Knitters Are Everywhere
I expected to come home from the Minnesota Bonsai Society spring auction with a tree to work on, maybe two. Winter was harsh this year, with cold temperatures and very little snow, and I had some heavy losses. Even the trees in cold storage had a tough time for some unknown reason. Two cotoneasters, a mugo pine and a shimpaku juniper bit the dust, so I really wanted a new tree.
The trees which sell at the live auction tend to be quite expensive. The $50 and $60 trees were on the low end of what sold last night; quite a few went for well over $100.
That’s not my speed, even if I’ve got plenty of money burning a hole in my pocket. I’m a great believer in the cheap tree, for one simple reason: I do bonsai for fun and I won’t enjoy it if I’m worried to pieces about an expensive tree dying. And they do. Trees have no regard for how much you paid for them, and the spendy ones will give up the ghost just as easily as cheap ones will. I’ve heard stories like the one about a Society member who spent $800 on a tree, only to have it expire within six months. Eight hundred dollars for some very nicely styled firewood, in other words. Uh uh. Thirty bucks is about my limit. (More money left for yarn that way, too!)
The cheapo trees were on the silent auction tables. With a little advice from a mentor, I put in a bid on a nice Japanese maple. Bidding was fast and furious towards the end, but I slid in with a second bid at the very last moment and got lucky. Within my limit, too, at $25.
What I didn’t expect to find at the auction was a knitter. I had some stealth knitting in my bag just in case things got boring, and I wasn’t the only one. I caught a glimpse of a sock in a woman’s totebag while bending over to inspect a tree. All I had to say was, “I see knitting!” and we were off and running with a lively discussion (lively in hushed voices, that is, since we had to be quiet during the auction) of knitting blogs, magazines, knitter’s groups and which patterns each of us liked best.
It was a bit odd having my two hobbies collide. There we were with secret socks in our bags, surrounded by people who had trees, and only trees, on their minds. I felt like an infiltrator, there to infect the gathering of tree choppers (as the M.E. calls them) with knitting vibes. Kinda cool, huh?
I think so. Both of my hobbies have been gradually worming their way into my serious art and writing, and in doing so are moving closer to each other, too. I don’t know what’s next, or if and how knitting and bonsai may eventually wind up intertwined, but I can’t wait to find out.
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