Friday, August 21, 2009

Sock Summit Aftermath, part 2

Okay, my last post regarding the Sock Summit was more of a collection of images and random thoughts. This will likely be no different. I'm sorry to anyone or thing I forget to mention. I just can't list everything that happened. Surprised? Of course not. Why?

Because the Sock Summit is a unicorn. You can't capture it. Yes, it's magic chases away evil. But it is also elusive and rare. Maybe you only get one sighting in your whole life.

OR, maybe it's because I taught three long classes, took two long classes, wandered the marketplace, attended dinners and panels, sat in the Lucy Booth (advice, 5 cents) partied, and made about a hundred new friends. In four days. I've had enough time to process it, but I still don't know if it was all just a dream.

Still with me? Great. I'd like to try to start with a quick review of the classes I took. The first one was Colorful Stitches with Tina Newton and Anna Zilboorg.

This picture is of the tote the teachers got, but if you look closely you'll see a tiny swatch tied to the top. This is what I made in that class.

Sock Summit Tote

Tina is the genius behind Blue Moon Fiber Arts, makers of the iconic sock yarn - Socks That Rock. Anna Zilboorg is a Turkish knitting expert. Both are color savants. Both are so much more than those tiny descriptions.

Anna Zilboorg told us that she never really saw color until she discovered something in the 1960's... "killer weed." Yes, it was as plain as that. She was Harvard educated and helped found the Humanities department at MIT, where she taught for a long while. She is elegant, funny, charming and classy. I want to be her when I grow up.

Tina created over 500 colorways at Blue Moon. She has a raven book coming out this fall that you will all want to own. She told an amazing story about ravens and how they inspired her to do a series of colors all playing on black. All beautiful, none of them flat.

I won't talk too much about what happened in class in case I step on proprietary-type toes. Those are giant cranky toes with nails that scratch (sorry, gross). I will say Anna Zilboorg teased me about breaking the rules. Which, ordinarily would be great. It would be so great that I would ask her to write it on my body in Sharpie as a badge of honor. But in this case, she was trying to liberate us from matching colors, and I just went ahead and coordinated colors anyway. I am the worst kind of rule breaker: The one who isn't free!

The next class was Engineering New Stitches with Cat Bordhi. Cat Bordhi is one of the most original thinkers I've ever run across. She is best known for knitting moebius type garments or inventing several new sock architectures known as sockitectures. She too, is so much more that that.

My brain is still processing all of the information shared in that class. I feel like I can now write my own stitch dictionary. I can combine stitches in new ways. In short, I can do anything. This is probably the best feeling humans get to have.

Barbara Walker's Socks

And now, as promised, I present to you Barbara Walker's socks. She knit them, she wore them. She sold them for $5. They now hang over my front door as a good luck charm. But you know what's crazy? (No, you haven't heard the "crazy" part yet) These were knit flat and them seamed up the front. React as you will.

Sanguine Gryphon Bugga

The marketplace was bonkers. I was overwhelmed the entire time I was in there. I managed to pick up a few things and actually took a couple of pictures. This is not the entirety of what came home with me but I don't want to get a reputation.

The first yarn up there is Bugga from Sanguine Gryphon in the color Rainbow Scarab. I was lucky enough to sit next to Gryphon in Cat Bordhi's class and she is so cute and fun and interesting. Of course her yarn is too. With 20% cashmere content, this yarn is not going to become socks. It will be something about the neck.

The Usual

The Usual. Nothing usual about it. I love this yarn and the colors are great. The one on the left was a gift from my friend Nancy and I actually started crying when she gave it to me. It was a combination of her generosity, the beauty of the yarn, the fact that I hadn't eaten more than a handful of trail mix in 18 hours, and some other things. But mostly her generosity.

I'm so lucky to live in Portland, with so many amazing and talented friends. The place where the first Sock Summit happened. The place of unicorns.


Kari said...

I'm so jealous, and I hope it's not the solitary unicorn type! I really, REALLY want to go to one myself! LOL

Great to be able to live vicariously, and thanks for sharing your words and pics!

I'm astonished in a wonderful way about BW's socks - incredible!

Anonymous said...

unicorns? dont you mean sasqwatch? or at least a pegadosus.
hello knitty

Alex said...

Ooh, you got the Bugga. Nice. I'd like to hear more about Cat's class...that's the one I would've tried (and probably failed) to get into if I hadn't been in the middle of the Pacific during registration. Le Sigh.

(my commenting verification word right now is "woosiver", isn't that a good word?)

pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Sock Summit *was* like a unicorn; a unicorn so magical that you forget to eat! I would go all day and then realize that I hadn't eaten. And didn't care. Yarn fumes!

I love the Usual on the left. The colors (yeah, kind of monochrome, but subtle and beautiful) call to me.

Anonymous said...

Cashmere around the neck is luscious, but on the feet? Heaven
Auntie P.