September has always brought with it a sense of harvest, of gathering in. It is the beginning of fall, which is my favorite season. I didn't take the name Pumpkinknitter for this blog for any other reason. Although I love my home in Arizona, this is the time of year when I start to become homesick for autumn in Michigan and any other place where the leaves change color and the air becomes crisp and cold. But even here in the high desert I can set an autumn table for a family Sunday dinner later this evening.
It's time to bring in all the peppers off the two no-longer-little pepper plants. What shall I make with these beauties? Chillis rellenos comes to mind, a casserole with peppers, eggs, milk and cheese, served with red enchilada sauce.
The end of summer and September has always been county and state fair time. The Arizona State Fair is always in October; our county fair in September. This is the first year in a while that I have sat out the fairs; there just isn't the time this year with every thing else on my plate to participate.
Many years ago, competition among the Detroit ladies for ribbons in the home arts was overwhelming. I can remember as a child being fascinated and impressed by the amount of work done by the ladies entering the Michigan State Fair. There were dozens and dozens of entries in those days, and the work was superb. There was a time when the home arts seemed to fall into disfavor. I've watched the number of entries dwindle at the county fair over the last few years, especially among the junior entries. It's a shame, really. But there is hope that someday the home arts will regain their proper place in the world. Certainly knitters are doing their best!
At any rate, my fascination as a child with what I saw at the Fair certainly played it's part in spurring me on to improve my home arts skills. I wanted to be one of the ladies whose needlework and bread and cookies consistently won the top prizes. So I kept trying, and kept entering. I won my first ribbons at age seventeen in the junior divisions; I won my first adult blue ribbons a few years later. Nowadays I enter, not only knitting and needlework, but baking and food preserving, herbs and pears, vegetables and flowers. My ribbon collection is now over a hundred ribbons, most of them for some form of needlework.
My goals for the future? To keep entering competitions, and to continue to raise the level of my skills higher and higher.