Friday, August 10, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday: County Fair

Miss A, her family and I did a little reconnaissance at the local county fair last weekend.

Neither one of us have ever entered an alpaca performance show, so we wanted to get a better idea of what she would be asked to do at the November show.

I concede that animal shows can be quite boring to watch unless you happen to be very interested in what's going on.

Even if you're very interested in what's going on, when you're eight years old they still get boring.  So Miss A and her family went home after a couple of hours.  ;-)

That being said, we learned a lot.

First there was a halter show.  This is where the competition is mostly about the breeding.  But since this was a 4H Performance Show, the competition was more about how well the kids handled their alpacas.  This is really boring, unless you happen to be a breeder or a huge fan of one of the kiddos presenting or a huge fan of the animal being shown.

Setting up for a Youth Performance Class
Then there were the obstacle courses with four levels of difficulty.  This is what we were interested in.  A course is set up and the handlers are judged on how well they get the alpaca to navigate the obstacles.  We took notes and planned ways to practice the different elements at home.

There was also a costume contest.  The kids dress themselves and their alpacas up and write a short story about the characters they are playing.  I always thought this was kind of silly.  But realizing what it must take to put a dress and hat on an alpaca leaves me impressed with the relationship built between those kids and their alpacas.

After the alpaca show, I happened upon a Tractor Parade.

Then I went in search of the Fibery Fair Entries.

I found a few weavings...

and a few handspun yarns...

But clearly, the Quilters are in full-force here in Northern Colorado.

I remember going to a quilting circle with my mom when I was very small.  It seemed like those ladies were having fun and I think they were all working on the same quilt at the same time.

I've never tried quilting myself, but I have always admired them greatly.

I hope you're having a terrific Fiber Arts Friday.  Be sure to visit everyone over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see some beautiful work.


Gracey is not my name.... said...

I've enjoyed a 4H show or two at local fairs...I went to one where they let audience member kids go out with the 4H kids to help lead the alpacas....this was very cool for them...I think it might have been Rhinebeck last year...

Voie de Vie said...

I must admit, I've liked all aspects of the animal shows I've seen. Yes, there's a fair amount of down time, but it provides an opportunity to visit the animals. :)

Vivian said...

No knitting at the fair? The Marin County Fair we usually go to always attracts lots of knitwear, so that's where I spend a lot of time. And I never miss the sheep dog trials. Sometimes they also have a pig race which is always fun. Watch that while eating a hot dog :D

Spinster Beth said...

I am 100% behind anything that gets kids off their butts and away from the computer and tv screens! I am glad they have the opportunity to do these things. It must make dealing with people seem that much easier!

Kathryn Ray said...

@Vivian - actually there were a few knit items. I forgot to mention because my pics did not come out. I think though, if you were to add up the number of knit, crochet and woven items to the skeins of yarn, there were still more quilts.

Practical Frog said...

We are off to the "Ekka" here in Brisbane this week. Its a massive country comes to the city event that will attract 50,000 people a day. We will have alpaca's but Im guessing mainly on display but if they do have a show or something I promise to have a look for you Kathryn and take some photos for you! And I agree Beth - what ever it takes to get kids off their bums and away from the TV is a fantastic thing!!! - K xx

Cathy said...

The consume contest looks cute. Those quilts are really fantastic, like you I've always admired the quilts and their creators but never tried, the last crafts fair I went to were mostly about quilts too ... don't think I'll ever try, my sewing skills stop at buttons ;)

WonderWhyGal said...

I am always in awe of quilters. Grandma and my aunt quilt but sewing just doesn't get me. I even outsource my mending.

If you have any 4H questions, let me know. I have tons of photos too. I can send you a link to my 4H album in Picasa so you can see more of the obstacle/performance/showmanship.

My daughter loves 4H and it really does bond her to the Alpacas she works with.

Alittlebitsheepish said...

It looks like a lovely show. I am looking forward to hearing more about your alpaca training adventures