Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sock Summit 2011

My trip to sock summit went so smoothly it was incredible. I walked into the airport, checked my suitcase in the short line because I had already Checked In and went to my terminal to knit for a few while I waited for my plane to board. I got off the plane, got my suitcase and hopped on the Max right as it closed its doors and rode to the convention center. Not a hiccup in the trip! When I got to the convention center I found Wendy and Judy who were assembling the display. It was lunchtime so Judy and I went to grab a sandwich before putting out the merchandise. Lori showed up right after lunch and we all got started. Here's how it looked before the marketplace opened on Thursday.

Booth Setup (6)

We found out that the line to get in the marketplace had been forming for a couple of hours and it now looped around the convention center. It was very exciting! When the doors opened at 4:30, the knitters flooded the marketplace. Some knew exactly what booth they were headed to and some were trying to get their bearings. Everyone had kind of a dazed look in their eyes.

One of the booths by the front door was the Goth Socks booth. I had been by their booth to check it out, because I had heard about how popular they were for the last sock summit. They were indeed mobbed, and the convention center staff could be heard yelling down the aisle. "Please form a line! Clear the aisle way!" I was standing outside of our booth and could see the small mosh pit around their booth, and that's when I saw a skein of yarn fly out of the booth over everyone's head. It was really wild. I don't know if they had any yarn left after Thursday night, but they didn't have a lot there to begin with so I wouldn't  be surprised.

I didn't have a lot of time to stand and gawk, because I was armed with Sockaholic tattoos and I had a mission. I tattooed many Sockaholics in those two hours including the fabulous Cookie A who was there teaching nonstop all weekend.  After the quickest two hours of the show, the Sockaholic Four (Me, Wendy, Lori and Judy) headed out for dinner and some sightseeing. We went to an Irish pub named Kells, had some drinks and a little dinner while we listened to a live band.

Portland was really hopping for a Thursday night because of the Oregon Brewers Festival that had started. I was watching all of these people who had just come from a beer festival, continue drinking and partying. I thought I would have been crawling if I had done that. Until we went on Saturday night to see for ourselves. But first we had to make it back to our hotel that first night. We started walking back to the train when we were distracted by the neon lights of Voodoo donuts. It was about midnight or a little after and we got in line to get our breakfast. The weather was warm and the atmosphere welcoming, so I didn't really notice how tired I was. Here was our pink box of goodies.

Thursday Night in Portland (31)

Saturday I had a lot of fun meeting people, learning about the classes they were in and slapping on tattoos. My mission was to meet the Yarn Harlot and give her an official Sockaholic tattoo. I was so happy to meet her in person and thought she was a lot of fun. I've been a big fan of her blog and books for many years.

Saturday (1)

Around 5pm the marketplace emptied onto the square of the convention center for the surprise flash mob. My favorite video is this one, because I can see me, Lori and Judy pretty well for a few shots.  There were many video takers around and about 600 participated. I've always wanted to participate in a flash mob and had it on my list of things to do. I think I'll leave it on my "list" for future opportunities because it was really fun! The silliness of all those knitters dancing around with their skein of yarn has me giggling every time I think of it.

There were a bunch of book signings going on and although I didn't bring any of my books to get signed, I waited until Cat Bordhi and Cookie were done to snap a picture with them. As a side note, Cat has a new e-book called Sweet Tomato Heel Socks with a really nice wedge heel construction. I'm definitely going to get the instructions and try it. It looks like it could be a neat alternative to short-rows.

Saturday (9)

Saturday was a long day and we were all pretty tired, but we decided we couldn't miss the beer festival while we were there. It was then that I understood why people were able to attend a beer festival and then go to a pub and drink. There were so many people there! There were refrigerated trailers setup with taps and the lines to get a beer were at least 25 people deep. You could finish a beer and stand around for five more minutes before getting to the front of a line. It was pretty crowded.You'd have to be very ambitious and committed to actually drink enough beer to have to crawl home.

Saturday (10)

We got one beer and found a seat next to the river to relax. We decided to hunt down the German vendor that was there and I had the best pork and apple sausage with sauerkraut ever! It was totally worth the wait and the lines.

Sunday was the last day of Sock Summit. There was much excitement as the Fleece-to-Foot Challenge started with 3 sheep being shorn inside the convention center.

Sunday (2)

Spinners and knitters formed teams of five and each team was given a chunk of freshly shorn fleece. They had to card, spin, ply and knit a complete pair of socks. None of the teams were able to finish the pair of socks, but the one who was the closest won. There was a fun article in the local paper about the challenge. Here is one of the teams with their very own cheerleader Ann.

Sunday (11)

This is the area where the finals for the Fastest Sock Knitter challenge was held. Our booth wasn't too far away so I could peek around and listen in on the contest.

Sunday (12)

One of the really fun things I participated in was the Stitch Marker Swap. I had made about 70 stitch markers with the Sock Summit logo on them. I came home with 53 new stitch markers, all with personality. I had a lot of fun going through them when I got home while trying to get back into normal operating mode. I think I'm going to get a chain and make a charm necklace out of them. It was a lot of fun meeting people this way. A couple of people weren't doing the swap but wanted my stitch markers anyway so they traded me a button instead. And I just gave away a couple too.

Sock Summit Loot (1)

My trip home wasn't quite as flawless since my flight was delayed for about 45 minutes. It turned out not to be that bad though and I made it home safe and sound.

Projects Update:
Unfortunately I didn't finish my Lavaliere for Sock Summit, but I did cast-off last night and will do the final blocking today. So I'll be able to post pictures later.  I've turned the heel on my Fences socks from the most recent shipment of the Rockin' Sock Club and am working down the foot. It could be another week and half to two weeks depending on how much time I have. I bought yarn to make my first pair of Prairie Boots and have starting swatching. Only about a month left of carefree summer before school starts. :)