Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sock Summit!

Sock Summit 2011 was great! I got to meet some good friends from among the wonderful people at the Knit Picks Knitting Community.

The event was held at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland. (Where else would they hold a sock-knitting convention but in a building adorned with knitting needles?)

There were some wonderful classes. Here I am with Mary Scott Huff, who taught "Kilt By Association," a class in how to make kilt socks. 

Mary is a lot of fun, and we got to drool over some sexy men in kilts during her slide presentation. (I didn't notice if the two men in the class were drooling, but the rest of us were.) Mary is also the designer of The Bees Knees cardigan I'm making for Daphne.

I also took a great class with Clara Parkes about things we can do to ensure that our socks are strong enough and elastic enough to last. And I had a class with Merike Saarniit in darning socks. Those classes were great, too.

The Marketplace was an interesting place. I dropped a few bucks in a booth that had poodle stitch markers. How could I resist? Then I found this booth:

I dropped a serious bundle here—more than $50, which is serious for me—on spinning fiber from some distinct breeds I've been wanting to try: Cormo, Shetland, Blue-Faced Leicester and Romney. I looked for some CVM (California Variegated Mutant, a multicolored variety of Romeldale sheep) but didn't see any there. I got some leads on where to buy the fiber, though.

The Marketplace was also a great place to meet people. I got to meet Carin, "The Knit" from the Knit Wits Podcast. Here she is with fellow Knit Wits Podcast Ravelry group members Twinsetellen and Twinsetjan.

There were a bunch of other podcasters there, too, and I got a line on some other knitting podcasts to listen to.

There was a speed-knitting contest:

Yes, that was the "Yarn Harlot," Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, announcing the winner!

About the same time, there was a fleece-to-foot competition (starting with the sheep, preparing and spinning the fiber and knitting the sock as a team). This team had its own cheerleader sporting a pompom made from yarn.

The fiber came from from some California Varigated Mutant/Merino cross sheep.

I had some fun with friends Angelkarhu and KnitWhich from the Knitting Community. Here's KnitWhich at her spinning class:

The kids and I ran into Carin again on Sunday in the Marketplace. We got a photo together:

Other celebrity sightings besides those already mentioned was the famous Cat Bordhi (she, of knitting socks on two circular needles), the sock and mitten specialist Anna Zilboorg and Benjamin Levisay of XRX Publications.

The kids and I had some family fun together during my visit. On Wednesday DDIL2 and I went to the Carmina Burana singalong put on by The Portland Symphonic choir. There were more than 200 participants. A good thing, since I sometimes make mistakes.

I had the score and had been practicing the words, which are in Medieval Latin, Middle High German and some Medieval French. Very tricky! The music is also challenging. Challenging, but fun!

Thursday evening we went to the knitting group at Twisted , a yarn shop in Portland. It was a fun evening, and I found some spinning fiber to buy and one or two other things with no shipping or tax. Someone had yarn-bombed the tree outside of the shop.

DS2 and a friend of his joined us for dinner afterwards.

Saturday we went out to breakfast and then went to the farmer's market in Beaverton.

Saturday night, DDIL2’s parents and a couple of friends of theirs came to dinner.

They are very fun people, and laughs were had by all. Sunday after the festivities at Sock Summit, the three of us went hiking in Forest Park. What a beautiful area! It was green, gently sloping and following a stream much of the way. There was a beautiful stone cottage partway up the trail.

At the top, there was a fantastic view of Portland.

I will be in Portland a couple more days. I plan to visit the local quilt shop before I leave, and maybe relax, knit, spin and rest up from all the excitement. Should be easy to do with the kids back at work!

What's on my needles: The Bees Knees cardigan for Daphne, doing the sleeves now, and the second Bavarian Twisted Stitch sock.
What's on my wheel: Poor Stanzi got left at home this trip! She has some lovely fiber awaiting her, though!
What's on my spindles: Only the supported spindle came on this trip. More merino spun up. I didn't find a bowl to use to spin it on but had some fun using it.
What's on my iPad: Same as last week, but more podcasts to load for the trip home!
What's my app of the week: PDX Bus, which includes trip plans on the MAX, my new local best friend!
What's in my wine glass: Campo Viejo Rioja Reservation 2005. Really nice!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the iPad. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, not even my MacBook, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

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