Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Day at the Fair

There are two things that I really love: 1) county fairs, and 2) wearing something that I made and not even really thinking twice about it. Yesterday, I got to do both of those things.

I woke up with the sense of promise and hope that can only come from knowing that you're on your way to a fair. I pulled on my hand-knit Karma camisole from Custom Knits and I headed out the door. Want to know the best part? Not a single person asked me the entire day if I had made the top. Which is really the ultimate proof that it doesn't look like some ragged homemade thing! (Because believe me, I've got some ragged homemade things, and when I wear them people always ask "oh, did you make that?")

On to the fair...

You see, a rather large group of people I know also seem to like carnivals. And not only that, but we all like them enough to spend two and a half hours on public transportation in order to get there, including three different subway lines and a city bus. This location, in fact, was so remote that you have to TELL your bus driver where you're going so he can make a special stop. What I am talking about, of course, if the Kings County Fair in Brooklyn at Floyd Bennet Field--which is a defunct air field in the far reaches of south Brooklyn. Never heard of it? Well we hadn't either until Julie saw a sign for it on the subway one day and we all decided that we simply had to go.

Upon arrival at the fair, I insisted that we go on the swings first. You see, the swings are my favorite ride and I sometimes like to think of them as "the fountain of youth." Except you don't drink it or swim in it or whatever. You just ride it and are suddenly transported back to some perfect day in some long lost teenage summer, and I find that while on this ride I can't stop grinning to save my life. (As evidenced by this photo.)

You might note that we are particularly high up in the air on these swings. That's because they are the "grown up" swings, meant to be even more thrilling due to their extreme height. They were pretty awesome, but I still prefer the old-fashioned single-swings (located in the kiddo land!!), which sort of undulate up and down as they fly around and around. And that Dave Matthew's Band album cover be damned, I still think the old-fashioned swings make a mighty perty photo, particularly at twilight. And with a slightly heavyset carnie silhoutted against it. A word about this particular carnie: as he was ensuring that we were belted in correctly, he said "you know the last person to fly away from here never came back." I of course looked at him inquisitively, to which he replied "Amelia Earhart...this is where she took off from on her famous last flight." Huh...who knew? It added a nice melancholy tone to my ride, for sure.

After the adult swings, we went on about 37 more rides that go in circles very VERY quickly. And sometimes upside down. But mostly in some form of a circle. Nicole and Robb tied for strongest stomach as they scarcely seemed to need a break between rides. I required a few breathers now and then so that I could sip a beer (which is known to settle "carnival tummy.") Most notably, we went on the Gravitron, which they called something like "Starship." Which is a little scary, because it makes you wonder if this is some sort of second-rate Gravitron knock-off. Doubts aside, it certainly seemed to work, as evidenced by the fantastic gravity defying moves of Julie, Nicole, and Tara here.

When not spinning wildly in circles, we did other things, like eat fried food and look at the "exotic" petting zoo. Actually, I think the goats were the only things you were supposed to pet. I'm almost certain you weren't supposed to pet the baby alligator that is being shown here by a surprisingly friendly "zoo" employee. (The photo doesn't really do a lot to show her sweet side.)

We all ended the day on the ferris wheel. The sun was setting, it had just cooled down a smidge, our equilibrium was questionable, and we were ready to relax before getting on the bus, then the train, then the other train to get home.

Oh, and did you say that you wanted to know a little bit more about the tank I was wearing? Well, as I said, this is Karma from Custom Knits. I made mine with one extra repeat in the stitch pattern since I like my tanks long. I also intended for this tank to be nice and roomy, but I wound up weaving some thin elastic into the backside of the garter strips at the top and bottom of the bust--a little elasticized definition here and there helps give the garment some shape, and sometimes a girl can use a little help. You know? As for the yarn, I made mine in Frog Tree Picoboo, a lovely silky shiney drapey blend of pima cotton and bamboo that shows off the stitch details in the pattern miraculously and is breathable enough to wear to a day at the fair when the weather peaks out at 78 degrees.

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