I don’t go to many conventions. In my geeky lifetime I’ve attended one OriCon, two Star Trek cons, three Wonder Woman Day celebrations, four pirate festivals, and one grand PantheaCon in a pear tree. This past weekend, on the other hand, was my first ever Sock Summit.
My friends and I had our excursion all planned with Navy SEAL precision. Get to the Park/Ride by 7:45am. Board the train that takes us right to the front door of the convention center by 8:00am, get some java jolts at our local Starbucks, and wait in line to enter the Mecca of Knitting Enabling (aka the Marketplace) before it opens at 9:00am. We made damn good time.
So did hundreds of other knitters.
The Starbucks baristas were beside themselves. Everywhere they looked were crafty women lugging knitting baskets, bags, and backpacks; knitting socks in line, by the door, out at the cafe tables. Perfect strangers chatted with each other, recognizing the fiber crazed look in their eyes and the giddiness in their smiles. A vendor happened to be standing behind us and offered us some cute knitting-themed buttons for our bags. Actually, her buttons were awesome as they displayed the colourway names of her yarn: Don’t Wear This On Star Trek (Yes, you guessed it, a red sock yarn), Tardis, Captain Tight Pants, Bored Now, Have Fun Storming the Castle, the list went on. My inner geek was ready to check out her booth and buy her yarn just for the names alone. I loved how she incorporated Geek with Knitting.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised.
The Sockgate is what greeted us as we made our excited-but-failed-miserably-to-look-casual dash to the marketplace. If you look close enough, you can just make out the knitting chart symbols upon the gate.
From this point on it becomes a blur. Skein after skein of shiny skein of sock yarn. Project bags. Stitch markers. Needles. Patterns. Swifts. Spindles. Lotions that help our hands retain moisture from handling so much wool. T-shirts. Books, books, books, and more swag than you can shake a pair of circs at.
Sock Summit went from Thursday through Sunday. We only did a six hour trip on Saturday. In the morning we did recognizance as we evaluated the merchandise and calculated our budget. For lunch I re-energized myself with a Cadillac margarita (‘natch) and a mushroom burger and we were back at it for round two.
Round two was like Christmas morning as we were fueled with anticipation.
Some of the items I wanted, for example, a skien of self-striping sock yarn in black-purple-lime green-orange was already gone (Hopes. Dashed.) A cute black sheep mug also disappeared. There were also moments of blissful success as I snagged some unique stitch markers, a light to wear around my neck (perfect for camp knitting), and two monster-ific project bags.
Overall, a very successful haul.
Sunday morning as I waxed knit-osophical over the previous day’s events, I found an email from my friend M. She had registered to attend a Sunday afternoon class called “The Perfect Rib” by Cookie A and was unable to attend. Would either myself or her other friend like to go in her place? First come, first serve. It was at that moment I was thankful my body considers 6:30am on a weekend, “sleeping in”. M emailed me all the pertinent info and asked if I could pick up her swag order.
So for the second day in a row, I took the train out to the Convention Center and immersed myself among crafty, creative, and perhaps a tad crazy, knitters. I finally treated myself to a set of Knit Picks Nickel Plated interchangeable circs and found myself a spot to knit the class’s homework assignment. I knitted the swatch twice because, darn it all, I know I was reading the chart correctly so why was the last section all wonky? Turns out the teacher planned it that way. Lesson the first: Just because it looks legit on the chart does not mean it will translate correctly when knitted. Especially if there are a lot of YO and K2TOG.
I was concerned the class might be a minor swoosh over my head, but when I started looking at the charts and figuring stuff out, it all made sense. Yes! I can be taught!
Word has it these amazing sponsors and coordinators have solidified to come back in 2013. I have two years to get ready and I cannot wait.