Sunday, July 22, 2012

Here they are.....

It's County Fair time again!  (jeez, I can't believe it's the end of July already though......)  Here are the items this Nature Knitter has completed in the past 12 months for entry into Open Class competition at the 2012 Olmsted County Free Fair.  (Award information has been listed after each picture.)  

 Wool Houndstooth Check Mittens
Blue ribbon (first place)

Glitter Shawl
(knitted from *1 ball* of a wool/alpaca/nylon/metallic blend yarn) 
White Ribbon (third place)

Celeste Shawl
(knitted from Red Heart Stardust yarn - 70% superwash wool, 25% nylon, 5% glitter yarn)
Blue Ribbon (first place) plus Grand Champion Purple Ribbon and Best of Show Award Plaque

Click on the photo to enlarge so you can also see the copper metal beads knitted into this lovely pattern

Basic Knitted Mittens
(knitted from washable acrylic yarn)
White Ribbon (third place)

Wool Cables Hat
Blue Ribbon (first place)

Rainbow Beanie
(crocheted with Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight yarn) 
Red Ribbon (second place)

Undergrowth Hat
(knitted with Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight yarn)
Blue Ribbon (first place) and Reserve Grand Champion Pink Ribbon

Top view of Undergrowth Hat

I stopped at the fair with these entries shortly after noon last Friday -- I didn't see what any of the other competitors had brought in then, but I'm optimistic some of these items will do well in the judging that was held on Saturday, July 21st.  I'll post results later this week.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Raptor Spa

For a lot of people with backyard bird feeders, the appearance of a hawk is a horrifying experience.  For me, the appearance of a hawk is always greeted with excitement.  The ratio of hawks to songbirds in my backyard is probably about 1:150, so I'm not worried about the hawks decimating my songbirds (the free-roaming cats and raccoons cause much more damage).  I know there is a Cooper's Hawk who visits my backyard regularly and usually the chickadees, robins and bluejays sound the alarm.  This time of year, the grackles are especially watchful because they have all kinds of nests around here and I've found several piles of juvenile grackle feathers lately (not gonna complain about losing a few grackle babies, that's for sure!)
Since the weather's been so hot already this summer, keeping the birdbaths full is almost a full-time job and on this 90+ degree day back on June 10th, a Cooper's Hawk decided to take advantage of a shallow birdbath in my backyard for a little spa session.  Fortunately I was home on this day and managed to capture these photos out the kitchen window.  Hope you enjoy them!

Hope you're enjoying your summer and be sure to keep your birdbaths full during these hot days for all of the backyard critters and birds -- raptors included!