Monday, November 16, 2009

Ray's Disneyland Birthday

Disneyland gives free admission on one's birthday, so we spent the day on Saturday November 14 celebrating Ray's special day at Mickey's kingdom!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

This is my honorary neice/granddaughter/ fix!

On her pretty little feet are the socks I made for her from Witch's Brew yarn.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SP 14

So my final package from my secret pal arrived today. At Sock Summit, a lady named Ruth approached me with a little gift from her "friend" who was my SP. I had initially thought my SP was Ruth herself, so she tried to throw me off. But, as it turns out, she did exactly what I would have done. Good move! Anyway, here's the final package. I am super duper excited about the hemp yarn because I've been wanting to work with it and just haven't had the opportunity or the desire to buy more yarn. The small square project bag, which I will use for socks or booties or possibly as a notions bag, is one that I was actually looking at and considering purchasing!

So thank you Ruth!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Team Spirit

So I'm still in SoCal and still having mixed feelings about the area. On the one hand, and probably the most important, the smog is killing me! I had forgotten how bad it is to see the air I'm breathing...but that's the case. It's not as bad today since it cooled off dramatically.

Yesterday afternoon we went to South Coast Plaza, an upscale mall here in Orange County. I really missed not having a wallet full of cash I tell you! But I'm not going into debt again for "stuff" and there was lots of "stuff" I would have loved to own :-). Anyway, I don't think this area is feeling the recession or the unemployment figures at all. Quite the opposite of malls at home - no closed stores, no empty aisles, no big signs announcing store closing final sale. Instead, there were signs announcing the upcoming opening of a Prada boutique. It was a mall full of designer stores (Michael Kors, one of my personal favorites, for one) and shoppers that weren't just window shopping. Well...we were window shopping, but most of the folks had bags full of their latest purchases.

Last night we went to Downtown Disney. We chose Tortilla Joe's for dinner, and had to wait an hour for a table. The area was seriously bustling - people everywhere, long lines for everything from having a caricature drawn to a sit-down dinner. There is an ESPN store and of course there were television monitors everywhere showing the Angels v. Yankees game that was under way. As I'd heard the other night at Chili's, collective cheers and groans with every pitch. After dinner it was after 9 p.m. which meant it was after midnight on the East Coast where the game was being played. The game went into I believe the 12th inning before the Yankees won, but not until the Angels tied it in dramatic fashion and all of the fans here thought for sure they would pull out a victory. I sure love that atmosphere!! Oh. And waiting an hour for that table was worth it. Food and service was excellent.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday October 15

Just got to Orange County - spending the weekend w/hubby for our anniversary! I left cool, cloudy and slightly drizzly weather for gorgeous 78-ish weather. SoCal seems to always be like that. I remember growing up here there never seemed to be cold or ugly weather. Anyway, kicking it in the room now watching Game 1 of the NLCS Phillies @ Dodger Stadium. We thought about getting tickets but I know the traffic down here all too well, and there is no way we would have made it in time. Such a beautiful ballpark though and I haven't been there in probably 10 years. Maybe tomorrow.

Driving from the airport to the hotel, about 11 miles, took an hour. I don't miss that! Listened to Vin Scully on the pre-game show and he mentioned some milestones related to today's date. Today is 21 years to the day of the Kirk Gibson game-ending come-from-behind homerun against Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series. He was hurt, and came off the bench for this, and the stadium erupted. Rod, Terri, and I had gotten stuck in some pretty crummy seats...behind the plate but waaaaaay back, and it felt like an earthquake. As he gimped around the field with his arm raised, we screamed and yelled and high-fived people we didn't know...for a really long time. We couldn't hear the play-by-play of course, but we heard the repeats of it over and over and over...

Anyway, I'm watching the game on TV but I'd much rather be there! Post-season baseball is the best. And being an Oakland A's fan...well...let's just say there's not much hope of seeing October baseball again. For awhile. So I root for my Dodgers. And always will.

ETA: We went to dinner at Chili's and during the half hour we waited for a table we sat so I could see the televisions in the bar, where the Dodgers/Phillies game was playing. I observed group moans and/or cheers, depending on each play. I looked around the restaurant and in each group of people at least one person was wearing a team-related shirt or cap. Most of them were Dodgers, even though we're in Orange County (definitely Angels country), but there were a few Angels shirts too. I don't recall seeing that kind of support in the Bay Area when our teams were involved in post-season play. I guess I miss this kind of camaraderie as it relates to professional sports and supporting the home team(s).

OH and it's going to be 95 today. Glad I brought summery clothes!

Monday, October 12, 2009


And the winner is....Trifle. A super luscious dessert!! The 100% BFL has just been launched on Etsy. It's been dyed in Plumilicious too, but it's not dry yet. I can see that winter is going to be a problem for this business. I hung it yesterday morning. It hung outside all day yesterday and has been in the bathroom since last night. It's much too cold and windy to hang it outside. I've got to figure out how to dry yarn inside in a reasonable amount of time.

And I spent over 8 hours over 2 days untangling this one. It should cost double, dontcha think?? While it was resting overnight one of the cats chewed through it, fortunately there was still a full skein in one piece. Damn cats. Unfortunately, I think the chewer in this case was my angel Chanel because the family chewer, Nelson, can't get up on the table. Apparently Chanel has been taking Nelson's naughty kitty chewing class.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Yarn

So I just brought in BFL - blue-faced leicester wool in a superwash fingering weight. It needs a name!! Snow Cone? Some other ice-cream or dessert-related name please.

Here's the first dyed skein in Creamsicle. Not on Etsy yet because it needs a name...

Creamsicle is available on Etsy in Soft Serve, Ice Cream Sundae, and Banana Split!

Received a comment offering up Gelato - I already have Gelato, I just didn't do it in Creamsicle flavor. Gelato is 50% superwash merino/50% tencel and super creamy soft just like Gelato. Next suggestion?

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Swap Package from Sara

I got a pretty darn cool package, but she didn’t tell me her ravelry id so I don’t know who this is other than first name! Once I know that I’ll sing her praises even louder.

This package was so unique…super creative person here! There was a book on top that instructed me to read it first. Each page was a cute little poem and a carnival game. Each carnival game directed me to a numbered package to open. I followed the directions and opened them in the order instructed. The yarn is a hot fuchsia bamboo/silk blend and is super luxurious. I’m going to buy more of it in different colors and create my own mitered corner jacket.

There is a yummy harvest candle, stitch markers, knitters’ journal, and two wonderful hand made items. One is a fold up holder for all of the little knit-knacks such as stitch markers, counters, etc. And the other is a striped project bag perfect size for carrying socks in process!

The tiara has a special meaning. She read my blog post where I was complaining about mowing the lawn! I’ve never had a tiara before, a real one, I had a proverbial one. Now I’ve got a real one!!

So here’s a picture of the whole package on my mantle. Isn’t Sara great??? Now if I could just figure out which swap this is from...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chicago - Days Five, Six, and Seven

Sunday September 13. The morning was kind of dead, primarily vendors shopping other vendors' booths, but after the grand prize drawing we had a little rush. Folks wanting to make sure they got their last minute treasures. One of the ladies who won some cash in the drawing came to the booth to make sure she had some CraftsMeow yarn to take home! My booth was on her list to shop online later, but now she had cash and wanted to spend it now.

When 4:00 came and the show was officially closed, Jane and I closed up shop so fast. We packed it all up and drove away at 5:15. Not bad, eh?

Monday the 14th was time to conduct business and ship back everything we didn't sell. The morning was spent at the UPS store, then we scouted around a bit and found the train station that Jane would need the next day to go into the city to meet her friends and go to the Art Institute. The afternoon we just vegged. We went to the hotel and hung out in the lobby part of the time, and for me on the balcony of the room part of the time. It was warm, but not hot, and just a really good time to put my feet up and sort of relax. I was doing QuickBooks for part of the show's sales, but I had my feet up and a big glass of iced tea and enjoyed the fresh air of the Chicago suburbs.

Tuesday was way fun. I bought us tickets to go see the Cubbies. Neither of us had been to Wrigley Field and we were excited. I took Jane to the train station so she could go meet her friends and tour the Art Institute while I went yarn store-ing. And yarn store-ing I did!! I went to a little town called Long Grove. The store is called I'd Rather be Knitting. How cute is that??? I perused the store, chatted with one of the employees and the store owner, and am going to send samples of my wholesale line.

And the day was capped by heading to the bus station to catch the express bus to Wrigley Field. I waited and the bus never came, so a couple of Cubs loyals made a phone call to find out there had been only one bus for that game and we'd missed it. These two gentlemen are Cubs loyals and 27 years' season ticket holders. I rode with Gary and Carl to the game so I got an up close and personal tour of what must be seen. We sat behind home plate with them and had a wonderful time!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicago - Day Four

Saturday, September 12. We were SOOOO busy all day. By far the busiest day for us for this show. We found out later that half of the vendors had their best day on Friday and the other half of us reported our best day as Saturday. There were lots of people both days, don't get me wrong! But for my booth it felt more like Friday was shopping and Saturday was buying.

Anyway, I met this wonderful lady named Allison who it turns out lives here! We're now buds and she joins Jane and I for our weekly lunches at Randy's in Benicia.

After the show my brother and his wife came to visit and we went to dinner at Weber's Grill. The food was secondary - we haven't seen each other in something like 14 years so it was incredibly nice to have some time to sit and visit and catch up! Their son Matt is 26 and a Grad Student at Purdue, and Becky is 24 living in L.A. working to be an actress. Where the heck did the time go? They were just kids last time I saw them. I'm hoping we'll all be able to get together soon so I can see my niece and nephew!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicago - Day Three

Friday, September 11. It felt very strange to me to be doing a show on such an ominous day. September 11 feels to me like it should be a day of mourning; yet nobody seemed to even acknowledge what horrible day this day was the anniversary before I go any further let me take a moment to say that for anyone who was touched that day by the loss of someone special, I have not forgotten, nor will I ever, the horror of that morning. I hear people talk about always remembering exactly where they were when JFK died. I was too young to remember that. But I will never forget exactly what I was doing, who I was with, and the exact feelings of that morning.

Ray and I lived in his little condo in Antioch. The bust had made both of us unemployed. I had returned to college, and I was in my home office at my computer doing homework. Ray was in the living room working too. I always have the TV on, but it's usually on Tivo watching something that was recorded rather than live TV. Jillian called me from work and asked if I was watching TV and when I said no she just said "we're under terrorist attack." She then said she was at work and there were news reports of planes having hit the WTC and the Pentagon, so as I'm flipping the TV to a live feed I see the images. I went into the living room, carrying the phone with Jillian on the other end of the line with me. I relayed the news to Ray, who stopped what he was doing and flipped on his TV, and I'll never forget when I said terrorists had flown a plane into the Pentagon he said "why the hell didn't they shoot it down?"

The memories of those who died that day will never be forgotten. We always hear about the first responders, the firefighters and police officers who run into danger to rescue those of us who are running from it. I get it and respect the fact that the people who choose these occupations are heroes and I don't mean to diminish what they do, but I think it's important to recognize the people who were working in those buildings. So to the cafeteria employees, janitorial staff, file clerks, and everyone else who went about their jobs that day only to suffer a horrible end - my thoughts will always be with you and your loved ones. And I am so very sorry that events like this (Stitches and everything else we go to for fun) take our brains away from the respect we should be giving to everyone affected on 9/11/01.

The show went well - it was the busiest day of the weekend. And nothing else that happened that day even matters.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicago - Day Two

Day two is really day one of the Marketplace...Thursday September 10 the Marketplace was open from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. for registered students. We really didn't know what to expect. Traditionally, classes at Stitches events fill up fast, but how many of those students actually come to the preview??

LOTS of them!! Everyone was SO excited to be there. It was awesome. I recognized SKA members pretty quick, as they came in talking about yellow sock yarn and that was followed by OMG THERE'S YELLOW SOCK YARN!! Yep, I was prepared for SKA's September challenge with plenty of Banana, Lemon Sorbet, Butterscotch, Pineapple Sherbet, and Caramel. Plenty of yummy sweet yellow choices. The most popular? Butterscotch. I had none left by close of business on Friday. Then the Lemon Sorbet went away too. The Banana left too - but it left to make a lovely shawl. She bought all of it. Caramel came home with me, which surprised me because it's really a warm and beautiful gold. And the Pineapple Sherbet? Gone. I kinda wanted to use that one after seeing these socks knitted by a SKA member. Simply gorgeous, eh?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chicago - Day One

Finally! Time to add to the blog.

Wednesday. September 9, 2009. We arrived on Tuesday the 8th, and on Wednesday the 9th we went to the convention center to set up. The nightmares I'd had were realized: my boxes were not there. I had my receipts showing the tracking numbers, and we'd checked online the night before and it said that a notice had been left at the warehouse. Not quite sure what that meant, Viper Tradeshow services checked the tracking numbers and claimed to be confused, because the warehouse is one that is always staffed, and they claimed there is no way the post office tried to deliver something and found nobody there. As I tried really hard NOT to totally freak out, but in the back of my mind was thinking that maybe the boxes had been returned to CA and I was there with no product, we went to lunch and perused the area. Then we went back around noon and sat in our empty booth and knitted for an hour, and then we were presented with the shipment. The folks from Viper Tradeshow had gone to the post office and picked up the boxes. Unfortunately they'd taken my receipts with them and left them. $300 in tax-deductible receipts. Gone. I still have to deal with trying to reprint those.

Anyway, we set up the tables/cubes in record time, finishing in only 2 hours. We opted not to stock the cubes that day because we knew we could fill them with inventory on Thursday. Less chance of theft, and more time to think about the layout. And time to go to U.S. Cellular Field to see our hometown Oakland A's lose to the White Sox.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Home from Chicago

I'll post some info about the trip to Chicago and Stitches Midwest soon, but I have to mention the house when I got home this evening. Sofie, Bailey, Simon, and Chanel stayed home while Nelson and Katie were boarded so they could have their medications. Lisa was coming in to feed/water/scoop and generally make sure they were all alive and well. I got home this evening around 6:30 and Bailey greeted me at the door. I walked in and discovered they'd cleaned out their food container and not even a morsel was available. Plenty of water, but no food. Like it would really hurt any of these chubbos to miss a meal!! Anyway, I immediately added plenty of food to the bowl, opened a can of wet food as a nice 'welcome home mommy treat', and as I walked through the kitchen I see packages of crackers and taco shells on the stove. The ziploc bag that contained crackers was chewed through.

Now, Bailey is the only one who is really smart (and onery) enough to get into kitchen cabinets looking for food, so I know he is the guilty one!! The cabinet that holds canned food was open, despite me having blocked it (or so I thought) with a step stool. He was not smart enough to get a can open though.

So this is what a bag of cheese crackers looks like that have been attempted to be opened by a hungry cat. I think this bag needs to go immediately to the garbage. I'm not sure what he thought he'd do with the tea bags...tea and crumpets, er, crackers?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stitches Midwest

So we flew into Chicago O'Hare on Tuesday, and got settled into our hotel. I am SO glad we went to the Convention Center Wednesday morning because when we got there, the booth was empty. The warehouse folks were supposed to have the boxes delivered to the booth, but there was nothing there but the pre-ordered tables. I took my delivery receipts to the administrator, and the post office theoretically left notices at the warehouse of an attempt to deliver, but the warehouse folks swear that is not true.

Viper Tradeshow services had been paid for material handling already, so I offered to go to the post office myself and track down the boxes if they'd trade me the fee I'd paid for another table, but instead they did the right thing and sent one of their staff to the post office to retrieve them. I was sweating it big time because I had fear that the post office had actually returned the boxes, since the attempt to deliver had been 10 days earlier, and that would put me here in Chicago with my inventory somewhere between here and the Bay Area. Fortunately that fear was unfounded. The boxes were at the post office and were delivered to the booth about 12:30-1:00 on Wednesday so we got it all set up. We decided to put the grids together and wait until Thursday to put the inventory up, so we left the convention center around 4.

We went to see our home team Oakland A's play the White Sox. We gave up in the 12th inning and went back to the hotel, listening to the end of the game on the way. The A's lost. Big surprise there. We sat by the nicest people though! The lady next to me kept saying "oh my, last time I came I sat by someone who was visiting their home team and we lost so we'll probably lose now." Her sister, sitting next to her, was a Sox die hard. Complete attire from her T-shirt and jersey, which she later added a hoodie when it got chilly, and her tote bag and backpack and probably earrings all sporting her beloved Sox logo. But when the A's messed up, making 2 errors, she leaned around her sister to high five me and say "your A's f*** up as bad as my Sox!!!"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blankie Mania

There is a group on Ravelry called Blankie Mania. These folks make blankets out of sock yarn. I've seen some of the pictures and I spoke with several enthusiasts of this craft when I was at Sock Summit. Absolutely a labor of love! I haven't even finished a baby sized blanket made of worsted weight yarn that I started like 8 months ago! I would probably never finish an entire blanket made of sock yarn. But I have to say that these are some beautiful items. Mitered squares of many colors, sewn together with love. You couldn't do two alike if you tried.

This wonderful group has initiated a dessert-inspired yarn swap. 20 members of this group each purchase one full-size hank of my yarn from my Etsy site, and once all those orders are placed I send the whole thing to the group leader, Terri in Idaho. She will then painstakingly break each 400+ yard skein into 20 mini skeins of about 20 yards each, and then each participant gets 20 mini skeins. What a deal. But what an ordeal for Terri. I love the opportunity to get my yarn into the hands of 20 new customers, and I'm so going to enjoy seeing their work. Hopefully they'll share pictures of the blankets in progress!

Anyway, the first orders have come in, and here's what they've chosen so far. Nice array, eh? I think they're choosing a really nice variety.

On another note, I finished a pair of baby socks using Witch's Brew. They'll be gifted to Miss Marina so she can celebrate Halloween in style. But not until after I display them in my booth at Stitches Midwest next weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Give me back my tiara

Okay...weird title for a post. I have never felt like a princess or a diva or anything like that. I'm pretty well grounded and down-to-earth, realistic, etc.

However, I am also one who considers 'roughing it' a room that doesn't offer room service. You will never catch me camping. Uh-uh. Never gonna happen. I need an inside shower with plenty of fluffy towels, inside plumbing that works, and a comfortable mattress on a box spring in a room that has a good HVAC. And cable TV. Preferably with HBO.

About 6 years ago I discovered I could hire a service to clean the parts of my house I hate to do and tend to neglect, like floors, toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. For $75/month someone comes in twice a month and does all that stuff including getting cobwebs out of the corners and the dust bunnies off the ceiling fans.

And when we bought this house, we suddenly had lawn to deal with. For another $75/month a non-English speaking guy comes over and keeps the lawn looking really nice. It's always mowed, edged, the flower beds are clean and tidy, branches aren't dropping on to the walkways, etc.

Then the economy hit the toilet. When Ray got his pay cut in December, we had to re-evaluate how we were spending and decided where we were going to cut expenses to be able to continue to live with his pay being reduced. Both the gardener and the housekeeping service were eliminated, along with premium TV channels (goodbye HBO...) and a few other non-necessities. We each had to start cleaning our own bathroom and get better about keeping things tidy.

And we bought a lawn mower and edger as soon as spring time came and the lawn was no longer dormant. After much research, we determined we wanted electric, primarily because they're better on the environment. We looked into the rechargable ones and the reviews were not good, so we bought an electric mower and edger and some really long extension cords. There is only one outside plug and it's on the deck, nowhere near any of the grass.

Ray's first time using the edger resulted in one of the sprinklers being totally shredded. So the edger only got used once. Before he left to work in SoCal, I asked him to be sure he mowed the lawn and cleaned it all up so I wouldn't have to do it. I was hoping the lawn would realize its caretaker wasn't here and go dormant...but the damn stuff kept growing. So I mowed the grass in the back yard yesterday. It really wasn't difficult, once I got hundreds of yards of extension cords untangled (he hadn't used the cord tender I'd purchased). But it was honestly no fun. The front yard has to wait until it's not so hot.

And I guess I am more comfortable in the proverbial tiara than I am behind a mower. I need a gardener again!

And yes, you may offer me some cheese to go with my w(h)ine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Phil Vassar

As soon as I knew I was going to exhibit at Sock Summit, I immediately went to Phil Vassar's tour schedule on his website to see if maybe, just maybe, I'd get lucky enough to have him performing in concert while we were there. I was so excited that he was performing at the Tillamook County Fair on the 5th. So after the pre-summit yarn tasting luncheon, we drove to Tillamook, about an hour and 15 minutes from Portland, and we went first to the cheese factory and viewed the visitor's center, tasted some cheese, had lunch, and took this goofy picture of us as the parts of a cow...

Then we headed to the fairgrounds. Jillian and Noah were aching for funnel cakes (which I've never tasted...what am I missing?). They both know Phil's music, but have never seen him in person. We had a blast.

Sock Summit - FINAL DAY

The last day of Sock Summit was Sunday, August 9. The Marketplace was only open until 1:30 so it was a short day. But it was rather busy! Last minute shoppers flocked in with the lists they'd made but hadn't yet filled, kind of like what I do on Christmas Eve ;-)

A young lady by the name of Katie came in and struck up a conversation with Jillian, and I was only sort of listening. After an exchange that sounded possibly heated but probably in fun, this girl turned to me as if to say something, stopped, and turned to Jillian and said "I can't yell at her! She's mom!" Turned out she'd come for Witch's Brew, but I'd sold out. I offered to ship it to her at my expense since I'd run out and she agreed. I just chatted with her on Ravelry a couple of days ago and she saw the companion to Witch's Brew I just dyed, called Tricky Treat, and she decided she wanted it instead. So it's off on its merry way to make her a happy Halloween.

Anyway, Sunday turned into a helluva lot of fun. Here's the story. And I don't think there is any way to make it short but I'll try.

My car, with my gps unit, was at the shop. I have no sense of direction, nor does Jillian, so the fact that we'd driven to the Convention Center 3 days in a row was irrelevant when it came to the realization that we had to get there without the aid of Garmin. Linus printed us a MapQuest instruction guide and handed us the keys to his SUV and off we went.

This would have been fine, had the freeway not have closed. There was only one detour sign telling us anything, and that was just to go this way (405) because the freeway we really wanted (I-5) was closed. This was obviously veering us in the wrong direction, so we exited the freeway. We asked a nice lady who was getting out of her car with her husband and kids preparing for this special bike ride across all of the effing bridges in Portland event, and all she said was "you need to be on the other side of the river but you can't get on that side today because they're all closed." And she cheerfully scampered away. She's lucky Jillian didn't get out of the car and kick her in the you-know-what.

So we parked, Jillian called the non-emergency Portland police line, and got a nice dispatcher who gave her turn by turn directions to get to the Convention Center. Score 1 for Portland's Finest. We got there, without having breakfast, but at least we got there.

1:30 came pretty quickly and when they say the Marketplace is closed they mean it. By 1:31 people from the exhibit trade show company were hauling down the aisles taking our chairs and wastebaskets. We broke down the booth and packed it up into the SUV by 2:45. What took us all day to set up on Thursday took us a whole hour and 15 minutes to pack up. Of course there wasn't as much to pack, but damn that was efficient!

We pull out of the Convention Center, bidding Sock Summit 2009 a fond farewell, with a minor snafu. We know how to get back to our hosts' home once we get on the freeway, but we don't know how to get to the freeway in the first place. Jillian can't find the paper with the directions that got us there, we don't know if I-5 is still closed even if we could figure out how to get to it.

And then the lack of sleep, the sheer exhaustion, the extreme hunger because we haven't eaten yet today, combine with the fact that neither of us has a sense of direction...and the laughing begins. Jillian makes this statement that we're two grown women who can't find our way out of a paper sack and that did it. I had to pull over because I was laughing so hard I couldn't see. I get control (sort of) and drive a couple of blocks and spot a police car. He's looking for someone to do something stupid so he can issue a ticket, and I'm sure we appeared a bit too happy. Instead of him pulling us over, we pulled him over. I walked to his car to make it obvious I was not intoxicated, explained the situation, and he gave me verbal directions. I think he saw my eyes glaze over and so he offered to lead us to the freeway. And he did. Two points for Portland's Finest.

We got on the road, had a really late lunch at Applebee's, and went to Corliss' and Linus' house to rest before a wonderful dinner.

And Sock Summit 2009 is officially over. What an experience. What fun, what a tremendous amount of work. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I hear I have to wait 2 years and get a passport because rumor has it the next one is in Toronto in 2011. Lots of shows between now and then!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sock Summit - day THREE

Day three was Saturday, August 8. This day proved to be most interesting in a way that had absolutely nothing to do with the show. We got to the convention center about 30 minutes early, planning to restock and maybe rearrange a little, and when we parked the key wouldn't come out of the ignition. AAA sent a locksmith who managed to get the key out, but advised me not to start the car until I was driving it to a dealership for repair because he didn't think I'd get it out of the ignition again. I had no luck calling local Ford dealerships because none would take the car that day, so Linus came and left his SUV and took my car to the closest dealership...that wasn't really close...but the only one he could find that would take the car on a Saturday. The call with the results didn't come until about 5:30 and there, of course, was good news and bad news. The good news? They could fix it and it was covered under the warranty. The bad news? They couldn't get the part until Tuesday. So guess what? We get to stay an extra couple of days which means we get to go look at scenery and waterfalls!!!! Not a bad thing.

Anyway, at the show Saturday was really quiet - almost eerily so. It actually was kind of nice though, because I was able to take the time to help a couple of ladies who saw me knitting 2 at a time toe-up and were very curious how to go about knitting socks in this way. I was able to show them in detail how to work across the rows and turn, and explain that while it "seems" faster, it really isn't. You're still knitting the same number of rows and stitches to get a pair of socks, but it feels faster because when you finish you're done. There isn't another sock still waiting to be knit. The other things I like about knitting socks in this fashion is that I tend to modify on the fly and I don't have to take notes to remember what I did to make sure I make the modification on the other sock, and if I misread the pattern and goof, I will goof on both socks in the same they match!

Nothing eventful this day whatsoever, other than the car. We had a great time and because there weren't as many shoppers in the Marketplace we were able to visit a whole lot more with the folks that were there. I wondered if maybe the people who had classes all weekend were just burnt out this day too and didn't want any part of shopping. I know if I was taking classes that whole time my eyes would have been glazed over pretty well by Saturday.

I did walk through the sock museum and these two are my favorites. Arrr-gyle and these adorable anklets called Almost Saintly...I guess because they are hole-y. I wold wear those in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sock Summit - day TWO

It occurred to me that one of the most exciting things we did while in Oregon was see my favorite singer, Phil Vassar, in Tillamook. That happened Wednesday after the luncheon. But I'll save the details on that for later, after I get through all the days of Sock Summit!

Day two was Friday, August 7. Marketplace opened at 8 and closed at 6. We got there right on time, totally ready to go. Visitors to say hello today included Janet, who I met on Ravelry and one of my best customers! She came to the booth 'specially to say hello and bought some of her favorite flavors while she could pick them up and take them home and not pay shipping! Look at those colorful bags she's holding. Her yarn stash must be totally awesome.

Noah worked on homework (honors English - he had to read two books and have very specific notes for the first day of school), and helped us in the booth too. Lots of people who other than their natural hair color came in and we really enjoyed the color! I'd done mine Berrylicious, Jillian's had fuchsia in it, and we saw blue, purple, pink, and teal. As well as combinations of all.

I didn't realize I had no pictures on my camera of all of the funky hair...those photos must have been taken by our visitors. Oh well. One of the most colorful things we saw was this young lady's stockings. Hand knot thigh-highs in this wonderful color. She looked adorable, and I admire the length of time it must have taken her to get those knit.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sock Summit - day ONE

The official first day of Sock Summit was Thursday, August 6. The marketplace was only open to students for 2 hours in the late afternoon, so we had all day to set up. Silly me, I thought it would be like a 2-hour job. I put on jeans and my favorite t-shirt, foolishly thinking we'd have time to go back to the house and change into cuter clothes before the Marketplace preview. Oops. Anyway, we left Corliss' and Linus' house in Tualatin and drove the 12 miles to the Convention Center. Corliss followed in their SUV toting all of the boxes I had shipped to them in advance. We unloaded in pretty quick time, considering we'd never done this before, and got to the booth and it was like...YIKES!! I screwed up. I ordered a counter instead of a table, so it was really high. The convention center was going to charge me full price for a table and only refund half of the price of the counter, so I said screw it and we'll make the counter work! And we did.

Noah quickly got busy with the hammer putting the grids together. Jillian and Noah worked on them together for awhile, but Jillian was anxious to see and touch yarn. She's been hearing about this for months, but hadn't actually seen anything. So she got the task of hanging display socks while Noah and I worked on the grids for awhile.

Next, it was time to put some yarn into the grids (what a concept!). Jillian has a great eye for color and really wanted to do the layout, and I have no problem whatsoever relinquishing responsibility and delegating :-) So I went on a Starbucks run while they worked. I ran into people I'd seen and spoken with on Ravelry in the really long line, so it was good conversation!

The final booth arrangement. Not much room! There was a line in the first Jaws movie in which Richard Dreyfuss kept saying "We need a bigger boat..." well, "we needed a bigger booth." I thought if things didn't "move" I'd rearrange as the weekend went on, but the only thing that changed was figuring out how to display the Kiddie Scoops (mini skeins for those who are not familiar with my line). Bev, who test knit Paw Tracks for me, stopped by. As did Cara. And Sheila. And I don't even remember who else. There was this loud cheer from the Marketplace (inside) when the announcement was made that the doors were about to be opened for the masses to enter. And there was an even louder cheer from the Marketplace (outside) when the doors opened. Jillian and Noah both just looked stunned. Really??? All this excitement??? Over socks??? Oh yeah...over socks.

The booth, right before the marketplace opened, Sandy and I, boothmates, and Bev Latham and I showing off her pretty knitting.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Secret Pal Swap

So the SP14 swap is rather interesting. I thought I'd figured it out (who my partner was) but the person who I thought it was brought me something hand-delivered at Sock Summit. Unless I am right and she was wearing someone else's name badge. Which is what I'd do.'s more fun if I don't really figure it out anyway!

Sending my partner's August package today, just finishing packing it up. I wish I could take a picture to show but I don't want to give away the surprise.

So in the meantime, here is my friend Corliss and I at one of the waterfalls on Monday, and Jillian and Noah just goofing around as any good mother and son would do.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sock Summit - pre-summit luncheon

Wednesday, August 5, 40 lucky people were guests at Gino's Restaurant in Portland for the pre-summit yarn tasting luncheon. 5 dyers, myself included, were asked to provide free yarn for all of the attendees, which gave us all a great opportunity to network and strut our beautiful yarns. A different dyer and her yarn was presented with each of the 5 (can we say full??) courses. Mine, of course, was dessert. It was awesome. Here are some photos. On the left, the front of the restaurant. It is a charming little restaurant in downtown Portland. On the right, one of the many wall paintings that adorn the interior. The face in the middle of the woman with the brown hair and glasses was our host, whose family owns the restaurant. It is quite unique in that the produce is local and much of it organic, with eggs coming in from her farm!

We were surprised by Chrissy Gardiner giving us all a copy of her new book, a collection of wonderful socks knitted from the toe up.

I've already started a pair of baby socks using the star toe, something I've never done before, and I'm ecstatic to have this new book! I'm even more excited that she talked with me about being part of her next project, featuring 25 indie dyers!

And finally, when it was time for dessert, I got to get up there and introduce my yarn. I chose to give away a variety of flavors, as opposed to one flavor to all attendees. I kind of blanked out standing up there...most of what I thought I'd say got lost in my head. But the attendees seemed to be quite receptive, and I loved seeing them trade out some of their yarn if they preferred another flavor. Jillian and Noah attended too...what a handsome pair they are!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On the road!!

On the road to Sock Summit!! Jillian and Noah will be at the airport about 11 and then we're on our way. YAY!!! Chanel really wants to come. She's never even been in a carrier, so when I dropped her off this morning and had to put her in a cage I cried. She cowered down with her ears all flat and just looked totally confused and had no clue why she couldn't stay with me. omg here come the tears again. Time to turn off the computer and get going.

If you're going to be at SS PLEASE be sure to stop by booth 1115 and say hello!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

My first pattern!!!

It's finally come to fruition. I designed a sock pattern quite awhile ago, but haven't had time to knit it all up. I played with it to the point that I knew it worked, and I knew it was going to look the way I wanted it to, but I just didn't have time to knit it. So I recruited a couple of folks from The Testing Pool on Ravelry, and I now have real, original socks. The pattern is called Paw Tracks, and I will get it up on Ravelry hopefully before Sock Summit. I plan to give it to customers who shop with me at Sock Summit too. Look how cute!! Chanel thinks so too...