Fickleknitter's Guide to Sock Summit
I've been putting off writing about the Summit because the words seem...trapped. I suspended belief after the first few moments of entering the Oregon Convention Center. How else was my mind able to parse Barbara F. Walker (the F is my addition), Meg Swansen, Judith Mackenzie McCuin, Cat Bordhi, Joan Schrouder, Carson Demers, Cheryl Brunette, and Amy Singer? And those are just the people I spoke with! I was so overcome with emotion when I met Barbara all I could manage was "would you sign my book?" while looking at her in awe. I'm sure she thought I was sort of nutty and sadly I couldn't convince her otherwise since my tongue was firmly pasted onto the roof of my mouth.
Barbara F. Walker sat in on my EZ Art Stocking class. When I say "sat" I mean "sat so close to me I could have flung my knitting in her general direction." During class Meg casually looked up and asked Barbara "Hey Barbara, did you invent SSK?" To which Barbara gave a shrug and replied nonchalantly "yes." The entire class spontaneously burst into applause and I hear Amy Detjen cried. I sat there wide eyed and mouth agape trying not to fall on the ground at the feet of these women.
Judith Mackenzie McCuin gave me cashmere, silk, 120 count merino, yak and bison from her 35,000 pound supply before I passed out from huffing all the exotic fiber.
Her class was humbling, really humbling. And it's so empowering to be around people who have the same core beliefs. She said in class she is compelled to teach others as we are a living library. Her living library. I've felt that way about knitting, that if we horde our knowledge it will eventually disappear and in some cases already has. I know from my experiences in physics that knitting is not the only discipline that has this outlook. I once had a classmate announce that if anyone asked for his physics notes he'd recopy them wrong before dissemination. This point was also addressed when someone (Deb Robson perhaps?) on the Luminary panel said you can't staunch the flow of ideas with copyright. And if we do, how will we grow?
This topic is timely for me as I'm nurturing the next generation of future knitters and spinners right now. It's a complex job but totally worthwhile.
Enough soap box for one day. I did have lots of lighthearted fun. My teachers Meg and Judith (we're totally on a first name basis now) laughed at my dumb jokes about the tin hat (!).
I spent the rest of my time with Wen and Heidi. It's so spectacular to be around funny, smart women.
I've known Heidi online for 4 or 5 years and after meeting in person it felt like we've known each other forever. Aside from being a terrific Mama to four she is funny as hell, sweet, smart, and kind.
And she makes the most beautiful, well-natured babies.
Wen is the best, I mean really the best. She's so sweet, knowledgeable and all around a good person. Did I mention she is nominated for an Emmy? If it were me I'd at the very least wear that information as a sandwich board or t-shirt or at the very least start every conversation with "When I was nominated for an Emmy..." I'm quite shy when it comes to introducing myself around and she would casually say things like "Cat Bordhi have you had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Miller?" to which I'd scoop myself up off of the floor and introduce myself while trying to keep my mouth from gaping (or worse saying really dumb things).
The rest of my time was spent cutting up with various Rubberneckers, Tin Hat appreciators and Yarn Consumers.
To everyone who came up to me to inquire about my hat, thank you. Thank you for laughing with me when I said the tin hat helps me identify my tribe. Interestingly it really does! People who think the hat is crazy and cool, my tribe. People who wrinkle their nose in disgust, not my tribe. It's a great time saver, really. Thanks for playing along when I said the tin hat transmits or stiffles teh crazy based on which side is worn out.
Thanks to everyone who made this event so special, I'll carry this past weekend with me always.
Just as soon as I stop swooning from the yarn fumes and get some well earned rest.
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