Thursday, August 11, 2011

my sock summit adventure, part four

Sunday morning of Sock Summit began with a trip to

Mary had in her wisdom dropped Mike off at Voodoo doughnuts early, and by the time she came back with me in the car, the line outside was long.

But Mike was already successful in scoring some treats for a teacher, Deb Barnhill, who had missed out on the doughnuts the day before.( I think I already told you that Mike and Mary are some of the nices people you'll ever meet.)

 In case you are not believeing your eyes, here's the maple glazed and bacon adorned doughnut one more time:

During the day, I was able to sneak away and check out the fastest knitter competition. It had been going on with different heats for three days, and now I went and checked out the finals.

There were two groups - here's one. One the far right up on stage, Deb Barnhill, recipient of the Voodoo doughnuts from that morning.

Stephanie is holding up the prize -- a set of Signature dpns.

The knitters were knitting on socks in the round, for three minutes, with their choice of double pointed needles or one or two circulars: hope you get an impression in this video:

Two finalists emerged from the groups: Deb, and Abigail, who was on the design team that won the design contest for Fleece to Foot.

When the winner was announced, it turned out that on average, one of the knitters knitted 57 sts per minute, and the other one knitted 56 sts per minute.

The winner was Deb Barnhill.  I do wonder if the Voodoo doughnut she had in the morning had anything to do with her success....

Watching the contest, my hands started itching. If I go again next time, and they have the fastest knitter contest again, I am participating.  I already got me some Signature dpns to practice on. :)

The other excitement that almost eluded me was the Fleece to Foot contest, a take on the usual sheep to shawl contest where teams of carders, spinners, pliers, and knitters will take a freshly shorn fleece,

just the remnants here

card and spin it, then knit it up into a complete garment within 6 hours.

The sock needed to be knitted in parts by several knitters and then grafted together.
This team made it quite far!

I could not hang around to see who the winner was. Here are Tina Newton, Donna Druchunas (I found out much later that she was the judge!) Rachel H. and Stephanie.

On my way back to my booth, I spotted cookie a. one more time, as she was teaching a class in a makeshift classroom.

Oh look, a line formed in my booth. Definitely time to get back to work....Debbie had been holding down the fort for me.

Alas, even the best Sock Summit had to come to an end...I barely had time to look at the sock museum, which had been right outside my booth the whole time! Here's Mike, who with Mary was on duty to pack it all up.

My champion booth helpers, Debbie and Nance, and I managed to pack up the booth within 2 hours.....I really honestly don't know what I would have done without them.

Then it was time to leave the sock summit behind,  and the convention center.

I was sooo tired. But so happy I got to do this.

The next day, Monday, I spent with Sarah and Miles in Portland.

Yep, another post. Hey, I spared you dozens of pictures from the Sock Museum!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I know I said I have a couple more sock summit posts, and if you are not entirely tired of them yet, I will have them.
But I need to stop (after an outing with Crafty Girl and dear friends - after all, it is still summer vacation!) and tell my local knitters something --

I am teaching at a different branch at the Albany Public Library this month, every Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 pm.

a brand new knitter forming her stitches!

Tomorrow I will be at the Arbor Hill / West Hill branch.

On Wednesday, August 17th, at Pine Hills.

On Wednesday, August 24th, Delaware branch.

I have yarn and needles for you. We will be knitting squares, rectangles, freeform, whatever you like. It is lots of fun and I would like there to be a lot of knitters -- the library has secured a grant for this community fiber arts project which includes needle felting (finished in June), beaded cloth (finished in July), and now knitting for the month of August. Any age and any level knitter is welcome. I will be happy to teach you.

In September, an experienced quilter will take over and guide us in putting all the different fiber arts squares and pieces together into a community fiber arts project!!

It would be really cool if the knitters would turn up in great numbers. Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

my sock summit adventure, part three

On Saturday morning, I went in nice and early -- thanks to Mike and Mary picking me up from the house again. I sat in my booth, had some tea, and then decided to re-stock a little. After all, Friday had been busy enough that there were some small holes in the display. Because there was nowhere to store any back stock other than stacking up a couple of boxes, covering them with tablecloths, and putting my dress dummy on it (see it on the left in the next picure), I had actually stored some bags with yarn in Mike and Mary's car. It was time to bring it in.

And I did such a fine job, that by 9:00 am I was done and pleased with myself.

At 9:04 am, the whole left wall of my display fell over.

I took a deep breath, or I may have just sucked some air in and put my hands over my face, and walked next door.
Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro had heard something and just had to ask - what happened??

The KnitPrincess aka my friend Alison, one of my long-time customers from home, came running around the corner from her booth.

Stitchy McYarnpants and Knitprincess picking up the pile o' yarn.

 I'm just glad nobody got buried under it, or impaled by one of the 12" pegs.
They ordered me out of the booth - never argue with a princess wearing her tiara -

and literally within minutes they had restored order. I wanted to just give them each an armload of yarn...but they didn't take any. Not right then, anyway.

Because I had fabulous help, I was able to get away for a few moments here and there. Don't ask me to recount in detail what I did. Quite honestly it is a blur, and if I didn't have some pictures to look at...who knows what I may be telling you.

I'm sure the geeks out there totally get what this display in the lobby means. I am not a geek.

Lynn Herschberger!!! (middle)

an awsomely beautiful shawl

an amazingly creative freeform crocheter stopped and let us admire her work

Alison aka The KnitPrincess is HAPPY!!!! Yay!!

Debbie my newfound old friend on the left and Teri, Sock Summit veteran and beautiful lace knitter
Mary watched the booth while Debbie and I went outside to witness the Super Secret (not!) Flash Mob. Just minutes before, everybody had stormed to the bathrooms one more time. One lady came running in and yelled "Are you all doing the Flush Mob?"
the mob getting ready for the Flash Mob.

I made my own video, but this one is far better:

Well that was it for Saturday. Debbie and I went out to dinner that night. It had been alll about people and friends that day. We had heard so many amazing from one lady who was happily spending away and bought a ton of yarn...turned out she had just taken her mother to Vegas and gambled, and won!

Yes, people were having the time of their lives, and my display even remained standing till the very end.

And I thought I'd squeeze Saturday and Sunday into one post, but I won't. This all happened exactly one week ago, and so we will have one more post. Or two.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

a wee bit more sock summit, before the grand finale

More sock summit pictures for you. This is a small post. We are have friends visiting here whom we haven't seen in 15 years, so I won't stay on the computer long. There'll be more sock summit adventures to report in a day or two.

the Plucky Knitter booth

Tactile Fiber studio booth

Sanguine Gryphon

Periwinkle Sheep :)

Lucy Neatby /left and friends at the MAX stop

KIPing at the stop

The Big Pink in Portland, which is a parallelogram.

Tomorrow, bring some knitting and a cup of tea when you check in here. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

my sock summit adventure, part two

I arrived in Portland without further incident. I was to stay with friends Paul and Sarah and their baby, Miles. I met them at the last Sock Summit. Well they had their little boy in the meantime and I was looking forward to meeting him. Because my plane was an hour late, Paul graciously picked me up by ZipCar so I didn't have to take the train in.

The next day, Sarah and Miles

Rachel H. letting Miles play with her badge

and I went to the convention center and took a look around. The first person I saw there after checking in

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at the check-in counter

was Cookie A. I truly had arrived at the biggest convention of sock knitters in the world.

Sarah and Miles were eager to fill the empty booth with yarn!

let's get going, already!

my shipment

Then the helpers arrived!!! Nance (middle) and Mary (right) of Mike and Mary, tore into the first box already.
Miles prefers to look at the world upside down.

Then, Erin from Portland Store Fixtures arrived with my rented booth display grids...she was well prepared with her clipboard -

The next couple of hours are still a blur. We set up the booth display the way I had imagined it, the way I had gone over it with Erin, and, at home, with my mechanical engineering student Tall Son.
The way we had all figured it, it did not work. The grids kept collapsing, even with no yarn on them. Sarah is an architect by trade, and she finally found a did leave some dead space, but it was workable, and nothing collapsed.

We called it a night, and went to have dinner.

Convention Center MAX stop.

Walk home through Portland.

The next day, I achieved this:

But not before I had another collapse, followed by frantic phone calls, after which one of the owners of the fixtures store spent 45 minutes under the grids as if under the hood of a car. She finally got the walls stabilized enough that I was going to be ready for customers. Oh yeah and in the morning? My palette of boxes had been INSIDE my booth, so I had no way of moving and unpacking. Thank goodness Mary's husband Mike was a volunteer at the loading dock that morning and was able to help me get the boxes and the palette out of my booth.

But finally Finally I was ready for customers! Thanks to my helpers. Melissa showed up, whom I met last time, and whose picture I forgot to take.

My wonderful, kind, funny, friendly booth neighbors, Stitchy McYarnpants and her friend Caro Sheridan, and Caro's mom, were ready  too for the market doors to open for the first time on Thrsday afternoon at 4:30 pm.

We had been debating which one was going to be the "it booth" of the summit. Which booth would be stormed by attendees? Last time people were sprinting to the Sanguine Gryphon booth. This time, word had it, it was either the Plucky Knitter, or GothSocks.

GothSocks won.

Within minutes, they were tossing yarn into the mob.

They were sold out about an hour later, and had no yarn to sell for the whole rest of the summit. Three more days with no yarn. I honestly don't know what I would have done.

Meanwhile, people fouond me. Here's Teri making a purchase, who had made a Labyrinth shawl for me to display...and which I also must have forgotten to photograph....but if you click on the link above, you can see her shawl. It's the first photo.

Someone is picking out the perfect skein.

Also the parade of stunning knits coming through was endless.

Here's Kathy, a faithful reader of my blog, who drove up from California to attend. She is showing me her Wandering the Moors shawl she made in five days last summer, with my watercolors II yarn. Please you must read her blog -- she took classes and everything and blogged really nicely about it. She's a fabulous knitter.

Later on, a sighting of Franklin Habit.

And even later, a wonderful dinner with Mike and Mary, and strike three for not taking a picture when I should have. (You can see them here in this post about the last sock summit.)

Mike and Mary adopted me last time I was in Portland, and they did so again this time.  Rides every morning from the house where I was staying; use of their car for yarn storage; and dinner at a gluten-free and vegan friendly restaurant which meant I could eat without worrying.

mushroom ragout with white beans on a bed of steamed veggies and sesame sweet potatoes. yum.
Of course we celebrated our reunion with a bottle of wine. Then we called it a night, because the "real" summit was still ahead of us with three whole days of vending on my part, and full days of volunteering for them. You probably saw Mike or Mary everywhere. They guarded the lunch line and the front door. They were teaching assistants. They collected all the donations from the baby shower on Saturday night. No matter what you may have been doing, Mike and Mary were there to assist you!