The snow is almost allllmost completely gone so this posting is really late in the doing. Just yesterday my husband and I chopped away at the icey snow covering the lower branches of the cherry laurels in front of our house. Some of the branches were broken by the weight of the snow and my camellias are just broken to bits, but the laurel branches had returned to their former places by the time I got home last night so I have some hope that they will survive.
My trip to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival was fairly uneventful once I got on the road, although the scenery was so spectacular I had to keep myself on a short leash with regard to looking around lest I go right off the road. Through the “mountains” such as they are as you move north into Pennsylvania alternately had forests of deciduous trees and conifers. The deciduous trees looked encased in ice, the landscape a palette of greys, the trees dark with glistening white branches. Spectacular and my description in no way goes the distance to describe their beauty. Great white covered vistas as I would ride over the crest of a hill. Conifers dusted with snow. Fields calm white space under a stormy sky. Country music on the radio. I could have stopped 20 times to take pictures.
I made good time. . . this after shoveling out my driveway the day before. I shoveled from the house out as the icy clumps at the road end of the driveway were difficult to move. I watched 4 men shovel out the neighbor across the street. They made quick work of all that slushy icy stuff. They had his entire drive shoveled out to the street in fifteen minutes. I decided I would be the turtle, slow and steady wins the race. I was about a foot from success when a tractor that had been making its way slowly up my street from drive to drive finally got to my driveway. . . and in two minutes he had the whole drive clear! Mark Gabey and his son Buddy from one of the local farms. What an Angel they were that day. Who knows how long they had been working. buddy had a black plastic bag around his legs to keep the wind from them. They looked rough, their faces red from the cold and the wind.
Once at the hotel where the even took place, I unloaded my bags and bags of bags. My car was full to bursting. Everything HAD to fit or no doubt it would have refused to. I had the entire end of the dining room for the trunk show display and when I saw all the space I felt my heart lurch. My bags will never fill that space! I thought to myself. But I got to work and two lovely women volunteered to help. They helped unpack everything so I could see it, stuffed bags with plastic and other things we could find, helped drape the tables with my red velvet drapes, and then stood around for a while wishing, no doubt, that I am better at delegating. But I couldn’t tell them where to put things as I didn’t even know myself until I did it.
It took 5 hours to set up the bags. I worked through dinner. Luckily I had a half a sub for lunch stashed away in the car. Much more tasty than at lunch time, most certainly because I was hungrier.
I must confess that it was wonderful to see all the bags together like that. For the entire previous year they had been stored in bags and boxes in my garage when not visiting shops. Now that I have the studio, of course, I get to visit with them every day, but in my former (and tiny) studio at home they had had no comfortable, well-lit place to live.
More than ten years of work on one wall! I say ten, because although I started Noni as a pattern company four and half years ago and most of the bags were made since that time, there are five and a half years or more of trial and error, thinking, knitting, sewing, finishing, felting, and teaching that lie as a foundation under the bags and flowers that now hung on the walls.
I savored it. And then I went to the lobby, got a glass of wine, went up to my room, and knitted a while before going to sleep.