The Walnut Valley Guitar Festival was, as always, eventful. We arrived on late Wednesday afternoon and quickly sat up our tent in the vendor parking area. The sky began to darken and we thought we were wise to have our tent set up before the ran begun. We decided to skedaddle into Winfield proper for dinner and a few last minute provisions. As we pulled back into the park where the festival is held the tornado sirens began to blare. Then the rain began. Then the wind. Chris and I sat in the cargo van for a bit then decided to join the mass of people battling wind and rain as the raced to the safety of the grandstand. The grandstand was built of cinder blocks below the stadium seating and was our designated “safe place” to ride out the storm.
I never heard confirmation but my security guard friend said two tornadoes were sighted in Winfield, both dipping down from the clouds but not touching down on the ground.
It was scary. Chris and I both from Oklahoma and have known tornadoes all of our lives. This was the most frightened we’ve been.
When the storm passed, clean up began. Bedraggled folkies and bluegrass lovers returned to campsites with downed limbs, canopies (EZ Ups) twisted and useless, and collapsed tents and a whole lot of standing water. Our tent was flattened but resurrected with only a few bent poles. Our bedding was soaked though, because being the clever girl I am, I had rolled out the thermarests and tossed the pillows into the tent before leaving for dinner.
One of the things I love about the Winfield festival is that the campers roll with whatever is tossed at them. They’ve come for a good time, good music, and very little is going to keep them from enjoying themselves. Everyone stays in good spirits. Throughout the festival the usual first question when seeing a friend, or making friends, was “Where were you Wednesday night?”
We heard some great music at Winfield despite the long days selling lavender and yarn from 10am-9pm. My friend Cathy (a Winfield virgin) and I walked over to Stage VII in the Pecan Grove to catch one of my favorite bands, Truckstop Honeymoon. Stage VII is an unofficial stage without amplification. It can be difficult to hear if you don’t get there early enough and have to stand way in the back leaning against a silver Honda. Since I know most of their songs, I was able to follow along.
After closing shop one night Chris and I walked over to catch Mountain Heart on Stage 1. We had a good time and if you’re a bluegrass music lover, this is an energetic band you might enjoy.
Time after time in our booth I was thrilled to see people pulling their knitting out their bags to show me what they were working on while at Winfield. This festival is a great place for public knitting! There was Gordon, who was working over in the hammered dulcimer booth but stopped to tell me about one of his knitting triumphs, I’d call it an opus. Gorden knitted a queen-sized bed spread on size 0 needles! And he had photos to prove it! It was stunning – I mean stunning! After taking forty years to complete the spread he is currently working on a lovely blue scarf with rich texture.
There was also Elise who I thoroughly enjoyed talking to about lace knitting. She bought some blue silk to make an Echo Flower Shawl and I can’t wait to see it finished!
The next day a trio of young people came through the pavilion and one of the girls had on a fantastic beret. Chris was off listening to the fingerstyle championships so I grabbed one of my vendor neighbors to watch my booth for a few minutes while I raced after the girl with the green beret. (yes – I do these kinds of things regularly) I asked her if she were the knitter but she said no, it was a gift from someone in her camp. Being the obsessive type I asked her if she’d have her knitting friend stop by the lavender booth sometime before the festival ended. The next day the knitting friend did indeed stop by! It was my new friend Elise! (the beret in question is a take on the Hemlock Ring Throw. Ravel it if you’re curious!)
We arrived back at the farm late Sunday evening exhausted but happy. Sleeping in your own bed is a wonderful thing my friends.
But there is no rest when one is facing a busy fall schedule. New yarn arrived yesterday and I’m already back in the studio dyeing like a woman possessed in order to be ready for the next festivals.
Didn’t I say Yarn Giveaway in the title of this post? YES! Here’s the info on the yarn giveaway!
The giveaway is over – Congratulations to Katherine in Nebraska!
We have several new colorways for Autumn, which officially begins with the Equinox on Wednesday September 23rd. It’s been a while since Lost City Knits has had a giveaway. This one is a bit different and will occur on our Facebook page. Here’s the skinny – become a friend of LostCity Knits (no space between Lost and City – link is on the sidebar of this page) and tag one of the designated Autumn Yarn Colorways photos with your name. The contest runs through Sunday night (midnight Lost City time). I’ll randomly choose a tagged name and make the big announcement on Monday. There will be three colors to choose from – Anything But Drab, Hearth, and Horseshoes with Van Gogh. All are in our fabulous Oak Barn Merino 1000yds/90grams lace yarn.