For those of you keeping score, this announcement was supposed to happen over the weekend. Instead, Megan-Anne and I accidentally got sidetracked planning a vacation to our hometown. Any other time, I’d apologize for making you wait to find out if you are one of seven lucky winners, but I’m not even remotely sorry this time.
“Jacquline,” you exclaim as you clutch your pearls. “Well, I never!”
You can let go of your pearls now, because I have a perfectly good reason for being so unapologetic about my blatant tardiness. I have two words for you: Johnny Appleseed.
I’m always surprised when I encounter people who don’t know about the American legend that is John Chapman, A.K.A. Johnny Appleseed. I’m not saying he invented apple cider, apple pie, apple fritters, candied apples, big apple cocktails, caramel apples, apple turnovers, or cider donuts. What I am saying, however, is that good ol’ John is the patron saint of autumn*.
*You thought I was going to say apples, didn’t you?
Johnny Appleseed, born in 1774, was an American pioneer and nurseryman. Known for his generosity and work as a conservationist, he planted apple trees from Pennsylvania to Illinois and returned to those nurseries once a year to tend them. Legends say that he planted apple trees everywhere, all willy-nilly style, but that wasn’t the case. He was actually a businessman and would sell his orchards. Nevertheless, Mr. Appleseed was one weird dude for his time. He was a hippie before there were hippies. He liked to go barefoot and talk about his staunch beliefs against animal and insect cruelty. As a pacifist, he was also a vegetarian in a time and place where it was easier to kill game than grow crops, which firmly branded him an eccentric.
So what does this short history lesson on an American folk hero have to do with me forgetting to post the Stitches Midwest Giveaway winners on Saturday?
The thing is, John Chapman lived and died in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. And every September, with the coming of autumn and the time to harvest apples, we celebrate his life and times with a huge festival. AND I AM GOING THIS YEAR. I AM DRIVING 600 MILES TO ATTEND. And see my family too, I guess.
It’s gonna be majestic. Put aside everything you know about festivals, because the Johnny Appleseed Festival prides itself on providing a historically authentic recreation of the time period in which Johnny lived. Every single vendor, no matter how long they’re working, must wear 19th century clothing. They also have strict rules about the use or display of plastic in any form. They even sit on bales of straw. I kid you not. It’s intense. You get to feast your eyes on period appropriate demonstrations from blacksmiths, tinsmiths, potters, and spinners. As a knitter and someone who understands doing something for the love of the craft, it’s a paradise. Especially when you pair that with all of the amazing food:
- There is this one lady who cooks cornbread using a tree stump as an oven. It’s crazy. And it’s also the most delicious cornbread I’ve ever had.
- The boy scouts press cider.
- This other booth makes this giant cauldron — and I mean, that literally — of ham and beans. I didn’t even know I liked ham and beans until then.
- Apple everything: caramel apples, fried apples rolled in cinnamon sugar, apple pie, etc.
- Caramel corn in cast iron kettles
Basically, if you’ll happen to be even remotely near Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 17th or 18th, you should go. And then, you should drive down to Serendipity Fibers in Huntingburg to check out my sweet, sweet fibers in person.
It’s the other half of the reason why we spent the weekend planning an impromptu trip to Indiana. If you follow us on Facebook, then you probably already saw the news. Megan-Anne and I will be setting up a Trunk Show at Serendipity Fibers on Thursday, September 15th just in time to enjoy their knit night from 5-7pm. I heard a rumor that the group is called “Wine and Stitch” and I am 100% excited for that. Come drink wine with me and touch all my yarn. The trunk show will be there through the weekend and maybe longer, so keep your eye on our Events page or Facebook for updates.
Okay. Now, for the real reason why you’re all here. Free stuff!
Seven lucky winners are about to win a mini-skein of our brand new Coffee Break Yarn and a whole bunch of stitch markers. You can read about the giveaway here. All they had to do to enter to win was join the Lattes & Llamas Ravelry group* and leave a comment in the giveaway thread. That was it! With the help of random.org, my fav random number generator, I have a list of our winners:
Congratulations, winners! We’ll be contacting you via Ravelry for your address. For those of you who didn’t win, don’t worry. I’ll be running more giveaways over the next couple of months through Lattes & Llamas Ravelry group. Stay tuned!
*Yes, this group is different from the Geek-A-Long group. We try to keep the GAL group, Geek-A-Long specific.