Who knew how exhausting a sock knitting conference could be? This is intense!
Today I started out with a one-hour class with Carson Demers called KnitteRx. Carson is a knitter, spinner, and physical therapist. We talked a lot about posture and the curvature of the spine. He explained how we need to find balance between the overuse of some muscles and the underuse of others. We talked about how to sit in a chair, the importance of standing up frequently, and moving other body parts while knitting. We even talked about knitting bags (in general, most people carry way too much in theirs). He said that in some longer classes, he asks for a volunteer to dump out their bag. We didn’t have time for that today, but it sounds like a good exercise! I wish I could have taken Carson’s 3-hour class, but I’m glad I got to meet him. I would jump on another chance to have a class with him.
After that, I popped back into the exhibit hall with my list of final items to seek out. I found some yarn to knit a Christmas gift that fit the recipient’s color preferences. Then I found just one more skein of sock yarn that I “needed” to get for myself. I also ended up buying a bag. I initially was very interested in another bag I saw at this booth "(Queen Bee Creations here in Portland), but decided to sleep on it before buying. I went back this morning and was still on the fence. Then the vendor pulled out another bag with the same leaf motif on it that hadn’t been there yesterday, and that was the right one. Isn’t it pretty? This booth must be having a really successful show – I see their bags everywhere this weekend! I also got a cool vintage darning egg this morning.
Steven and I found a joint called Burgerville for lunch. It sounds like a burger dive, but they had all local and organic foods, including several vegetarian options. I had an Oregon salad with cherries, walnuts, and blue cheese. You can add onion rings to any order (1 ring, 3 rings, or 5 rings – they are really big) so I tried one of their Walla Walla rings, too – delicious.
Back to the exhibit hall – Steven wanted to see the vintage knitting booth. I heard an announcement on the loudspeaker that said the first 100 people at booth 909 could meet Jasmin and Gigi of The Knitmore Girls podcast and get a free bag of goodies. I headed over and managed to get a bag. It had a lot of stuff in it: the Winter 2009 issue of Verena magazine (the cover says “Europe’s top knit magazine”), two sock patterns, a couple of yarn samples (from Abstract Fiber and Pagewood Farm), a Eucalan sample, a tape measure (you can never have too many, especially if your young sons keep playing with them and breaking them), buttons, bookmarks, business cards… wow!
Next it was time for my one-hour Darn It class with Merike Saarniit. Our homework for this class was to bring a small flat swatch in worsted weight yarn, with some contrasting yarn for darning. And … now I know how to darn! Here is my swatch:
I don’t want to give away any of Merike’s tips on the blog, but there are a few key things. Ask me if we bump into one another! Merike said right away that the popularity of superwash merino sock yarn pretty much ensures that people will need to darn their socks… just as I suspected. After class, I asked her what she thought about BFL sock yarn. She was all for it, so I felt good about all my BFL purchases over the previous days (BFL is my new BFF!). She’s also a big fan of mohair in sock yarn. Remember… nature’s nylon? I feel like I’m on the right track.
After class, I headed back to the exhibit hall to visit the Sock Museum. The museum contained samples of socks made over the centuries. Well, the socks were mostly new, but they were knit according to old patterns. The timeline began with socks made by nalbinding, not knitting, and went all the way to contemporary sock pattern hits (like Monkey). In between were Civil War socks (Union and Confederate), World War I and II socks (there’s a new pattern for every war, it seems), the first self-striping sock yarns, and more. It was very interesting to see them all in one place. Each sock contained a description of why it is in the exhibit, as well as comments from the volunteer knitters.
After a full conference day, we went to India House with Jeff. Vegetarian thalia:
Tomorrow' I have two more one-hour classes (The Perfect Rib with Cookie A and Turkish Stitches with Anna Zilboorg) – I was able to pick up the Cookie A class just this morning. The afternoon features a Luminary Panel with Cat Bordhi, Nancy Bush, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Lucy Neatby, Deborah Robson, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker, and Anna Zilboorg. The moderators are Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Tina Newton. It’s going to be great!
Sorry no links again today. I couldn’t find any free wifi near the convention center so I can’t post until evening, when I roam around the Fairview neighborhood until I find someone who has an unsecured wireless network. Use the Google toolbar.