Sunday, August 30, 2009

Put a Spin on It

Look what came to live with me!

It is a brand new Lendrum DT spinning wheel, fresh out of the box. I picked it up a week ago.

I've wanted one of these wheels for quite a while. My Louet is okay but it is limited in its capabilities (or at least what I am able to do with it). The Lendrum has a huge range of ratios and is more versatile. A few months ago I inquired with a local company to see if they had any and they told me they had a shipment arriving in August. I decided not to put my name on one because I was going to Sock Summit and would need more time to save up for a wheel after that.

Last week the company emailed me to let me know that they'd received a shipment and one of them was unspoken for. Would I like it? I was torn. It took several monhs for this order to come in so if I didn't get it I could be waiting a long time. Then Augie said he'd buy it for me. Yay!

I've been spinning on it all week (and neglecting the veil oops) and I love it.

Sock Summit Finale

On Saturday I had Argyle Socks with Anne Berk. I've wanted to learn to knit this type of socks for a while and when the class list came out it was the first one I knew I wanted to take. The technique is very interesting and not as challenging as I thought. I got confused and messed up a few times and didn't end up finishing my mini sock in class but I cast on for a full-sized pair that evening. I wanted to keep things fresh in my head.

I also went to the Ravelry party, got there a little late but it was still fun. Afterwards I went with some friends to Voodoo Donuts, a donut store known in Portland for its unique creations. I had a donut with oreo cookies on it. I have to admit, the novelty is fun but the actual donut wasn't that great. They obviously focus on what to put on the donuts and not on the donuts themselves.

On Sunday I went to Powell's with Jen. Unfortunately neither of us could attend the Luminary Panel because of the timing of our flights. I was disappointed but in the end I was also glad to get home at a reasonable time on Sunday.

To sum up, Sock Summit was awesome! It was a totally cool experience and I am very very glad I decided to go after all. I think I would have regretted missing it. If there is another one in the future, I'm definitely going to try to go, no matter where it is.

Sock Summit Recap Day 2

I got kind of lax about taking photos after the first day so the next posts will be photoless. I guess I was too busy having fun and learning.

Day two I had a morning class with Chrissy Gardiner called Textured Colorwork. This class was about the Bohus style of knitting which uses both knit and purl stitches in stranded colourwork to create texture. It was my first time doing stranded knitting and it really wasn't too hard, though I dislike purling in continental. I definitely want to experiment with designing some socks based on what I learned in this class. Some of the samples were just gorgeous. Chrissy is a really fun teacher too.

After class I went to the World Record Attempt. What fun to see all those knitters knitting together. I just knit a swatch because we had to use straight needles and all my current projects are on circs. I believe the count was 935 people which is definitely more than the current record but we don't know if we officially did it until the organizers hear back from Guiness.

I made a beeline from the World Record thing to the booksigning. It wasn't due to start yet but I wanted to get in line for Barbara Walker. This was my best shot and getting her to knit on my veil. I have to admit, I almost chickened out. She was very sweet about it, as were they all. I had a few more people sign books and knit on the veil before heading to the marketplace.

I have to admit, I was a little dazed after the booksigning but I did buy some more yarn. Then I went to dinner with some other knitters before arriving rather late to the Sock Hop.

At the Sock Hop, I was showing some Ravelry friends the veil when we noticed some dropped stitches. Horrors! Luckily knitters come prepared and someone got me a safety pin to secure the dropped stitched. I performed a quick fix there, in the middle of the Sock Hop and cleaned up the fix later on. It's not quite perfect but it's pretty hard to tell and it adds character anyway. Besides, as if I'd ever frog that round!

Sock Summit Recap

Needless to say, Sock Summit was a pretty amazing experience. And I have to say that the true highlight was the experience of spending four days with 'my people.' People who don't think it's strange when you crouch on the floor to examine their socks and who (hardly) bat an eyelash when you ask them to knit on a wedding veil. It was truly incredible to spend that time with so many people with whom I share a passion.

Day 1

I got into Portland around 8pm on Wednesday. It might have been nice to arrive earlier but I was minimizing the amount of time I needed to take off work. The flight was quick an uneventful but I had a fun experience at US Customs. I was flagged for a bag check and it turned out the agent was a knitter. She was quite excited to see my handknit socks.

On Thursday Jen, my roommate and I headed for the convention center a little early so I could get all registered. I was expecting longer lines but registration was actually very easy. My first class was Dancing with Socks with Cat Bordhi and it was totally mind-melting. I learned a lot of cool tricks but mostly I learned that you don't have to follow the rules and architectures set out for you. There are limitless ways of knitting a sock. In class I knit a mini-sock.

The green one is mine. The multi-coloured one on the left is Mrs Quimby's. I think this is the first time I've finished a class project during class. We both knit the Upstream Sock.

Cat also talked about her new book. I can't give you any details because I am sworn to secrecy until it's published but I will say that I am definitely going to have to buy this book. It comes out in October. Look for it. Trust me.

After class I joined the other throngs of knitters to enter the marketplace. The market was only open to students that day. I made a beeline for the Yarn Love/Three Irish Girls booth because I had my eye on Father Time, one of the Dye for Glory winners. It took some effort to find it in the crowded booth but I did. I also picked up some Yarn Love. I also somehow managed to get a skein of Bugga. I certainly made a dent in my shopping budget.

That's the haul from Thursday's shopping. Not bad huh?

Next up was the opening ceremony, where Stephanie and Tina had us in stitches and tears over their journey bringing Sock Summit to life. It was great fun to hear how they put it all together and getting the chance to applaud them and all the others who helped make it possible. They put together an incredible event for us all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Adventures of a Veil at Sock Summit

Yes, I am the 'veil girl' from Sock Summit and as promised, here is a post about who knit on my wedding veil.

I want to preface this by thanking everyone who agreed to knit on it and to say that everyone was completely awesome about it. I was visibly shaking the first few times I asked people but everyone was so nice, I got less and less nervous. I definitely trembled talking to Barbara Walker though!

The list is:
Cat Bordhi
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Yarn Harlot)
Tina Newton
Anne Hanson
Meg Swansen
Jess (from Ravelry)
Mary-Heather (from Ravelry)
Chrissy Gardiner
Barbara Walker
Cookie A
Melissa Morgan-Oakes
Lucy Neatby
Anne Berk
The Sanguine Gryphon
Sheri from The Loopy Ewe
Jasmin from Knitmore Girls
Gigi from Knitmore Girls
Glenna C

The photos can be found on flickr here. I got pictures of most but not all of the veil knitters.

This whole experience was by far my favourite memory of Sock Summit. My classes were awesome. I had fun at the events. I love my new yarn. But all those memories can be duplicated in some way. I'll never get to do this again (particularly since this is definitely the only veil I'm ever going to knit and this is the last plain knit round in the pattern).

I love that people have been talking about it. Stay tuned for more veil updates and eventually a finished object picture.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Whoa Sock Summit

Back from Sock Summit after an amazing 4 days with 'my people.' Highlights include class with Cat Bordhi, an Opening Reception to remember and Barbara Walker knitting on my wedding veil. Many, many more details are to come as I process my thoughts on the past four days and upload photos.

All in all it was a pretty cool experience and I'm so glad I decided to go in the end. There is something about spending many hours with people who don't think it's weird to crouch down to admire someone's socks that is very affirming.