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Sock Summit, Day 3-ish: Best. Time. Ever.

Aug. 14th, 2009 | 07:35 pm

Now that it has been a week since I last blogged, I'm finally back to fill in the rest of the story. There won't be nearly as much detail as the first two posts but better fewer details than leaving the ends dangling.

I left off at the beginning of the Opening Reception. All the teachers were introduced and Barbara Walker was given a lovely standing ovation. ST-2 was thanked profusely and Stephanie said "We made this for you. We hope you like it." The thunderous applause gave some indications of how we felt. :) After the presentation part was over, we were left to mingle. Many people left and I'm glad we stuck around to meet teachers, other knitters & the ST folks. The one theme that I'm seeing over and over reading other people's experience mirrors mine: this con was more open & the feeling of connection with others was incredible. We just hung out. There wasn't any separation of the knitterati from the humble students -- and just about *everyone* had someone that they were hyperventilating over meeting. We just wandered up and chatted with Tina & Stephanie (and they were extremely gracious about all the photos) for a while.

Me cheesin' it with Tina

I returned to the hotel Thursday night and had less trouble getting to sleep but still woke up at 4am. Since I was not the only one awake, we decided to hop on MAX and hit Voodoo Doughnut. The full moon was lovely and I did indeed get my maple bacon bar. It was full of NOM and then some.

Morning moon IMG_0461 NOM

First up on the conference agenda Friday was picking up a ticket for the Guiness World Record Attempt. The previous world record was set in Australia by 256 knitters. The Sock Summit crew had 1600 tickets to give out for our attempt. We had to knit for 15 minutes straight on two straight needles. At noon, I booked it over from my class to get a seat in the ballroom and randomly ended up sitting next to Celeste from Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara. The Oregonian (Portland's newspaper) reported that we officially had 935 knitters present. In true Canadian form, Stephanie asked that we apologize to the Australian knitters for potentially blowing their record away. :)

Because I was worried about having enough room in my suitcases, I left my books home and skipped the All Authors book signing Friday afternoon. There was a pang of regret there but it was overshadowed by the fear of not having enough space to bring home the yarn & fiber I bought at the marketplace.

The Fiber Haul

Friday night was the Sock Hop and we arrived after a lovely dinner at Pastini's Pastaria. Mmmm... butternut gorgonzola ravioli in brown butter sage sauce. Also, what is it with Portland & hazelnuts?? Two of the three dishes at Pastini's had them and they were offered with my salad at Burgerville. I'm not complaining, as I quite like hazelnuts but I found it a bit odd. Anyhoo, the Sock Hop was a hoot. Complete with ladies in poodle skirts, a hula hoop contest, and a couple of Pink Ladies. I had no problems getting to or staying asleep Friday night. :)

In the interest of not having a huge post here, I'm going to close the curtain on Friday and pick up with Saturday next. I think I will talk about all the classes in a single post. We'll see how it goes. I'm being paged for bed time duties now.

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Sock Summit, Day 2: Made of Awesome, Part One

Aug. 7th, 2009 | 03:41 pm

This all is gonna start sounding gushy soon but damn, it is way cooler than I could have ever imagined. I'm trying to get this down before today mingles with yesterday but it all is such a blur that it may be rather challenging to do so.

Thursday started with a jaunt to Trader Joe's with KiniaCat to pick up some groceries. We rode the MAX down to TJ's, grabbed some breakfast at Panera and then picked up some food and rode back. I'm already drawing a blank on what happened next. I'm going to have to guess that we headed back to the convention center to hang out & knit with folks. I made 3 dozen stitch markers for trading with other people. I call them "beer goggle strawberries" because that's about what it takes to think they actually look like strawberries. It has been fun watching someone call out "Anybody trading stitch markers?" and hearing the Marco Polo-esque replies from the surrounding tables. There are also mini-skein & mini sock swaps going on. One gal was swapping mini Jayne hats. They rocked.

Mini Jayne Hats! Stitch markers I got in trade

At 1:30 I took my first class, the one hour Hooked On Beads with Sivia Harding. She was super fun to have a class with and we got to play around with putting beads on our knitting using a freaking teeny crochet hook. She was wearing Aphrodite from the current Twist Collective and it was fabulous to see it in person. Abby Franquemont had also given her a handspun beaded shawl to show us. It was truly amazing. I got to see the original Queen of Beads sock too. It had hexagonal beads on it that were really cool.

After class we headed back to the hotel to switch out stuff and hang out until the market preview at 4:30. Despite telling myself I wasn't going to buy any Socks That Rock, I found myself in the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth and the next thing I knew there were 4 skeins in my bag and I felt a little dizzy. :) Next up was a visit to Crown Mountain Farms where I got some Corriedale pencil roving (Merlin) and some BFL roving (As Above, So Below). I picked up my pre-ordered skein of Summit Gnome at the Snicklefritz booth and the Kromski bobbins & mini niddy noddy that John from Village Spinning & Weaving brought up for me. Unfortunately, my jumbo flyer didn't make it to the shop in time for the trip to Portland. The other bummer was that Carolina Homespun had sold out their "J Mac" kates (they hold the bobbins at a 45 degree angle to use gravity for tensioning). I'm going to email Morgaine when I get home to see if she can hold on to one for me so I can pick it up when I'm in the Bay Area. On my second trip through the marketplace, I found the spinning wheel tshirts at A Verb For Keeping Warm and decided the blue one needed to come home with me. The biggest line I saw in the marketplace was for the Sanguine Gryphon. Her Bugga Bugga sock yarn sold out in the first *half hour* of the *preview night*. It blew me away. My roomie said there was a woman with EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of Bugga Bugga in her arms.

After my wallet was lightened, I ran into SloBeachGirl and we went over to the Silent Auction that was raising funds for Doctors Without Borders. We also found KiniaCat there. Next up was heading into the ballroom for the opening night reception. We found a spot to sit, grabbed some munchies, and settled in to chat & knit until everyone filed in and the festivities started.

Stephanie & Tina shared the podium and they started off with Stephanie reading the proclamation by the mayor of Portland that declared it Sock Knitting Week in the city. We then heard the story of the origin of Sock Summit which was highly amusing and had the terribly sleep deprived duo in giggles & tears at various points. There was someone recording it so hopefully it will be available at some point. They announced that in one hour the silent auction raised $5700.

Opening night

Sorry for the cliffhanger here but I'm gonna have to go get ready to head downtown to grab dinner before tonight's Sock Hop.

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Sock Summit, Day 1 Or "OMG *squeeeeeeee*"

Aug. 6th, 2009 | 05:42 am

It is currently 5:45am here in lovely Portland, OR and I've been awake since 3:30am. I'm taking advantage of the hotel business center computer since my iPhone got plugged into a bum outlet last night and wasn't recharging.

Why do I always sit on the wing? Knitting on the plane

My traveling cohorts & I started our journey yesterday at 7am when I picked them up in the Prius to drive us all from SLO to San Jose to catch our flight. The drive was uneventful just like I like and the airport was mostly uneventful, save some shuffling when checking bags due to wine bottles. We had about half a dozen Sock Summiteers on our flight and we all gathered and rode MAX (lightrail) to our various destinations. After checking in at the hotel and ditching our bags, my roomie & I headed back to the convention center to register.

On our way down the hill, lo and behold, there is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee leading a cadre of helpers up the hill carrying boxes (Yes, she had a box too). We moved to the side to let them pass and made our merry way down the street where we promptly saw Tina Newton headed toward the same hill. Then I tweeted a picture of the Sock Summit banner. :)

SS09 Banner Kinnearing Tina at Reg Booth

At registration, I got my class list, a lovely show book, badge materials and various tickets for the extracurricular events and kinneared Tina from my phone while my stuff was being gathered. Next thing I know, there are Jasmin & GiGi walking across the lobby! Next up was a visit to the swag room to collect the Sock Summit souvenirs I pre-ordered.

SS09 Swag

Most folks parted ways to head for their various dinner plans and my new pal, KiniaCat, and I decided to stay close to the hotels and hit Burgerville for dinner. Where we promptly ran into the Knitmores again. This time we chatted with them a bit while we enjoyed our cheesburgers. Again, pics to come but Burgerville does something I've never seen at a fast food place: They put the nutrition information right on your receipt. Dude. Good thing I hadn't had much else to eat during the day!


After dinner we delivered some cookies for ST-1 & ST-2 (aka the organizing goddesses behind this whole crazy adventure) to the registration booth and then went for a walk to Walgreens to get nail clippers that we both sorely needed. After toodling around the neighborhood a bit more, we headed back to KiniaCat's room and then to the 9pm mini-skein swap at the Red Lion lounge...where the teacher's dinner was just letting out. We saw Lucy Neatby with an awesome chicken purse by the elevator and others inside included Stephanie, Tina, Rachel H., JoAnn D., Cookie A, Abby Franquemont, Denny McMillan, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Stephen HizKnits, and probably other folks we didn't recognize. One of the swappers had baked sock shaped cookies for the organizers and we took her picture with the cookies, Stephanie & Rachel before being serenaded by a chorus of "Goodnight Ladies" as Steph & Rachel departed for the ST meeting. I had a short chat with Mark & Zoe on the phone before they headed home from Disneyland where Zoe promptly told me "Mama? I'm hungry." She also went on the Matterhorn for the first time and apparently said "I want to go on the Matterhorn again!" as the ride ended. So they did. That's my girl. :) Not long after I headed back to the hotel where my roomie & I compared notes on the day and plans for tomorrow (aka today). Then I promptly laid awake until about midnight and woke up at the aforemetioned 3:30am. At least I got about 10hrs of sleep the night before I left.

Brush with Knitterati

Now it is almost time for breakfast and then a visit to Trader Joe's and probably Voodoo Doughnut (I'm still trying to figure out how to get a Maple Bacon donut back to Mark :). Sayonara!

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Testing From iPhone Land

Jul. 29th, 2009 | 11:50 pm

In preparation for heading out on my Sock Summit adventure next week I thought I would see if it was really feasible to blog from Safari on the iPhone. The way has been perilous thus far as I lost the first version of this post. :(

A pic of my new spinning wheel will show up below if I am lucky.

My wheel!

ETA: Well that was tricky and kind of a pain but should be minimally workable.

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Maker Faire 2009

Jun. 2nd, 2009 | 03:43 pm

On Saturday we went to Maker Faire at the San Mateo Expo Center (aka fairground). We got there really early to be able to park on-site in case of a toddler meltdown and our spot in line was right next to this:

Zoe wants a new Wagon

We were also interviewed by a camera crew who said they were from a show called "Extreme Conventions" on the Travel channel. It will be interesting to see if we're actually on the show!

Right inside the big building full of kid stuff & craft demos we ran into my BFF.

Favorite. Robot. Ever.

Shortly after we found a table sponsored by Crayola. They had all kinds of cool art supplies but Zoe was only interested in one thing.

Yes, mama, I have scissors

While she was busy cutting her paper, I kinneared Cookie A after she arrived for her sock knitting demo. Then I learned how to needlefelt!

Kinneared Cookie A @ Maker Faire

I was still stabbing away at my fledgling needle felted flower when Cookie started her sock knitting demo but when I finished I took a pic at the demo, where I stood in the back and tried to look like a friendly face rather than a scary stalker or someone who was completely baffled by a demo that only had 30mins to teach knitting a sock. I felt rather silly for hanging around afterward without having a copy of her book to get signed (I did want to look at her sample socks more closely). The funny part was that we both had the feeling that we had met somewhere before.

Cookie A's Sock Demo

While I was at the Craft area, Mark & Zoe went to a different section. Can you guess which one? Here's a hint:

Lego City

After getting lunch and squeezing through the Baazar Bizarre (where I picked up a couple lovely skeins of Wool Candy sock yarn) we went to the Main Stage and settled in to wait for Adam Savage's talk. We were in the back row in case Zoe went ballistic (it was way past nap time).

Adam Savage's talk

I had a good time but man it is exhausting to wrangle a toddler in those kind of crowds. I had to a two day ticket and decided that I wasn't going back Sunday so we gave it to Mark's sis who took her boys. I'm sure we'll be headed back next year.

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Because I Can't Refuse the Thought of Free Sock Yarn...

Oct. 9th, 2008 | 11:54 am

I'm reposting this contest button to enter into a drawing on The Knit Witch's blog. She makes some pretty lovely ceramic yarn bowls and has other goodies too.

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Things Our Couch Ate

Jul. 20th, 2008 | 11:06 am

After not being able to find the mega remote that controls our entertainment system we pulled up the couch and found it has velcro panels on the back. Upon opening these panels we found the following:

- the DVD player remote that has been lost for months
- Mark's wedding ring
- Mark's iPod Nano
- a length of parachute line
- a padlock
- two crochet hooks
- a fingernail clipper
- two cat turds (likely dingleberries)
- several receipts
- a business card for iFixIt
- 3 linked baby toy rings
- a sock
- 3 hair rubber bands
- a knitting row counter
- a paperclip
- the gauge swatch for Zoe's sweater
- 2 blocks
- a syringe for dispensing baby Motrin
- lots of dustbunnies

The mega remote was also inside the couch, still being digested.

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Zoe: Months *mumble*mumble*mumble*

Apr. 10th, 2008 | 04:10 pm

So much to post, I have no idea where to start. Looks like my last post was at 11 months. Well, I'm back thanks to another round of I-will-only-nap-on-your-person-or-in-the-carseat. Yeehaw! So while I still have a small person sleeping on my thigh with her head between my knees (Gotta love toddler physics. Breastfeeding is a hoot - NOT!) I'll try to fill in the past 5 months (zoiks!).

I figured out why I was steamrolled by The Holidays this year. It wasn't the holiday season. It was The Baroness kicking out her pacifier a week before Thanksgiving and wanting me to replace it with a boob, 24x7. She got FOUR molars between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, we hosted a birthday playgroup that had me cleaning for several weeks to make my filthy house fit for other people's crawling babies, Zoe got Roseola and THEN we still had to do the usual Christmas stuff. It kicked my arse. Then my crawler started walking, and grabbing, and all of a sudden I had a toddler.

The birthday party was fun, though I think we may dispense with the birthday parties and continue with our usual family ritual of going somewhere fun. Our Disneyland trip in December was cancelled since Zoe wasn't walking yet so I think we'll try again in December 2008. I think we'll probably do annual passes this year since we'll have to start buying Zoe tickets after her birthday in 2009.

Walking started in January and we've progressed from a few wobbly steps to nearly running in the past three months. She's currently in the scratch & dent stage of babyhood where her feet move faster than her sense of balance can keep up with. She's also started doing this little dance when she's excited (like the penguin on Happy Feet) and stomping when she's mad. It's really cute.

We're in teething hell again as tooth #12 begins to emerge. Only 8 more and we'll be done until she's replacing the baby teeth with the adult set. I'm really looking forward to the teething stage being over.

Wow. I didn't realize just how cheesy Pete's Dragon was. Maybe I should have put in Grease instead. Zoe loves musicals -- She loved Enchanted when we had it from Netflix, her first favorite movie! Hey! Jeff Conaway is in both Pete's Dragon & Grease... OK... back to Zoe.

New words have been coming in bursts. "Hi" and "Dog" were the first words, shortly followed by "cat". We've now got "dada", "bye", "this", "that", "go", "bottle", "bite", and the dreaded "no". Oh yeah, she says "Mama" but only when she's really cheesed off. And "Nay" for "nurse". Her first sentence just happened and was "Bite that." Usually repeated with vigor and pointing when we're eating something that looks interesting.

I'm sure there's a ton of stuff I'm forgetting but I'll leave it here for now and hopefully get back to the monthly updates.

Number of teeth: 11, with another on the way
Weight: 22lbs
Length: 30inches
Clothing size: 18 month tops, bottoms need 18 month rise, 12 month waist & length *sigh*
Mobility: On the verge of running. Readying to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Travel since last update: Did Thanksgiving in the Bay Area, Christmas in the Bay Area & Hanford, and headed back to the Bay Area in February for the Stitches West convention.
Foods: Just about anything. Strawberries are a current favorite.

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Sayonara, For Now.

Feb. 12th, 2008 | 04:34 am

I'm officially taking a break from blogging (She says after not posting anything in the past 2 months). Things are just too crazy with adjusting to the transition from caring for a baby to parenting a toddler and when I have some time where I can actually think complete thoughts, I'm using it for knitting or updating my knitting stuff on Ravelry ( -- it rocks!). If things ever settle down, I'll be back because I am going to miss preserving memories here. I just can't do it right now. TTFN.

P.S. I am continuing to upload new photos to Flickr, so if you are interested in seeing my little monkey grow up, give me your Flickr name and I'll add you to my friends list there, as I am not keeping any baby pics public there any more. Knitting and miscellany are still public. Also, I will still be reading blogs & LJ and sometimes commenting so I'm not falling off the face of the earth completely. I'm just picking other things over maintaining my own blog.

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Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Dec. 12th, 2007 | 08:59 am

I cannot believe my little monkey is a year old already. Today we're celebrating with our mom & baby group at our house. My house hasn't been this clean in a long, long time.

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