Portfolio Pages

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sock Summit 2009 - Part 2 - Classes, Marketplace, & Opening Ceremonies

Simpler times - Revisiting my Sock Summit Trip. My humble apologies and a request for understanding for the delay. Life happens.

Minor Field Trip...
I slept reasonably well after travel, registration day/mini-skein trading evening. The Red Lion Hotel has an interesting ventilation system whereby at a certain temperature they vent in outside air to cool the building. Snuggly cool.

Cindy popped over to invite me on her trip to Trader Joe's. Her plan was a sound one. Food budget was part of the yarn budget. So if she picked up the fixin's to make most of her meals - more funds for yarn. Smart woman.
We hopped on Max and traveled back up the train line to where we'd seen a Trader Joe's as we passed by the day before. I hadn't broken my fast just yet, so we enjoyed a breakfast panini at Panera (a yummy bakery in the strip mall just down from Trader Joes). Yep, it's NOT a good idea to enter Trader Joe's with an empty stomach.
I picked up some water, Gingeroo Cookies (yum!), and one of the pesto chicken wraps of which I'm inordinately fond.

Sock Summit Classes!
Back to the Convention Center for my 1st class: Judy's Magic Cast On with Judy Becker.

Here's the lady herself - kindly participating in a "sock" picture.
(Yep, Joyce's socks were Sock-Summit-Blessed).

SPIFFY concept, Judy's Magic Cast-On! I came out of the class with a serious yen to cast on some toe-up socks.
The back of my brain reminded the impulsive front of my brain: "And just how do you plan to do a heel turn backwards when you haven't conquered your top-down heel turn angst yet?".
Good point.
However, I do have the handout from Ms. Becker adorned with my notes. I think it'll be ok (and decipherable) when I try a toe-up sock. Bonus - she taught us a Circle Cast-on too!

I had an hour before my next class, but I wasn't yet hungry after the breakfast panini so I went outside to sit and enjoy the Portland Weather.

Look at the lovely green-ness right outside the Convention Center.

A light breeze and cloud-cover - lovely.

Sitting outside at noon is not something I could comfortably do in Tucson this time of year without earning a sunburn and a lot of perspiration.

Gingeroos and knitting in a pleasant, cool outdoor setting. Happy Sigh.

T'was a charming interlude - unfortunately interrupted by a young lady soothing a need for nicotine. My getting-older lungs will pitch a major fit identified by annoying coughing for hours if I get a good lungful of someone's nicotine-fix.

So I headed inside and found a table with some nice knitterly-types that were quite willing to allow me to share their space and we traded show-n-tell on our projects. The welcome got even warmer when I shared my Gingeroos! Seems other folks have the same great taste in ginger cookies!

I began to realize I was at an event where I had a strong, vital, shared interest/passion with pretty much everyone in the building. It's a bit heady and feeds the soul to be around so many people with which you have an instant connection and ready conversation is always available.

Cindy found me there and some Stitch Marker Trading ensued! I had brought all of 3 to trade - and I traded with Cindy for a "Beer-goggle Strawberry stitch-marker (so named because "it would take beer-goggles for this to look like a strawberry").
I also traded for a coffee bean, and a fimo-flower stitch marker:

I was out of Stitch Markers, but Cindy was trading all weekend - she'd come prepared!

I think Michelle (?) gifted me with the blue glass bead one.

Cindy and I were both registered for the early afternoon class: Hooked on Beads with Sivia Harding.
I, foolishly, did not take any pictures around this class - and there was so much to see!

IndiaJoy arrived to take this class with Sivia Harding. I'd seen IndiaJoy in conversations on Ravelry and I'd been struck by her humor, kindness and she lives in India. Fascinating blog! I haven't read too far back but the view into another country and culture - with a fibre perspective - is very interesting.

Indiajoy was equally as charming in person, wearing a kind of "pillbox" hat from India literally dripping with Stitch Markers. She'd begun making them months ago, long before folks thought to try and setup a stitch marker trade. She noted having them attached to this particular type of hat was in alignment with how the hat was used in India to advertise/display wares for sale. And she graciously accept one of my mini-skeins for a "Joy" Stitch marker.
(Why yes, a picture of IndiaJoy would have been truly excellent here {kicking myself again}.)

Sivia Harding was charming, elfin, knowledgeable, magical, adorned in beautiful knitting, a very good teacher, and her class was great fun and I came out of it with a serious yen to knit some socks with beads. And the samples she brought...lovely and inspiring!
I had another conversation with the back of my brain and didn't start Joyce's 2nd sock with beads in the leg...

Next on the schedule was the opening of the Sock Summit Marketplace at 4:30 and I had some time to kill - but not enough to comfortably go "off-campus" into Portland.

I believe this is about the time when I let go of the Yarnia dream. I'd wanted to travel to the Yarnia store where they create/ply yarn for you from the strands of your choosing. But I'd realized I wouldn't quite have time and reality had set in - I had NO clue how much yarn to have made. Next time I'm in Portland, though...

I went back to the hotel to partake of 1/2 of the Chicken Pesto Wrap. I came back to the Convention Center and found Mary Ann in the main seating area and I sat down to knit-a-spell. Cindy rejoined us after she'd attended another class. I met some more lovely folks and was particularly taken with a young lady wearing a Serenity Shirt!

(I have the same shirt...)
(yet another sign of intelligence and excellent taste!).

She was also a familiar Ravelry name. In the non-Raverly world, I got to meet Robyn.

She had leetle, tiny Jayne hats she'd knitted and was trading for Stitch markers.

As previously noted, I was already out of stitch-markers for trade. However, Robyn generously gifted me with a mini-Jayne hat AND a temporary Serenity tattoo (did you notice it above in the Stitch Marker picture?). I definitely owe her a stitch marker....

A Very Little of the Marketplace.
Before we knew it - it was time for the Marketplace to open so we queued up:

You're looking at this picture with your head cocked to the left, huh? ;-)

Being that this blog entry is already pretty darn long...I'm going to post pictures of the yarny delights I acquired in the next Sock Summit blog.
The Yarn Fumes were PROFOUND - and I only took ONE picture inside the MarketPlace on Thursday night. Sad, I know, but, well, the yarn fumes...it's hard to explain...everything is a bit fuzzy (and punny).

Here is the ONLY picture of my Thursday night Marketplace adventure - the first stall I visited and one of the yarns on the top of my list:

Lolipop Cabin Yarns.

I was in search of one of the Dye for Glory Entries: Toasted Marshmallow on the Wonderland Trail.

This is Ialiuxh and her husband, creators and purveyors of the yarn I was seeking.
{I'm scum, I forgot his name...but any guy that supports such creativity is an good soul in my book!}

I was their very first Sock Summit Customer and sale.
I'm a little tickled about that.
And I got to order my Toasted Marshmallow yarn to be delivered in a few weeks.

More on the Marketplace in the next blog.

I stayed so long at the Marketplace, they were flashing the lights at us to remind us the Opening Ceremonies were about to begin.
Told ya - yarn fumes. Intoxicating!

Opening Ceremonies!
There was a Silent Auction setup outside the ballroom benefiting Doctors without Borders, one of my favored charities.
I dashed through the first table without bidding on anything. Found 3 intriguing things on the 2nd table, upped the bids on those 'uns by $10.00, and dashed into the ballroom.

And there was Cindy! Inviting me to sit with her and several of the knitters I'd met at the airport.   Blessings.
We filled small plates with cheese, meats, and fruits, admired the knit-works-of-art walking by, and were simply delighted to be there.

Another apology - seems I can take pretty decent pictures out of an airplane window - but across a ballroom seems to be beyond my abilities. I took a lot of pictures that didn't look too bad on the tiny camera screen. On the computer - not so great.
Here be the pictures that weren't entirely lost causes...but they're pretty bad...

We were welcomed by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Tina Newton to the first ever Sock Summit.
And we were delighted. They did build it - and we did come.

They read us the proclamation from the Mayor of Portland declaring August 5th through 9th Sock Knitting Week.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Tina Newton (ST1) told us the Story of how the Sock Summit came into being. It went something like this - the two of them taking turns and telling their part of the story:

It turns out Cat Bordhi was the original source of the concept. "Wouldn't it be nice if...".

ST1 noted that they'd brought up the concept and talked about it numerous times.
"Kind of like how you talk about running away to Belize..."

One day, Tina called up Stephanie and said "I did something.".
Stephanie asked "What?".
Long pause.
Tina again: "I did something...".
Stephanie is becoming mildly alarmed and asks again "What?".
Another pause.
Tina offered "You may not ..."
Stephanie is beginning to consider the cost of a ticket from Canada to Portland because obviously something is seriously wrong..."Tina!?!"
"I rented the Oregon Convention Center."
"I rented the Oregon Convention Center."
"You did WHAT?"
"I rented the Oregon Convention Center for that sock thing we've been talking about."
I believe Stephanie noted some expletives may have been offered at about this time...

They went on to explain how much of the Oregon Convention Center they rented...
and then rented some more...and "Oh, we also need the ballroom..."
and then they needed some more room and rented More space.

Apparently there was some rampant disbelief at the concept of all that space being needed for:
"For ... socks?".
"Yep, sock knitting.".
"Socks you wear on your feet?".
"Yes, socks you wear on your feet."

"You need more loading dock space to unload...Yarn?".
"But yarn doesn't take up much space really, does it?".
(When I correlate this ignorant comment to my own scary stash...oy.)

I must commend the patience and restraint of the ladies that gifted us with the Sock Summit.
It couldn't have been easy to deal with such reactions month after month and not throttle one of these muggles, not even once, not even a little bit...

See - not great pictures.

(I didn't realize until now that Lucy Neatby was right in my line of sight! Kewl)

(This is actually a little later in the ceremony, after they'd called up the rest of the Sock Summit crew so we could thank them and show general adoration.)

They introduced all the Teachers. Barbara Walker got a Standing Ovation!

There was some good natured, general harassment.

And a lotta love.

One of the ST2 ladies (apologies, I don't know everyone on sight...) was asked to read the back of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's shirt.

“Knot Hysterical Productions”

Some reference was made to the next Sock Summit - but nothing conclusive or promised.
We'll see what the future brings.

Once again, the intrepid Cindy enhanced my Sock Summit experience.
She wanted to go thank one of the teachers for a blog about choosing a spinning wheel - and we met all sorts of Knitterati. I think Cindy knows most everyone and their specialty on sight.

We did speak a few moments with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Tina Newton.
I expect they were still in the glow of the amazing first day of the Sock Summit and the crowning glory of the Opening Ceremonies - and the fatigue was catching up with them some.
They had their priorities straight. Accomplishing the goal of a lifetime,



and comfort.

They were kind enough to gift me with a sterling Sock Summit memory:

(Cindy did the honors.)

I found my Tri-fold Knitter's Bowl teacher from Tucson, Heather Ordover!
It was SO lovely to meet someone I admired that I actually knew. Sounds odd, huh?
Heather is a warm, kind, rather brilliant person.

And she has a GREAT smile.

(An Aside...Heather was in NY during the 9/11 attacks. Some of her amazing and poignant comments on the subject are here.)

Here is a picture of our "Hooked on Beads" teacher, Sivia Harding.

With Cindy!
(Notice Cindy's beautiful Clapotis?)

As previously noted, I was a bit overwhelmed by the Knitterati. And I can be profoundly geeky - to make some of these moments truly embarassing and quite  memorable.

This clever lady intrigued me - wearing what appeared to be a hand-woven tunic - and spinning cheerful apple-green thread that matched her shirt!
I sensed a kindred spirit because I was walking about crafting as well (knitting on Joyce's sock).

She allowed me to take a couple of "action" shots of her spinning.

Too fun!

She was very kind and responded playfully to my teasing if she dressed to match the roving or vice-versa?
She said she always matched her spinning!
A fair effort was made to convert me into a spinner, too.

She was very graceful and I enjoyed speaking with her.

I wasn't even too geeky!

I found out later, this is The Denny McMillan.
{wry grin}

I met SOOOOOO many nice people. Cindy gifted me with that.
I wouldn't have gone up to speak with all these amazing, talented people.

I think Heather tried to help me put it into perspective:
"We all put our socks on one foot at a time.".

The Opening Ceremonies were great fun - Barbara Walker summed it up nicely when she said {near quote} “Stephanie and Tina should take their comedy routine on the road. They could call themselves the “Knit Wits”.”

Oh - the Silent Auction!
I got back out to the tables after most of the offerings had been packed up.
I apologized and asked if the organizers could check to see if I owed them any money.

Bless their hearts - they went through everything still on the tables and packed away.

And they found I'd won all three of the items I'd bid upon!!

Details in the next SS blog.

1 comment:

  1. Hey now, I can only recognize about half of the teachers/etc on sight. ;) I have a somewhat heavy lean toward recognizing Blue Moon folks due to the Rockin' Sock Club. I had a great time running around with you too. I kinda ran out of steam on my blog recap but maybe I'll pick it up again. It almost feels like it was all a crazy dream. In a way, I guess it kinda was. :)