Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sock Summit, Part Two: Sunday

Roni dropped me and Johnna off pretty early on Sunday so that we could take full advantage of the final hours of Sock Summit revelry. Here's Johnna, jokingly clutching someone else's yarn. I can tell it's not hers by the colorways. She and I are pretty set in our colorways.

Our main goal for the day, aside from the last minute shopping panic, was to go to the Sock Museum, conveniently located at one end of the marketplace. I hope some of you are smirking at this point. That's right, dudes-- a museum devoted to the history of sock knitting. Volunteers knitted replicas of socks throughout history. And unlike most museums, handling of the "artifacts" was encouraged. Check it:

Very early baby booties, or as the sign says, "bootees."

Himalayan Socks

Argyles, showing the tedium of it all. Argyles are an act of love and devotion, y'all.


Fascinating shaping and construction.

Entrelac-- on the someday list.

Little Itty Bitty! (and Johnna as hand model)

The fabulously famous Monkey sock pattern, an act of brilliance on the point of designer Cookie A. I've knit them before, and I'll knit them again. Sooner rather than later, if it's up to Maya.


Get it-- hole-y? Get it? If you'd met Lucy Neatby, the designer of these babies, you'd forgive her the corny pun. She's the coolest of the lot, with hair dyed to match whatever she's knitting and wearing. On Sunday it was magenta and deep blue.

On Sunday afternoon Johnna and I were fortunate enough to have attended the Luminary Panel and Closing Ceremony. When registration had opened in the spring, tickets to this panel discussion were limited to five thousand people, and I was worried about getting them. Whew!

People lined up in the foyer an hour (or more) before the doors opened to insure a good seat.

We got there early enough to secure seats with a perfect view of everyone but Meg Swanson, who was arguably the primo guest of honor, considering it was her mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman's, 99th birthday. Elizabeth is considered to be the mother of modern knitting. If you see a knitter reference "EZ," they are not saying that it is easy. Although with EZ, it is made really simple. I'm making this more complicated, right? Right. The short of it is this: We're talking big time here. Be impressed. Stephanie and Tina, the creators of this whole affair, very famous and important in their own right, acted as moderators for the discussion, and even they were clinging to each other like Brownies, giggling, turning away from the podium to compose themselves and turning back to say things like, "Oh my god, I'm about to introduce Meg Swanson!"

From left: Lucy Neatby, Cat Bordhi, Deborah Robson, Anna Zilboorg, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Tina Newton, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Meg Swanson (beind podium), Barbara Walker, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, and Nancy Bush.

Are you hyperventilating yet? Man, I am, just typing that list. There was not a dim bulb in that drawer. Not a dull tool in that shed. Not a bent needle in that case. You get the idea. A table full o' genius, that was. AND I WAS THERE. DUDE. I almost cried from the joy about a zillion times.

At the end of the ceremony, we sang happy 99th birthday to Elizabeth, and a big cake was wheeled out. Check the picture I got:

I should know who that is on the left, but don't. Forgive me. Stephanie is on the right, and that's Meg Swanson cutting the cake. I was not five feet from them. Can you dig it?

Well, after sitting for four hours, finishing my sock and taking in all the wisdom and community, there was only one thing that had to be done. And when you've had over five thousand other people, predominantly women, needing to do the same thing, you have issues. Fortunately, I had my friend Johnna to hand me what I needed.

Johnna is a very good friend. If I were a good friend, I would give her these socks I finished during the Luminary Panel. But hey-- they're not really her colorway. The blue is too bright. She said so herself.

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