I came, I saw, I was overwhelmed by the Ikea of yarn

I’ve been trying to think of something clever to say about the Sock Summit, but cleverness fails me.  It was a lot to take in.  Lots of people everywhere, lots of classes, the Marketplace was the Ikea of Yarn.  I’ll expand on that later.

Overall, the Sock Summit was a very positive experience.  Positive for the knitters, teachers, and for the City of Portland.  Each of the 3 classes I took had between 20-25 students.  For a 3 hour class, this was a good size.  It meant that questions could get answered and there was time and space for one on one attention.  The teachers I had were all nice and seemed excited and happy to be there.  The knitters seemed grateful all this had been put on and were polite.  People from around the US, Canada, and even a few from the UK (I dont know if there were any knitters from the Continent.) 

The Recession has hit towns and cities across the US.  Portland gets kind of touristy, especially in the summer.  With all the people who came in, stayed in hotels, went out to eat, and saw the city, it had a positive economic impact on the city too.

One of the most amazing things I learned?  That you can use a long tail cast on to cast on purl stitches.  It’s true.  See for yourself:

What can I say, I’m amazed by small things.

All the classes I took were useful, but the one I took away the most from was the ergonomics class.  Sitting properly, taking breaks, stretching, being properly supported while knitting, etc.

Friday, there was class early in the morning again, then I hit the Marketplace before my volunteer gig.  It was the Ikea of yarn.  Seriously.  There were over 150 vendors with more yarn in more fibers and colours than you could shake a sheep at.  It was visually and tactilely overstimulating.  Lots of yarn, batting, roving, needles, shawl pins, patterns, of all types, prices, fibers and combinations of.  I was unprepared and after about an hour and a half, I was wiped.  I had the same feeling I had the first time I went to Ikea.  M. and I looked at each other and at the same time said “I need a drink!”

Saturday was my last class and thankfully it wasnt until later in the day.  Stranded colour knitting.  Did you know you can carry your floats for up to 10 stitches?  I was always told 5 was the max.  I made it to the Marketplace again, but this time, knew what to expect and had an idea of what I wanted, which made things a lot easier.  I bought this pattern, found some nice silver yarn in a merino/tussah silk blend, before going to visit the Yarn Doctor.

At the Summit they had a Lucy booth (Lucy from Peanuts) where for .05$, or something clever, you could get knitting help.  The shawl and I were not getting along again, there was a hole that I couldnt fix, so I went to see the Dr. 

Little did I know that the Dr. would be the same woman who wrote the pattern I had just bought.  Anne Hanson.  Who knew?  She gave a valiant effort to try to fix the problem but it had to be frogged.  Only about 10 rows with 590 stitches a piece, but I’d rather frog than have a glaring mistake.  I learned two lessons from this:

Never knit while having beer, especially if you’re really irritated and tink/rip back the rows you think are wrong instead of having someone try to fix it.  The woman I asked to help me fix the shawl made the problem worse. (imho) Anne Hanson was really nice and gave me a hard time when I admitted what initially went wrong.  She took some photos, so check her blog.  You may see me there with a lump of blue yarn.

I saw Stephanie Pearl-McPhee while at the Dr’s.  I told her that I was grateful that she and everyone involved took the time to make this happen even though it must have been very difficult (I wanted to say pain in the ass but didnt)  It was nice to be able to tell her in person.

That’s it for now on SS09.  There may be more to follow.

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One Response to I came, I saw, I was overwhelmed by the Ikea of yarn

  1. bells says:

    Great write up! Thanks so much. Reading all the posts makes up a little for being on the wrong end of the planet.

    Fascinting about purl and long tail cast on! Very cool.

    I find yarn markets like that really overwhelming too. So many people, so much choice, a sense that I have to decide quickly – it’s often disasterous!

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