Monday, August 1, 2011

Sock Summit 2011

In a word: AWESOME. Sold scads of yarn, saw old friends, made some new ones, ate great food, drank great beer, and was surrounded by color and fiber and lovely people.

A few photos of the booth I was sharing with my friend Diane of BugSnugger. I had been playing with my white balance in my photography class earlier and forgot to reset it, and there's only so much photo editing can do, unfortunately. Well, a picture mumbles a thousand words.

My side of the booth:

my side of the SS booth

Diane's side:

Diane's side of the SS booth

I did a demo on how to knit with silk hankies. I'd been wondering if I could really talk for 45 minutes about it, especially once I looked at my notes that I wrote up a month ago, and discovered that I'd only jotted down four bullet points. But it went pretty well, I think--I had samples for everyone and people seemed to have fun playing with them.

There were three things I really wanted from SS, and I got them all: a Queen Bee Creations Truckette (the design is called Wisp), a Jenkins spindle (I got a Swan in a beautifully grained, walnut-brown mora wood), and a row-counting stitch marker, which I haven't found in my luggage yet. I also picked up some more Lo-Lo bars, which were first recommended to me by a 13-year-old boy at Black Sheep Gathering. If a prepubescent boy gushes about a moisturizer, you know it's got to be good.

acquisitions at Sock Summit

And no trip to Portland is complete without visiting Powell's. While dyeing this summer, I've been rereading the Aubrey-Maturin series, this time as MP3s read by my audiobook boyfriend Simon Vance. So I picked up a copy of Cochrane: The Life and Exploits of a Fighting Captain, the real-life inspiration for Aubrey.

And because it just seemed so appropriate for Sock Summit weekend, I had to get a copy of Yarn. A man must locate a highly illegal and psychedelic yarn and make a coat out of it in one day. Having been surrounded by yarn junkies for four days straight at that point, there was really nothing I could do except buy it.

acquisitions at Powell's

I took three classes at SS. The first, Photographing Your Fiber, would have been really useful about five years ago, when I was blundering my way through self-taught product photography. Still, I picked up several great tips, and the instructor, Franklin Habit, seemed to be a really interesting and pleasant person in addition to being funny (which I already suspected from his blog).

The second class was a one-hour wonder on natural dyeing with Kristine Vejar, the extremely talented dyer behind A Verb for Keeping Warm. It was a little peek into an endlessly fascinating world, but I'm a little afraid to go down that path for fear that I'll never come back out. And I have so much more appreciation for the challenges of production dyeing with natural dyestuffs.

The third class was a lecture by Judith MacKenzie on how to choose a fleece for sock yarn. It was the second time that I'd heard her speak, and she is just such an amazing source of knowledge. I admit that the content on the title topic was a little self-evident: choose a wool that will hold up to abrasion, and that has a lot of crimp. But she just knows so much, and I'm glad I had my netbook along for notetaking.
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