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Most of what I have to say about Sock Summit involves variations on the following word: WOW.

First of all, the fact that there is a huge conference dedicated to sock knitting (and spinning for sock knitting, and yarn for sock knitting) is amazing. We Are Knitters; See Us Knit Socks. And stuff.

I’ve heard a lot of variations on the statement, “It’s so nice to be somewhere where I’m not the only one/where people understand/where I can talk about heels and I don’t get looked at like I’ve grown another head!” These are my people.

Yesterday, Miriam and I arrived in Portland, exhausted from a long train ride and not enough breakfast. We took our luggage to the condo where we were staying, and then we headed for lunch. Pretty much directly after that, we went to the Convention Center to help the lovely Stephania of Three Fates Yarn set up her booth. (She has some very nifty stuff, by the way. Check her out at the link above.) I went to check in and get my badge first.

(I may have disgraced myself slightly. When I went up to the counter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was sitting behind the desk. (Not right in front of me–she was dealing with another Sock Summiteer.) I leaned forward and whisper-squeaked to the lady who was helping me, “OMG THAT’S STEPHANIE PEARL-MCPHEE!” Luckily, the nice lady helping me was totally cool about it. I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one to fangirl a little bit there.)

Here’s what Stephania’s booth looked like when we were all done:

(That’s Miriam in the photo, by the way.)

And here’s Stephania and another lovely woman whose name I didn’t get:

(I’m also not sure who the Magical Blur on the left is. Sorry about that.)

It was very, very kind of Stephania to allow us to all come in and help her set up. (When I say “all,” I mean there were maybe four of us. So not that many, actually.) Here’s why it was so kind of her (besides the pre-Market-Opening yarn fondling):

Those are knitters. Those are knitters who have been waiting since about 1:30 pm. (The market didn’t even open until around 4:30 pm.) Miriam and I were properly grateful.

We got to wander the Market a bit before everybody rushed in. That was fun, partially because that’s where I got to start fulfilling some of the Knitterly Fan Goals on my list. (Of course I have a Knitterly Fan Goals List. Don’t you?)

1) Kinnear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee:

2) Meet (and Get My Photo Taken With!) Franklin Habit:

Just for reference: That's me on the left, and I’m 5’2″. Franklin has a huge amount of personality, and he's my height. He's considerably more physically fit than I am, though. And yes, he's wearing a Utilikilt. How awesome is that?

3) Purchase GothSocks.

This is where Miriam and I were particularly grateful for Stephania’s Extreme Kindness. We were at the GothSocks booth from the very first, poised to go in as soon as we were allowed. It was already crowded with vendors. Once the doors opened, this is what it looked like:

Those people are holding bundles of GothSocks in their hands. There are people behind them waving their hands in the air and jumping up and down as a man in a Utilikilt, a very fancy vest and shirt, a top hat, and goggles throws skeins into the crowd. (Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of him.) It was like being at a rock concert.

This was Miriam’s and my reaction:

It was scary. Still, we got out alive, and I got three skeins.

I went completely by color choice, but wound up with three different bases. The far left is 80% merino/20% nylon (usual sock yarn), the middle one is 100% merino, and the far right is 80% merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon. All are self-striping and will become socks for me, me, me.

Next stop: The Sanguine Gryphon, of course!

I have been very, very good and have not been to the SG website in over a month. I was also extremely restrained when I went to their booth. This is what the line looked like ahead of me:

And behind me:

Luckily, as you can see from the above photo, many of us were prepared to wait in line. We did bring our knitting.

Sanguine Gryphon had slugs!

The pattern is supposed to come out soon.

I did enhance my stash a bit:

The skeins on the far left and right are Eidos. The ones in the middle are Gaia Lace. I did buy one other skein from them, also Eidos, but I wound it up and cast it on immediately:

This beauty is going to be Damson, with Miriam’s Lace Modifications. And yes, those are Signature Needle Arts Circulars. That was the other line I stood in before we vacated the market.

Finally, we were exhausted. Stephania didn’t need us any longer, so we fled into the night. We had dinner and much-needed cocktails at Jake’s Grill, then headed back to the condo for some Keeping Up Appearances and sleep.

It is surprisingly warm here in Portland. I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine! I’m off to knit.