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The last week in Paris exhibiting at Aiguilles-en-Fete was one of long hours trading (one day went from 9:30am -9 pm!) ,increased proficiency in French , and a tremendous amount of fun. Although this is not my biggest stand of any of the shows I attend, it is by far the most crammed per square inch .
This needless to say takes a lot of prep. However, I am good at battle planning. Some of the considerations I go through:
A) dyeing the yarn which also involves trying to anticipate what colours will be big this year. I dyed more pink and navy than I would normally and I think nailed it.
B) printing patterns and organising the French ones
C) deciding what stays and what goes – do I really need to bring all 36 colours of plain silk?-how many varieties of sock yarn? etc, etc
E) planning each gridwall down to the inch and deciding where to stash any excess. which involves about a pad of sketched plans.
F) travel logistics- eurotunnel, insurance,etc. I’ve stayed at the same flat for the last couple of years so that is at least a known factor.Making sure I’ve got the ream of paper work sent by the organisers none of which instructions will be followed anyway.
G) packing the car-this takes forever… I think the land cruiser is now notorious as a tardis. My procedure is to stack the grids first ( actually first I stuff as many hooks under the front seats as possible), stack the boxes , then stuff in 13 large packed bags, then the mannequins, ladder and baskets. I then stuff in 2 kilo bags of yarn in every nook and cranny possible. ( I kid you not, get in at least another 20-30 kilos this way.) The back door is shut with prayers that no official will ask me to open it.
The days go by very quickly even though long and I am usually too tired to do anything particularly interesting at night, so I attempt to take a day off to visit Paris.This year I did it on the Monday after and unfortunately the 3 smaller museums I wanted to visit were closed so I had to resort to aimlessly wondering the 6th drinking copious amounts of espresso and to shopping.
No, I did not buy the Christian Louboutin sneakers.
My friends in France who help me are absolutely amazing- I could not do this show with out Florence, Gyorgis, Anne and I would never get get into the car again without Francis- breakdown in France is the most chaotic ever…
Until next year….