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!


  1. Karin, I think I want a poster of that picture of your booth, fully stocked. So much glorious color!

  2. Great pics and story! I feel like I was there. But when will they have a summit on the East Coast?

  3. Your booth is beautiful! All that color!!! The Gothsocks booth looked CRAZY. I don't think I would have known what to do if I had sold out that fast, either. I know I would have been scared to have that mob of people rushing toward my booth. Wonder why they do that? I love seeing your pictures and hearing all about the trip! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you! The taxi cab ride sounded AWFUL!!!

  4. Rockstars with yarns riding the wave!

    Wonderful, wonderful friends, please tell all your helpers I said thank you for taking good care of my Karin for me.

  5. THIS time, you look like an Old Pro. My my my, how far you have come in two years. Everything looks beautiful. :o)

  6. I am so enjoying your adventure!


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