In which I get a head start on my 2016 North Carolina State Fair project

Each year when I begin work on my state fair project, I typically have a clear idea of what I will be doing.

I have the motifs worked out, I know how things will fit together, and I have charts to which I refer that plot certain elements of the design.

This year, I had none of that; I had an array of object that had belonged to my paternal grandmother, and I was going to use those objects as the foundation for a crochet project that would celebrate what little I knew of her life as well as anything I might discover about her along the way through reading newspaper items in which she was mentioned.

I knew that when I started on what I had initially intended to be my 2015 North Carolina State Fair project that everything had to go right in order for me to make the deadline. I had a lot of design work to do, and as the project began to take shape, I also had a lot of squares to make to fill in the spaces between the objects I had crocheted.

Today, at about 2:38 EDT, I came to the realization that the work that remained to be done far exceeded the 21 hours I had to finish it if I were to make the deadline.

I had finished piecing the piano panel:

All the piece of the piano panel joined

All the piece of the piano panel joined

I had almost finished piecing and decorating the four corners-to-be:

The four, nearly completed corners

The four, nearly completed corners

I had crocheted and joined more than half of the 176 squares needed for the clock panel:

The not-yet-finished clock panel

The not-yet-finished clock panel

and I had even begun piecing the long-stemmed tumbler panels:

The two, long-stemmed tumbler panels-to-be

The two, long-stemmed tumbler panels-to-be

Unfortunately, despite all of this progress, when I laid all of the piece I had completed or nearly completed, I was left with a sizable space yet to fill:

All of the pieces so far

All of the pieces so far

As the truth of my situation revealed itself to me on a clear, crisp and otherwise perfectly wonderful fall day, I rapidly went through the five stages of grief:

Denial: That can’t be right. How many minutes is that? What do I have on hand that I could used to fill that massive space. Maybe I could just crochet a big granny square and fit that in.

Anger: I can’t believe I didn’t get this done. If I had just given up eating and sleeping, I would have made the deadline.

Bargaining: I was in a hurry and glided right past this and went to depression/crying

Depression: I cried, but thankfully was able to stop before I got a painfully stuffy nose.

Acceptance: This one was really hard, but my family helped me through. My mom told me that the piece deserved that best that I had to give it, and if that could not be done in the time that remained, then I would just have to take the time that was needed, my husband checked the state fair entry rules and found that (as long as they don’t change them) the piece would be eligible for the 2016 North Carolina State Fair, and my youngest son suggested that we go out to dinner to celebrate the kick-off for my 2016 North Carolina State Fair project.

So while I am not exactly happy that I did not finish the project in time for this year’s state fair, I know that I would be infinitely unhappier if, in the rush to complete it, I made compromises that I would have to live with long after this year’s state fair deadline.


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