knitnana: Sock Summit Events & People Photos!
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sock Summit Events & People Photos!

This was a hard post to title, but that's it in a nutshell. Here's what I went to, and who I met at Sock Summit 2009 (click on any photo to make it larger!):

We got in very, very late Wednesday night (11:30 p.m. Portland time - remember Roanoke is 3 hours ahead, so it felt as if I'd been awake a long time) and the first thing Thursday morning I had classes. I had tried valiantly during registration to get the two lectures that were offered and I was very lucky and got them both. The first was this one:

Turkish Stitches with Anna Zilboorg.
These are Turkish Wedding Socks - I was stunned, truly, by the vibrancy of the colors. Anna explained that today in Turkey, you won't find anything like these anymore. Apparently, like the rest of the world, things are done more quickly and cheaply...
Here's the start of a Turkish sock being knit by Anna herself, using STR. I LOVED the toe-tuft, and Anna explained how she made it. I may have to try this - can you see that tuft peeking thru a Birkenstock sandal?
here are a few more examples...
and this is a bag Anna made using the same techniques. I found it beautiful beyond words, and yes, I can see myself trying to make something like this. I've never been interested in colorwork, but that changed on Thursday.

Anna Zilboorg (in the center of the photo below) is one of the most gracious women I've met in a long time. She was a professor of mathmatics at MIT, and is now retired and living about 2 hours south of where I live. In fact, I was so surprised to find that both she and Merike Saarniit are my "neighbors," both of them residing in the same mountain community near me!

I picked up a copy of Anna's Knitting for Anarchists and she signed it for me in the hotel lobby. I've since ordered her Socks for Sandals & Clogs from Schoolhouse Press.

My second class was with Chrissy Gardiner, learning to do favorite toe-up bind-offs. I'd pre-ordered a signed copy of her new book, Toe-UP!, which I picked up at SS09. Unfortunately, the photo I took of Chrissy was terrible - so dark you couldn't see who she was. I'm sorry about that. She was so much fun!!! My brain was totally fried, and I'm afraid this is the class it showed up in best. I got there with no dpns (left in my room) and for the life of me, could not figure out how to cast on with two circs as if forming a cuff (in retrospect, I was trying to do only 20 stitches, which is hard!). Well, I don't DO cuff-down, so perhaps I can be forgiven...I spent the class watching and taking notes!

Then, after lunch, it was time for Darn It! with Merike Saarniit:
I have to tell you, I think Merike is one of my favorite people! She's totally energetic, she's a great teacher. And she thinks like me: You've got these beautiful socks and you want to keep wearing them, even if they wear a hole...well, I'll tell you, her darned socks were amazing! I often couldn't find where she'd repaired them, tho' some of them had fancy stitches that were exquisite. I was delighted to learn what I did, and am going on the search now for some of the fancy stitchwork. Once upon a decade or two ago, I remember a sampler of darning stitches, which I failed to buy because I was going thru one of those financial times that stretch all the limits, you know? Bad mistake. I've thought of that sampler 100 times at least since then, and wished I'd bought it!!

OH! At lunch? I stopped by a lobby "classroom" to find someone I'd vowed to meet:
Judy Becker!!! I adore her. Not just what she invented (Magic Cast On, which she was teaching in 1-hour classes), but she's such a sweetie - we've been reading each others blogs for a long time, so we'd promised to meet. We're both sorry she was so busy with her teaching schedule, because we never got any time to bond. But we will - no kidding - we know we'll meet up again! (And I think this is one of the rare times when I asked someone to take a photo and it turned out really well!!)

I'm jumping around a bit here, but while talking about the classes, I might as well finish off the ones I had.

Saturday morning was the Barbara Walker lecture. One of the threads on Ravelry has been asking "When were you moved to tears" and this was the one time that really really did it for me...I couldn't stop the tears from flowing at all:
I've known about Barbara Walker for longer than I've been knitting (this time), I had read her books years ago (more than once), and she helped to form the "me" I am today. With understated elegance this woman explained her life, how she came to knit; to think, research, and write about feminist spirituality; to document the stitches that fill so many volumes and create methods to teach knitting and sweater construction. The sweater she is wearing is simply stunning...(and yes, her own design)

BTW...that's Jocelyn on the right of BW in that photo. This was another first, too, meeting Jocelyn. We knew each other on sight. We didn't get to spend much time together, either, as she was helping in the Briar Rose booth (oh, that's another story, such a little enabler she is, just wait till you see what I couldn't resist?). (And where the heck was all the time at this event? It just flew by!)

This was one of those photos that didn't turn out as I'd hoped. (sigh)

I can't say how moved I was by meeting Zilboorg and Walker. It's beyond description, but perhaps I'll try later, when I'm less tired and have time to think more clearly. When Barbara Walker ended her talk, Jocelyn and I were both sitting there with tears streaming down our faces. These women are our treasures. I felt as if I were in the presence of greatness, and obviously that's true. It was an extremely emotional experience.

I've gotta move forward, or I'll get too sappy for words...

I've already mentioned the World Record Knitting event, in last night's post, but I'll mention that we're not sure and won't be for a bit, if indeed we broke the record. The Guinness people have to review all the tapes and photos to be sure we did everything correctly (and yes, I'll probably frame that bit of knitting and the needles too (along with a photo or two that are not the best, so I won't show them here).

So what's this?
The Ravelry meetup was here (isn't that a gorgeous building? It's the World Forestry Center, and I love the post and beam construction - but those who know me, are well aware I've always wanted to live in a log home)...

And here's the Ravelry crew (with an unknown knitter in the middle, please identify yourself, if you recognize you! *wink*)

I finally met CatBookMom from Ravelry - we were getting our tickets to ride the MAX line to the Ravelry meetup, and I looked at her button and saw who she was! I was so excited!

Then, while at the Meetup, I found GlennaC:
As adorable as she was (catch that pose!) I had to do a closeup of these:

I've never wanted to knit knee-highs till now! Aren't they cool??? Make sure you click to see them up close!

Squiggy and I left early to ride the MAX back together - we were really tired!! She's so much fun, I was glad to end the day calling her a new friend!

On Sunday, I took the Spindle Spinning Basics class. While the teachers were great and funny, I learned very, very quickly that bottom-whorl spindling is not for me. There are those who've suggested that I'd be more comfortable with my Bosworth top-whorl. And since I volunteered with Toni of The Fold on Friday morning in the Demo area while she showed folks how to use just that style of spindle, I suspect that might be true. But honestly? I think I learned that it's just not what I want to do...for one big reason? Fluff. Fuzz. ALL OVER ME. In my nose, on my dark clothes...I was constantly looking for tape to clear it all away. The other thing? I like finished yarn. Really finished yarn.

There's way more that I want to knit than I have time to knit. I don't need another expensive hobby that will keep me from knitting (hmm...I really did know this before I got there, but it was cemented in my mind in that class). the afternoon? I was sitting and waiting for the Luminary Panel to begin when a woman asked if she could sit in the empty seat next to me...I invited her to do so and we began to introduce ourselves:
It was NorCalSheila! I was so surprised (let me tell you there were hundreds of folks all over the place so to actually have someone I "knew" walk up was always amazing....)

And that's probably the second best photo that someone else took with my camera!!

What followed was approximately three hours of laughter, wisdom, tears:

The Luminary Panel was everything it was billed to be. There were times when the questions didn't make as much sense as the questioner hoped, but hey, they got up to ask. The panel members did the best they could, and always offered something of worth, even if the question per se wasn't answered. I discovered women I didn't know, and learned from them.

And somewhere near the end, Meg Swanson asked Barbara Walker (for the second time that weekend, I'm told) if it were true that she invented SSK.

Barbara Walker, quietly, nodded her head.

(We're told that Amy Detjen cried when she heard it the first time in Meg's class.)

I did, too, on Sunday.

Blow me completely out of the water. I met the woman who invented SSK, the left leaning decrease so much nicer to use instead of K1, Slip 1, PSSO.

I truly feel blessed.


Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

Wow. What an amazing experience, Sallee. Thank you for bringing it home to us.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...


That was a good pic of you and I! Probably the best one of me I've seen from SS09. Still trying to come back to earth. Don't want to. :-(

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you got to go, and had such a wonderful experience!

I'm with you on spinning, for the very reasons you mentioned. Also, I suspect that either a spindle or a wheel would constitute a major cat toy in our house. I'll just carry on knitting, thank you.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Q said...

I'm so sorry we didn't actually run into each other! Though with 2000 other people there, maybe it's not so surprising. Thanks for posting that video, I hadn't seen it yet!

11:01 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh, I love your descriptions! I've just pointed my blog to you, 'cause I couldn't do a write-up half this good :) (Your spindle was a bottom-whorl? That's no good -- top whorls are much more fun!!) I love all the pictures, and I LOVED seeing you!!

11:27 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

Thanks for sharing. Wish I could have been there.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Ariel said...

I felt like I was there with you. Glad to hear how much fun you had. :-)

9:38 AM  
Blogger margene said...

You really did have a breathtaking time! Thank you for sharing everything including your feelings and emotions!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

Tingles just reading about these wonderful women! I am sooo very glad you pushed yourself into going, and delighted to hear that you learned so much from Anna Z. Colorwork is very special, and I do hope you dive in. I love spinning now that I have got it down a bit; don't mind mess as much and enjoy being able to chat away, so I spin with a group and knit the complicated things at home alone. Thank you so much for writing a long and detailed post!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Tan said...

What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing it.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Carrie K said...

Oh, that just sounds so fabulous. I would've loved to been at Anna Zilboorg and Barbara Walker's lectures and that Luminary Panel sounds perfect.

Glad you had a good time and got to meet up with all those folks! Now rest up. And then spill your stash enhancement. ;)

6:36 PM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...

Isn't it wonderful to read the blog posts of our new friends? It's like reliving it from a slightly different vantage point.

One of the highlights for me was meeting you!

7:01 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

What a fantastic experience! Glad you were able to go.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Geraldine said...

Oh...this looks like fun! I wish I could come along on one ofyour adventures Sallee! Life's pretty boring in our neck of the woods.

2:40 PM  

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