Daily Archives: August 8, 2009

“Twenty years ago there was no SSK.”

Something happened this afternoon in my class at Sock Summit, for which I am still now just grasping the magnitude, and I may need to have a stiff drinkie and a lie down before I go forward with my evening.

Right, so I was in a class taught by Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen (quoted above), which was also being audited by Barbara Walker. And at one point Meg was explaining different ways of working decreases, and paused since she had the opportunity, to ask Barbara if she was indeed the one who first thought up the SSK.

And Barbara Walker said, “yes.”

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“Their record was for 256. Their record was doomed.”

Day Two of Sock Summit is behind me now, folks, and the whirlwind is still going strong. My feet hurt, I am 99% out of touch with non-knitting non-Portland world, but I’m just continuing to tell myself that’s OK because at the moment knitting world is going pretty great down here in Portland. Today, I got up, hung out with some knitters, listened and learned about design from Marjan Hammick (Yarnissima), and talked a little German with her, participated in a record-setting Guinness Book of World Records knit-in, bought more yarn, escaped to downtown for a delicious hamburger, investigated Powell’s bookstore where I scored a hardcover copy of Meg Swansen’s Knitting, bought cupcakes, and did a quick turnaround before heading out to the Sock Hop at the Portland Art museum.

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It continues to be pretty trippy, being here. At the Sock Hop I chatted with a few people and commented that “you know, this is all pretty hysterical,” and whoever I was talking to would nod vigorously. Someone (the Canadian gal above from Make One Yarn Studio whose name I cannot remember), added that it is hard to know “am I done?” at the end of the day/class/event/etc because it all sort of meshes and keeps on going in your head.

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At this point, any delusions I had about presenting photos or captions in any detailed or logical order is sort of breaking down, so I’ll just wing this a little bit. There are a few things about knitting world that this event is reaffirming for me, not the least of which is the community and shared knowledge.

Marjan, for example, takes inspiration from Bavarian stitches just as much as from the photography of Brooklyn Tweed. Cat Bordhi happily puts aside her circulars to knit on two straights if it means the World Record people require it. If you are any knitter at all knitting any particular pattern and need sudden help, another knitter will come rescue you. Everyone is learning from each other.

And if, say, you are Meg, and you are, say, knitting your own lace wedding veil, it turns out you can bring it to the Sock Summit and get people like Barbara Walker and Nancy Bush and, oh, EVERYONE EVER to knit a few stitches on it…

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And if, say, you are Meg and you pull out your lace wedding veil and realize there is a dropped stitch situation going on, in the middle of a Sock Hop, the other knitters will all stand around and support you while you go ahead and fix that.

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Also, if the Guinness Book of World Records shows up, this means that over 1200 knitters will show up and blow the previous Australian-set world record out of the sky, and still even feel a little bit bad about it for the Australians.

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Pretty cool, using yarn to set a record. Also it’s pretty cool to hang out with this many knitters for this many days. I’m sure we’re all going to go through withdrawl by Monday. Good thing it’s not Monday yet.

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More tomorrow, folks, more tomorrow.

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