Tag Archives: sock summit

Sock Summit Sunday

I arrived early before my morning class so I could see the sheep for the Fleece to Foot Challenge. It was before 9 a.m., but the sheep were already being prepped for shearing. Apparently belly wool is removed before the actual shearing because it’s messy.


I couldn’t stay for the shearing; I had a class, Designing with Japanese Stitch Dictionaries with Gayle Roehm. I learned several new stitch techniques, and also learned that I’ll be needing another book to help me decipher the charts in the stitch dictionaries I have, and the ones I’m planning to buy. Japanese knitting symbols are fairly standardized, so the new book will help a lot. (eta: Clear and Simple Knitting Symbols, ISBN 9784529024136) This is one of the swatches from class. It has lifted stitches, wrapped stitches, crocheted bobbles and more.


By the time I returned to the marketplace after class, the Fleece to Foot challenge was proceeding in earnest. Yarn was being carded, spun, plyed, knit. Here are the two teams from Portland: The PDX Puddlejumpers team:


And the Spin U team.



If you’d like a full report on the Fleece to Foot Challenge, you’ll find it here from our local newspaper.

Sock Summit was great, and now I have to process all the information I took in, and figure out what to do with it. I’m even knitting a sock, with sock yarn, and live to tell the tale. It’s only 56 stitches around; I have small feet! Skinny yarn on skinny needles is not so scary after all. These are Lantern Moon ebony size 1 dpns.


I was pretty restrained in my purchases; I still don’t really stash yarn! But there were a couple things I had to have. Another skein of Alpha B Luxe, but this time in red. My gray Zen Rain that I wore all weekend is made with this yarn; I love the drape that the silk adds. The other yarn is Penny Farthing Sock, color Fathom by Little Red Bicycle. The marine blues sucked me right in. This is a mega-skein, so it’s 500 yards/150 grams of merino/cashmere/nylon (80/10/10).


I also bought Intwined design software, and am really looking forward to playing with it. I’d been thinking about it for a while, but it really helped to see the demo at the show. Review later! And my first purchase, the little Cthulu Turkish spindle from Jenkins Woodworking.

Since I gave away Lady Baa-Baa and her unnamed replacement, I picked up another sheep. This time it’s brown. I think I’ll call him Lambert. We’ll see where in the world he ends up!


Were you at Sock Summit? What was your favorite thing? And if you weren’t at Sock Summit, come in 2013!

A very fine Saturday at Sock Summit

Saturday was my favorite day at Sock Summit. It began with a delivery of more Zen Rain and Pacific shawl patterns to the Knitted Wit booth. Running out of patterns and needing more is a very good thing.

I then headed to Anna Zilboorg’s lecture on The Deeper Meaning of Sock Knitting. I could listen to Anna talk about anything; she’s warm and witty and wise. Some of her remarks: Sock knitting is intensely personal; once you know how to make a sock, you can put your favorite stitch pattern on it. Knitting is cooperative rather than competitive, and cooperation creates love, not envy. It is not hierarchical; anyone can knit a sock. We make necessary things beautiful. Knitting can be a spiritual exercise; we do it because we are searching for happiness, and knitting makes us happy.


After the lecture, I showed her the Turkish socks that I made in 1997. I had taken a color knitting class with her at Stitches that year, and she taught me to carry two colors in my right hand. (Video tutorial here, if you want to know how to do it, too.) These are the socks I was working on then. They’re thick and warm, perfect slipper or bed socks. As she did 14 years ago, she commented on the pattern and background colors (she sees pink as the pattern; I see it as the background). She also signed my copy of her book, Fancy Feet. I was thrilled!


I gave her my new Lantern Moon sheep tape measure (Lady Baa-Baa’s replacement). She seemed pretty pleased with it, having talked about “the sheep people” during her lecture. (That would be the knitters.) And Tina brought her striped sock cookies!


Meeting Anna again just made my day. But there was more fun ahead. I went to the marketplace to stand in line. Rachel was first!


What were we waiting for? A free preview copy of Larissa Brown’s new book, My Grandmother’s Knitting. I had seen a preview copy of this at the pre-summit luncheon, and really wanted a copy NOW so I could spend more time with it. It is gorgeous. I’ll tell you more about it in another post after I get a chance to sit down with it.


Could my day get any better? Amazingly enough, yes! I had a PDXKnitterati meet-up in the Knitted Wit booth at noon. It was great to meet lots of people that I previously only knew online, including Stacy. Her international cat hats caught my attention several years ago, and I’ve been following her knit and food blog ever since.


Pat from the UK brought both her Zen Rain and Pacific shawls!


We had a Zen Rain photo op.

zenrain photo op

These are some of the people who participated in the Zen Rain KAL, or test knit. I loved seeing all the versions of Zen Rain. Thank you, Lorajean, for hosting the meet-up!

I went home during the afternoon for a nap and skipped the flash mob. Too tired to even stay to watch it! But here it is, in case you need to know.

I gathered enough energy to help Glenna celebrate her birthday that evening! She finished her Peacock Feathers Shawl the day before and blocked it on the hotel bed.


I also met Meg, who was knitting her wedding veil at the last Sock Summit, and had some of the teachers knit on it then, too. She brought it along to this Sock Summit.


So why was this my favorite day? I think because of all the personal interaction. I’ve been enjoying my classes, but meeting up with people I’ve known from blogs and previous real life meetings is the icing on the cake!

If you came to Sock Summit, what was your favorite thing that made it special for you?

Sock Summit Friday

Have you seen and/or knit on the world’s largest sock? This baby has been traveling from event to event since 2006. It’s sponsored by Skacel, and is being knit with their yarn and needles. The initial cast on was 1500 stitches; who knows if that’s still the stitch count now!



It’s a congenial gathering place for knitters to sit and knit a bit in the company of other knitters. The cuff is currently 7 feet long, and the heel turn will occur after the cuff reaches 12 feet. I think second sock syndrome could be an issue here.


While at the sock, I got a peek at a preview copy of Judy Becker‘s new book, Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures With Judy’s Magic Cast On. It’s gorgeous. Twenty-three patterns using her famous cast on (originally for socks), and not a sock pattern in the bunch. Rachel is holding the book in this picture; her daughter is the model pictured. And Bobbie, on the right, was hosting the giant sock.


Carrie (IrishGirlieKnits) had a meetup at the Knitted Wit booth. She’s a sweetheart!


And Michelle showed me the Lorna’s Laces yarn that is the exact colors of the Portland Race for the Cure theme colors. There was no way she wasn’t buying it, and to be safe, she bought two! Click here if you’d like to donate towards her race/walk. She participates every year to celebrate being a survivor.


I had a class in the afternoon, Choosing Among Choices with Laurel Coombs. We were supposed to come with a swatch in the yarn we wanted to use. I didn’t bring any extra yarn that wasn’t engaged in needles, so when Laurel began with teaching us the Turkish cast-on for a toe up sock, I sidled out the door and ran back to the Knitted Wit booth to borrow some yarn. I knew there were some balled yarn in a jar as a display, and thought I’d make off with one of those, since there was no time to wind. But Lorajean cheerfully gave me her little sock start (colorway Snapped Dragon) and told me to knit from the other end of the ball. This is what I ended up with. I didn’t cut the yarn to practice the sewn bind off, so she can just frog it and carry on…


When I got back to the market, I ran into the cutest hobo ever. Doesn’t Stevanie look like she’s running away from home? But really, she was bringing the trunk show for the Created in Oregon datebook to the Twisted booth.


I haven’t seen many knit hats being worn, this being summer. But there seems to be two other types of headgear being worn at Sock Summit. Tiaras, sparked by a conversation on Ravelry, I think. This is Kellie, who is really pleased with her new yarn! She was in the class I taught at Twisted on Tuesday.


The other headgear is…knitted Viking helmets! I love the flower buttons on the right.


Knit on!

Pre-Sock Summit cocktail party

Pico Accuardi Dyeworks hosted a pre-summit cocktail party, and I attended as a local designer.


I love a party where you can sit down and knit!


Marisol made this gorgeous shawl with her handspun for Deb’s birthday.


I ran into Erica from Kollage last night at Twisted when I was teaching, and sent her and Carrie to Lucca for dinner. Today I saw her at the pre-summit luncheon, and then again this evening at the cocktail party. I think that means we need a picture since we’re shadowing each other.


I saw someone wearing this beautiful shawl, but I can’t remember her name.


I had my first peek at this 2012 datebook project from Pico Accuardi. Twelve knitting patterns from Oregon designers, twelve recipes using local ingredients, lots of Oregon stories and facts.


It’s officially out, so now I can tell you that I have a project in it! It’s the Rockaway 2-Way Beach Beanie/Cowl. You can wear it either way.


There will be a limited number of calendars available in Twisted‘s booth beginning Friday, and a bigger print run is coming in a few weeks. I’m really happy to be part of this project! I’ll blog the datebook later when I have a copy.


Oh! There were drawings for door prizes, and Erica won this bag of spinning fibers. Luckily, she’s been bitten by the spinning bug, and has a wheel at home, and her drop spindle here.


But she did let Noriko and Rachel fondle the fiber.


And she even shared some with Marisol (who made Deb’s shawl, above).


Full day! And now I have to go to sleep. I’m helping Lorajean set up her booth in the morning, and taking Photographing Your Fiber with Franklin Habit in the afternoon. Looking forward to it all.

last bits of pre-sock summit…

…pricing with Lorajean (Knitted Wit) yesterday


helping her block her Marrowstone Shawl this morning (half done and you can see what blocking does for lace!)



blocking and weaving in ends of my last Zen Rain (Alpha B Luxe yarn, 50/50 merino/silk) so I could wear it


to Deb Accuardi’s pre-Sock Summit luncheon at her restaurant, Gino’s, today. What’s in the goodie bags?


I’ll tell you in a bit. First, I have to say that lunch was beyond fabulous. All vegetarian, with a wine and a pattern for each of six courses, from the amuse bouche at the beginning (complete with yarn and beads)


to the panna cotta at the end. The purple knitting next to the panna cotta is a luscious scarf/stole pattern by Larissa Brown called Ankeny and Ash. We also received patterns by Anne Kuo Lukito, Chrissy Gardiner, Kathy Zimmermann, Beth & Cindi at Left Coast Yarns, and Stevanie & Deb.


There was even a commemorative cupcake (chocolate with cream cheese frosting).


Each participant received a Pico Accuardi tote bag which had some sweet swag including this beautiful yarn that Stevanie dyed as an exclusive for Sock Summit luncheon participants. The colorway is Nude. Stevanie was inspired by a Radiohead song by that name, and she wanted the yarn to evoke a first crush or fresh love. I think she captured it perfectly.


Knit/Purl also donated some of their new sock yarn, Staccato. Looks and feels wonderful!


Lantern Moon donated these cute rulers


and their 10th anniversary pin and some assorted buttons. Beautiful!


This post is pretty picture heavy, so I’m going to break here and tell you about the pre-summit cocktail party in the next post…are we having fun yet? Why, yes!

Zen Rain KAL done; time to celebrate!

The Zen Rain KAL is done! Thanks for knitting along. I look forward to seeing several of these at Sock Summit on Saturday! I’m having a meet-up in the Knitted Wit booth from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, with a Zen Rain photo op at 12:30 p.m.

I had a little giveaway drawing for KAL finishers on Ravelry. princessruffian wins a set of stitch markers made by moi (guess I should go make them!) and Alyssa wins a Lantern Moon needle case. Congrats!

What else is going on here? Lots and lots of this!


I have five blueberry bushes, and each one puts out a gallon of blueberries. They all came ripe this week, and I’ve been picking, picking, picking. Mostly they go into the freezer for later use, but I’ve made two blueberry cobblers (recipe here) this week. One was for the piano & pinot party last night at my house. Beautiful music, lovely wines, and a plethora of desserts (cheesecake, caramel bourbon sauce, chocolate raspberry torte, butterscotch chip shortbread, chocolate dipped strawberries, and the aforementioned cobbler, with vanilla ice cream).


The other cobbler went in a picnic to the Indigo Girls Concert at the zoo.


Portland sparkles when the sun comes out!


I spotted this person drop spindling behind me, and introduced myself.


Her name is Sari, and she was spinning up some lovely fiber from Abstract Fiber. Sari will be at Sock Summit next week, too. She’s participating in the fleece to foot contest. Knitters and spinners are everywhere. Small world!

Sock Summit is just around the corner…

And I’m so looking forward to it. I’m taking several classes, hanging out in the marketplace, and generally having fun. I’ll be at the Knitted Wit booth on Saturday from 12 to 1, and hope you’ll come by and say hi. We are planning a Zen Rain photo op at 12:30 that day. I guess I should finally block my Zen Rain that I knit with Alpha B Luxe so I can wear it! My Bling version is currently acting as a shop model at Twisted. Good thing I have several versions.

The City of Portland has proclaimed next week as Sock Knitting Week. How cool is that?

Although I’m still not knitting socks with fingering weight yarn. Maybe this year I’ll be inspired to overcome my tiny needles phobia…


It’s been a busy few weeks around here: holidays, a women’s retreat…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting. I’m finally happy with my lace shawl project, having knit it to completion, twice. Well, three times, if you count the first one that I completely frogged! Here’s the second version:



It’s a very shallow, wide piece of knitting, and there are a lot of ways to wear it. Scarf? Shawlette? Whatever suits your fancy. Thanks to Bobbi for modeling!

The third version has a less ruffly ruffle, and is currently on the blocking wires. The pattern is out to test knitters right now; we’ll see if I made sense! The impetus for this design is the upcoming Sock Summit. I wanted to do something with sock yarn, that wasn’t a sock! I asked my friend Lorajean Kelley (Knitted Wit) to dye a cloudy Portland sky, thinking that the yarn/pattern combination would make a great Sock Summit souvenir. This design will be called Zen Rain; I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

Speaking of Sock Summit, I am registered for three 3 hour classes, plus the Anna Zilboorg lecture and the opening night reception. My classes will be Photographing Your Fiber, Designing with Japanese Stitch Dictionaries, and Choosing Among Choices (sock design). Looking forward to all of it! I’ll also be roaming the marketplace and perhaps helping LJ a bit in her booth, too.

I didn’t take many pictures on retreat, too busy working! But here are a few. The labyrinth at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, OR is a great place to contemplate one’s life.


And the late afternoon light was absolutely magical.

afternoon trees

afternoon trees2

I hope your weekend was grand, too. And here we are, on the verge of another one. Happy spring!

Potpourri post

A little of this, a little of that.

We’re in college visit season, as you could see from my last post. We have another trip coming up, to another warm place. I think theTeen wants to escape the rain!

3 o clock

Too bad theTeen no longer knits. He used to knit, a long time ago. He even knit one red worm. (Naomi Dagen Bloom’s worm; she used to live in NYC, as did we, and now she blogs here in PDX as A Little Red Hen. Small world!) Anyway, I found out about this scholarship opportunity recently.

Five $3,000 scholarships are now available to hardworking students who can knit or crochet (that’s $15,000 total)! Jimmy Beans Wool has teamed up with many people in the fiber arts industry to provide the Beans For Brains Scholarship for deserving knitters and crocheters! This merit-based award is for students who will be attending an accredited institution in the Fall of 2011. You can get more information and an application by visiting the Beans For Brains Scholarship page (the deadline for submissions is April 1st). Not attending college but know someone who is or will be? Spread the word and help the next generation of fiber artists fund their dreams of higher education!

Maybe I should get him started again. I’m a knitting evangelist! What else? I finished the project I was working on at last week’s knit nite, but I’ll blog about it next week. This week? I finished the first sleeve on my Heather Hoodie cardi, and started the second. It goes really quickly, when I actually knit on it!


Oh, you want to see the *knitting*?


I also started on a project for Sock Summit. I’m using Knitted Wit’s lovely Bling (sparkly) yarn; she dyed both of these for me and I am having a hard time choosing which color to knit first! I think I’ll eventually use both of these, separately. The one on the left has blue overtones, and the one on the right is more gray.



My tiny start here isn’t quite what I want, so this will get ripped out and I’ll start again. This is my favorite part of designing: the dreaming about what it’s going to be, and starting and re-starting until it matches the dream. Frustrating sometimes, but that’s okay.

What are you knitting now?

If at first you don’t succeed…

You may recall that I’m knitting a toe-up sock, based on what I learned in Cat Bordhi’s class at Sock Summit. Here’s where I was on my sock on Sunday afternoon.

first try

And here’s where I was a mere 5 minutes later. Ouch.


When I tried on the sock, I found that it was about half an inch too long in the foot. Even after tracing my foot and measuring and figuring and all that fun stuff. Poot. Why didn’t I try it on sooner? I did, right after the heel turn, and found it a bit loose, but assumed it would be all right once I finished the back of the heel and got going on the leg. But I couldn’t try it on for a chunk of time because I was knitting in church. (Knitting in church? Meditative, helps me focus. Trying on sock in church? Distracting. Not OK.) When I got home, I tried it on, and it was baaaaaad.

Here’s the bad part of knitting from the toe up, at least with this particular sock architecture. I had to rip all the way back past the beginning of the arch expansion to make the toe end of the foot shorter by half an inch. That’s horrendous. This is my first completed toe up sock, so I don’t know if it’s different with a different sock architecture, but that’s where I had to shorten it on this one.

Looking on the bright side, it gave me a chance to reposition the band so it wouldn’t run into the heel. Perfect.

cori heel

I finished Wednesday night. It’s perfect. It’s beautiful. I love how the Coriolis band winds around the ankle. And I love how simple stockinette lets this yarn shine. It’s Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Alley Oop, and it’s only 48 stitches around. Fast!


spiral inside

I used a 3×1 rib at the top rather than my favorite 2×2, because I wanted it to look more like stockinette than ribbing. And because I knit this based on what I learned in Cat Bordhi’s class at Sock Summit, I finished with the bind off that Cat introduced to us, Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off by Jennifer Staimann. It’s really stretchy! I like the little bumps under the chain loops of the bind off. They look like beads. And I still can’t tell you how it’s done, because it’s not published yet. It’s coming soon, in the fall Knitty.


For the second of my fraternal twin socks, I want to try Cat’s Upstream sock architecture. I was going to try the Riverbed, but I think I’ll save that for a patterned sock because it really lends itself to that. I want something that will let this yarn sing in stockinette. And now that I know how long to make the toe portion of my sock, there shouldn’t be any more frogging trauma. Right?