“The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found, but made; and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”
Fort Ligonier Days 2021 is a wrap. It was a beautiful weekend and I was so happy to be able to participate again. Thank you to the committee who put this massive event together. I can’t even imagine the work involved.
It’s always interesting, when making things to sell to others. Colors, styles, sizes, ages and fibers are critical. This year I had more requests for driving gloves, kids hats and gloves, cat items and socks. The socks are on the way! They just didn’t make in time. In years past, the requests have been for hunting mittens, adult hats-thick, cat caves or baskets and sock yarn, all of which I had this time but only a few lookers for those items. I also had multiple requests for teaching and workshops and people who wanted to learn to do what I do.
What did I come away with? Lots of special orders, drawings of hands for gloves and insight into the new economy. People WANT to de stress and take up the fiber arts again! I was kind of unprepared for that, though I did have some roving and dyed and raw fibers thanks to Deborah who found me online and in the brochure and contacted me to bring some on Wednesday. Without her prompting, I would only have brought a tiny bit. Because she asked, I had lots and people who never would have thought to look at a festival like this for needle felting, wet felting, or nuno felting supplies never would spoken to me about it. I have hand spun and hand dyed yarns, but consider that a finished product on its own. Barb was right. People want to be makers too! Barb needs to meet Deborah and with my 3 page list of people interested in learning this wonderful art, perhaps they will meet.
Then something very special happened. It was late in the day yesterday and I realized that I had gotten many texts from random people looking for my booth that I had missed because I was busy, so I wasn’t able to answer them. They didn’t know about the Loyalhanna Lot. The main festival is in the Diamond and in the big parks. It’s really huge! Our lot is by the Fort and many people may not visit the Fort, which is so beautiful and filled with a re-enactment camp.
I was getting tired and pretty much ready to call it a day when this young lady came into my tent. Looking like a seasoned knitter showing me a pair of socks she was in the process of knitting made me happy to see a young woman knitting and her boyfriend smiling on behind.
When I think I have a plan, of maybe having a number in my head for a dollar amount these events should bring in, God has bigger plans for me. I didn’t meet my dollar amount. I wasn’t that excited when preparing for this event. I was going through the motions. Then I got to talking and listening to people and THAT’S what I love! The sharing community of fiber people. You meet them everywhere! Even next to the caramel corn guy. Every vendor in this lot and in the whole Festival are makers and passionate about what they do-from the re-enact it’s to the residents! As our Rector shared yesterday in his Sermon, 75-100,000 people visit this little town of 1800 to visit this event. THAT’S exciting. There’s a vibe in the air. It takes a little bit of cooperation and passion to do this on all parts. They aren’t sitting around at home, they are working and hustling and that’s why I love to do these events. It’s contagious. I’m now back on track. In love again with my skill. The ultimate Maker saw to that.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank my biggest supporter and roadie, Jay, who takes care of the herd while I’m gone, gives me potty breaks and loads the cars. It’s a real puzzle getting all of this stuff into 2 Subarus, but we do it together. The good thing? We had a lot less to load in going home and I think I can eliminate a few big metal things I use to display my items. Maybe.
Have a blessed day!