Many bloggers have already posted their reviews of Sock Summit 2011, and most of them didn't wait almost a full month to do it. In any case, I'll combine my own thoughts and memories with links to those of others. Let's dive in!
I arrived in Portland a day early to ensure I was situated and my luggage had time to reach me. This time around, I was teaching on the first day (actually, on every day!), so I wasn't taking any chances. The one thing I forgot to do was to book accommodations for the Tuesday night. Knitters being knitters, I ended up with several couch offers before determining that my American Ma and little sister would be arriving at PDX around the same time as me. As in, "meet me at the baggage carousel" timing. We took the Max into town and had a rollicking sleepover at La Quinta, then filmed an episode of sister Carin's videocast, Round the Twist. Ma is a bit camera-shy, but was there for moral support.
I first met this adorable mother-daughter duo at Sock Summit 2009, in my classroom. I promptly adopted them, and it was great to spend some time with them in Portland again. It was like no time had passed. We hit up Burgerville, the Button Emporium and spent a great deal of time over the weekend cruising the Marketplace.
I barely had time to re-acquaint with my beloved Angela, roommate extraordinaire and one of my best souvenirs of Sock Summit 2009, before the start of the official Summit goings-on! (We re-requested each other as roommates after the last go-round, and again, it was like no time had passed. Dick and fart jokes will bond a pair forever.) Angela hangs with rock stars, but is careful to not let them find out she's far cooler than they are. She also turns beginners into sock knitters, as if by magic.
Highlights of the Summit...
Teacher dinner. Having dinner in that company will never get old. Seeing Clara in a shawl I had knitted for her, congratulating JC on her recent book release, squeeing with Judy over the proof of her book currently at the printer, getting to hug Carson, meeting and re-meeting so many cool people... I was more able to relax and enjoy the ride, feeling less like an imposter and more like a member of this cool group.
Teaching. This time around, I doubled my teaching time. Two full days and two half days made for a very busy time. Before my health disaster, this would have been tiring. During spinal cord injury recovery, it was exhausting. Beautifully exhausting. Each day, I left the hotel room at 7:30 am and returned after dinner, falling into bed to fondle yarn and retire early. I didn't take any photos while away, so I nicked a few from students.
I'm a fairly active teacher in the classroom. Thankfully, I have a thing for grannie-panties. Hey, it works for Taylor Swift!
Who knew Skippyjon Jones had a thing for self-striping socks?
Marketplace. This will need its own post, but I'm a little scared to share. Two words: Signature Needles. That is all. Actually, it's not, because there were wonderful yarns and tools and toys and lovely things at the Marketplace. As a teacher, I was showered with swag and treated like a princess.
Sock Teams 1 and 2: There are not enough words of love for this gang. They made everything a pleasure, smoothed over the few rough spots, and generally made it very difficult to leave Portland. Do you know who they are ? (Rachel H is blogless. It's a Rachel H thing. I love her.) They deserve hugs, beer and yarn.
Fastest Knitter. Yeah, I won. It was awesome and cool and oddly stressful! My faithful Addi Turbos continue to serve me well. My fastest round was actually the semi-finals, with 60.6 stitches per minute. The winning count in the finals in 57 stitches per minute. My hat goes off to runner-up Abigail, who not only clocked in at 56 stitches per minute - ON DPNs, people! - but was part of the winning team in Design for Glory. Carin covered Fastest Knitter and many other aspects of the Summit in this episode - third video down, but you should probably watch them all.
New friends, renewed friends, a flash mob, knitters everywhere, what's not to love?
Oh yeah, the fact that it ends.
See you in 2013!