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Camp musings

We are almost at one of my favourite times of the year, Sock Camp. (Shhh… don’t say it out loud, but I’m pretty sure it’s only weeks away.) As we let this year’s theme seep into all the details, big and small, I can’t help but remember where we’ve been, how we got there, who we got there with, what we’ve learned, the crazy fun we had, and the the lasting bonds we formed.

This trip down memory lane happens for me every year. I quite enjoy it and thought maybe I should share some of what I remember and feel.

As we come up with the Camp theme, which in and of itself is boatloads of fun (The list for years to come is long) and colourway, I think back to all those very first camp chicken colourways. If I remember correctly, the first go around each tribe had their own colourway. (Can’t even imagine how I pulled that one off.) For my own sanity, I now do one colourway for the camp as a whole. I like it better. A many-hued glue that binds us. I love watching through the rest of the year what all the campers knit up with it. 

Last night I was up to the wee hours of the morning watching some old video footage that I finally figured out how to download from Camp Cockamamie. It’s not the best quality but you can still get the feel. It certainly was the of start of something, you could feel it. That is when you sat down long enough to catch your breath you maybe could feel it. What boggles the mind (and what might be why we’re all reeling when this is all said and done) is the wide range of experiences we go through in 4 days. A veritable roller coaster ride.

From educational:
We’ve learned a whole lot about anything remotely to do with sock knitting (traveling stitches, cast-ons, bind-offs, troubleshooting, dyeing, beads on our socks, lace, colourwork, cat-work…) from some pretty talented,adventurous and, yes, brave sock knit-wise teachers.


See? Very serious, mind-bending learning requiring wicked concentration and focus.


To wackily creative:
Camp projects. This has come to be one of my favourite parts. Every year I am amazed, just stunned by the creativity, talent and joy of knitters. Most of us end up in tears at some point along the way.



Camp Homework:

Where the fun starts before we all arrive. When I sent out my first homework kit and directions, never in my wildest dreams, and wild they are, did I think or hope for what our campers showed up with and keep showing up with year after year.

Every year I think it can’t get better and every time it does. I think they should be art installations and some should maybe be performance art because, as is so often true, it’s the story that carries the heart of it all. At Camp Crows Feet, the sockateers set up all the homework in a room and would not let me see it until it was all ready to go. I’ll never forget walking into that room. I was blown away. I was not the only one.

Someone asked me recently which of the themes homework wise was my favourite: the chickens, the raveny tp covers, the oceany goodness or the boobies. I love them all, but I have to pick the boobies because of the bravery that depth of sharing required from most of us. Laughing and crying in the same moment. Heartwarmingly beautiful.


Camp. The whole idea in the beginning was that it was campy. Kind of a cross between kids camp and knitters gone wild. I do believe we’ve achieved our goal. I also think we’ve retained the campiness throughout the years. We play games, have contests, get all crafty and work together for a common goal and good. We sat in circles the first 2 camps and knit together on the same blanket which we donated. We made sock monkeys, tiny little sock monkeys, and we dressed them, gave them names and personalities. We’ve made sock puppets twice now and believe we have the next new theatre craze. Yes, that would be sock puppet theatre. We made them from cotton tube socks one year and then an orphaned hand-knit one then next. We’ve had knitting races of all kinds. We knit under water. Knit as two handed duos. We’ve knit with some freaky weird stuff. (Some of us better than others. I sucked at this one.) We have scavenger hunts or challenges.

Crazy fun!

As I I look around at all of this joy and community I think maybe, just maybe this all might be a bit healing. It’s not just one component of it either. It’s the whole package as one.

Laughter is damn good medicine.

As I said in the beginning I love Camp. I love all the parts some a bit more than others. It’s great fun, exhausting and moving all at the same time.

What I love the most is pictured below:



  1. Ah, Sock Camp! One of the very funniest moments had to be Cat B and The Harlot with their anatomically correct chicken laying that felted egg formed over a cabbage. And making prolongued painful sounds in the process. Tears of ROFL laughter. And yes, you made a different yarn color for each group. And I think as well an overall one for the camp? Nothing if not prolific you are.

    November 30, -0001
  2. Hazel Smith #

    What an ad for camp. This year I’ve chosen Sock Summit over camp, but next year might be CAMP year. Laugh on and on and on(oh, and knit too).

    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

    November 30, -0001
  3. Mya #

    I can not even tell you how much I look forward to camp every year. For the last month or so every time I’m grumpy about work or about teaching classes or grading papers my husband says “how much longer til sock camp?” If I didn’t know better I would think he’s trying to get rid of me. Only 17 more sleeps!!!!!!!

    November 30, -0001
  4. So much laughter and fun! I’m counting the days and working feverishly on my homework!

    November 30, -0001
  5. Katharine #

    Oh, your post has only made me more nervous and excited about the whole experience.  With everything else going on, it is going to be wonderful to feel like a little kid again.  I only ask that you don’t make me laugh so hard that I pee myself on day one. smile

    November 30, -0001
  6. melissa #

    camp is the most fun ever! Have a GREAT time!

    November 30, -0001
  7. Alice in the Heartland #

    Waaah! and I don’t get to be there this year. I will enjoy vicariously through various blogs, Ravelry and #virtualsockcamp on Twitter. I even plan on doing my homework. (I’ll post it as a Rav project.)

    If there are still spaces available and folks are still wavering. STOP! To quote Nike Just Do It! It is so much fun, so many new/old friends, such a wacky wonky good time. Well worth it at any price (except going into debt or having broken something).

    Everyone going have a wonderful time in Wonderland.

    Happy Knitting and lots of hugs, Alice

    November 30, -0001
  8. Alice in the Heartland #

    P.S. Katherine, just to be safe, wear panty liners. This group rocks the laughter.

    November 30, -0001
  9. Stephen #

    Camp has become an annual tradition to share with my mother. It’s the highlight of my year, to see her laugh, cry, learn, and enjoy herself.

    Personally, I never knew that going to sock camp would result in leaving my job. But you never know where sock camp will take you!

    November 30, -0001
  10. I still have my chickens on my living room bookshelf proudly displayed. And I will forever remember what a cloaca is (thank you Cat!)

    November 30, -0001
  11. We LOVE you too Tina!  I shall miss all of you dearly.  I was getting teary eyed just now as I was reading.

    Have fun!

    November 30, -0001

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