Monday, August 10, 2009

We Came, We Knitted, We Conquered

Sock Summit 09 is over and what can I say?

I thanked my lucky stars every day I was there that I didn't give up when the server crashed on registration day and I got to go. Apart from the inauspicious beginning, it seemed (at least to an outside-observing-attendee) spectacularly well organized. From opening the registration desks on Wednesday to having one of the largest trade-show marketplaces that I've ever seen, to handing out the world-record-attempt tickets early in the morning, to having volunteers staffing every classroom, I saw very few long lines, no teachers lacking supplies or technology or chairs, and just no unpleasantness in general. It was great.

I drove down from Seattle on Wednesday with my friend and when we walked over to the Convention Center from our hotel, this is what we saw.

And then as we were taking photos, a couple of knitters who were leaving the building asked if they could take our picture together in front of the signs. What a way to feel welcome right off the bat!

I didn't have my camera with me always, but have a few more shots. Here's my ticket to the world record event .

The link takes you to a local Oregon news clip reporting on our attempt (which I think was successful) to break the world record for the most knitters knitting together for 15 minutes (with straight needles.) There were cameras there, there were witnesses, and there was an official from the Guinness Book. The hope was to fill the ballroom with 1600 knitters, but I think we only got 935. Still should be enough. It was really fun. If you watch the video to the end, and you know what I look like, you just might see me.

That room was pretty full. Here are a couple more shots. Tina and Stephanie were happy (and slightly blurry due to camera operator error.)

I thought I'd document my knitting at this momentous event. I decided to knit a swatch out of my first wheel-spun handspun. Here's how big it was when we started,

and here's how big it was when we finished.

I didn't take any pictures of the marketplace, but it was impressive. I couldn't find my way around without the map and even with that I managed to get lost plenty of times. The goodies I got:

Fiber! Superwash merino top blended with some sari silk and angelina. I think it will make an elegant stole if I can get my wheel spinning refined enough to make it thin enough. This is the black shiny fiber on the left and came fron Enchanted Knoll Farm. The beautiful purple on top is merino/nylon pencil roving from Fiber Optic yarns. This will make great sock yarn. The other two luscious items are from Crown Mountain Farms. The beige fluff is baby camel/merino and the gray is Alpaca/silk. Both are unbelievably soft and squishy.

Yarn: I didn't get too much sock yarn since I already have cough, cough a bit... but couldn't resist the Schoppel Wolle Zauberball in browns, possibly for a pair of socks for DH. The sample showed cool uneven stripes when it's knitted up into a plain sock and it feels really soft. I also got a sweater's worth of Madelinetosh Worsted in the Norway Spruce colorway. (Not all skeins are shown.) I haven't decided which pattern I'll use for this. (These were both purchased at the Webs booth, where there's a quantity discount. It helps....also having a friend, and I mean you, Goatlady, along to talk me into buying mass quantities was instrumental.)

The only other yarn I bought was a beautiful skein of merino/silk/nylon/silver! from Kitchen Sink dyeworks. This was too pretty to pass up and will hopefully make a lovely scarf. I bought one of the last two "City of Roses" skeins from Knit/Purl, too. I had looked at this online and even started to reserve some twice, but never did. I think the colors in it are wonderful and the fact that it was a limited edition for Sock Summit makes it really special. And the Knit/Purl folks are so nice, too!

You didn't think I could leave without a new spindle or two, did you? I've heard of Avi Wasserman for awhile, and loved this little one. It's made out of olive wood from Israel with ebony and silver. I thought it was beautiful. You can see I already tried it out with some of the baby camel. Works great. I purchased this at The Fold's booth.

The other one I couldn't pass up is this Ken Ledbetter. I fell in love with the painting on the whorl and had to have it. The colors of the flowers and the delicate painting kept me from putting it down once I picked it up. This came from Carolina Homespun, and it's difficult to stop with one at their booth. Into the spindle collection it goes.

I was disappointed when I realized that I'd missed the date to buy souvenirs, which were supposedly being sold only online and picked up at the event. Luckily there were extras and I got a couple of things I wanted as remembrances.

And my sweet friend, Goatlady, brought me a ravatar pin that she'd had made for me. I love it and appreciate the thought so much!

I also bought an Ashford Niddy Noddy, but everyone knows what they look like. Now to put everything away.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Final Preparations

It's going to be busy and wonderful. Tomorrow I leave for Portland, OR to attend Sock Summit, the place where everyone who is anyone in the knitting world (or alternatively, was lucky or persistent enough to survive the server overload and crash and get tickets) will be this week. Living in Seattle, there was no way I was staying home for this. A quick drive down the freeway and I'll be there!

I managed to get into some classes and the welcome gathering, which I think is going to be awesome. I'm meeting up with my good friend from Tennessee, Goatlady, who I haven't seen for over a year, and am really looking forward to that. I will attempt to take some photos for posting next week, but I'm sure there will be plenty to see in the knitting internet universe.

In getting prepared to go, I finished a couple of projects. You saw the baby stuff I made yesterday, but I also finished Shawl That Jazz (in time for the weather to come down out of the 80-100 degree range) and also my Asparagus Cables socks.

The shawl is made from Dream in Color Classy, purchased at The Loopy Ewe. The colorway is Nightwatch, and I used about 3-1/2 skeins on the project. I think this will make a nice, casual shawl that will be handy for cool evenings.

The socks were made from nummanumma Toasty in the colorway Pesto. I also purchased this at The Loopy Ewe. The yarn is great, though I had a little splitting trouble, mostly when I was making (or fixing) the tiny cables. I don't know the reason, but I had tons of trouble with the second sock, so I am really glad to be done with them!

I'll be back from Portland on Saturday because we're having a huge graduation/going away party on Sunday for the Princess, who leaves for college on August 18th. I hope I've got it organized enough...when I come back it will be time to finalize food and decorations for the 80 or so people we're expecting. And also to arrange with the weather gods for a day of sunshine and 75 degrees. Not asking too much, am I?

See you later. I'm off!

Monday, August 3, 2009

When you make a baby a blanket....*

she's going to want a hat to keep her head warm.

And when she gets the hat, she's going to want matching booties.

I hope she likes them.

*With thanks to Laura Numeroff and her wonderful children's book, If You Give a Moose a Muffin.