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:

crochet keyboard
All the piece of the piano panel joined

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

crochet circles crochet squares
The four, nearly completed corners

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

crochet clock crochet squares
The not-yet-finished crochet clock panel

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

crochet squares crochet motifs
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:

crochet pieces for a narrative crochet blanket
All of the crochet 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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12 thoughts on “In which I get a head start on my 2016 North Carolina State Fair project

  1. Hope you have a great dinner. From the looks of the pieces you have shown us, this work of art does deserve the best you can give it, no matter how long it takes. I still can’t wait to see the finished product. Beautiful work, Crochetbug.

  2. I’m hoping you’re out right now having a fabulous State Fair 2016 Dinner with your guys!

    BTW — this doesn’t lessen your status of amazing. Your decision NOT to enter less than your best effort is even more amazing!

    Damned proud of you, my friend!

  3. Bravo! for your very intelligent decision! You know you will make a masterpiece over the next year, and be filled with excitement instead of dread, just exactly what these memories deserve!

  4. I’m so with Andrea on this! Enjoy your dinner & for 2016 you will have the very best entry possible. You won’t be so rushed & you will be able to give this labor of history & love all the time it deserves. I know you are disappointed about this year but I think it will pay off so much to wait until 2016. Great decision!

  5. You have made a very wise decision that may make a great difference to many of us who have been or will be in the future. Congratulations on influencing so many people out here. Your project is so beautiful and I’m confident it will be even more gorgeous when finished without all of the stress.

  6. Enjoy your dinner & kudos to you for deciding this project wI’ll need the extra time & attention you can give it fir next year’s entry.

    That’s a decision that honors everyone, especially you, your talent & imagination. And I feel certain your paternal grandmother is standing right next to you now, approving this decision as well!

  7. Ditto Ditto! With the extra time you now have for your 2016 State Fair project, I hope you discover an additional nugget about your paternal grandmother that will be the perfect element for the center of this beautiful remembrance. What a blessing to have such a supportive family.

  8. This picture of your work reminds me of Judy Chicago’s work Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum. And other of your work reminds me of the Pattern and Decoration art movement of the 1980s. Maybe the state fair’s loss this year will be an art gallery’s gain.

  9. I definitely like the suggestions your family chose for lifting your spirits. I’m sure you’ll enjoy finishing this project without the added rush. Hugs from me today. 🙂

  10. I grieve with you about not being able to finish, but I rejoice with you at the time you now have to finish strong. Keep the faith!

  11. I absolutely agree with everyone else who applauds your decision. I cannot imagine you would have been satisfied with just making one big granny square to fill the empty space (or any other last ditch effort) and, in the long run, you wouldn’t have entered that version of this afghan. That would have left you with the additional work and aggravation of undoing it before you could redo it with your best, not second-best, work.

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