The calendar played a nasty trick on us this year with two of our regular fall festivals. Instead of the usual week break between the Memphis Pink Palace Festival and the Arkansas War Eagle Fair we only have two days here on the farm before heading back out the door!
I thought I’d show you what arrived just a few days before we left for Memphis. Llama yarn! Yep, more of the glorious llama yarn from Oklahoma. Although it’s more economically priced to have all of it spun together, I couldn’t resist keeping each animal’s fleece separate. This big shipment included a lovely array of gray fiber. As you can see in the photos, each animal is unique. It’s so dang pretty I decided immediately not to dye the gray! Isn’t it fabulous! There are a few skeins of cream colored sport weight llama that were dyed but none of the rich grays.
When yarn arrives back from the mill I gently wash each skein to remove any left over residue from the milling process. Then it hangs out in the fresh open air to be dried by Mother Nature. It’s satisfying to look out the studio window into the side yard and see so much locally raised fiber gently swaying the Oklahoma wind. The little white tags that you see clipped to the drying rack have the name of each llama written on them so I can keep it straight to write on the yarn bands.
Memphis is a great city, and we love checking out new places to eat. Our friend Diane, who for some reason I didn’t get a photo of, is our “tent mother” under the big top at the festival. Diane is a Tulsa transplant in Memphis and has good advice on local eateries. When we told her we were looking for fried chicken she steered us down to Front Street and Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken. Everyone knows about the blues and bbq in Memphis but Gus’s will knock your socks off! Chris swears it’s the best fried chicken of his life. I’m inclined to agree.
Our first night in Memphis our good friend R.P. invited us down to his place in Olive Branch, Mississippi for ribs. Finger lickin’ good ribs! This is R.P., he sells wonderful bird houses and has been our tent neighbor three years running. We’ve got two of his blue bird boxes on our farm!
Our other neighbors are the fellas from Eagles Nest Outfitters. I can tell you that having a tent neighbor selling hammocks is a mighty fine thing, especially about 3pm.
Here are a few other Memphis photos….
When traffic was slow in the booth I managed to get a little knitting done. In an effort to knock out some of those languishing UFO’s I took along a really old one, Icarus, made with you guessed it – hand dyed llama yarn! According to my Ravelry profile I began this beast 27 September 2009. Wow…that’s pretty long for me to be working on a shawl, and mildly embarrassing. Several times Icarus went into hibernation mode while other projects got my attention. Good news is that I have finally – FINALLY – finished Icarus. In all honesty, somewhere along the way I lost track of repeats and did a few extra of the first – or was it the second – chart. The finished shawl is HUGE. Chris just walked upstairs to look at it pinned out and I could hear his “OHMYGOD” all the way down here in my rabbit hole. Really – it’s that big! The wingspan is 84 inches, the center spine is 50 inches. HUGE! Keep in mind that I am only 60 inches tall. HUGE!
I can’t even get a good photo of the shawl stretched out on the blocking wires. Here you can see I was standing on my tippy toes trying to get it all in the photo!
Next stop – Arkansas! We leave on Wednesday morning for the War Eagle Fair. If you’re in the area and think a drive to see the foliage is in order, come to Northwest Arkansas and enjoy the winding drive through beautiful tree lined roads. Both Lost City Knits and Clear Creek Lavender will be set up in Tent Two of the War Eagle Fair. Say hello when you come through, fondle (and buy) some hand dyed yarn, pick up a few lavender sachets for your stash, and ooggle the HUGE Icarus that I’ll have on hand.
Oh and I almost forgot – my hand dyed Percy in Blue Shawl won first place at the Tulsa State Fair! Here’s the photo my sister took with ribbon and another old photo so you can see it all stretched out!