The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

SS09 Debriefing, Part 2 August 18, 2009

Filed under: Musings,spinning — Cailyn @ 1:30 pm
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I went all out and took a class in every slot available.  I thought about not taking a class on Saturday morning, the logic being that by then I would be pretty tired and want to sleep in and there wasn’t a class that I was utterly dying to take then.  But then I thought, this might be the only opportunity to take these classes at all!  So I registered for a Saturday morning class.  Turned out that all my previous thoughts had been true, I was tired and I didn’t really get much out of the class.  But I met some fun people and the teacher, Charlene Schurch, was very nice.




My favorite classes were the ones I took on publishing designs, which I don’t have pictures of since they were just lectures.  I got lots of good information, including tips on how to get a book published.  A book is my long term goal but it won’t be happening anytime soon.  First, I have to build a “platform.”  Basically, this blog needs to get big enough that a publisher sees my audience as worth the publishing cost, or I have to become wealthy enough to independently publish it.  Both of which will take some time, I think!


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I enjoyed my class with Janel Laidman, the author of The Eclectic Sole and has beautiful color work socks.  She was very friendly and complimented my Arthurian Anklets!  I love knitting color work but I’ve never gotten a good fit on color work socks.  I now have some good tips to help with that, so expect to see some more stranded socks coming this winter!


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I loved the spindle spinning class that I took Saturday afternoon.  Abby and Denny were great teachers.  Well, I didn’t think they were so great for about the first hour of class.  I kept breaking my “yarn” and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I was frustrated and feeling kind of mentally fuzzy; you know that feeling you get when you’re trying really hard to understand something but it’s just not working?  Yeah.  When things finally clicked, though, oh man!  I was totally hooked.  I ran right over to the marketplace after class and grabbed some fiber!  By the end of class, my yarn was even and thin if a bit fuzzy and all I wanted to do was to keep spinning.  I’m almost done spinning the fiber that came with the class kit then I will try plying it and then… I will start spinning my new fiber!! (I’m trying hard not to get too obsessed with spinning.  But it’s really fun.  I don’t even know why.)


Next post I’ll show you all the tasty things I bought at the marketplace!


SS09 Debriefing, Part 1 August 13, 2009

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 12:20 pm
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Wow, what a week.  I took a lot of pictures to post while I was there, but that never ended up happening.  Plus, the WordPress app didn’t work on my iPhone.  I’ll blame the lack of in-progress blogging on that.  There is no way that I can write up everything in one post, so bits and pieces will be dribbling out over the next few days.  First, I’ll just say that Sock Summit was AWESOME.  All those knitters in one place, all those socks!  Actually, there was a sad lack of handknit socks.  Lots of people wore sandals or strappy shoes without socks!  I sported true northwestern style and rocked the “socks and sandals” combo all four days.  Which got me some very funny looks on the light rail on the way to and from the convention.



Registration under the dragon boat.  I never found out why there is a dragon boat hanging in the convention center.  The classrooms were over to the right and the marketplace was to the left. 


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The Summit took up a large chunk of the convention center and it was teeming with knitters!  It was so much fun to just wander around and see what everyone was working on, whether it was a hat (love that sheep hat!), socks, or spinning.  There’s something very hypnotic about watching someone spin yarn.  Also, there was a Starbucks that was always packed.  Us knitters like our caffeine!


I was pretty nervous the first day, since I’m a hardcore introvert and I get very anxious doing things I’ve never done before.  But everyone was super friendly (would you expect anything else?) and the classes were fun.  It was very odd when you’d be sitting in class and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee would just walk in, ask if everything was okay, and then leave again.  Or you’d be wandering in the marketplace and bump into Cookie A or Anna Zilboorg.  It was kind of surreal.


The opening ceremony was tons of fun.  Tina and Stephanie told the story of how the Sock Summit came to be, with appropriate blame laid at the feet of Cat Bordhi.  They were both exhausted by this point- I think they said they had had 15 minutes of sleep in the last week- and they kept breaking down and giggling.  Which just made the evening more fun.


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I was pretty lonely at the beginning of the ceremony, since I didn’t come with anyone, but I met a nice knitter in the drink line.  We sat together and made a running commentary on the speeches.  Afterwards, as people were leaving, we saw Stephanie and Tina standing off to the side mostly alone.  We hurried over, knitting and cameras in hand, to tell them how great they were and beg a photo or two.  We were both pretty awed by the “famous people” and kept giggling about our own shyness.  I’m sure my face was bright red.  We sidled up to Stephanie and were about to say hello when the Ravelry crew intercepted her.  Stymied, we stood there, knitting and trying to look casual, waiting for another opportunity to say hi.  She would look over at us occasionally and we’d never quite get out the words fast enough to hold her attention. 


I’m pretty sure that she was worried that we were going to knife her or something.  We’d creep closer and closer to try to talk to her.  We did talk to some nice people who worked at the convention center about knitting and we exchanged a few garbled words with Anna Zilboorg.  And we talked to Tina, or rather, my friend did.  We got a lot of knitting done and we poked fun at ourselves and laughed a lot but we never got to talk to Stephanie.  We didn’t even get a picture of us stalking her.


That was the most embarrassing thing I’ve done in many years.  It sure was fun, though.

Stay tuned for Convention Part 2!


SS09 August 5, 2009

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 4:29 pm
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Sock Summit June 4, 2009

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 1:35 pm
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I am so excited.  Only 62 days until the Sock Summit!


Registration was pretty tense.  It reminded me of registering for classes in college.  Then, you got assigned a number according to the number of credits you had earned so far (the assumption being that the more credits you had, the more senior a student you were).  Then the numbers were chopped into 200-people chunks.  Each chunk got a time slot.  Days before registration, students were making spreadsheets with contingency plans, sometimes with classes that they didn’t even want to take.  The second that the clock ticked to your time slot, you tried to sign into the school’s registration program.  Only 50 students could be on the program at once, schoolwide.  And once you got in if you stopped for more than 30 seconds, say to double check something, you could be kicked out of the system and have to start again.


Sock Summit was a little more fair than that system.  Once you got into the system, you had 15 minutes to get everything figured out and once you had something in your cart, it was yours.  Mostly.  The system was overcome with the load of people trying to register and things got pretty confusing with the server showing classes being full that weren’t really full, etc.  Registration was supposed to start at 10am PST.  The server crashed and didn’t really get back up until almost 11am.  There were a few hairy moments when I got kicked out of the system in the middle of an important step even after the server stabilized a bit.  The adrenaline rush and stress were so much that I was shaking after I hit “pay now.”  You can read more about the mess on the Yarn Harlot’s and Tina’s blog.  I’m not going to go into the problems too much, but I did use those skills I learned in college:


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So many spreadsheets.  This was the final one made the night before registration, with my perfect schedule on top and other variations following.  On the side are the classes, listed by importance, with colored cells to show when each class was offered (in case I had to do some quick thinking).   There are so many classes being offered at the Summit that I wanted to take.  It was really hard narrowing it down to just six.  I think I had something like twenty classes on my semi-finalist list.

I ended up with Schedule 2:

9am: Paint Your Toes! Stranded Colorwork for Socks with Janel Laidman (I’ve always wanted to design completely Fair Isle socks, but I’ve never gotten the fit right.)

1:30pm: Sock Design Workshop: Know the Rules, Then Break Them with Star Athena (Sounds useful.)

9am: Cross Your Cables and Dot Your Purls with Deb Robson (Information on publishing patterns.  Very useful.)

9am: Fancy Heel Flaps with Charlene Schurch

1:30pm: Spindle Spinning Basics with Abby Franquemont and Denny McMillan (Spindles are cheaper than buying a wheel!  Although I’m kind of worried that I’ll like it and spinning will eat into my knitting time…)

9am: Making the Next Monkey with Amy Singer (How to get published in Knitty.  Also very useful!)

Having read about all the troubles everyone had, I feel incredibly lucky to have registered with minimal problems (although at the time they felt huge).  I got all the classes I wanted except one.  But if I had gotten Engineering Stitches with Cat Bordhi (that class filled up fast!), I wouldn’t have been able to take Spindle Spinning Basics which I really wanted to take too.  So, all is well in the end.  I’m super-excited.  I’ve never gone to anything resembling a conference before! 


Bio Hazard March 20, 2009

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 1:31 pm
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I have to write a thirty-word bio for a submission.  It doesn’t seem that hard, right?  Then why has it taken me all day?!  I dare you to try it.  Summarize yourself in approximately thirty words.  It’s hard.  What makes the cut?  It’s for a knitting publication- do you include that you enjoy other crafts?  Do you mention your family or pets?  Should your bio be humorous or serious?  Oh, the decisions!


Yeah, I’m obsessing just a little.  I’m also using this post to procrastinate writing the bio.    I hate writing bios.  You can see that the bio on this site is rather… dull and formulaic.  I’ll have to fix that some day.  I wonder if there’s a “Bio-Writing for Dummies” book.  There seems to be one for every other subject, after all.


In other news, I’m really looking forward to the Sock Summit in August. 



And by “really looking forward to,” I actually mean chomping-at-the-bit, counting-down-the-days, want-it-to-be-right-now, let-me-at-it!  It looks like it’s going to be incredible.  The Summit is being organized by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) and Tina Newton (the owner of Blue Moon Fiber Arts.)  That, in and of itself, was enough to send me through the roof.  I didn’t need  any more information to start obsessing about it.  I had it on my calendar and stared at the dates lovingly.  The fact that this conference is taking place in Portland, which is only a few short hours from here, only increased my love of the event.


And then.  THEN.  They posted the teacher list and I think I stopped breathing.  Check this out:

Cookie A!

Cat Bordhi!

Nancy Bush!

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts!

Amy R Singer!

Barbara Walker!

The whole list of teachers is much longer.  These are just some of my favorites.  I mean, all of these people are my heroes.  These are giants of knitting.  And I’m going to go take classes from them! Talk to them… if I get up the courage and don’t stammer out something fawning and unintelligent.  It’s just as likely that I will fall on my face or accidentally stab myself with a DPN as it is that I’ll utter a complete sentence around these people.  I’m horribly shy.  When that shyness is coupled with my feeling that I’m still a novice in relation to these masters, well.  I might not speak all weekend!


Let me know if you’re thinking of attending the Sock Summit- only you can make sure that I speak at least once in the three days!