Wednesday, August 17

Sock Summit round up

Okay, I know, I have no socks on in this picture and most of you have already seen the shoes, but I love them!  Haven't seen them yet?  They are from the lovely Ren @ FairySteps and after wearing them all day standing on my feet for two days straight I love them even more!

I'm barefoot because the weather for the week Cal & I spent in Portland was absolutely dreamy!  Honestly the weather was the least "best" part of our week in Portland.  I could go on and on about how many kind and enthusiastic knitters I met.

The above picture is Lise and a dear knitter whose name I didn't write down & has gotten lost in my memory of new faces LeeAnn, both wearing the Summit pattern from Knitty - which I have been dreaming of knitting in my "off" time, knitted in fingering weight & DK.  I love when a pattern works in multiple yarn weights and one of the awesome things about Sock Summit, this was a totally chance meeting!

And crocheters too!  Let's not forget about the crocheters! The above pic is a close up of the MOST lovely freeform crochet I've ever seen.  Done by the equally lovely Bonnie Pierce.
I love her use of color, some freeform crochet can be a bit, well, garish and hers is so sophisticated & truly lovely!

The awesomeness of Stephanie, Tina, and their crew of henchmen (Natalie, Debbie, Rachel and all the rest) at putting together such a huge and perfectly run event really awes me.  Did I mention they did it all while smiling the entire time. They did.
I was going to post a pic here of the HUGE line to get in the first night but decided some of the tons (hundreds? thousands?) of knitters waiting anxiously to get in might not want to be revealed...
So instead I'll post a few pics of why Portland is kind of awesome:

Yup, a giant bike rack AND a sign that there is additional bike parking..IN THE GARAGE!
Love that!

Portland has its quirks too.  On my first day there I saw the *second biggest pile of pretzels* I've ever seen.  Just laying there on the sidewalk, a garbage bags worth of pretzels but not in a garbage bag.  I guess there was also a craft beer fest happening at the same time but the pretzels were the only evidence I ever saw of it.

Cal & I had one of the most delicious dinners I've maybe ever had at Biwa which I heard about thanks to a tweet from Grace Bonney the woman behind Design Sponge and luckily it was walking distance from our hotel.  To be fair, NYer walking distance but since Cal & I were at one time NYers we were happy for the outside stomping time.  I had one of the most delicious cocktails along with our shared meal of lots (and LOTS and LOTS) of little bites.  It was called the Community Garden and I don't exactly remember the make up but it included tequila, Pimm's and a heaping dose of fresh mint & cucumbers "growing" out of the glass. Crisp and much needed after teaching & vending all day!

I went to an amazing lecture given by Karla & Gladys aka "the pooling ladies".  I am tempted to ramble on about how inspiring and creative their work is but maybe you should just join their Ravelry group & see for yourself.  Basically they have figured out how to make hand dyed yarns behave in amazing and fresh ways.  Did I mention, they want all their pooling knowledge to be open source?  They do and that rocks.  Since attending the lecture I have started two pooling projects but both are gifts so they'll have to remain under wraps for now.

The quick sum up:

I had a booth. I taught classes to some of the nicest, most talented, not to mention FAST knitters.  I ate really, really well, even from food carts.  I got to see a few West Coast friends I see rarely and one I had never met in real life before. I was welcomed to Portland by attending the Teacher dinner surrounded by knitting luminaries I felt so lucky to be in the company of.  I did not make Cal want to kill me or if I did at least she resisted the urge.  I went to the beautiful and beautifully run Happy Knits - if you ever are in Portland, go visit, you won't be sorry.  I found out that Denny's (at least in Portland) has turkey bacon and it's pretty good.  I found out that Denny never ever tires of "put a bird on it".  I realized Stephanie & Tina are even bigger sci fi nerds than I am.  I remembered that no matter how fantastic a trip I have I am always more happy to come home to my house, my kitties and most of all my love. 
I know the next Sock Summit won't be for another 2 years but I'll look forward to it until then.

*this is a Get Smart reference for those of you non-nerds out there