Monthly Archives: August 2009

“Yeah, but we’re really talking about a lot of skeins, here.”

This morning I got up, got a Starbucks latte, and headed to the Oregon Convention Center. There, I chatted with Ravelry’s Jess and Stephanie Pearl McPhee before going on to classes with Janel Laidman, Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen. Then I bought yarn in the marketplace and went to the Opening Reception where, after a wonderful greeting by Stephanie and Tina, the entire reception room burst into spontaneous applause and standing ovations, and then we all hung out and talked and mingled and I shook Barbara Walker’s hand and had conversations with Lucy Neatby and Sivia Harding and Abby Franquemont and Ann Budd. And then I talked to Deb Barnhill about toe-up socks until the room was nearly empty, and then we all went off to our separate crash pads hotel rooms, and now I’m having difficulty believing that all of this is actually happening to me. I suspect I am not alone in this.

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Day One of the Sock Summit has passed, and already I am having difficulty recalling everything I have absorbed and experienced so far. It is a singular thing, being here. Anything else I try to compare this to has some level of institutional formality or structured system of recognition or higher levels of impatience or air of…well, normalcy, that really has no place at Sock Summit. Everyone I have met so far – attendees, teachers, vendors – absolutely everyone has commented on how much this is unlike any other event they have attended. I am trying to think of another event or gathering that I can compare this to, and am coming up short.

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Everyone has a smile, everyone is game, everyone is knitting.

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Rebecca and I keep having conversations throughout the day and saying things like, “Hey, you know [X knitter] I met/took a class with/talked to/shook hands with is the nicest ever.” And then the other will respond with, “But you know who is also the nicest ever? [Y other knitter] I met/took a class with/talked to/shook hands with.” And on it goes. And this goes for teachers, attendees, vendors, everyone. There are unlimited photos, conversations, and sock appreciation, and this weekend isn’t even half over yet.

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Today, I touched a sock knitted by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I learned about colour-work from Janel Laidman. I learned about knitting socks from Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen. I listened as Stephanie Pearl McPhee and Tina Newton described the Sock Summit journey in alternating laughter, delirium, and tears. I met dozens of people and many new friends. So far, Sock Summit is awesome.

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Can’t wait for more.

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Big Day Ahead

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Sock Summit is here, the knitters are arriving, and registration is already in full swing. There is a friendly energy around, whenever you encounter another Sock Summit goer. Today will be Day 1 of classes, activities, and general high-intensity frolicking…

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Yesterday I arrived, registered myself up, and then had dinner with my uncle who lives nearby who I haven’t seen in many years. It was a fun time, and I’m glad I did.

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More evenings of knitterly fun lie ahead. Now let’s pretend I’m on completely full night’s sleep, shall we? Right. More later…

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Leaving for the very plausible state of Oregon

It’s here, the week thousands of us have been waiting months for…I leave very early tomorrow morning for the long trek to the west coast and the exciting Sock Summit event. For better or worse, I can tell you this is certainly going to be the content of my next few blog posts, so I hope you won’t mind coming along for the ride! All I can say is that I’ll be blogging…what or who, well, the adventures will unfold as they may.

To look forward to, I’ve got:

  • One 4am wake-up call (tomorrow…let us not speak of this any further)
  • Four thee-hour classes
  • Two travel-knitting projects (socks in Lorna’s Laces sock, shawl in Tanis Fiber Arts fingering weight)
  • One volunteer shift
  • Three parties/special events
  • A twelve-hour one-way trip (that’s with airport time)
  • One fun roomie/partner-in-crime to share the week with
  • And unpredictable amounts of yarn, food, drink, and revelry

My homework is done, my suitcases are packed, all that’s left is to fly out tomorrow morning. It’s gonna be one heck of a week to remember, and I can’t wait to arrive and have the journey behind me so the real fun can begin.

(Also, that subject line is funnier if you’ve seen the X-Files pilot episode…and if you already knew that, then you might be my new best friend.)

Here’s looking forward to meeting a few knitters on my travels tomorrow, and good thoughts for those already en route. Catch you on the flip side!

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Pretty Wicked Stockings

After having several projects in progress for the last little while, it feels very good to be reeling in a few finished ones. These knee-high stockings are finished after a few weeks’ work and I’m glad I decided to do them. They’ll be coming with me to the Sock Summit and likely be my Ravelry party-wear. Because where else would you wear a wicked pair of socks like these but to a gathering of knitters?

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Cast On: July 11, 2009
Cast Off: August 1, 2009
Needles: 2.5mm DPNs
Yarn: The Sweet Sheep‘s own fingering weight, in incarnations from 2007 (shamrock green) and 2008 (joker purple), and Malabrigo Sock (black). (Incidentally, the Sweet Sheep will also be a vendor at the Sock Summit this week, and Michelle is just about the nicest person ever.) I worked the stripes in rows of 2-4-2-4 (black-purple-black-green) on repeat, and chose to keep the purple for the heel and toe since Michelle’s earlier blend (in the green) did not have nylon in it but her later one (purple) did, and I wanted to preserve the strength of the nylon blend at those points of abrasion.

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Pattern: There is no specific pattern for this, just math and gauge. I started with my known gauge for this yarn, multiplied that by the number of inches around at my upper calf, and then subtracted 2.5 inches’ worth. This gave me the # of stitches for the upper calf. I subtracted about a dozen stitches from this number to work the ribbing, then increased immediately.

I worked the upper-calf # of stitches for 5 inches, then worked pairs of decreases at the middle of the back of the leg every 4 rows, until I reached 64 sts. From there I continued even until I was at the length I needed to cover my whole leg (making sure to try this on for verification), and from this point on it became just a plain sock with a heel flap and gussets and wedge toe.

Overall, I’m pretty darned pleased. And as a bonus, I also finished up my pair of on-the-go socks I’ve had for a little over a month, in Socks That Rock Lightweight (I think the colourway is ‘rolling stone’, but can’t be completely sure because it was a mill end picked up at Rhinebeck). These are plain Knit 3-Purl 1 ribbing at 64 sts around, and I squeaked ‘em out with just a teensy bit of yarn leftover. STR Lightweight’s yardage pushes my Size 11s to the very edge, but I can usually make it through on a single skein.

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Socks, socks and more socks. What are the odds that in a couple of weeks I’ll have a sudden urge to cast on 7 new sweaters? I’m thinking…pretty darned strong. But I’ve got more sock knitting in me this week, which is a darned good thing.

Happy knitting today, folks!

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