Sunday, August 30, 2009


There are times when the personal and the professional aspects of my life converge, and one such instance happened last week. We took Tall Son back to college (University of Rochester); his girlfriend's mom works full time at a yarn shop there. One thing led to another (not what you think!), and I brought 34 sample skeins with me to show to the owner, Amelia. So she could place an order from me, from those colors, and I would then send her said order when I got back home.

I took a nice long tour of the yarn shop. I took a lot of pictures, being awed by the assortment of yarn and colors.

They had a giant pair of needles there with knitting on it, just for fun, and guess who just had to knit a few stitches on it: Crafty Girl (over her shoulders: her own handmade ducttape purse).

Dear Husband and Tall Son did not want to be left out and finished the row:

Now I know what it takes to get them to knit!
Oh and those "sample skeins'? They never made it out of the shop. Amelia simply decided she must have every single one of them. :)
Thank you to Tall Son's girlfriend and her mom who made all this possible! Here's the address for the yarn shop, which I know will be my LYS home away from home whenever we go visit:

Yarn Boutique
1855 Monroe Ave, Brighton Commons, Rochester, New York 14618
Tele/Fax: 585-413-1123

Thursday, August 27, 2009

mea culpa

I was wondering all week who it was that I forgot. I knew there was someone else who helped me out a great deal...and it finally dawned on me.

Sharon from Buffalo, NY. Right there when I opened the boxes with Sarah K., helping out with unpacking and displaying.

She's also a lawyer. I hope Sharon you can forgive my lapse.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sock Summit: family

I saved this for last, because it's truly the best part.

It's about the amazing women that I met through ravelry when I put up a Help Wanted sign on the Sock Summit forum several months ago. In the early planning stages, I realized (duh!) that I can't do it all by myself. Seriously, when will I get a bathroom break? Or go grab a bite to eat?

All these ladies came through for me. They filled up every single timeslot there was. They stood by me and helped me set up, helped customers, answered customers' knitting questions, and generally gave the booth their special touch. When I brought up my funny dietary requirements and I mentioned I have no clue as to where to get food; they brought me something to eat; they also gave me a MAX schedule and directions to a Wholefoods Market so I could take the rail and go grocery shopping.

And they all made socks from my yarn prior to Sock Summit so they could be displayed in the booth.

You remember Sarah K. and Melissa from opening day. Melissa grew up in Saratoga Springs, which is only 35 miles from where I live.

This is Joy. Joy lives in the Himalayas and let me quote from her blog - go HERE for the back story on that one - and meeting her was just one of those things that you ponder and ponder the miracle of it. I mean, I had briefly chatted online with a woman who lives in the Himalayas about a year and a half ago, and there she was, right in front of me now. Hugging my yarn, no less. (Well, we exchanged real hugs, too, you can be sure of that.) Joy is originally from Portland, and had to come back to the States because of some medical issues, visited her daughter while she was here, and was able to go to Sock Summit. Serendipity.

This is Terri from Idaho, sporting Alison's shawl. Terri is a fantastic knitter. Terri also has a pretty awesome husband (whom she left home), who made six sock blockers out of wood left over from a home improvement project, so the socks could be properly displayed.

Here's Mary, Sarah B., and Ami. They all individually answered my call for help, and it turned out that Ami and Sarah B. go to the same knitting group. (Yes Alison, your shawl made the rounds.)

Mary brought me food. Mary brought her husband, who learned how to knit the night before the Guinnes Book of World Records attempt and made it through the frequired ifteen minutes of knitting. Mary and Mike took me out to dinner on Thursday and gave me a driving tour of Portland. I think I was adopted my them, and loved every minute of it.

Sarah K. was there in the beginning, the middle, and the end. I owe Sarah more than I can ever make up to her.
She packed up boxes while I went to the Luminary Panel for little while. Sarah and her husband live in Portland and thank goodness I got to spend more time with them, as we went out to dinner on the last evening. Wish I could just meet up for coffee Sarah, and knit with you for a while!
Allison is from Vermont, and was a tremendous help with packing up. Her calm, kind presence made things so much easier!!

I'm getting all choked up just thinking about the wonderfulness of it all. I could not have done this without you guys!

And here are Mike and Mary at the Luminary Panel. I truly enjoyed meeting you and spending time with you.
Thank you for everything!

Till next time. I miss you guys already.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sock Summit: Luminary Panel

On the last day of Sock Summit 2009, on August 9th, it would have been Elizabeth Zimmermann's 99th birthday. Stephanie and Tina took that as an excellent excuse to have a panel of knitting luminaries who discuss -- knitting, knitting history, and what role knitting plays in their lives.

Left to right: Lucy Neatby, Cat Bordhi, Deborah Robson, Anna Zilboorg, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Tina Newton, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, and Nancy Bush.
I had to pinch myself a couple of times to make sure I wasn't dreaming that I was able to see all these women in one room together.

I stayed for a little while in the beginning, then had to leave because I still had to pack up my booth. Sarah K., one of my booth helpers extraordinaire, was busily packing up the yarn. (More on my dear new sock summit family later.)
Here you can see Steve Elkins of WEBS pack up his booth.

Towards the end of the panel discussion, I scooted back in there to catch the last 45 minutes or so. There was a serious looking video camera and a sound technician, and it is my sincere hope that there will be a DVD released of the opening and closing ceremonies....
Barbara Walker listening intently.

Don't you just want to call her Queen Barbara? I say she is a Tremendously Good Sport, obliging an attendee who asked Barbara to wear her hat for a photo shoot.

During the last minutes of the proceedings, we all sang Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Zimmermann. Meg Swansen then graciously cut and gave out birthday cake.

I think you know these people already...

Judith MacKenzie-McCuin. Stephanie had said earlier that she would even attend a class with Judy if it were on how to boil water.

Cat Bordhi, wearing her Sivia Harding shawl.

And a last glance at Nancy Bush.

Jennifer of Holiday Yarns, the only other vendor from new York State, and purveyor of Tsock Tsarina kits. I think the awesomeness of the whole event is still sinking in....

There was a reception afterwards, and I spotted Amy Singer.

How many more sock summit posts can you stand?
As far as I can tell, there'll be one more. Thanks for bearing with me! There's just so much to tell!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

knitmore girls yarn review


"Lucy's Hot Pink Hair"

I am interrupting my regularly scheduled sock summit recap to let you all know that the Knitmore Girls
(see previous post) reviewed my sock yarn during their last podcast. Before I say any more, I'll let you go and listen to their Episode #66.

Thank you Gigi and Jasmin, you are very kind, gracious, and generous. I'll be sending Jasmin a skein of Lucy's Hot Pink Hair, because I know she had her eye on it...but would only take one skein from me at the time...Jasmin you simply MUST have a color that matches your brilliant hair.

If any of my readers are interested in getting their hands on any of these colorways, please contact Liz at The Spinning Room. She has most of my yarns in stock right now, until I get to dyeing more and putting them on the website for direct ordering in addition to the LYSs that stock my yarn. (We are taking our son back to college day after tomorrow, there is much packing and doing laundry going on here, and no time for dyeing the next few days.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sock Summit - day 5

Lucy Neatby is not only always a good sport, but also a very very generous person. If you've ever taken a class from her, you know how ready she is to always share her tremendous knitting knowledge.

She came by just about every day of the show; this was Saturday.

Lo and behold, this exceedingly kind and generous person came by again on Sunday! She could have picked any booth at all. But there she was, visiting again (I like to think that the yarn I dyed in her honor had something to do with it), and this time, the Knitmore Girls were there too. Before we knew it, there was a photoshoot going on.

And then.....whether any of us wanted to admit it or not, it was starting to be time to leave. The Sock Summit was ending, we had to start packing up.

The marketplace was closing. The only event left to attend was the Luminary Panel. I had a ticket for it. Thanks to my fabulous helpers, who will be featured in their own blog post, I was able to attend for some of the time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sock Summit: day 4, marketplace (a sampling)

During windows of time where I got away from my own booth, I wandered a bit and took some pictures. There were over 150 vendors, and I am a little sad I didn't get to stop by each and every one of them. There was the most wonderful mix of small handdyers, spinners, big, and even bigger companies (can you say Blue Moon Fiberarts and WEBS?)

Here is a very small sampling:

Sliver Moon Farm* yarn in the Carolina Homespun booth.

*I'll be in the Sliver Moon Farm booth at the New York State Sheep and Woolfest in Rhinebeck again this year. If you're attending, we would love to see you there!!

This is Cheryl at New Hue Handspuns. You betcha I bought some roving from her. Wait for the loot post...

Natually dyed yarn, sample socks, and roving I just wanted to lie down in at Tactile Fiber Arts:

Yep, some of this went home with me too. It's going to some awesome spinning friends that helped me a lot to get ready for Sock Summit.

The gallery of handknits that walked by my booth all the day long was stunning. Shawls, socks, stockings, berets, fingerless gloves, dresses and coats: this one was still a WIP; she said it will have sleeves.
What. Fun.

Yep, bought a skein here, too. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sock Summit - day 3: some visitors

I kind of had a feeling that the posts about Sock Summit '09 would be trickling out slowly. Or else there would have been the mother of all posts....considering there were many superlatives, like this mock up of a giant swift one aisle over.

Or this lovely bunch of ladies who had a mini meet-up near my booth.

Or: Judy Sumner sitting right across from me, knitting away, at Lisa Souza's booth. Judy came out with her first sock book after having published many many sock patterns. Once I realized who she was - Judy and I have been emailing for a few years, but we had no clue what each other looked like - I ran right over, bought her book, Knitted Socks East and West, and had it autographed. Later that day she was giving a talk and a booksigning at Powell's book in downtown Portland. She was a smashing success!

One of the biggest highlights that day was that Priscilla Gibson-Roberts stopped by my booth for a good long while. I gave her a skein of the colorway I dyed especially in her honor, and she gave me a hug because she liked it so much. In fact I believe her exact words were: "It's PERFECT for me!" Wow. She lives in her denim jeans and the yarn matches all her denim. I called it ''Priscilla's Navy with a Kick and she sure got one out of it!

I can't tell you how much it meant to me that she stopped and talked with me for a while. I got to tell her that her book, Knitting in the Old Way, was the first knitting book I ever bought when I was a college student. I had always been knitting without patterns at all, and her book put things in perspective for me - how neck lines relate to the rest of the sweater, how to do proper sleeve increases, etc. I have gotten so much use out of her book that it is falling apart. I never ever thought I would even get near her, so I didn't bring my copy.
But that hug is something that will stay with me forever.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sock Summit - day 2: Opening Reception

On Thursday evening, August 6th, several hundred knitters congregated in the great Oregon Ballroom at the convention center for the Opening Reception. Of course we got to sit at round tables and knit all the while.

Stephanie and Tina welcomed everyone, told the story of how the Sock Summit came to be, was more than two years in the making. They formed a company, rented a whole convention center, and proceeded to invite teachers. None of them said no. They were all ready to carve out time and teach at the biggest such endeavor ever. They had to make it clear to CC management, hotels, IT people, graphic designers, printers, bankers, everyone involved, over and over again, that Yes Knitters will come to a Sock Summit, and in great numbers. Everyone thought they were crazy. Which they were, but sort of in a good way....

I delighted in witnessing a great friendship between two women who respect each other's work and decided they can do this despite the odds.

They introduced their Sock Teams, women who helped them tirelessly to accomplish this feat. It really sank in for me then that there was no other organizer, that this was them, they were it, these six women did it all.
All throughout the summit, they were there right on the floor, making sure everything went smoothly.
Left to right: Tina Newton, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Debbi Stone, Joann, RachelH, and Debra.

After a lot of laughter and some tears, too, they introduced all the teachers. Then it was time to meet them. There were many, and I caught a glimpse of:
Barbara Walker

Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen

Anna Zilboorg and cookie a.

Nancy Bush

I later heard a story where a young woman had a wedding shawl on the needles, and she asked a bunch of the teachers to knit on it for her. I think this is it! Meg is working on it.

There was also a raffle of donated items, where I had donated a skein each of all the Luminary Panel colorways. This was the lucky bidder who won - she donated $250! She was very happy and I was so glad the yarn and roving went to a good home. She told me she was going around to all the panelists to get their autographs on my write-up. (Lucy Neatby is behind her, with the pink hair.)

By the end of the weekend, she had gotten all but two. Good for her for being so generous!