I am writing this post as I jet across the country to Portland, OR for Sock Summit 2011. I can’t believe two years has passed since the first Sock Summit.
I will be tweeting and such from the show all week and will give you all a full report when I am back next week.
For those of you also making the pilgrimage, here’s some info:
*We can be found in booths 502-508. This is a smaller set-up than we did last time and much smaller than our Stitches set-up but we will be packed with awesome sock yarns, needles, accessories and more! We’ll even have some exclusive items
*We’re planning on lots of fun for everyone. When you visit our booth you’ll have the opportunity to play Sock Summit Plinko and win a cool prize, you can show off your hand knit socks and join our “Who Are You Wearing” wall of fame and you can possibly win a cool prize pack by tweeting about us during the show!
*Be sure to stop by. I’ll be joined at the show by Kirsten our Valley Yarns Designer, Cara our Assistant Store Manager and Tina our Education Manager
Guest: Doris Chan talks with Kathy about crochet designs and more! Doris tells us how she started crocheting and designing in crochet. She also shares a little bit of her background – what she did before she became a crochet designer. You’ll find a new book from Doris in late 2012. You can find Doris at the Crochet Guild of America Conference in September.
Find Doris -
Doris’s self-published pattern line, DJC Designs, is available exclusively at DesigningVashti.com.
Sock Summit preview – we’ll be in booths 502, 504, 506, 508. It opens Thursday, July 28th for students and for everyone else Friday, July 29th. We’ll have sock yarns, tools, accessories, and exclusive products just at WEBS. We’ll also have a new setup at this show. We’d love to hear what you think about it. There will be Sock Summit Plinko in our booth too! Make sure you wear your handknit socks and show them to us!
1. Knitting Lace by Susanna E. Lewis – More than just a stitch library, though it does feature a wide variety of common and uncommon lace patterns, this book goes further to teach you about the actual structure of knitted lace. A very good read if you’re interested in designing your own lace patterns. > Kirsten H.
2. Clover Knitting Counter (Mini Kacha-Kacha) – Best way to keep row count. Locks so it will not move. Great to attach to knitted garment so it’s right there. > Marion M.
3. Juniper Moon Farm Willa – I’ve never seen mohair like this! The super kid mohair in Juniper Moon Farm Willa is blended into the yarn, creating a soft hand and beautiful sheen instead of that familiar fuzzy mohair halo. The fresh, bright colors would be perfect for children’s projects…Who am I kidding, they’d be perfect for projects for me! > Emma W.
4. Sock Summit 2011 – WEBS will be at Sock Summit in Portland, OR next week! Stop by booths 502-508 and say hi to me, Cara, Kirsten & Tina! We’ll have an amazing selection of yarns from Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Lorna’s Laces, Dream in Color, Shalimar Yarns plus our own Valley Yarns and many more! In addition to great yarns, we’ll be playing Sock Summit Plinko in the booth for some fun prizes AND if you stop by and are wearing a pair of hand knit socks, we’ll take a picture of your socks and add them to our Wall of Fame! Who will you be wearing?? Marketplace hours are Thursday 4:30-6:30 (registered students only) Friday & Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-4. Hope to see you there! > Kathy E.
5. Broomstick Lace Headband pattern by Sara Delaney – I used a skein of the Manos Maxima in the Chrysanthemum colorway, #9644 for the headband project in our recent Broomstick Lace class. The yarn is SO soft and squishy when worked up into the twisted broomstick loops and the color just sings! I may have to make these for everyone on my family for the holidays this year. > Sara D.
It has been so fun getting to read about different experiences at Sock Summit on Ravelry and a bevy of different blogs. The one common thread I’ve found is how deeply personal the journey to Portland was for so many along with the pure joy of just being able to participate and be part of the community.
Prepping for, traveling to and setting up for a tradeshow is a ton of work. We love doing it – as I’ve said before we actually kind of thrive on it which I know sounds really weird. Although we always make time to shop the marketplace – heck we’re all in it for the yarn just like everyone else – we rarely get to take classes or participate in events. In all honesty, we’re usually just too tired and have usually used up every ounce of social skills while working the booth during the day.
At Sock Summit it was a wee bit different. Our amazing team in different combinations were able to attend some of the evening events, Barbara Walker’s talk and more. On Friday, I went to the Guiness World Record attempt. Initially, I had planned to just sneak in the back, take a couple of pictures, maybe a short video to document it and scoot back out. Before I headed up to the ballroom I grabbed a pair of straight needles and a ball of Valley Yarns Superwash and took it with me, just in case. So glad I did. Here’s a couple of shots from inside the ballroom ahead of the attempt:
What follows is a video of Stephanie’s entire opening comments. It’s long – 8 minutes+ but worth your time. I usually try to keep videos short and sweet but this was just classic Stephanie and much too important to edit. I did my best to really try to capture the essence of what it was like to be there:
Funny story, as Steph was wrapping up her comments and getting ready to hand things over to Tina for the kick-off, the young lady sitting next to me whispered to me “It’s time to stop video taping”. I said, “I will as soon as we are told to start knitting”. She responded “I REALLY think you need to stop now and pick up your knitting”. I think she was afraid I was going to blow it for the entire room. No worries. I accomplished my 15 minutes of consecutive knitting AND caught it all on tape
I am so glad I stayed and participated. I was there by myself and it was just a magical moment for me. We’ll know in a week or two if the attempt is accepted! Stay tuned!
Friday night, we all attended the Sock Hop at the Portland Museum of Art. It was a great time. I love to dance and probably would have stayed all night but the team was hungry. Sorry the picture is dark – the lights were very dim and my camera was not cooperating:
Like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’m only sorry that J1 and J2 missed the Fruit Loop and Cocoa Puff topped doughnuts. Then again, not so much.
We saw lots of amazing knitting but this my friends, was the winner:
Yup – knit crutch covers. She did these in a very short period of time and although I’m not 100% sure of the construction, the yarn is Noro Kureyon. They were just awesome.
Lastly, I have this very special trinket given to me by Stephanie:
Why you ask? Well, let me tell you. One of the SS09 volunteers came down to our booth on Friday morning looking for straight needles for the Guiness attempt. Fine, no problem. Turns out they were for Barbara Walker. I’m ringing up another customer and Steve was dealing with the needles. Next thing I know, out of the corner of my eye I see a credit card being slid through the machine. I then had what can only be called - An Outer Body Experience. I looked at Steve and said “You are NOT charging Barbara Walker for needles!” He looked at me and the lovely volunteer said “Oh, I’m paying for them – no problem.” I said “NOBODY is paying for needles for Barbara Walker, it’s Barbara Walker“. At that point I may have stopped raising my voice and switched to my scary, quiet voice – the voice the boys know means they are in serious trouble. Steve tried to cover his tracks but it was no use. He knew he was wrong. The needles were delivered to Barbara Walker and the planets stayed properly aligned. Can you imagine if that transaction would have happened? WEBS would have been doomed with bad yarn karma forever!
Steph was wearing the above button when I told her the story and she gave it to me.
And with that folks, we bid Sock Summit 2009 a fond adieu. It was magical and we are proud to have not only been a participant but a sponsor. I can never say enough about what a great job Tina, Stephanie and ST-1 and ST-2 did.
Would love to hear your experience at Sock Summit!
We’re back from Sock Summit ’09 and what a show it was. I can’t remember the last time I participated in an event that was so anticipated, talked about or written about. For the better part of the past year, since that first phone conversation with Stephanie many months ago, SS09 has been an item on my to-do list. Other than a bit of post-mortem, it’s completely crossed off now. It’s sort of a strange feeling.
The event was awesome. There is simply no other adjective necessary. Steph and Tina and their team accomplished what few of you (honestly folks) can truly grasp. I’ve been in charge of several large events in my day. Nothing compares to the scale of Sock Summit and I stand in awe of how beautifully the event ran. Kudos to ST-1 and ST-2 – you guys rocked the free world for several days in Portland.
Being a vendor gave us a unique perspective on the event. Not that we had any special access, but I did get lots of photos and some pretty cool video that I would like to share with all of you. If you follow me on Twitter, some of the shots may be repeats (sorry!). But I want to give a good start to finish recap of what was SS09.
We were scheduled first to move in last Wednesday afternoon. Here we are on the loading dock at the OCC:
Perusing the program booklet:
Let me stop here and say. It.Was.Gorgeous. So personal, so perfect, velvety paper and just knock-your-(proverbial)-socks-off photography. I’ve been in marketing for the better part of the last 20 years and this program book is among the best I’ve ever seen.
They even made sure we had beautiful badges:
Move in was move in. No way to make that romantic:
I’ve joked here in the past about us being “Tradeshow Warriors”. Our team is the best. We had all of the yarn out and set by the time we said goodnight on Wednesday at 6:45. Five hours and we were basically done. Team WEBS rocks!
When we were finished we looked pretty darn good. We’re never going to be the fancy booth or the prettiest, but we make shopping easy and we think that is what is important:
So there you have it – our excursion to SS09. Tomorrow I’ll blog about the show experience, but let me leave you with this short video clip. This it what the crowd waiting to enter the marketplace on Thursday evening was doing just minutes before the doors opened:
We’ll be talking about Sock Summit on this week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit, so be sure to listen! If you had the chance to attend please leave a comment about your experience at SS09!
That has been quite the question out in the blogosphere and on Ravelry over the past week. Even Stephanie agonized over her choice.
The reality for me is there won’t be much time for anything once things get rolling. Set-up starts in just a few short hours and I have a feeling the only yarn and needles I’ll be touching are the ones folks are purchasing!
Fortunately for me, there is the long flight to and from Portland. Airplane time has always been a preferred knitting time for me – even better than the car. Like everyone else, I thought about what to bring. I felt compelled to bring a sock project, but I didn’t have one going and my sock knitting skills are such that I need to pay attention to what I’m doing. Socks are not somthing I can pick up and put down on a whim. I thought about some of the existing UFO’s I have but nothing really spoke to me.
Then, this arrived:
I had been hoping the advance shipment from Italy would arrive before I left, but I wasn’t holding out hope. Then, on Monday afternoon literally an hour before I left the office to go home and pack, it came. I grabbed one ball of every color and brought it home with me to decide on colors. Here’s what I took:
I’ve had a design swirling in my head for awhile now and I new this yarn would be perfect. I packed the above three colors (I actually took four, but only needed three) and this:
Yup – I’m at Sock Summit 2009 and I’m (a) not knitting a sock and (b) not knitting at all! Yay for crochet! I actually brought several hooks for swatching purposes. Good thing I did, I ended up happy with an E hook and I went into things firmly believing G was going to work. Swatch, Swatch, Swatch folks!
I can’t reveal the project in full, but these little beauties are part of it:
Don’t go shaking your head at my little grannies. I heard those collective yawns. You have no idea what these are going to be when all is said and done. I hope in the end my idea works. I think it will.
Oh – you’re wondering about the yarn? This very special shipment from Italy? Folks – it’s really awesome – super soft, it’s been great to work with. Each ball has 137 yards and it will knit at 5.5 stitches per inch on a #6. We won’t have it available for another few weeks, but we are super excited to introduce:
We’ve been talking about it for months, counting the months, weeks and days. Now we’re down to mere hours until Sock Summit 2009 commences. Steve & I are here in Portland and are about ready to jump out of our skin! We took a crack-of-dawn flight and were here at our hotel by noontime PST. Although I’m not a fan of these super early flights, it was my preference for this trip. We have never been to Portland so I wanted to be sure we had at least a few hours to explore the city. For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I was particularly excited to visit Powell’s Bookstore.
Powell’s is not only an institution here in Portland, it is probably the single most successful independent bookstore in the country. Powell’s is HUGE. I love bookstores so I had to visit, but I also get very excited about successful retailers so I was equally excited to see what Powell’s and its reputation were all about. I was so excited I completely forgot to take any pictures, but boy did Steve & I have fun! We both came away with new books and I think you’ll see a theme. Here’s my selection:
We stumbled onto Kenny & Zuke’s Deli and ate sandwiches that were way too good and way too big. Then we set out to find Nordstroms. Remember, where I live in W. Mass, our retail options are pretty limited. On our way, we stumbled on these cool food carts:
They were on both sides of the street and most were pretty busy. I’ll have to ask a local about them – if you know the history, please post in the comments!
We took the train back to the Convention Center. Here’s our home away from home for the next few days:
We went inside and walked around, got our bearings and are REALLY ready to roll tomorrow and get the booth set-up. We will be right at the front of the hall when you come in – booths 603-607 & 702-706. That’s where you will find us throughout the show!
We’ll also be attending the Sock Hop on Friday night and possibly the Ravelry Party on Saturday evening (depends if we’re still standing or not). Please stop by and say hi and check out all of the great yarns we brought along! I’m hoping to steal a few minutes away from the booth to do a little shopping myself. There’s a custom color of Lorna’s Laces that I missed out on that another vendor is carrying and I HAVE to have it (as do several folks back home – I come home empty handed and I’m in BIG trouble!).
For those of you coming to Sock Summit – what are you most excited about?