is a one-of-a-kind whimsical treat to behold.

And I had to photograph this leather tooled saddle that won Best of Show. Isn't it amazing?


Laritza said...


z's momma said...

Many congratulations!

emily said...

Congratulations on your win Sandy! I'm going to the fair next weekend and am looking forward to seeing your shawl up close!

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...


Thanks for posting that! A friend told me today that I got a blue ribbon, but it was nice to see a photo (of course, they displayed it kind of wrong - oh well).

KnitNana said...

Oh Congratulations, Sandy! The shawl is gorgeous...and what fun - a Mini! What color are you getting?

Jane said...

Thanks so much for including my entries in your blog and for your kind words.

Congratulations on your shawl - beautiful work!

Jane said...

Your shawl is fantastic! Congratulations on your win.