Friday, October 22, 2010

In Retrospect

....and now that a few spare moments appear, here are my additional thoughts about the New York festival.   First, I still think it's more exciting than Maryland Sheep and Wool has been for the past two years.   People pushing and milling and smiling in large numbers, filling the many show buildings well beyond what the fire code should permit.....lots of energy everywhere, even in the parking lots, where you could find plates from Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Georgia (!), South Dakota (!!!). 

Second, and more interesting, there are more men than in the past.  That's not to say that men were knitting and crocheting. I have no idea whether any of them can knit.  But they were THERE.  And it was fairly clear to me that they were not there simply to be guarding against excessive spending by spouses.  They were smiling, looking at the merchandise, offering opinions about the quality of this or that pile of roving.  Young men walked along with young women, hand in hand, as if they'd done this all their lives.  America is changing.

Third, and most important of all:  People were taking their time, making friends, talking to perfect strangers at the luncheon picnic tables.  Now, this is always true at fiber festivals.  It's part of why these events are so importand to the cultivation of arts and crafts.  The sociability idea is reinforced.  And it seemed to me that, year after year, I've seen more and more of it.  At New York, friend Ann met up with two women she'd encountered on a website, shopped with them all afternoon, introduced them to me, created a network.  Over coffee, I met three women whose cards I now have in my wallet and who will be called when I'm next in the Fingerlakes region.  On and on.  There is a social fabric forming always, but it does seem to me that it is becoming stronger.

That's enough for now.  svb  

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