But get a load of this: Somebody should remind me that I'm 67 years old, no longer a spring chicken, and so on. I have decided to go to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Festival again at Grayslake, Illinois, on the Thursday night of the weekend of June 21-23 -- This festival is near Chicago -- maybe 5 hours from Detroit if you stop for some kind of break -- in my trusty Enterprise rental. Hope it's a Ford this time and NOT a GM product, which for some reason aren't as comfortable or as well designed. Or so I think. I need to get to this festival in particular because I want to have a LONG conversation with the people from the Windy City Knitting Guild, who always attend the Midwest Festival with their wonderful mannequin.
What mannequin? Well. Years ago, I found Polly Esther Cotton at the Midwest Festival. She was an amazing creation -- a focal point for conversation, for gathering, for remembering that clothing used to be made entirely by hand. Women and men would gather around her and, using the provided yarn, needles, and hooks, add to her raiment. I think I've talked about her before on this blog. I have added many bits to her garb over the years. I talked a couple of times to the guild people about creating a kid sister for the mannequin -- never did it. Here's Polly:
Now, I CAN do (and have done) exactly that. We now have unpacked and assembled Rita Merino, who stands VERY tall in the studio, dressed in a Michigan Fiber Festival T-shirt and donated skirt. Soon, she will wear a bodice that I'm going to crochet or knit for her with cap sleeves. We'll put her in nice black tights, add the gorgeous hand-crafted socks that my old friend Elaine Clark is making out of scraps, and surorund her with bushel baskets full of yarn, tools, etc. What I need to do at Chicago is to strike up a conversation (a) about whether they want to bring their NEW mannequin to Detroit to keep company with Rita during OUR festival, and (b) whether we can create some kind of joint narrative about the two mannequins, why we have them, what they do for the world.
Then I'm going to come back home and head out again for Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night. The annual TNNA convention is the same weekend, and I want to attend for the Sunday marketplace events. This year, I won't be able to take a class -- I really DO want to go to Grayslake for at least a day. But it will be good to talk with friends and prospective (or actual) vendors in the market for some hours.
WHEW. Makes me tired just to think about it.