Sock Summit Report

This is the sight that confronted us when we arrived to set up the Yarn Workshop Booth. The set-up process was way more tiring that I anticipated it would be – not being helped by the fact that I had forgot to bring receipt books, a ruler, safety pins, a paper knife, a cutting surface for paper cutting, my mailing scale, a calculator.  All the above were located on a frantic trip to an Office Depot, with the exception of the safety pins.2009-08-13 008The woman working in the New China Laundry and Dry Cleaners clearly thought that I was a few cents short of a dollar when I was begging her to buy “at least 30 safety pins”; and she GAVE me a large handful. When she gave them to me, I had been wandering the neighbourhoods closest to the Convention Center frantically looking for places that might conceivably sell safety pins. The Office Depot did not have them, the Paper Plus store did not have them, and I could not see a craft or dressmaking shop to save myself.  I was looking  superlative; massively jetlagged, nose dripping constantly (and I had only one thoroughly used tissue in my handbag), and sweaty from scouring the neighbourhood.  I had seriously considered going into one of the several adult entertainment shops in the area in my hunt for safety pins, but decided in favour of  the preservation of my innocence.

As you can see, we managed to hang up Sandy’s Lyra (with the aforesaid safety pins), which attracted so much attention, and even got a comment of approval from Barbara Walker.

Sandy setting upI did not get any photos of the booth once we had completed set-up, because then, we were greeted by hoards of shoppers.  If you want to see how it looked, see Majorknitter’s blog post here. That evening we went to the opening reception, and I finally heard the Yarn Harlot speak  The part of the evening where Barbara Walker got a standing ovation was very moving, and we met some lovely knitters.

The following days sped by in a blur. I had brought along Ene’s Scarf, thinking that there would be sitting and knitting time while manning the booth.  I completed about 0.4 rows in the whole time that I manned the booth, and spent the rest of the time talking to customers, meeting old internet friends, meeting new ones, and wrestling with the completely inadequate internet service in the convention center.  At one stage I had a particularly unpleasant interlude with the face of the company referenced here. Email me, or ask me about it when I have a glass of something in my hand, if you are so inclined.

I loved seeing the creations that people had made from Yarn Workshop yarn, both the lovely dyeing, and these socks below.

Jardinrouge's SockThey were knitted by Jardinrouge (her Ravelry ID) from Footscray, and use the official Sock Summit Sock Pattern (which appears to have been pulled from the Sock Summit website).  I also got to see the original sock yarn blankie (Ravelry link) knitted by Shelly Kang.  The lovely, really fantastically friendly, ladies from the Yarnery were in the booth opposite, and it was a delight to look at the blankie every day. They also protected the blankie like it was the crown jewels, and it was never left unattended.  Sorry about the blurry photo – things were so manic that it is lucky that I got one at all.

The blankie

Apart from the opening reception, the only other official Sock Summit function that I got to attend was the Luminary Panel.  It was interesting, and a relief to be finally silent – I think that I talked non-stop for the rest of the Sock Summit.  I finally got to knit a few more rows on my Ene’s Scarf.  Blue Garter (who I got to meet again!) has summarised the best quotes from the Luminary Panel, so that I don’t have to do it.  Then Sandy and I packed up the remaining stock – we had fortunately sold at least three quarter of what we had brought.

Sandy was the most amazing assistant throughout the whole summit – she is amazingly physically strong, a fountain of knowledge about all matters yarn, weaving and knitting, and excellent company.  We both discovered that she has excellent yarn selling skills (any Seattle are yarn shops should consider her if they need a part-time employee).

Overall, the Sock Summit was a success for Yarn Workshop, but there was many vendors in the marketplace who had not had a very successful show.  One woman was almost in tears as we waited for access to the loading dock. I am glad that it was fruitful, because the whole process, while interesting and entertaining, was a lot of WORK.  As an indication of how much work – below is a photo of my major purchase, while I was in Australia, in JULY.  It remains untouched in its box, and I really, really want to take it out for a run.  I have some Liberty fabric that needs to be cut out…

My new toy

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9 thoughts on “Sock Summit Report”

  1. Thanks for posting about sock summit – I was wondering how you went! That Lyra is spectacular!!

    Hope you can fit in some time to play with your new toy soon (I have to admit, it took me nearly a year before I opened the box of my new sewing machine!)

  2. Sounds great, thanks for posting about it. Sorry there was some unpleasantness. I’m just packing my bags with all the yarn I’ve dyed for Stitches and Craft in Sydney! Jealous of the sewing machine, I’m saving for a Bernina.

  3. i am so sorry i didn’t stop and chat – i flew through the market on saturday, and thought i would come back at a more leisurely pace on sunday (with my sister-in-law and my daughter) — and we have mis-read the schedule 🙂 we got up on sunday, had a lovely back-yard brunch-n-knit and sauntered in to see the luminary panel and then shop….. what?!? we had 10 minutes before the Luminary panel started to shop 🙂 needless to say, we didn’t get to see nearly as much as our eyes were lusting for. And i really had looked forward to meeting you in person!
    it WAS tons of work – and you had come sooo far!! i’m glad it was a success for the Yarn Workshop and you!

  4. I am so glad to see you made it home and the trip was so successful. I am sorry (and i admit curious) that you had a run in with someone.

  5. The SS sounds very very exhausting for vendors. I feel for the people who didn’t have a very successful show, it must have been heartbreaking for them. How much did you have to pack up at the end?

    Also funny about the basics – reciept book, etc – and the difficulty finding ‘normal’ things in foreign countries – I’d find a martini or a coffee in a heartbeat, but what if you needed, say, rubber bands – no idea!

    Extrtemely looking forward to an email about the aforementioned company, with my next order? Can’t wait to find out what happened..

  6. OMG – I’ve just read that post and I have to tell you right now – I’ve had an online run-in with them! In 2005, I set up a ‘petitiion’ kind of blog stating that their flimsy excuse for not posting overseas was disingenuous and parochial. If they didn’t want to post overseas they should just say so, instead of making unfounded statements about third party postal services which, in the main, were more reliable than any of the US ones.

    Anyhow, they emailed me asking if I had time to speak to them about distribution. I emailed them back my phone number and a helpful time zone calculator, and said I would be delighted to speak to them, but heard nothing else.

    Now I really am interested!

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