Pouch Willhopper Road

A certain technique, a certain stitch, a certain weirdness about the time we were in (read Covid) was what it took to get this pouch done (even quickly so).

My husband and I were so-called hobo’s, vagabonds, homeless. Our dwellings were in the woods of Florida. Our neighborhood consisted of a Health Park for the mentally ill, for those with serious underlying health issues and them who the system of the United States of America ought unhealthy. I’d rather call it a Sick Park but what it really was was our water supply station.

The area seemed new to me, with fake looking facades of high priced apartment complexes. There were a few fast food restaurants, a doughnut place and a sandwich shop. 10 kilometer further was a laundry place, a bit further yet a Wallmart. To us, it was a place as if for a movie set.

The area lacked a homely, handy, feeling. It was thought through, laid out for people who lived someplace far off.

We ended up here, at the end of what could be called the city limits of Gainesville, because I could not make one move forward any longer. We were in the USA for kickbiking through the Appalachians and ended up in Florida, already a disaster to start with. It went only downhill, metaphorically speaking, from there. Every day on our kickbike left my tendons in both ankles seriously inflamed. Four weeks were needed to rest and let them heal.

Corona virus entered the stage. We needed to stock up. Our dwelling place in the woods had not only to be low key, if we were not to be discovered, we needed more food and embroidery stuff too. My sweet husband ran errands, sometimes 40 kilometer a day. And I sat wedged between trees, to have my ankles heal…

When I was able to move a bit I started a short discovery route. Always careful not to be seen, I wanted no one seeing creeping out of the woods nor crawling back in.

Nearby was a Tennis Park, the only place with working electricity to charge the notebook, cellphone and camera batteries. So, I sat there. With all my devices plugged in. Luckily the Tennis Court saw precious few visitors and that was a premium because I did not want to be seen nor interrogated where I was from and what I was doing there. Being homeless is an offense in Florida, that much Geo learned from talking to Candy, a homeless woman living nearby Burger King.

With DMC pearl threads, soft cotton with an open visible thread weave I was able to practice a stitch I wanted to do for long: ao po’i. This particular stitch needs to be counted, may not go wrong one bit and has to be utterly correct otherwise it will show. I had a photo of the original pattern and started off very slowly: counting each line. Every particular figure is done one by one, so I embroidered one figure and then went on the next. It had to be correct. Even though I was in full concentration, I saw one person watching me, and as soon as I figured all sorts of scenario’s, I was out of there. On to the Millhopper Road.

This piece of fabric was worked on for a short period of intense time. I had not much more to do than letting my ankles heal, besides cooking and reading. Or building pits and fires, photography and modeling. When you want to be inspired to bake breads in camp read my post. When interested in the pouch, click to go to the shop.

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