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Sock Summit 2009

In retrospect, as recovery starts to happen, I think maybe the t-shirts should have read


or maybe


or something along those lines.

Pulling photos off the camera, it looks like I…. hardly took any. Which, when I think back, isn’t that surprising. I managed to get a few Wednesday afternoon before things kicked off, and then a few on Thursday morning… and then pretty much never again.

How did this happen? Well… I’ve gotta say, it was intense. I’ve been to a few fiber events, worked a few conferences, and this was different from all of them. It was big, and filled with people, and totally inspiring, and exhausting, and delightful, and exhausting, and invigorating, and exhausting, and it was all of those things completely nonstop. There’s so much I’ve been swearing I was going to say…and so much I haven’t found the words for.

Here’s our classroom (and there’s a story about that):

Here’s Denny setting up:

Look how we didn’t block the fire exit rearranging the chairs they couldn’t put in a circle for us. We’re such good kids and unlikely to get in trouble with anybody’s dad.

We were conveniently located near the coffee.

Which was good because we needed oh so very much of it. We’d take turns standing in the line, which was not inconsequential… look, here’s a relatively empty lobby:

(You may not be able to tell, but as usual, Tina is right there in the center of it all making stuff happen, and if you were to turn your back, there’d be Steph, and if you were to turn your head or go around a corner, there would be Rachel, Debbi, JoAnn, or Lisa in all their orange-shirted glory.)

Anyway, so this one time I’m standing in the coffee line and Denny’s hollering “Oooh, I want the perfect oatmeal cookie! Buy me one of those!”

“Oatmeal, or the cookie?” I asked her. “There’s The Perfect Oatmeal, or an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.”

“The perfect oatmeal cookie! It says right there!”

“No, that’s oatmeal. It’s not a cookie.”

“I want the perfect oatmeal cookie! That’s what I need!”

“It’s not a cookie, Denny!”

“Shut up and get it!”

So I got it for her… but..

Would you believe it wasn’t a cookie?

I told you Sock Summit ate brains.

We saw some great folks. Denny got to give Spirit Trail Jennifer a present, and here they are:

And I’m convinced this is the sassy magic of Mary Scott Huff that made this photo come out all fun like it did, plus you can see the shawl Denny gave Jen.

I can’t wait for Mary’s book, which should be on shelves just before mine. I haven’t seen the book — but I saw some of the projects and they were stunning, and Mary and I were cooking up an idea for a collaboration of some sort too.

We met WonderMike, see?

And we totally made a Rubbernecker mod cry, and we have PROOF.

But as for the rest of it, apparently it didn’t happen. Why? Because there are no pictures.

So obviously, I didn’t really meet Sivia Harding first thing at the airport, on the shuttle to the hotel. I wasn’t at the teacher dinner when someone put a hand on my shoulder to steady herself as she raised her foot to show a sock to someone else… and I realized it was Barbara Walker. I didn’t really set down my bag at the dinner table the next night next to Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and come back to find it had been moved to another table, so I was stuck eating with Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen (among others). Denny and I didn’t really teach 150 students over 4 days.

Oh but! I did get batts there, and here they are in the wild at Carolina Homespun:

But I obviously didn’t go to the Sock Hop, or all kinds of other things. And obviously, I bought nothing at all in the marketplace, and this is clearly absolutely true, because I didn’t bring anything home. It is absolutely not possible that there’s a box on its way to me now that had to be shipped. Nope. No way.

If I ever get my brain back, there’s so much more to say. So very, very much. I’m completely thrilled and honoured to have been a part of it.

25 thoughts on “Sock Summit 2009

  1. Yay. you did it, a blog post. You getting your brain back? I didn’t trash the bathroom, cause there is no proof. hahahahah See you soon at SOAR, where I won’t trash our bathroom, cause I’m just not like that eh?

  2. i;m thinkin’ you did all of those things and more, but i have no proof either….I only took one picture the whole time…..
    See you at SOAR!

  3. And I saw on another blog that you put stitches in a sock!! Yes, she who said she doesn’t knit socks was knitting a sock!! (Okay, not an entire sock, but still…) And there are pics to prove it!

    That sounds like so much fun. Take more pics at SOAR, okay? We have to live vicariously around here.

  4. You were definitely there as you taught me, amongst others, to spin and I’ve been spinning almost daily every since.

    My head hasn’t stopped spinning yet from Sock Summit either.

  5. From all reports, it was a great deal of brain-eating fun. I wish I could have gone!

  6. from one of the 150 students you taught to spin, THANK YOU!!!! i’m still practicing, and possibly even getting better.

    SS09 was an awesome time, and will take me a very long time to get used to being surrounded by corporate types rather than knitters.

  7. Oh, how I would have loved to go! Having taken one of your spindle classes, I can safely say that I’m sure your students had a very good time. Congratulations on surviving, I hear that was no small feat!

  8. Abby, I had a great time in your Sunday morning class. I know what you mean by exhausted. It was too much, but also so much fun. I really enjoyed your class and did a post about it if you want to see a few more photos.

    I’ll also be at SOAR because I live right here in Bend! See you then. BTW, I just got back last night from a workshop with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. That was pretty mindblowing too, but, strangely, not quite as exhausting as Sock Summit.

  9. What a great post. I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. Not quite as good as being there, but…

  10. What an awesome time. Now don’t tell me you didn’t get a chance to talk to PGR and you didn’t enjoy your time sitting with Meg and Amy because I sure enjoyed the time I spent with them last year and I have proof!

    Wish I could have been there, alas it was SOAR vs Sock Summit 😛

  11. Aha! I thought it was you at the SS09 Bookstore Friday during my shift. Couldn’t see your name tag but I think you were with Denny. I’m glad you had a marvelous time. Some day the time will be right and I’ll be able to take one of your classes.

  12. Awesome to meet you – thanks hugely to Susan for the intro.

    Had an awesome time – and bought way too much! eek. A pair of shoes even managed to fall into my shopping bag. Oops!

  13. I am still so blown away by Denny’s amazing gift. She is beyond incredible. Thanks for posting the photos!

    I enjoyed seeing you both at Sock Summit, and look forward to seeing you again at SOAR!


  14. So what did Denny do with her Perfect Oatmeal?

  15. Yeah, I think I was there, but, um, I never got to look at the market in any coherent way (I did run in and out between needing to be other places, and some things followed me home).

    Oh, no, they didn’t follow me home. Yet. I’m not there yet. I should be tomorrow. I’m going to open the car doors and fiber will explode all over the driveway (I’ve been visiting more fiber sources since Sock Summit).

    Thanks for your post.

  16. I took your Friday morning class. It was awesome and I’m totally hooked! Thank you!

  17. i guess it’s probably good all that stuff didn’t happen so then i couldn’t be sad that i bought a house instead of attending … (i have a fibre room .. ok i have to share it with my office, but i have a room!) … but if you see my brain, tell it i miss it and i promise to feed it and be nice to it and that i bought it a rubber mallet so i can put our bedroom floor together quieter.

    but i have a feeling it went bar hopping with yours. mine said something about beer and sheep on it’s way out.

    but please, what is the story about your classroom?

  18. …Although in this picture I look less sassy and magical than mildly confused (my natural habitat). SS09 was a full-fledged HOOT, mostly because of people like Abby and all her ilk.

  19. Oh good, then you have no memory of that crazy lady who made a fool of herself talking to you about yarn (of all things) and saying nothing much other than, “Thank you so much for all your advice and guidance” and giggling like a teenager meeting Tom Cruise. Cuz, that never happened, right? (besides, I admire you much more than I admire him)

  20. ….just wish money grew on trees so I oould go. Maybe next time if the money angels drop funds from the holy heavens…..

    broke spinner..


  21. It was so very nice to meet you at SS09! It was such a tremendous experience and I am so glad I was able to be a part of it.

  22. It was more fun than ought to be legal (but was, so far as I know!) and I am pretty sure I got whiplash from turning my head so quickly from side to side… multitudes of luminaries everywhere, and things that ought not to be missed!

    I am so glad that I got to meet you (and Denny) and others I have known but never met in the flesh after all this time, but sorry that there was so MUCH going on, and so little time to do it in, that no one got enough time with everyone, and we are all ready to do it again…

    I am so wishing I was going to SOAR, but it’s not happening, despite being so close to me. I have two events the end of September, and I won’t have 2 cents to rub together after that.

    When are you going to come West again? How about next year? I haven’t heard yet exactly when we get to “survive” another SS, but I do hear it will be 2011. The T shirts should have said: “This is your brain. This is your brain after 4 days of Sock Summit.” I have scrambled eggs for brains right now, I swear.

    When will you be ready for fiber? I was GOOD, hahaha, I didn’t buy any fiber at Sock Summit! LOL. Just 14″ needles so I can practice impaling my boob like Steph!

  23. I don’t own a camera and now I realize how Very Handy that is – because I didn’t get three spindles, and I’m sure I didn’t get bags of pretty fiber, and…you get the idea.
    I’m also one of the ones you and Denny taught how to spin (the one who, grinning madly, plucked at your sleeve almost every day to show what I’d spun). I, too, am spinning almost every day – I’m trying to be like Denny, walk – talk – spin. So far, I’m at the stand up and not fall over and spin – marvelous progress.
    Thanks so much to the two of you for a very fun, and informative class.
    From the one who wasn’t going to turn into a spinner.

  24. Dearest Abby,

    Your Spindle Spinning Basics class with Denny was one of the highlights of my Sock Summit 2009. Thank you for being excellent, funny and fabulous.

    Podcast coming soon!

    xo, WonderMike

  25. Well, I missed the Sock Summit, but DID make it home to Cheyenne for a month. Did my best to OD on Starbuck’s, and now would give half my brain for Starbuck’s again…not that I’m using anyway…

    Glad SS was a success for you! now let me take a bus down to San Miguel to take that Starbuck’s by storm! Heh.

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