the summit wrap up

August 2, 2011

my tonsils are currently doing their best to slowly choke me to death.
but before my airway closes off completely,
let me tell you about the summit.

rather than try to describe it all,
a futile effort to be sure,
here are the highlights:

i was asked to sign my first autograph.

carol a.k.a. knitnpurlgirl

which literally floored me.

but not nearly as much as seeing who signed their name next to mine.
that may be the only time i’ll ever see my name next to hers.

i also kinneared the yarn harlot.
for no other reason than it tickled my fancy in the moment.

later on,
it was time to hop,
sock style.

i put on my hotpants,
walked the streets of chinatown,
and road a train to the convention center.
(pretty brave, even for portland, no?)

once there,
a shot of shitty whiskey in my belly
and a coors light in my hand,
tina asked me to dance
let me tell you,
tina newton can dance circles around you.
it was either youth or pride that helped me keep up.

soon after, natalie also enticed me to dance.
she was smokin’ hot on that dance floor,
and more than a little intimidating.
this bitch can work it for sure.
while i don’t have photographic evidence,
there were several witnesseses who can back me up.

i feel like i held my own, in terms of dancing,
(but she clearly outdid me on the sexy)

whereas often hotpants are the most . . . memorable pieces of knitwear at a given event, i don’t think they held a candle to some of the other knitters’ outfits:
(check out that wicked photobomb!)

jc briar had this whole hula hooping nun look going on.

this lady actually knit this bat sleeve sweater in the 80’s!

and stephanie dug out her pogues shirt from the depths her basement.

but perhaps most interesting for a gossip like me,
(other than clara parkes’ epic side ponytail and stephen h’s jheri curl)
is the fact that they were attached at the hip for the whole night.
i am convinced something is going on between them,
something thorn birds-esque.

with six beers and a whiskey in me
i asked the boy to dance.
note that my hands never strayed lower than appropriate
and there was plenty of room left for jesus
so as not to upset any husbands.
or secret lovers.

*cough* *claraparkes* *cough*

the sock hop may have been my favorite part of the summit.
it was a blassst.

luckily, i was not hung over the next day
and did my level best to learn twined knitting from nancy bush.
i hope to grow up to be just like her someday
while somehow remaining completely inappropriate.

after taking my weight in advil and tylenol,
(putting the final nail in my liver’s coffin)
i documented the sock summit flash mob.
(you can see a great video of it youtube)

while i was doing my part for the sake of history,
i got kinneared by cheryl in the process.
i totally caught her though,
and demanded she send me the pic.

not too shabby for someone who felt like crouching tiger, hidden dragon was being filmed in his throat.

the next day,
the final day,
i was feeling really sick.

i got up enough energy to see sheep getting naked.
i will always get out of bed for nudity.any kind of nudity.

the sheep were shorn,
their fleeces skirted,

and ms. clara parkes herself spun the samples
for the fleece to foot contestants.
(she’s got her nimble fingers in all sorts of pies)

then i had to leave.
i have no idea if anyone completed the challenge,
or which team won for their charity.

for me it was all naps and recovery,
spending my last 24 hours with my irish sistah.

now that i have some down time to process it all,
i have to admit my mind is actually kind of blown.
i learned so much, and realized just how much i don’t know.
in terms of knitting, i barely have clue compared to some.
but if that wasn’t enough to shoot my mind into space,
the sheer number of people was a bit overwhelming,
especially for someone as hermit-like as i am.
i felt like my a.d.d. was running rampant,
and my eyes didn’t know where to settle.

there were so. many. knitters.

which i guess is silly to say out loud. i mean, of course there were lots of people there. it’s knitting conference. and there must be just as many people wandering around maryland sheep and wool or rhinebeck. there was just something about all of them being indoors that i found to be . . . intimidating.

i could feel my shy get big.

of course not all the knitters were nice.
in fact i ran into a few who were downright rude.
but for as many off-putting cliques as there were,
or snotty bitches taking themselves way too seriously
(it is a sock knitting conference for the love of pete)
there were at least an equal number of uber friendly peeps.
and those are the ones i like to think of as the real knitters.

to the people who were so nice,
to the readers who said “hi” or
“i love your blog”
i want to say
thank you so much.

this blog is its own reward for me.
i’m no designer or author using a blog for advertising.
i just write because i like to.

still, it sure feels good when people actually tell me they’re reading.
so thanks for giving me some faces to put to names.

and to the people who kinneared me,
and yes, i saw you take my photo,
you are my faves.
i’m just as shy as you.
(but i still want a copy of that pic!)

****a batch of my pictures got deleted so if i took your photo but you don’t see it, i’m sorry! blame my camera.

tomorrow evening, i’m on a plane to portland.
i am going to the summit.

tonight i’m knitting my little wrist off.
like many a student before me
i didn’t do my homework.
i’m cheating a little,
making it work,
using sport weight yarn on 2.75mm needles
rather than fingering weight on 2.25mm needles.
it’s just like that old trick of adjusting your margins
in order to meet the minimum page number.

(like you never changed your margins and watched the sun come up)

i promise, mr. habit,
it’ll be ready in time for class.
i usually take better pictures than this.
it’s just . . .
my iphone was handy
and i need to finish this homework
and my summit sock probably won’t fit
and i have a shawl to finish by august 1st
and i’ve been packing for days
and i leave pittsburgh in a week


*pant* *pant* *pant*

i’m ok now.

in any case,
this is my class schedule:

9:00am photographing your fiber – franklin habit
7:00pm opening night reception
9:00am knitted tessellation: playful and powerful patterns in practice – franklin habit
3:00pm hizsocks: making socks manly – stephen houghton
10:30pm sock hop
9:00am tvaandsstickning/twined knitting – nancy bush
5:15pm this. but only to document, not participate. as if!
7:00pm this is your brain on knitting – stephanie pearl-mcphee
9:00 am fleece on your feet – judith mackenzie

so if you see me in class,
or wandering around the convention center,
you bitches better say hello!

(do you think the harlot ever cheated on her sock homework?

for the past few days,
i’ve been having nightmares.
mostly i don’t remember them, but
in any case,
my lack of sleep means i’m in my “office” early in the morning.

this will be day four
so if there’s a lack of coherence in this post
or an excess of grammatical errors (outside my usual),
you will forgive me.

first, a big merci to all the people who commented on my last post and to all those knitters who helped spread the word on twitter. this is my first go at fundraising, so i’m a little out of my element.

a lot of people made donations, and while it’s a modest sum, i’m inching toward a secret number in head. remember, all you have to do for a chance to win that skein of my handspun is leave a comment on my last post. but i hope you’ll consider making a donation to the pittsburgh aids task force. can you really look at yourself and say you can’t afford to donate just one dollar?
just saying.

(how’s that for catholic guilt?!)

if you’ve made a donation,
but haven’t yet told me how much,
please let me know so i can add it to the grand total.

now on to the meat of this post.

as you may or may not know,
i’m going to the summit at the end of the month.
the irony of my going to a knitting conference about nothing but socks?
i’m not really into knitting socks.

i’ve done it sure,
and i love wearing the socks my friends knit for me.
(i haven’t forgotten you sarah j.r. i will blog your socks!)
i’m just not that into the knitting of them.

but it’s not like i can show up to the summit without a sock on the needles. (though i did consider bringing jenn as my personal sock knitter attaché). the shame would be too great.

so i opened one of my stash,
pulled out a particularly special skein of sock yarn,
and, after several cast ons, i have a little sock action going.
the yarn is silkie socks that rock that i dyed myself at the silk retreat. i’m using stephanie pearl-mcphee’s sock recipe for a good, plain sock from her book knitting rules. i’m even using dpns. it’s a kind of prayerful combination that seems appropriately respectful for the summit.

of course i kidded myself about my gauge when i swatched,
casting on far too few stitches and must either
a. continue on with the understanding that
these socks will be for someone that is not me, or
b. rip.

i bet you can guess which choice i’m going to make.