July 29, 2011

Yes, Virginia, Sock Summit is Real

I've been there and back: Day Two

Ok, so it's not day two for me--I've only been there today so far--but it IS day two for the event.

I dared to take crazy baby Amy Rose to the Convention Center this morning. I plopped her securely into her little red stroller in the underground parking garage, where her screams echoed nicely against the wide cement walls. I am certain that even people outside on the sidewalk paused for a moment, deciding whether or not they should dial 9-1-1.

In the end, Amy  succumbed and we headed into the building through the elevators. People attending the event were very nice today. In fact, you could watch all of us eyeballing each other in anticipation as we wandered in, everyone wondering which among the strangers were heading to the Summit. People would make eye contact, smile and shyly make a yarn joke. When the other suspected attendees laughed, the ice was broken and there was joy abounding as conversations erupted.

To be honest, it was pretty easy to separate the computer convention people from the Summit people. The computer folks definitely had their game faces on and seemed a little--well, I hate to say it, but....uptight.

The yarn girls were easy, friendly and gave body language that said, "I am so excited to be here, I can hardly stand it."  Also, they were mostly wearing lovely, amazing shawls, shawlettes, headbands, socks and other fabulous hand crafted knitwear. I will admit: this really gives it away.

Such set the tone of the day.

There were not too many people when I arrived. It was morning, and getting around was easy. The shopping was fantastic, the staff running the event was incredibly excited and helpful and there was fun free stuff to be had! Everything seemed to be going smoothly.

I got my pre-purchased knitting bag from the swag booth, some free emergency sock yarn and a sweater saving kit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and put my name on a few email lists including Knit Purl here in Portland.

I learned that Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Knit Purl--among other companies, I have no doubt--have socks-of-the-month clubs. For around $200 for the year 2012, you can sign up to have new patterns and just-coming-out yarns sent to your home. Pretty cool! The folks at Knit Purl say they are very excited about next year as the theme will be "Masterpieces," as in fine art masterpieces.

I wandered up and down every aisle, checking out the sock museum where there are some wonderful examples of vintage patterns ranging from hundreds of years old, to new things today.

The socks at left caught my eye because my 22 year old daughter, Jolene, and I were just recently laughing about a T-shirt we found online sporting a skull made of yarn and stuck through with needles, skull and crossbone style that said, "Yarrrrrrn!!"

There are much finer historical examples than this, and I will try to get more pics tomorrow and Sunday of those.

Amy on how to shop:
"Cheese! Mommy, I want to give it to the lady!!!"
After the sock museum, Amy Rose and I headed out for more shopping. Amy kept yelling, "One, two, THREE!!!" and throwing her legs wide and into the air, trying to get me to tip the stroller back to which she would squeal, "Wheeeee!!!!" It was charming to people for a while, and some laughed or made fun comments about it, but I have a feeling that, as things became more crowded and Amy's leg tossing began hitting people, it was not quite as cute.

I decided I had better make any desired purchases today, during the week while the selection remained good and no one was throwing me out because my toddler was bruising people's shins. Besides, you never know about weekends at an event like this and I saw Shannon Okey's tweets about selling so much of her stuff already. I decided to act!

The lovely yarn at Hazel Knits
I purchased Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class book and three beautiful skeins of superwash merino with nylon in amazing hand dyed color from Seattle Washington's "Hazel Knits."  I kept it low key, but I could have spent oh, so much more money! I would have needed a wheel barrow to carry out all the tantalizing things for sale that were calling my name.

The same yarn from the perspective of a
stroller--this is the same perspective that
gives toddlers an interesting view of people's

This leads me to my favorite moments in people watching.

Whenever I am at an event, be it the Clark County Fair, the mall or even just the grocery store, I can't help myself. I just have to watch behaviors and to eavesdrop. And I am never dissapointed with the things I notice or hear.

My faves:

1. A husband says to his wife in passing, "How are you going to get all this yarn you're buying into the suitcase?" She snorted, glared at him and walked stiffly ahead.

2. Two well dressed ladies ahead of me in the hallway entered the Marketplace first. They both stopped short. They looked around, taking it all in for a moment, then one said breathlessly, helplessly to the other, "Ohhhhhh...I can tell I am going to have to watch my spending today!"

3. A woman wandering the aisles, "Boy, am I glad most of these booths don't take credit cards!"

4. My favorite of the day was from myself. I have seen Stephanie Pearl-McPhee many times in photos, have read and loved much of her humorous and helpful writing. However...

I walked up to the information desk this morning and saw a woman standing alone behind the left side of the desk. I walked straight up to her, asked her for directions, said, "Thank you," as she was very helpful, then walked away. Then I slowly thought that this woman really seemed to know the map of the place as she gave me the exact number of the booth I was looking for. Then I further realized that it was her--Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

This would be similar to taking  a White House tour, running into a tall African-American man, and asking where the bathroom is.

If I see her again, I will be sure to thank her for this huge undertaking--humbly.

By the way, she is quite attractive and I think her photos never do her justice.

Well, what do we live for but to laugh at our neigbors and let them laugh at us in their turn? Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice.

I have no doubt tomorrow will hold more adventure and I plan on sharing it will all of you.

Till then, get your cozy on, no matter what the temperature!

Here are a few fun pictures from outside the Convention Center.

1 comment:

Mokihana said...

I love hearing all the comments too... I was there yesterday and am going back tomorrow!