One thing that I really loved about Sock Summit was the sense of community. At Sock Summit, I got to meet a number of online friends face-to-face, and I was astonished by the number of times that I felt that click of connection, both with them and with strangers. It doesn't happen all that often in the course of everyday life, and I felt so lucky to have that sense of old-friend comfortableness with Diane and Janet, just to name two.
Madrona wasn't quite the same way, since I only spent a few hours in the marketplace. But I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I did know quite a few people--Debbi, Patti, Jill. It made me feel like I'm really starting to become part of the fiber community. So much of my fiber-oriented time is spent in solitude, dyeing yarn and listening to audiobooks, or maybe knitting while watching a movie. Even my trip to Madrona was a solitary activity, with a lot of internal dialogue with myself about what I was observing and analysis about why I thought some booths worked. It was unexpectedly nice to be surrounded by knitters, crocheters, and spinners indulging in their love of fiber, with flashes of recognition and friendship, and the feeling of being among one of my tribes.