GREENVILLE — Eileen McKnight was selected to be the featured exhibitor in the Domestic Arts Department at the Great Darke County Fair this year.
Her favorite craft is crochet. Over the years, according to the Domestic Arts Committee, she has brought to the fair “many intricate crocheted items.
“She has immense talent for crochet and has won three rosettes and more than 80 ribbons,” said a spokesperson. “She also enjoys sewing, in the past making her husband’s shirts, her children’s clothes and curtains for her home. Her other interests include playing piano, flower gardening. photography and more recently genealogy.”
McKnight said she was taught to crochet around the age of 12 by her mother. She remembers she made a blue doily, because that was the only thread they had. She still has that doily. McKnight gets most of her patterns from old Work Basket magazines. She usually finds time to crochet in the evenings while watching television.
Her next goal, she said, is to make afghans for each of the grand- and great-grandchildren. She has two or three done so far.
McKnight has lived in Darke County most of her life in the Richland Township except for a brief period in Texas and Arizona. She and husband Harold celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on May 19.
They have three children, seven grandchildren and 12, soon to be 15, great-grandchildren, most of whom live nearby.
The McKnights have lived in a home in the woods which they built together. They also built and operated Rustic Hill Market on U.S. 127, north of Greenville. She has worked for the IRS and managed apartments, but is currently busy caring for her husband.
McKnight has early memories of coming to the Great Darke County Fair with her family.
“We came in a Model T, brought our own food and ate under the trees on the fairgrounds,” she recalled.
She has one frightening memory from when she was about 4 years of age.
“A bad storm came and some animals got loose,” she remembered. “I felt I was being crushed as the crowd took shelter from the storm until a stranger picked me up and held me above the crowd.”
Her more recent fair memories are happier with her children participating in 4-H animals and sewing and her participating in Domestic Arts since the early 1990s.
Those in the Domestic Arts Department said they were proud to have McKnight as the 2015 featured exhibitor.
“We appreciate her many years as an exhibitor, bringing her exceptional work, especially in crochet, which she always displays so beautifully,” the spokesperson said. “We also appreciate her graciousness in her winning and also disappointments. We hope she continues to share her talent for us to admire and exhibit for many years to come. Thank you and congratulations, Eileen.”
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