The Great Minnesota Get “Back” Together

Each year, I enjoy going the the Minnesota State Fair, viewing the artistry of the creative activities entries, as well as entering a couple quilts in the competition. In 2020, I was disappointed when the fair was cancelled.

This year, I had originally thought that I would not be able to enter any quilts in the competition. Having a trip to Colorado scheduled during the drop off days for the creative activities, I was at first unsure how I would be able to enter. About a week prior to our trip, I learned that I could drop off entries at the fair office during early drop off days before leaving on our trip.

After entering, I was still hesitant to attend the fair due to the increase in Covid cases. However, with the attendance numbers on previous days being down, I decided to go this morning. Being there from 8 to 11am, the number of people that were there was pretty small. The weather was cool and it was an enjoyable morning.

Things that I did not do:

  • Utilize a Park & Ride bus – to avoid the crowds of people on the buses, I left home early morning and was able to find parking in a lots across the street from one of the fair entrances.
  • Eat Fair Food – I usually avoid the fair food, so this was nothing new for me.
  • Ride any amusement in the Mighty Midway
  • Do any shopping in the Market areas.

Things that I did do:

  • Wore a mask and avoided crowds
  • Arriving early, I walked through several of the animal and 4H exhibits prior to the other buildings opening
  • Enjoyed the artistry in the Creative Activities building, including quilting, weaving, crochet and woodworking
  • Enjoyed the flora of the fair, a much overlooked aspect of the fairgrounds


Creative Activities – My entries:

My hexagon quilt received a third place ribbon. The quality of the entries this year was amazing. So, I am pleased with a third place finish.
My miniature doll quilt, made with hand dyed fabrics received a second place ribbon. This was a huge surprise to me. I only entered this quilt as a whim at the last minute, the quilt was never intended to be entered into a competition.
The Twin Cities Skyline wall quilt that I made for a friend did not place. However, it is displayed in a very prominent location at the entrance to the Creative Activities Building. I will be interested to read the comments from the judge when I pick it up next week.

Creative Activities – Noah’s Ark: My absolute favorite of all of the creative activities entries that I saw today!

Creative Activities – Other Quilting:

Creative Activities – Weaving:

Creative Activities – Others:

Butter Sculptures of the Fair Princesses:

Flora of the State Fair:

Hat and Scarf Sets

Each year, my dental office works with a local charity to collect and donate items to children in need.  Whether it be “Toys for Tots” or “Hats and Mittens”, our doctors, staff and patient families actively participate.

This year, I decided to combine my love for crafts with this donation opportunity.  Having knit and crocheted several scarves earlier in the year, I decided to make some hats to go with the scarves. I have tried making mittens and gloves but without much success.  So, I purchased a pair of waterproof gloves to go with each set.

Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf, Crochet hat


Variegated Yarn Infinity Scarf and Headband


Lace Knit Infinity Scarf and Hat


Islet Crochet Scarf and Rib Knit Hat


Swirl Knit Scarf and Crocheted Hat


Ripple Crochet Scarf and Wavy Knit Hat


I hope these are enjoyed by the person who receives them.


Swirl Scarf and Flowered Shells Hat

Several years ago, my mother made a lovely swirl scarf for me.  The scarf was one that she made without using a written pattern.  At the time, I asked her to describe the pattern.  It’s  fairly simple, just remember to relax to keep your yarn tension very loose.

img_2567Knit Swirl Scarf

Color A: Tan Worsted Weight Yarn, 100 yards
Color B: Variegated Worsted Weight Yarn, 50 yards
Color C: Fur style Yarn, 50 yards
US Size 9 circular knitting needle
US Size H crochet hook
Using color A, cast on 100 stitches.
Row 1: Knit across, keeping tension very loose.
Row 2: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (200 stitches).
Row 3: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (400 stitches).
Row 4: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (800 stitches).
Row 5: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (1600 stitches).
Row 6: Attach color B and knit across (1600 stitches). Cast off all stitches.
Edging: Attach color C with slip stitch.  Sc in each stitch along edges of the scarf. Weave in all yarn ends.

Yesterday, I decided to make a hat to match the scarf.  The pattern I used was one I have had in my pattern collection for a while. However, I revised the pattern by removing two of the 5Shell rows in the white section of the pattern and completing the the final SC row with fur style yarn.Shell Hat

Pattern: Flowered Shells Hat

Designer: Melissa Frank


Together with the scarf, it makes a nice set.

Hat & Scarf


The Minnesota Great Get-Together

img_2410.jpgThe Minnesota State Fair is currently taking place.  If you are not from MN, you may not realize how big our state fair is.  While MN only ranks 12th in size and 21st in population, it ranks second in state fair attendance, with over 2 million people attending each year.  This is just behind Texas at 2.25 million visitors.  However, Texas is second in land mass, second in population, and their state fair runs for 24 days (twice the length of the MN fair).  Thus, I would say that the Minnesota State Fair outranks even Texas.

The fair is so popular that, even on a rainy morning like today, there were lots of people in attendance.  What do people like to do at the fair?  When I asked some of my friends, they replied: eat the food, attend a concert, eat the food, see the animals, eat the food….

I think you get the picture – there is lots of food to eat if that is what you are interested in.

For me, the State Fair is a place to go to see the craftsmanship and creativity in the Arts and Crafts Building. Today was no exception.  After getting very wet walking from the transit center to the A&C building, I spent a couple hours walking around taking pictures.

Here are my quilts:

Me (with my wet hair) in front of “Burst Doll Quilt”, which received a first place in the child quilt category.

“Burst” bed quilt received a second place in the pieced bed quilt category.

My reversible tree quilt “Childhood Memories” received a second place in the mixed techniques category.  Unfortunately, you can only see one side of the quilt and none of the shadow painting.  

“Window on My World” placed fourth in the wall quilt category.  I re-entered it this year because I was surprised that it did not place last year and knew that there was a different judge this year. 

Some of the other quilting highlights:

Sweepstakes winner – Mary Alsop


Best Hand Applique – Terri White

Best Machine Quilting – Marilla Schmitt

Knit & Bolt Award – Susan Nevling


Some other crafts that caught my eye:


Two weeks in three trips = four scarves

Living in Minnesota, the thought of hopping a plane on the weekend to go someplace warm is very inviting.  This year, I planned two trips to get away to warmer weather.  These trips, one to Clearwater Beach, Florida and one the San Francisco, were on two consecutive weekends.  Then a few days after the planned second trip, I had to make an unexpected trip to Houston.  So, that meant that in fifteen days I had three trips, including seven flights (totaling almost 2,000 miles) and numerous hours in airplanes and airports.

For me, this was a bit more travel than I would prefer.  To pass the time, I brought along some knitting and crocheting.  As a result, I was able to completed four scarves to donate.

Scarf One – Queen Anne’s Lace Crochet Scarf


Trip One – Clearwater Beach, Florida

Scarf Two – Eyelash Yarn Knit Scarf


Trip Two – San Francisco

Scarf Three – Cashmere Knit Scarf


Trip Three – Houston



Scarf Four – Varigated Yarn Knit Scarf


I am looking forward to a few weeks with no need to travel!

Crocodile Flower Crochet Pillow with Crocheted Daisies on the back.

Every bed runner needs a nice decorative pillow to complement the design. Usually, for me, this means making a pieced and quilted pillow to match.  This time, however, I thought it would be nice to try something different.  So, I settled on
crocheting a pillow.
The nice thing about crochet is that I can take it with me to work or when running errands.  That way if I am stuck waiting, I can work on my project.IMG_2119
When I first learned the crocodile stitch (February 9, 2016 posting) , I really liked the way it looked.  And, this stitch seemed to me that it would match my daisy runner very well. Using some yarn in my stash, I started working on this.  When it was done, I thought it was a nice complement to my quilt.
But, what to put on the back?
Well, it’s a daisy bed runner.  So, why not try some crocheted daisies.  I did an on-line search for a daisy pattern but was unable to find one with leaves behind the petals. So, why not make up my own pattern.  With a little trial and error, using some features of the crocodile stitch, this is what I came up with.
And, here is my pattern:
E hook (smaller hook and thread yarn if you want this flower smaller)
Yellow, white, green and blue worsted weight yarn
sc=single crochet
sl st=slip stitch
hdc=half double crochet
dc=double crochet
With yellow yarn ch 4, sl st to form ring
Rnd 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), work 15 dc in ring, sl st = 16 dc
Rnd 2: ch 2 (counts as first sc and first ch1 space), *sc ch 1 in dc* repeat 15 times, sl st to first sc  = 16 (sc ch1)
Rnd 3: ch 3 (counts as first sc and first ch2 space), *sc ch 2 in dc* repeat 15 times, sl st to first sc. Cut and weave in end  = 16 (sc ch2)
Slip stitch in with White yarn for the petals
Rnd 4: *sc, chain 9, sc in first ch2 space, hdc in the next ch2 space*. Repeat * to* 7 times, sl st to first sc = 8 (sc, ch9 loop, sc, hdc)
Rnd 5: ch 4 (counts as first dc and first ch1 space), *dc between scs keeping yard behind ch9, ch 1, dc in hdc, ch 1*. Repeat * to* 7 times, sl st to first sc.  Cut and weave in end = 16 (dc, ch1)
Slip stitch in with Blue yarn to a ch 1 space after the dc behind the ch9 loop for background
Rnd 6: ch 4 (counts as first dc, ch1), *dc  in dc between loops, ch1, dc on ch 1 space, ch1, dc in dc behind loop, ch1* repeat 7 times, sl st to third ch  =  16 (dc, ch1)
Rnd 7: ch 1 (counts as first sc), *sc in ch 1, sc in dc, sc in ch1, (sc, ch6, sc in dc), * repeat 4 times, sl st to first sc  = 4 (5sc, ch6 loop, 1 sc)
Rnd 8: ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in next 5 sc, *ch3 behind loop, dc in 6 sc*, repeat two times, ch 3 behind loop, sl st to first ch3   = 4 (6dc, ch3)
Rnd 9: ch 1 (counts as first sc), sc in next 5 dc, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop, *sc in 6 dc, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop*, repeat two times, sl st to first ch1   = 4 (7sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc)
Rnd 10: ch 1 (counts as first sc), sc in next 8 stitches, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop, *sc in 12 st, sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc, sc in loop*, repeat two times, sl st to first ch1. Cut and weave in end  = 4 (14sc, hdc, dc, ch2, dc, hdc).
Slip stitch to chain 6 loop in Rnd 7 with Green yarn  for the leaves
Rnd 11: 4 dc, ch 1, sl st to sc of background, 4 dc. Cut and weave in end.  Repeat in each chain 6 of rnd 7 = 4 leaves
Slip stitch to chain 9 loop in Rnd 4 with White yarn  for the petals
Rnd 11: 4 dc, sl st to sc of background to side of leaf, 4 dc, sl st to sc of background on other side of leaf, 4 dc. Repeat 7 times. Cut and weave in end = 8 petals

Ocean Swells Crochet Scarf


Not wanting to be idle, I like to carry projects with me that I can work on when I have to wait.  My current project was completed rather quickly, in less than two weeks.  Having to wait four hours to see a patient for a consultation at Children’s Hospital contributed greatly to the rapidity of this project.

I recently came across a pattern that reminded me of the waves of the ocean.  When I looked up the name of the pattern, I found that the name, Ocean Swells, fit my thoughts very well.

I decided that I would make a scarf. So, I looked through my supply of yarn and found some that I thought would work well.


  • Row 1: ch 30, sc into second st from hook, sc in next 4 sts, *hdc,  dc, tc, dc, hdc. 9sc*,  rep pattern. End row with 5 sc.
  • Row 2: ch1, 3 sc, sk 2, dc, ch1, dc and ch1 for next four sts, sk 2, 5 sc, ch1, sk 2, *dc, ch1 *five times, sk2, finish row with 3 sc.
  • Row 3: sk 3 dc, work 2dc into first ch1 sp, repeat in next ch1 sp, work 3 dc in next ch1 sp, dc into top of next dc from previous row, 3dc into next ch1 sp, 2dc in the next two ch1 spaces, sk 2 sc and sc into next. Sk next 2 dc and repeat pattern, finishing off with a sc into last st.
  • Row 4: ch1, then sc across into each st.
  • Row 5: ch4 and dc into same st, hdc, sk 1 st, 9sc, sk 1st, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sk1, 9sc,sk1, hdc, dc and end row with a tr.
  • Row 6: ch4, dc into next st, ch1, dc, ch1, sk 2 sts, 5sc, ch1, sk 2 sts, dc, ch1 5 times, sk2, 5sc, ch1, sk2, dc, ch1, dc, ch1 and dc into ch4 of previous row.
  • Row 7: ch3, 2dc in each of the three ch1 sp, sk 2sc, sc, sk 2sc, 2dc in next 2 ch1 sps, 3dc in third ch1 sp, 1dc in top of dc from previous row, 3dc in ch1 sp, 2dc in next 2 ch1 sps, sk 2sc, sc to anchor, sk 2 st, 2dc in next 3 ch1 sps, 1dc into top of turning ch from last row.
  • Row 8: ch1, sc across row.
  • Row 9: ch1, 4sc, sk 1 st, *hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sk 1 st, 9sc, sk 1, repeat * to end, sc last 4 sts.
  • Row 10: ch1, 2sc, sk 2 sts, *ch1, (1dc, ch1) 5 times, sk 2 sts, 5sc,ch1, sk 2, 5sc, repeat from * to end of roimg_0208w, ending with 2sc
  • Repeat rows 3-10 until project reaches desired length.


There is a YouTube tutorial available at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpNhPK1j4-g




Crochet Along Blocks – Drop in the Bucket and Embracing Variety Crochet Squares

Two more  crochet blocks completed.

“Drop in the Bucket”

Designer: Janie Herrin
“Embracing Variety”
Designer: Aurora Suominen

I’m still having fun making these!