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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sock Summit 2009 - Part 3 - Breaking a World Record, Book Signing, & A Night for Knitters

(Confessional Note - created 8/12/2009 - finished and posted 4/24/2011)

Doctor's Without Borders Silent Auction Winnings:
I'd promised in a previous SS09 Post to review the treasure I won in the Doctor's Without Borders Silent Auction...so here 'tis:

As I dashed through looking at the Silent Auction offerings before going into the Opening Ceremonies, I was tempted by 3 items on the last table. I jotted down my name, up'd the current bid by $10.00 and went into the Opening Ceremonies event.
I came out quite a bit later to find most of the Silent Auction items had been picked up or put away. I asked if it was feasible to check to see if I owed the auction any money and they readily went through the bags and boxes and found I'd won all 3 of the items I'd bid upon! I was astounded and quite tickled. Fellow crafters in the vicinity (new friends and folks I hadn't met yet) were as tickled as I was! We all fondled the yarn and oohed over the patterns!

The Goodies:
I'd been struck by the lovely green of this yarn and the spiffy green bag into which the yarn and the supporting pattern were tucked. The pattern is "The Emerald City Shawl", A Stranded in Oz Design by Melissa Deutsch Scott. I believe the yarn is "100% pure Australian Merino Premium Wool" hand-painted to create the Emerald City 2009 colorway.  (Very Belated thanks to Melissa Deutsch Scott for her donation of the kit to the DWOB Silent Auction and for the thank you note and shawl pin she included in the kit!)

I had also bid upon another shawl kit: The Portuguese Fisherwoman's Shawl Kit donated by Dye Dreams. I am smitten with the olde world style/shape of this shawl/cape-lete by Shelagh as well as the blue/purple shades in the "Grape" colorway (Yum - Dye Dreams Celestial yarn is Alpaca, Merino & Silk!). (Again, Belated Thanks to the folks of Dye Dreams!)
(I was saddened to find that "Dye Dreams" seems to have closed shop! It does appear that one of the owners can now be found at "Dirty Water DyeWorks" so all color is not lost!)
(Ok, I just have to note, my favorite part of the Shawl pattern might just be the part that says "DO NOT BLOCK ANY PART OF THIS SHAWL." {wry grin})

Lastly, I had bid upon a Wood Sock Blocker crafted with an "SS09" design. It came with an SS09 Stitch Marker and a (??) Permanent Ink Marker.
I was a bit stumped...I asked the Silent Auction Organizers what the Permanent Ink Marker Pen was for - and they didn't know. They suggested I ask at the SS Information booth the next day.

Soooooo - the next morning 

  • I walked over to the Convention Center and picked up a ticket to participate in the Guinness World Record for "The Most Number of People Knitting Simultaneously" attempt later that day
  • I walked down to J's Cafe, a lovely, tiny cafe not far from the Convention Center and had an excellent breakfast
  • I walked a few blocks around the Convention Center and snapped a few pictures of greenery, flowers, and this: 

(I couldn't resist)
I headed back to the Convention Center when the Marketplace was open and checked in with the Information Booth about the Sock Blocker with marker. The very kind woman there explained that the original intent had been to have all the SS09 Knitterati sign the blocker before the auction but they didn't have time. So they gave me the pen so I could collect signatures. Wow.
When my new knitterly friends and I discussed this a bit later, I noted that I would feel a bit like a stalker chasing down the knitterati at the Sock Summit. Wise-woman, Mary Ann, suggested I ask folks to sign the Sock Blocker at the Book Signing that afternoon! Brilliant!

Sock Museum:
I wandered about the Market place for a bit, I asked around but could not find the location of the "Worlds Largest Sock" {durn it} (on which I'd hoped to knit and to donate some yarn), and then went to explore the Sock Museum. I stumped the nice ladies manning the Sock Museum with the "May I take Pictures?" question. They sent someone out to find the answer and came back to tell me that I could indeed take pictures.

Now, you'll see some examples of my not paying enough attention to the light source in these pictures (as the socks are shadowed by myself...{sigh}) but please enjoy contemplating the knowledge, time, and history that went into the creation of these socks.

Anasazi Socks       and     Arrrgyle Socks

Barbara Walker Socks  and Bed Socks - Lemon pattern

Booby Socks     and     Ivory Baby Socks

Civil War Socks - Union   and Confederate:

Los Lobe Hose

Mabrys Something Socks and Medieval Muslim Stockings

MilitaryYarn for Service Men and  Rivendell Socks


Sidewinders    and   Simple Sock in 3 Sizes

Unfinished Argyles   and   Willow Tree Anatolian Socks

Feather and Fan Socks

Record breaking!
I did get to participate in the Guinness World Record for The Most Number of People Knitting Simultaneously. It was Amazing. Per the rules, we were to knit using Regular Straight Knitting needles. No circulars, no DPNs. 
I took the Seemingly Simple Vest in BMF Twisted in the Haida colorway on bamboo straights to the Sock Summit specifically for this event.
We lined up for the event and folks checked with us whilst we were in line to be sure we knew the basic rules and to provide us with straight needles if need be. 
I took my seat and watched all the colorful folks file in. Seriously - colorful. Most folks wore some kind of original or colorful garment. A fair number had colorful streaks in their hair or, a la Lucy Neatby, their hair was dyed an interesting shade(s). I was a little envious of these displays of individuality. Spiffy! 
Mary Ann found me and held my place while I went to the front of the ballroom to take a couple of pictures (Apologies again for the less than stellar longer-distance photos): 

The Sock Summit Organizers and the Guinness folks arrived and the rules were reviewed. Cat Bordhi was teased about having to knit on straights instead of her preferred circular needles and we prepared to knit for 15 minutes to break the record for Most Number of People Knitting Simultaneously set in Australia just a few weeks before.

We dusted the record of the folks from Australia. Though, I’m with the Yarn Harlot - I feel a little bad that they didn’t get to keep their record a little longer. It’ll be a few weeks before we get the official blessing from the Guinness Folks. (We heard in December 2009 - we had indeed set the new record with 937 people Knitting Simultaneously! Per a 2011 Internet review, several groups are plotting to try to break our SS09 record...)

Collecting Signatures!
I partook of my Trader Joes Lunch and queued up for the book signing that afternoon. 
Preparing for SS09, I had reviewed the list of available book-signing knitterati and had pulled books from my library. I didn't think it would be kind to the sign-ers or the other waiting sign-ees to bring ALL my books so I only pulled up to two books per Author to bring to Portland. I must confess, I didn't have books in my library for A LOT of the signing knitteratti. But I had a few... and I now had the Sock Blocker to be signed as well! (Durn it, there's a couple missing from this picture - oh, and I'd accidentally left Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks at home 'cause I'd pulled it out to look something up! {arrgh})
So I waited in line and collected signatures - some from Knitterati that I truly didn't know much of and many who looked at me bemusedly as I explained why I wanted them to sign a Sock Blocker I'd gotten at the Doctors without Borders Silent Auction. 

Everyone was very nice and the lines moved pretty quickly. When I tried to track down the line for the Yarn Harlot I collected this charming memory: 
Me, walking up to ask the young gentleman at the end of a long line: “Is this the line for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee?” 

Young Man, pauses with a slightly panicked look, then peers at the front of the Yarn Harlot Book he’s holding, studies the name of the author, and carefully says “Yes”. 
Me: “I take it you’re standing here for someone else?” 
Young Man, grins shyly and said “She gave me the book and told me to stand in this line.” 
Me (smiling): “Ohhhh - you’re earning some seriously good points - well done!!”

I got to autographically-meet Barbara Walker, Cat Bordhi, Meg Swanson, Cookie A, Lucy Neatby, Nancy Bush, Janel Laidman, Amy Singer, the list goes on ...so many lovely and kind people that I knew by name only or from a blog or the books in my library. It was overwhelming. 
Heather Ordover (of CraftLit and my Tri-Fold Knitter's Bowl teacher from Tucson) gifted me with a moment past "could you sign this". She brought our Cat Bordhi moebius class to the attention of Ms. Bordhi with whom she was sharing a table at the book signing. (my knit-geekiness is showing, huh? A LOT!) 

I did also track down Judy Becker (my Judy's Magic Cast On Teacher) and Tina Newton (of Blue Moon Fiber Arts/half of ST1) and asked them to sign the sock blocker as well. Unfortunately, I couldn't find Sivia Harding (my "Hooked on Beads" teacher). {sigh}
The Sock Blocker got quite full and we started putting signatures on the back. 

 By the way - the very first signature I collected on the Sock Blocker - was from the gentleman who created it: John C. Chapman of Purrfectly Catchy Designs. I felt it was like having the artist sign his work.

Since I don't dance, I had not planned to attend the SS09 Sock Hop. 
However, Powells Book Store was hosting "A Night for Knitters" at the Powells on Burnside. (I believe that Powells location is a city block wide and 3 stories tall. Now THAT's a book store. {Happy Sigh} They even have a cafe on the 2nd floor! ) 
A friend of mine's sister lives in Portland and she had graciously offered to pick me up so we could go to dinner with a couple of her friends (they were all very nice and Very Interesting women!) and then on to Powells for the "Night for Knitters".

Larissa Brown ("Knitalong") and Judy Sumner ("Knitted Socks East and West") would be speaking and signing books. Larissa Brown had already signed my Knitalong book earlier that day at the Sock Summit. I became intrigued by Mrs. Sumner and her book during her Powells talk. I purchased a copy - which she graciously autographed! 

I had a lovely evening and it may have been a good thing that I was out with native Portland folks. They'd been to Powells many times before and good naturedly allowed me to peruse the Crafting and Sci Fi sections before the gathering broke up and I was delivered back to my Hotel. 
This timely intervention probably prevented me from staying the night to explore every square inch of Powells. 

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