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Sock Summit Update 3.5

When we started this sock summit journey, it was my intention to write a report of where we are and what we are doing at least weekly to keep everyone in this loop. Oh well, best laid plans and all. Truthfully, I can barely breathe much less write a weekly up date. I will try to bring you up to date at least and give you a few of the more amusing and exciting moments.

First, I just want to say this out loud. This is a lot of work. A massive amount of work. I thought I had an inkling of how much this would take, not so much. It is one of those places where you cannot comprehend its magnitude until you are in the middle of it, kind of like giving birth. All your friends can tell you what it is like, and you can read about it and watch videos on it but until you are smack dab in the middle of pushing another human being out of your body, you just do not know. (How can you possibly?) It’s like that.

Somedays it feels like for every step that is taken and goal reached, three more crop up to replace them. I am not complaining. This is an incredible journey and is rewarding on many levels and all of us involved are loving it. The most commonly heard phrase here these days is “Ok, are you ready because you are so not going to believe this, really you are not.” Unfortunately I cannot let you in on all of this yet because we are still firming details and contracts…so very many contracts. Soon, though, some of this will be revealed and, honestly, you are just not going to believe it. 

This Summit is going to be all that we wanted and so very much more. Honestly, I fluctuate between feeling mind boggled, blissful excitement, and abject terror. Stephanie and I take turns with these, which works out oh, so well. I consider it a honor to carry this and the terror comes from the fear that I will somehow let everyone down. I think this is a normal healthy reaction, and I would be worried about myself if I did not have this feeling.

Building something like this is very similar to planning a knitting project or constructing a yarn or designing—all of it. You have to start with a good base and that is the bulk of what we have been doing. Creating the vessel that will hold of all of this sock knitting goodness.

Starting with the space. I chose the Oregon Convention Center for several reasons, although I have to tell you that initially the thought of renting a convention center left me weak, and not just in the knees. It is big, like really, really big.

It took me a full month to finally sign the contract. I fluctuated between being a little outraged at the looks of disbelief on their faces to my own personal lack of faith and wavering vision.

The convention center is built with sustainable products and systems. In September 2008, it was re-certified with a Silver rating in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in the Existing Buildings Category from then Green Building Council. It is the first convention center in the nation to achieve this. No small thing. The Silver rating required proven sustainability in areas of operation, maintenance, and capital improvements. 

Portland is a very “Green” city and not just in that whole lots of rain falling from the sky and growing things aspect, but also in the sustainable let us take care as we walk through our lives here aspect.

The convention center is certainly part of this. What impressed me the most when I was given the grand tour was how deeply these people care and are committed. These are people I want to work with and aside from that whole “ Really, are you sure you need this much space for a sock knitting conference?” they are great people to work with.  (I am actually starting to enjoy the expressions on the non-knitter face when I try to explain this.) The space is beautiful and central with a MAX station right outside. As you would expect with a center that caters to large conferences, it is also surrounded with hotels and restaurants within walking distance. If you have not already done so, please check them out here:

Oregon Convention Center

And…one of my personal favorites is that in the check-in area above where the entrance to the marketplace is going to be, hangs from the ceiling a dragon boat. I kid you not. A big beautiful dragon boat. When I was there last week looking at the marketplace space and how we are going to set it up, I kept asking Matt how he felt if we fill it with balls of yarn, and he just smiled and shook his head. I do believe he thought I was joking.

So my sock knitting friends this is where we will be hanging for four glorious days of sock knitting bliss.

Oh…except for the night we are in the Sunken Ballroom of the Portland Art Museum for the Sock Hop. I am so tickled by this prospect that I giggle like a kid every time I think of it.

We were chatting about the Sock Hop and the Museum at knit night and how there are statues all around the foyer of the ballroom. Glorious exquisite sculptures and we get to dance and mingle with them. The conversation about dancing with statues progressed in a way that felt a bit like we were short rowing (the knitted bus was mentioned) to how cool it would be if us Portland knitters knit for the statues around Portland as an artistic expression and statement. We could knit them socks.

I am sure the elk could use a horn sock or two. (Also, this could be what happens when you have knit night in a pub.) I think this would be a great way to let all of our fellow PDXers know what we are up to Sock Summit wise, and it fits our colorful artistic community here.

So what are we doing now? This week the first week in February we are firming the teacher contracts, all the sponsorship relationships and by Friday, we will be able to send all the registrations forms for the vendors out.

We will post a teacher list on the Sock Summit website February 18th 20th, so be sure to look for that.

Both Stephanie and I will be able to share more of the crazy fun once that list is up so stay tune. Really, your not going to believe it.

I want to thank everyone that has sent emails or responded here to volunteer to help. Your offers are kind and appreciated. We will be getting in touch as the Summit progresses and grows.

If you have any questions or feel you have not heard from us and are worried, please contact me at

  1. OMG, Tina.  I’m sure the statues need sox.  Knitting will be permitted at the Sock Hop, right?  Wow, now you need to breathe, just for a minute.  Looking forward to the fun,


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  2. tina #

    mikki darlin it’s a sock hop of course there is knitting

    actually this morning I took a whole hour to breathe!

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  3. Bring on the summit!!!  So exciting!!!  Seriously, can’t wait!! Between Stitches, Sock Camp, Sock Summit…wow! Its turning out to be quite a year!!!! 

    It’ll all be worth it!!  No worries!

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  4. Mya #

    As someone who has organized events (although not on the LARGE scale you are doing for sock summit) I bow to you. I know how much work it involves and I hope you realize how much we all really, really, really appreciate it!

    And I hope you are planning some kind of lovely vacation after it is over!

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  5. If people knew what it took to get a kid into the world, a conference launched, or an independent business off the ground, we would have no people, conferences, or independent businesses. A little ignorance, combined with vision, is essential to creativity.

    Sending good vibes, with my own oar in the water from way out here.

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  6. tina #

    oh deb, can you hear the funny and never a truer phrase on this.


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  7. Rachel H #

    You had me at Dragon Boat. :o)

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  8. denny #

    I’m jumping up and down, up and down ,up and down.  All that and a MAX thingie.

    Wait….. what is a “MAX” station.  I guess I need to “get smart”

    Ha, I crack myself up.

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  9. marcy #

    do the convention people know your former banker? people…have faith and if you can’t beat, em join em!!!

    do you and steph ship the worry rock from coast to coast?

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  10. Diana #

    Thanks for the update! This post has me hopping with excitement – I can’t wait until the next tidbit of info is released!

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  11. I’d love to see the dragon boat filled with yarn! That would be just too cool.

    Can we put knitting needles and a ball of yarn in Portlandia’s hands? I remember she held a basketball once. Yarn seems so much more… comfy!

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  12. melissaknits #

    I love the sustainable venue thing. I wish every new construction worked for that.

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  13. melissaknits #

    And I agree with Deborah. no people. no conferences. and no independent businesses. Who would DO that on purpose??

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  14. Lou Bolster - Happystasher #

    OMG, I CANNOT WAIT TO HEAR MORE!!!!!  I totally trust you when you say we will not believe it. I’m saving up so I can go. Put me on the list of volunteers—if I can help out in anyway before or during the Sock Summit, please let me know. I’m good with logistics, just sayin’.

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  15. Pat Dixon #

    I ready to hop on the Sock Summit Bandwagon to make it the Biggest Event in Knitting History.. I be there with bells on..Ready to volunteer.. I can fit in anywhere..

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  16. melinda #

    being local, I have to add that one of my Proms (1999 or 2000) was at the Sunken Ballroom (then was the masonic temple I believe) and also my sister’s wedding reception was there smile

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  17. Martha #


    I was wondering…do you have any guesses on possible numbers of attendies at the sock summit?  I really would like to go but I’m afraid that there might be “No room at the Inn” as I’ve not booked a flight or a hotel room and I wonder what the registration fee might be? I need to budget for this.  Although it is only Febuary, and I know the planning for such an event is overwhelming, can you tell me if I will have a chance at this?  Is there something that I should be booking right now? And is there any way that I can help?



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  18. Lois #

    Yah-HOOOO!  I’m so excited about this summit—I’ll finally learn how to make beautiful, useful, comfortable socks!  And it is right here in Portland, only 1 bus ride away from my house.  I’m so looking forward to it—thank you for doing this.  If I can be of any help pre-event, just let me know.

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  19. Claire Utrecht #

    Just came back from Stitches West and many people were talking about the sock summit. I can’t wait!!! I hope there is room for everybody because it seems like everybody wants to come!


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  20. I really liked this awesome article. Please keep them coming. Cheers!.

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