The Sock Summit 2009

bearchel

Hi, my name is Michèle and I am a lucky person.  I admit that I am,  enough people kept telling me over and over again that I was lucky, so I started believing it.  But sometimes it’s upsetting, because I feel that the amount or the importance of the efforts I make to accomplish or get something are being underestimated since they think somehow everything comes to me easy, it’s just pure luck.  In this instance though, it WAS pure luck.

For you Muggles, you the uninitiated, the non-knitters, this whole post will make no sense at all.  You have my permission to  move on with your life and return another day when I have something for you to read that you can really appreciate , unless a descent into the mind of a fiber-crazy knitter interests you.  But for us, the knitters, the passionate yarn addicts, the sock-a-holics, the ones who understand the appeal and the pure joy of creating something wonderful, wearable, out of a piece of string and two needles, the Sock Summit was the epitomy of coolness, the event you wanted to attend so much, you would have given your first yarn skein to do it.

Registration didn’t go as planned, the number of knitters interested in the 1800 spaces available at the Summit was  underestimated,  and in the first minute after the registration opened, 30,000 knitters tried their luck at getting one of these spaces.  The server crashed, it was  pure chaos, but!  Yours truly, the lucky one, actually got in!  I didn’t get the class I wanted with Lucy Neatby, but I did get to register for two very interesting classes.  It was official!  I was going to be an attendee at the Sock Summit 2009!  The first one ever!  I was doing the happy dance!

Sock Summit, Day 1

Chicken is keeping my spot at the registration desk

Chicken is keeping my spot at the registration desk

Registration for attendees of the summit were opening on August the 5th at 1:30.  We boarded the MAX train (the very cool public transportation system in Portland) and in less than 20 minutes, we were at the Convention Center.  It was 11:20 AM.  We realized that we were a little early.  There would be some waiting time, but not to worry, Bear had a book, and I had plenty of knitting.   There were other knitters around, waiting, like me, incredibly, we were not the earliest ones.  After loading up on Starbucks, we sat down, and watched as Tina and Stephanie (the two organizers) were running around with their 2-way radios glued to their mouths, trying to get everything ready on time.

Tina, owner of Blue Moon Fiber Art and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, New-York Times best selling author with a very star-struck Chicken

Tina, owner of Blue Moon Fiber Art and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, New-York Times best selling author with a very star-struck Chicken

What does a knitter do when she waits?  yeah, you got it, she knits….

Can you identify the knitters in that picture?

Can you identify the knitters in that picture?

I was the second one to register!  wooohooooooooo!  Armed with my badge and my tickets for the events, I was ready to conquer the Summit!

Day 2

I was registered for a 6 hours class on day 2.  The class was “Sock Heels” with Heather Ordorver .  I was sitting in class waiting for it to start, when I saw someone who looked very familiar to me.  She came and sat 2 seats from me, and I kept wondering where I had seen her before…so I worked up the nerve to ask her.  I took the plunge, and asked:  “Why do you look so familiar to me?”  answer:  huh, maybe because I started Ravelry?  Yup I answered, that would totally do it! Secretly I wanted to kick myself in the butt for not knowing that from the start, but hey, when I see famous people, I tend to become a total idiot.  All the neurones in my brain freeze like if they were back in Canadian winterland…

She was cute as a button and gladly posed with Chicken and her own mascot of BOB,   the Ravelry dog.

Jessica from Ravelry, Bob and Chicken

Jessica from Ravelry, Bob and Chicken

We had lots of fun in that class,but of course, being my crazy-self, I somehow managed to knit a sock heel that looked strangely, humm.. well… kind of…. hmm  obscene?  Really… not kidding here, I kept knitting and knitting and looking at it, the more I was knitting the worst it was getting.  I tried to dismiss it at first, then I thought maybe I was seeing things because I am French you know…but Dude!  At one point I just had to crack up! (no pun intended), I laughed so loud the teacher wondered what was happening, so between giggles and tears, I showed her my sock heel,and she just lost it!

Huh, the red one is the culprit...

Huh, the red one is the culprit... do you see it?

At lunch, I had a very pleasant conversation with Jessica (of Ravelry)  and Sandi Wiseheart, former editor of Knitting Daily, now writing What’s on Sandi’s needles for Interweave and also a personal blog called Wiseheart Knits .

Sandi really missed her husband and found some comfort with Chicken

Sandi really missed her husband and found some comfort with Chicken

We returned to class and things started getting really strange!  My neighbour at the table decided that you couldn’t knit that many heels in one day without the help of some Whiskey… Chicken totally agreed and appropriated the shot glass.

Chicken keeping an eye on his shot glass

Chicken keeping an eye on his shot glass

As if that was not enough, Kay the Woollie Mammoth decided she wanted some whiskey also… Chicken in his haste to keep her from drinking his booze jumped on her!

Chicken, totally drunk riding Kay the Woollie Mammoth while she drinks out of his glass

Chicken, totally drunk riding Kay the Woollie Mammoth while she drinks out of his glass

Well.. This mascot party was just too loud, BOB the Ravelry dog noticed and joined the party, the three friends celebrated merrily…

Party! Party! Party! Party!

Party! Party! Party! Party!

OK. OK, I admit, this is a bit bizarre, but not as bizarre as you think, things like that tend to happen a lot when you put a bunch of knitters in the same room, it is called imagination, and knitters do not lack in that department!

At the end of the class, Chicken, having calmed down, was allowed to pose with Heather Ordover for another “knitting celebrity picture”.

Heather really enjoyed having her picture taken with Chicken

Heather really enjoyed having her picture taken with Chicken

That night, at the opening reception, Tina and Stephanie gave us an hysterical account of how the Sock Summit came to be.

Day 3:

Friday!! Market Day! Shopping Day! Wooooooohoooooooo!  What’s better for a yarn-addict than a room filled with 150 vendors of yarn?  The largest collection of hand-painted yarn ever assembled?  Tools for the trade?  We arrived early (Bear and I).  The doors to the market opened at 8:30, there was a line in front of the door at 8, which shows that I am not the only fiber-nut out there, I am in good company.

I bought some gorgeous stuff, and some useful stuff, a good mix I think, and I am very very pleased.

Gorgeous yarn, tools and souvenirs, a good mix.

Gorgeous yarn, tools and souvenirs, a good mix.

Then, around noon, I headed to the Oregon Ball Room for the “Guinness Book of World Record” attempt for the “Biggest amount of knitters knitting simultaneously in one room”.  A group in Autralia owned the last record, at 256 knitters.  I don’t have the official numbers, but we packed over 940 knitters in that room and we beat their records hands down!  Well, not really, we had to knit for 15 minutes so there was actually no hands down, just busy hands, but you catch my drift there…

We passed the time while waiting for everybody to come in, by making "needle waves".

We passed the time while waiting for everybody to come in, by doing "needle waves".

Everybody knits NOW!  Go!

Half the room during the World Record Attempt.

Then we had lunch with Erica, from Tallahassee, she was there shopping for yarn, with Mercy June, who was wearing a very fashionable “Dragon Skin Wrap” knitted by yours truely!

Mercy June and Erica

Mercy June and Erica

After lunch, we went to the “Book Signing event” where we had the chance to talk with our favorite knitting book authors.

Chicken was lucky, he scored a lot of pictures with very famous knitters.

My Hero! Colorful Lucy Neatby with Chicken and her chicken purse "Hernest"

My Hero! Colorful Lucy Neatby was so glad she found a friend for her chicken purse "Hernest"

Cat Bordhi, the engineer of the sock knitting world

Cat Bordhi, the engineer of the sock knitting world

Cookie A. the reformed mathematician who saw the light and  now uses her skills to write beautiful sock patterns

Cookie A. the reformed mathematician who saw the light and now uses her skills to write beautiful sock patterns

Charlene Schurch thought that taking a picture with Chicken was extremely funny

Charlene Schurch thought that taking a picture with Chicken was extremely funny

Day 4

I had a class Saturday morning, with Clara Parkes, called “Finding your true sock yarn happiness”.  It was a very interesting class, Clara Parkes is a fiber expert and she is very entertaining while she shares her knowledge.

I sat in class with another celebrity, Deb Robson, better known in the spinning world, former editor of Interweave’s Spin Off magazine.

She thought Chicken made a very pretty hat

Deb Robson wearing Chicken proudly!

Deb Robson wearing Chicken proudly!

Sweet Clara Parkes, author of “The book of Yarn” and “Knitter’s Review” e-newsletter.

Clara Parkes and Chicken

Clara Parkes and Chicken

After another little shopping trip in the market place, we headed home and rested that evening.

Day 5

Was the day of the Luminary panel conference

Cat Bordhi, Nancy Bush, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Lucy Neatby, Deborah Robson, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker and Anna Zilboorg talked about their experience as authors, business owners, and women, and the changes in the knitting world.  We also celebrated Elizabeth Zimmerman 99th Birthday.

Yup, someone's head got in the way of the picture!

Yup, someone's head got in the way of the picture!

The Sock Summit ended on that sweet note, with a piece of Birthday cake.  All was well in the sock knitting world.


6 Responses to “The Sock Summit 2009”

  • Paula Zenick Says:

    You and Chicken were the stars of the show, there is just no doubt about it!

    A million thank you’s for this wonderful effort.

    Drive very safely!

    It turns out that the Brown Sheep Company is having its first ever fiber fest on October 17! Wanna go?? tee hee.

  • Linda M. Says:

    thanks so much for sharing your trip. It must have been great fun!

  • bearchel Says:

    Where is it? Tee Hee…

  • erica bea Says:

    yeaaa! great having lunch with you & bear (& chicken). we have just returned home to tallahassee & I am missing the
    sock summit already. . .
    can’t wait to see you again at our next shared adventure.

  • Teri Says:

    Jealous (99999) Love(99999)
    I think the geek in me was the most excited that you met Jessica. Chicken has a more exciting life than I do!

  • Kris Says:

    Oh, how do I find the pattern for Chicken? Have a young, young granddaughter that would LOVE Chicken for a friend!