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Survivng the storm.

Today is my birthday. I was born 52 years ago in a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. I was premature, my mother had toximia. My family did not think I was going to make it.

My uncles did not want my mother to name me because they did not want her to get attached and heartbroken. I rallied and rallied and finally it was clear I was going to make it. I was ugly, wrinkled and looked burned and was very small, but I made it. I fought and survived.

This has been my MO ever since. I am a survivor. I like my life and the way it has shaped me into who I am now. As lives go, it has not been an easy one. It has made me really strong, kind of brave, compassionate and believe it or not optimistic.

It has made me appreciate every single moment of life and is teaching me to see them all as opportunities, no matter what they look like. I am still working on this part. It is so much easier to see and accept the lessons in life when they come packaged all pretty and nice, isn’t it? All wrapped up with a bow, all tidy and easy. It’s the dirty, messy, scary ones that are a little harder to see as anything other than pain and suffering. It is hard to weed through the debris to see that, in fact, there is light and love and hope.

I don’t know about you, but I have found that even though I truly hate these parts of life and would vote for being done with them (really, if there was a place to vote and I missed out, I’m going to be so bummed), they have given me a wealth of knowledge, experience and, yes, even joy. Teaching me to look beyond what is presented to me to see what might lie inside or underneath or maybe is exactly what it is and only that.

I have spent a good chunk of this week doing all of this. And, honestly, I tell you I have needed every skill I’ve picked up along this 52-year journey of mine in order to gracefully walk through it.

But I find myself stumbling a bit. The most challenging part of this for me has been the hate and cruelty directed at Stephanie and I. Personal attacks on our character and threats to our businesses. It is painful, shocking and, honestly, a little scary.

Oh, and I almost forgot . . . undeserved. We do not deserve this kind of reaction, projection and irresponsibility. Actually, no one does. I understand the disappointment and frustration. We both do. We have a lot of the same feelings in relation to this as you do.

Honestly, how could we not? SS09 has taken so much time and energy to plan and implement. Add in the extra time to be taken seriously and, well, does anyone really think we have worked this hard to make something that many could participate in no matter what they chose to do while keeping the costs down as far as we could get them, only to have registration look like this? This was definitely not the plan.

We have run reports and based on what we have found and what we have gotten from IT experts there was no way we could have predicted this and we would be hard pressed to afford a server situation to take care of it. You should see our IT friends faces pale when we tell this story.

Our IT team is running reports and problem solving with us so we can work through this in an efficient and timely manner.

We are rallying.

We are painstakingly going through the emails to solve everyone’s problem and we will do our absolute best to do this.

There were 12,000 signed up on our mailing list. This is the number we went by. Rule of thumb is you count that 10% of that number is your true customer base. Knowing our actual customer base, we took that 10% and multiplied it by four. In the non-knitter world, that would have been more than enough (and actually a bit of a financial risk on on our part and a huge leap of faith). How could we have known that not only would we be hit with more than the 12,000 but over double that? ( that would be at least 30,000) We could not.

Along with the hate has also been a whole lot of patience, understanding, compassion and love directed to us and also knitter to knitter. We have a fair number of emails from knitters offering to give up classes so someone else can have one. We have lovely stories about how people tried and tried and got in or maybe they did not and how they are choosing to deal with it to make the most positive experience for themselves.

There are those that will think I am making excuses or belittling their experience. I am not. I’m just trying to give us all a little perspective. It is easier to problem solve when the problem is clear and not clouded with other issues.

We will keep you all in the loop so keep checking in.


We aren’t going to be putting up the page where you can search for your registration, because it isn’t a “for sure” way of telling what’s going on. When we were testing it, we had a lot of trouble and realized that, if we put it up, what’s going to happen is that people are going to search, not find themselves, figure they aren’t there, and freak out. Meanwhile, they are (in fact) there, they just have a typo or glitch. We’ve decided to make sure that everything is accurate by doing it all MANUALLY, ourselves. That means that, if you have a problem, you should write to us on the “Contact Us” page with as many details as you can and we’ll sort it out. If you already wrote us, we’re on it. The first refunds went out today, and we have all our staff working only on this. Also, we have hired more staff and the IT company is lending us people. It should go quickly, but please be patient. We’ll sort everybody out as best we can, as quickly as we can. The good news about duplicates is that there may be some open slots coming up on the website. Haunt the place, you might get lucky yet!

Answers to most-asked questions and comments:

-No. We can’t make it bigger. It’s already the biggest ever. It’s really big, and there isn’t more room at the Conference Centre, and we actually don’t have a responsibility to make sure everyone can fit. A knitting conference for tens of thousands of knitters isn’t a reasonable thing to ask of us.

-No. We can’t get the bigger ballroom at the Art Museum. It’s is booked and has been since we tried to book it before.

– No. We can’t put more students in all the classes. Class size is dictated by the teachers. That’s industry standard and if the classes were any bigger you would just be sad that the classes were so big you couldn’t learn in them.

– No. We can’t get Barbara Walker to do some extra lectures. She’s almost 80 and a retired and extraordinarily well respected matriarch of our community. We won’t be exhausting her.

No. we don’t agree that we are horrible people because you didn’t get what you wanted. We are very, very sorry you are disappointed. We are even sorrier about the server crash, because it made what we now understand was inevitable – a lot of disappointed knitters, a lot who think that if the server hadn’t crashed it would have worked out for them. The server slowed down for all of you. It crashed for all of you. Nobody got an advantage and we’re heartbroken that you’re sad. Write to us. We’re helping everyone as best as we can. Really. While we don’t think we’re horrible, we know that this feels horrible, and we want to make as many people happy as we can.

ooops P.S. PLEASE, the blue moon staff and sock summit team ask that all the love messages be sent here in comments and to Stephs blog. Thanks ever so much. 

Settling Dust

Just a quickie, because we’re still hard at work here.  We’re really tired, but we’re going to keep going.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  For everyone who experienced a glitch, and everyone who didn’t. Thank you. We’re doing our best to sort out some of the remaining troubles.  We know that some people who used the “back” button on their browsers ended up with double classes (See? We told you the back button was bad) and we know that a few other people are wondering if they are registered or not because their email didn’t arrive. We know that even a few more of you registered twice because you panicked, which we totally get.  We’d like to ask you to do three things for now.

1. Stop. Relax as much as you can.  The classes are mostly sold out now, (For real) Things might open up as we resolve the few problems above, but mostly, we believe that the way things look now are the way things are.  We know there are problems, we are working on solutions for everyone, and we’ll post as soon as we have simple ways to sort them.  Our IT guy is busting himself creating a page for you to log in and check what you got and make sure you’re all right.  We’re still working.

2.  Please wait until that page goes up to send us a complaint.  Could be you don’t really have a problem yet, and sending us “Contact us” mail about it now only means that we’re not going to be able to tell who really has a problem and who got solved by the check page.  Let’s do that first, and then we’ll deal with every single person as fast as we can.  We didn’t sleep last night, we’re not sleeping tonight – we haven’t even had a meal yet today.  Promise.  You are, and have been our priority for more than 36 hours.

3. IF YOU DID NOT GET A CONFIRMATION EMAIL, GO CHECK YOUR SPAM FILTERS. Look around. See if it’s there. Many of you are confirmed, but had the email bounce back to us.  This could be because your email security rejected us, because it’s caught in the spam filter or, and I hate to say this but we can already tell there are quite a few of them… people who spelled their email addresses wrong, because they were rushing.

If you think maybe you spelled your email wrong, don’t panic.  The check system will let you find your registration, correct your email and get the confirmation mailed to you again.

I repeat. Do not panic. I know that this has been really hairy. (Trust me, we know. Oh – boy do we know.) We’re very sorry for any anxiety or upset the server overload is causing you.  Our apologies. 

Server got a kick start.

Server is up and running just too much too fast.

I really am sorry if any of this has caused upset and grief.

We did our dead level best to make this run as smoothly as possible.

The classes are NOT full. It was just a massive overload to the system.

If you go look now you will see that there are a lot of classes available.

We are answering your emails as fast as we can.

There is an ebb and flow here class wise so check back.

We know this is upsetting and frustrating and cannot apologize enough.

Server Down

The traffic load has taken the server down.

Please stand by we are working really hard to bring this back up.

We have many techie types on this and feel oh so awful.

Steph and I will post when it is fixed.

thank you for your patience and understanding


Hit me baby one more time.

Are you kidding me? Are you freakin kidding me?

Really, I want to know.  Holy @#$%, I cannot tell you how tired I am of this. Really. I’m so sick and tired of not being taken seriously because I sell yarn. I’m tired of the blank stare. I’m tired of the little condescending grin. I’m tired of the rolling of eyes. I’m tired of the conspiratorial glances.  I’m tired, sick and flippin’ tired, of not being taken seriously as a businesswoman because evidently selling yarn isn’t a lucrative business.  I mean really how could you possibly be successful selling yarn of all things and sock yarn to boot.

I don’t know why I continually say this is unbelievable because it happens again and again and again.  I think this eternal optimism of mine just might be hiding the real truth. I think it might be hiding the fact that I am a bit dim, a little on the slow side. It must be, because every single time it takes me by surprise.

Every single time.

Like when I get a call from the bank telling me that they’re not going to take my money because I must be running a scam because there could not be any possible way to bring in this kind of money this quickly by selling sock yarn. Surprise!

Or when someone decides what I need based on the selling of yarn or organizing a knitting conference or heaven help us a sock knitting conference. Surprise!

Even better yet when what I’m communicating about what I need based on what I know is second guessed or blatantly ignored. Surprise!

When I am not given all the information I need to do my job.  Surprise!

I mean really I couldn’t possibly need a dedicated server. There’s no way I would have that amount of traffic. Oh no lady you certainly do not need a storage pod that big for yarn.  I could not possibly need that kind of security or a specialized database. Oh no. No way.

I couldn’t possibly need to know that there is not one ramp and door to back up and unload at but two and other docks that big trucks can unload at. Because, of course, we are not going to bring truckloads of yarn in; we’re just going to be using a van or two. Seriously, what do they think we are filling that marketplace with? Legos? ( Don(tm)t get me wrong I love the lego.) It just couldn’t possibly be yarn.  Hell no, not yarn or anything used in relationship to it. No way baby.


How could you possibly fill a market place that large with yarn. How could you possibly be bringing in truckloads of it. I do not know why I am continually surprised and staggered by this, but I am.  And this is where I am beginning to suspect the dimness on my part. Because I do keep falling for this.  I keep expecting my fellow humans to take me seriously especially when I am paying them well and on time.  I am usually an optimistic upbeat look on the bright side of things and enjoy how the world works and all the people in it that make it work that way girl. BUT this, this keeps happening over and over and it causes me to waste time and energy and sometimes to look like a fool (something I loathe) and

I feel resentful, frustrated and a bit angry. I am trying really hard not to take it personally.

Today is one of those days where I am not being very successful at it.


p.s By the way that little code malfunction above isn’t really there. Just ignore it.

the dyer who couldn’t

I miss dyeing. I am a dyer, a job I love.

I am a dyer whose time is preoccupied with other jobs, a lot of them.  All of these jobs are important and need to get done and some of them of even fun

however, none of them are dyeing.

This has been weighing on my little colored heart lately and inspired some “interesting” late night musing.

You know that moment when you are filling out an “official” form, and you come to the line that asks for occupation? Well,I don’t know about you but this has often caused me to pause and ponder . The pause is natural and logical if you are one of those people that change careers, work experiences…jobs. I am most certainly one of these people. In almost 52 ( shh) years wandering the planet I have been a sound engineer, sous-chef, manager, therapist, musician, baker, advocate for rape survivors and mother ( and yes I do consider this a job). These are the ones that stuck for the longest and meant the most.

The last 10 years I have spent dyeing and building my own business.  As a small ( I swear it is) owner one of the things you end up doing a lot and is not one of my favorite parts, is the filling out of the a-fore-mentioned forms.  At this point in time I am a business owner, CEO if you want the official title. Funny isn’t it? Makes me laugh all the time.

I wear many hats in running Blue Moon and in all honesty pretty much enjoy them all. Some of these jobs I rock at others not so much. I have learned just so much, a staggering amount of knowledge, experience and a ton in the personal growth and development department.

Running through all of this, every single fiber and thread of it is the thoroughly set truth that at my core I am a dyer. I have loved and learned from all of my career choices and they certainly mirror who I am. This whole dyeing thing though, it is cellular for me, my life-blood. It physically hurts (someone) if I go too long without mixing powdered colors together to translate what I have seen or dreamed or feel or love onto yarn. It has been too long, way too long.

So today I am a dyer that is not only going to work on sock summit, ad work, pattern proofing, write a blog post… but since my head is so full of color thoughts I am also going to take a couple of hours and go play in the barn with dye and yarn.

p.s. You know that dream I had of a marketplace filled with us dyers?  Guess what? It is really happening. We have so many hand dyers coming to be a part of the Sock Summit Marketplace. Have you seen that vendor list?  So much color joy. If you cannot find me at the summit just look up because I will be floating on a color cloud.

I almost feel like we should give the marketplace a name to reflect all of the color glory.  Any thoughts on this?

Happy Friday!

How we roll …

at Sock Summit Central



Post-its are us. Even though the class info is in a very nice database and on the website this post-it system of ours still makes us feel secure.


Our brains just could not contain it anymore. So in keeping with the whole white board/post-it class schedule of wonder meet the wall of organizational bliss.


Big sock knitting conferences need big planning equipment and supplies.


And a little light. hehehe


Take a moment to stop and smell the skunk cabbage.


As you can see all is going well!

Mothering creates a life.

Being a mother is a hard job. As is true with a good bit of life, some of the most challenging parts are also the most rewarding. Like the joy of watching someone take their first step and all the other firsts that follow, to the heart break when your teenager looks at you that first time like you have grown horns and are the most hideous thing on earth and then finally fear and pride when they walk out the door to make their way in the world ( my most painful mothering moment…the letting go).

What stands out for me today in this mothering journey, what speaks to me, the mother of 23 year old Narayan , 16 year old Rabia and 12 year old Sophie is how this job asks you to constantly adapt. If you have more than one child you have to adapt to what each these developing people needs from you as a mother. The same is true for different age ranges and boys and girls. Walking through your days making the shift between caring for a baby, meeting the needs of a young adolescent and a preteen son or a teenage daughter. That is a lot of gear changing.

As our children grow, we grow, it is inevitable.  Our roles change in their lives and again we adapt. See, it so… just all over this job. I think the the whole pregnancy giving birth thing is a really big tip off to what is coming down the pike.

Anyway I am sitting here realizing that being a mom to these three wonderful people has given me the most well rounded experience based education. Nothing could have prepared me better for what I am doing now than my job as a mom.

Where else are you going to find better training in one package for; time management,( baking cupcakes for 30 kids that you just found out about while helping one through a homework crisis and feeding the baby) ,schedule organization, juggling, coercing, throwing a baseball, mediating (nothing tops refereeing two teenage girls), creating problem solving, applying make-up, listening, not being listened to, patience, mind reading and adapting, constantly being open to what is new and different in front of you. All of this, every moment, this is one day.

Oh and I almost forgot and it is an important part to remember that all this happens while you are sleep deprived. I have always wondered if maybe the sleep deprivation helped a bit here. Maybe it is important not to be fully conscious through some of this.

All of it, every last bit involves adapting to the circumstance presented to you in that moment in a manner that serves everyone as best as possible including yourself.

I like who I am as a mother and who I have become because of being a mother.

I really, really like the three people I have been blessed with mothering.

Sophie and Narayan and Rabia thank you for making me a mother.

I love you beyond measure.

Happy Mother’s Day !!