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.The 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.
I 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.
They 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.
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…