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August 2009 Archives

August 6, 2009

Sock Summit, Day 1 Or "OMG *squeeeeeeee*"

It is currently 5:45am here in lovely Portland, OR and I've been awake since 3:30am. I'm taking advantage of the hotel business center computer since my iPhone got plugged into a bum outlet last night and wasn't recharging.

Why do I always sit on the wing? Knitting on the plane

My traveling cohorts & I started our journey yesterday at 7am when I picked them up in the Prius to drive us all from SLO to San Jose to catch our flight. The drive was uneventful just like I like and the airport was mostly uneventful, save some shuffling when checking bags due to wine bottles. We had about half a dozen Sock Summiteers on our flight and we all gathered and rode MAX (lightrail) to our various destinations. After checking in at the hotel and ditching our bags, my roomie & I headed back to the convention center to register.

On our way down the hill, lo and behold, there is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee leading a cadre of helpers up the hill carrying boxes (Yes, she had a box too). We moved to the side to let them pass and made our merry way down the street where we promptly saw Tina Newton headed toward the same hill. Then I tweeted a picture of the Sock Summit banner. :)

SS09 Banner Kinnearing Tina at Reg Booth

At registration, I got my class list, a lovely show book, badge materials and various tickets for the extracurricular events and kinneared Tina from my phone while my stuff was being gathered. Next thing I know, there are Jasmin & GiGi walking across the lobby! Next up was a visit to the swag room to collect the Sock Summit souvenirs I pre-ordered.

SS09 Swag

Most folks parted ways to head for their various dinner plans and my new pal, KiniaCat, and I decided to stay close to the hotels and hit Burgerville for dinner. Where we promptly ran into the Knitmores again. This time we chatted with them a bit while we enjoyed our cheesburgers. Again, pics to come but Burgerville does something I've never seen at a fast food place: They put the nutrition information right on your receipt. Dude. Good thing I hadn't had much else to eat during the day!


After dinner we delivered some cookies for ST-1 & ST-2 (aka the organizing goddesses behind this whole crazy adventure) to the registration booth and then went for a walk to Walgreens to get nail clippers that we both sorely needed. After toodling around the neighborhood a bit more, we headed back to KiniaCat's room and then to the 9pm mini-skein swap at the Red Lion lounge...where the teacher's dinner was just letting out. We saw Lucy Neatby with an awesome chicken purse by the elevator and others inside included Stephanie, Tina, Rachel H., JoAnn D., Cookie A, Abby Franquemont, Denny McMillan, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Stephen HizKnits, and probably other folks we didn't recognize. One of the swappers had baked sock shaped cookies for the organizers and we took her picture with the cookies, Stephanie & Rachel before being serenaded by a chorus of "Goodnight Ladies" as Steph & Rachel departed for the ST meeting. I had a short chat with Mark & Zoe on the phone before they headed home from Disneyland where Zoe promptly told me "Mama? I'm hungry." She also went on the Matterhorn for the first time and apparently said "I want to go on the Matterhorn again!" as the ride ended. So they did. That's my girl. :) Not long after I headed back to the hotel where my roomie & I compared notes on the day and plans for tomorrow (aka today). Then I promptly laid awake until about midnight and woke up at the aforemetioned 3:30am. At least I got about 10hrs of sleep the night before I left.

Brush with Knitterati

Now it is almost time for breakfast and then a visit to Trader Joe's and probably Voodoo Doughnut (I'm still trying to figure out how to get a Maple Bacon donut back to Mark :). Sayonara!

August 7, 2009

Sock Summit, Day 2: Made of Awesome, Part One

This all is gonna start sounding gushy soon but damn, it is way cooler than I could have ever imagined. I'm trying to get this down before today mingles with yesterday but it all is such a blur that it may be rather challenging to do so.

Thursday started with a jaunt to Trader Joe's with KiniaCat to pick up some groceries. We rode the MAX down to TJ's, grabbed some breakfast at Panera and then picked up some food and rode back. I'm already drawing a blank on what happened next. I'm going to have to guess that we headed back to the convention center to hang out & knit with folks. I made 3 dozen stitch markers for trading with other people. I call them "beer goggle strawberries" because that's about what it takes to think they actually look like strawberries. It has been fun watching someone call out "Anybody trading stitch markers?" and hearing the Marco Polo-esque replies from the surrounding tables. There are also mini-skein & mini sock swaps going on. One gal was swapping mini Jayne hats. They rocked.

Mini Jayne Hats! Stitch markers I got in trade

At 1:30 I took my first class, the one hour Hooked On Beads with Sivia Harding. She was super fun to have a class with and we got to play around with putting beads on our knitting using a freaking teeny crochet hook. She was wearing Aphrodite from the current Twist Collective and it was fabulous to see it in person. Abby Franquemont had also given her a handspun beaded shawl to show us. It was truly amazing. I got to see the original Queen of Beads sock too. It had hexagonal beads on it that were really cool.

After class we headed back to the hotel to switch out stuff and hang out until the market preview at 4:30. Despite telling myself I wasn't going to buy any Socks That Rock, I found myself in the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth and the next thing I knew there were 4 skeins in my bag and I felt a little dizzy. :) Next up was a visit to Crown Mountain Farms where I got some Corriedale pencil roving (Merlin) and some BFL roving (As Above, So Below). I picked up my pre-ordered skein of Summit Gnome at the Snicklefritz booth and the Kromski bobbins & mini niddy noddy that John from Village Spinning & Weaving brought up for me. Unfortunately, my jumbo flyer didn't make it to the shop in time for the trip to Portland. The other bummer was that Carolina Homespun had sold out their "J Mac" kates (they hold the bobbins at a 45 degree angle to use gravity for tensioning). I'm going to email Morgaine when I get home to see if she can hold on to one for me so I can pick it up when I'm in the Bay Area. On my second trip through the marketplace, I found the spinning wheel tshirts at A Verb For Keeping Warm and decided the blue one needed to come home with me. The biggest line I saw in the marketplace was for the Sanguine Gryphon. Her Bugga Bugga sock yarn sold out in the first *half hour* of the *preview night*. It blew me away. My roomie said there was a woman with EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of Bugga Bugga in her arms.

After my wallet was lightened, I ran into SloBeachGirl and we went over to the Silent Auction that was raising funds for Doctors Without Borders. We also found KiniaCat there. Next up was heading into the ballroom for the opening night reception. We found a spot to sit, grabbed some munchies, and settled in to chat & knit until everyone filed in and the festivities started.

Stephanie & Tina shared the podium and they started off with Stephanie reading the proclamation by the mayor of Portland that declared it Sock Knitting Week in the city. We then heard the story of the origin of Sock Summit which was highly amusing and had the terribly sleep deprived duo in giggles & tears at various points. There was someone recording it so hopefully it will be available at some point. They announced that in one hour the silent auction raised $5700.

Opening night

Sorry for the cliffhanger here but I'm gonna have to go get ready to head downtown to grab dinner before tonight's Sock Hop.

August 14, 2009

Sock Summit, Day 3-ish: Best. Time. Ever.

Now that it has been a week since I last blogged, I'm finally back to fill in the rest of the story. There won't be nearly as much detail as the first two posts but better fewer details than leaving the ends dangling.

I left off at the beginning of the Opening Reception. All the teachers were introduced and Barbara Walker was given a lovely standing ovation. ST-2 was thanked profusely and Stephanie said "We made this for you. We hope you like it." The thunderous applause gave some indications of how we felt. :) After the presentation part was over, we were left to mingle. Many people left and I'm glad we stuck around to meet teachers, other knitters & the ST folks. The one theme that I'm seeing over and over reading other people's experience mirrors mine: this con was more open & the feeling of connection with others was incredible. We just hung out. There wasn't any separation of the knitterati from the humble students -- and just about *everyone* had someone that they were hyperventilating over meeting. We just wandered up and chatted with Tina & Stephanie (and they were extremely gracious about all the photos) for a while.

Me cheesin' it with Tina

I returned to the hotel Thursday night and had less trouble getting to sleep but still woke up at 4am. Since I was not the only one awake, we decided to hop on MAX and hit Voodoo Doughnut. The full moon was lovely and I did indeed get my maple bacon bar. It was full of NOM and then some.

Morning moon IMG_0461 NOM

First up on the conference agenda Friday was picking up a ticket for the Guiness World Record Attempt. The previous world record was set in Australia by 256 knitters. The Sock Summit crew had 1600 tickets to give out for our attempt. We had to knit for 15 minutes straight on two straight needles. At noon, I booked it over from my class to get a seat in the ballroom and randomly ended up sitting next to Celeste from Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara. The Oregonian (Portland's newspaper) reported that we officially had 935 knitters present. In true Canadian form, Stephanie asked that we apologize to the Australian knitters for potentially blowing their record away. :)

Because I was worried about having enough room in my suitcases, I left my books home and skipped the All Authors book signing Friday afternoon. There was a pang of regret there but it was overshadowed by the fear of not having enough space to bring home the yarn & fiber I bought at the marketplace.

The Fiber Haul

Friday night was the Sock Hop and we arrived after a lovely dinner at Pastini's Pastaria. Mmmm... butternut gorgonzola ravioli in brown butter sage sauce. Also, what is it with Portland & hazelnuts?? Two of the three dishes at Pastini's had them and they were offered with my salad at Burgerville. I'm not complaining, as I quite like hazelnuts but I found it a bit odd. Anyhoo, the Sock Hop was a hoot. Complete with ladies in poodle skirts, a hula hoop contest, and a couple of Pink Ladies. I had no problems getting to or staying asleep Friday night. :)

In the interest of not having a huge post here, I'm going to close the curtain on Friday and pick up with Saturday next. I think I will talk about all the classes in a single post. We'll see how it goes. I'm being paged for bed time duties now.

About August 2009

This page contains all entries posted to blackmoondog in August 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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