Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My White Whale

Good times were had at the Northwoods Fiber Retreat last weekend. I really had a hard time surfacing to join the real world on Monday. I was in a wool induced stupor, used to having nothing but free time, meals prepared for me, and scantily clad cabana boys that would do my every bidding…(Oh, and you thought knitters didn’t USE cabana boys?? What you don’t know about your grandma’s secret life would fill a book…)

So I spent yesterday literally feeling stoned. Whether anyone noticed that I was in a happy haze, I’ll never know. I think it was one of the nicest retreats that we’ve had and I was so totally stressed out before hand that I think anything short of nuclear holocaust would have been considered a success. Thankfully, it fell far short of nuclear holocaust and I think a good time was had by all. We’ll have to investigate new locations for the fall retreat next time in order to keep our expenses a little lower because that is the one thing I am striving for. There are many expensive retreats out there that are way out of many people’s price range and I don’t want people to feel like they are excluded. It’s a bit of a balancing act but I think it will all work out.

So, at the retreat I started my state fair entry for next year. Oh yeah, it’s got a lot of potential. Potential for good and potential for devastating evil. I think that the judges at the fair will probably judge it more harshly than the sad little grandma afghans featured on the acrylic yarn ball bands. It will be wild, it will be crazy, and it will be my white whale.

I am creating a felted bag.

Now…anyone that knows anything about knitting or fiber will raise an eyebrow and ask…what could I possibly be talking about? How can a felted bag be unique? How will my previous rant referring to sketchy creativity at the MN State Fair be avoided if I am creating a simple felted bag?

Oh, I got plans baby. The bag has actually already been created and felted. The handles have been added and the yarn used was woolpack in a happy slightly variegated orange. (See, that is the first step down a dangerous path…orange can make you feel warm and happy but in the wrong hands, it can maim and kill. Search the newspaper obituaries as much as I do and you’ll find many deaths where the color orange was the culprit.)

Now, the fun begins. I created a freeform knitting and crochet bag a couple of years ago and I totally love it. It is a bit small and very rectangular and I used plastic canvas as the base to attach all the scrumbles to. This time I am adding it all to a felted bag. Along with any other thing I can get my hands on…shells, rocks, small animals, infant children…

I will spend the next few months scouring antique stores, craft fairs, nature walks, and street gutters for anything that will “go” on my bag. I will be obsessed. I will not eat. I will not sleep. I will stare out over the horizon mumbling to myself, pacing back and forth, knowing somehow, somewhere, I must find more stuff to put on my bag.

It will be big. It will be heavy. It will be bright. It will be happy. It will walk into the creative arts building at the MN State Fair and all of the other projects will start hissing things like “Slut!” “Whore!” and “Tramp!” People will stop and look at it and say things like “Holy Shit!” “What was she thinking!” “Isn’t it illegal or at least immoral to make something like that?” But you know what? People will remember it. And I might take a couple judges out in the process…They will just curl up in the fetal position and cover their eyes knowing that their judging days are over.

Yeah, that’s what I’m bringing to the fair next year…a project of mass destruction…

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