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Posts from the ‘Sock Summit’ Category

Sock Summit News

This week in Sock Summit-land the goals and accomplishments are: ( For the purpose of retaining my jovial outlook this morning I am listing the accomplishments first.)

The group insurance policy for vendors is now available for purchase on the site as part of the vendor form.  Those of you that had already sent in your contract we sent a bulk email out with a link to this form.

If you are a confirmed vendor that has submitted your contract and you did not receive this email please contact us. 

Also, if you are a confirmed vendor that has changed your mind about coming could you please let us know. Thanks!

On April 26th we will be making all unclaimed space available to those on the unconfirmed vendor list. Those of you on that list will receive and email with the vendor login and password so please look for it towards the end of the week.

Canadian vendors we have not forgotten you and have your spots held. We have hired a NAFTA lawyer to figure this out so we know that we have all of our bases are covered. We cannot tell you how sorry we are that we were not more on top of this.

We now have a lt more info here and will be sending you a letter at the beginning of next week. woohoo

The FAQS page is up and running. We will be adding to this weekly. If you have any questions please send them to .

The general schedule has been updated. There is now more specific times for everything that is happening.

Teachers have been contacted (again) for material lists and other such teaching necessities.

The sponsors are getting the Sock Summit graphic for advertising this morning. ( Thank you Tim)

Today we are picking colors for the t-shirts and ordering them.  We will be making these available to you soon through our sponsors. More info on this soon, like real soon.

The class schedule is being coded into the site right now and our goal is to have it up by the end of the week. So send successful coding energy our way.

There was a bit of a snag here and we need proofing time so this will go up on Monday the 27th.

We are working on some of the more fun and creative parts of this and will be making announcements as to what this involves very, very soon. (Debbi thinks we should have a contest to find better ways to say “soon”)

We just have to make doubly sure that all of our t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted.The dotting of the i’s is what I find the most challenging.

A good start to a Wednesday. Have a good one!

LOVE the “soon” suggestions.

Important Vendor Insurance info

We have taken the amount of coverage that you need down to what we feel is more reasonable.

We are doing this even though we have been advised otherwise.

I again think this is lack of knitterly understanding we are up against.

If you have already sent us your contract no worries I will change it to reflect this new amount.

We are also looking into other insurance over-writers to see if we can find a more reasonable one.

It is my goal to have this settled this coming week and have this information out to you.

I apologize for the confusion and any undue upset or stress this might have caused any of you.

Also we are having some bounce backs when we send emails so if you email addy has changed since you contacted us please send us the new one.

thanks for your patience

Exalted and Cherished Vendors

As of mere moments ago the Vendor Info category on the Sock Summit website has a Vendor contract payment form.

We are sending and email out to all of the confirmed vendors with a username and password and link.

You will need to enter the username and password into the pop up window and then it will take you to the form.

Please, oh please, I am begging you to read all of the information supplied on this contract.

I know it is long and might seem tedious, but there is a lot of information there that you will need and that wee need you to know.

To submit this contract click on the (Signature Button) at the bottom is how it gets to us and let’s us know that you at least saw all those words.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us. or here also works.

After we receive all of the confirm vendor contracts and process them, we will then take a booth tally and contact non-confirmed vendors with those booth opportunities.

I anticipate that this will take a week or two.

I swear every single time we launch or announce a new part of this my insides get all weird and funky. It is a little terrifying.

The cool thing about this one is that Steph and I are actually together in real live person.

The long distance thing make these big milestones a little more stressful than they need to be.

So to be sitting across from each other problem solving all the little quirks that rear their pesky little heads during a launch like this is well pretty flippin great.

Now if ST2 was also here…well… .

Ok off to work the schedule.

Brand spanking new

WEBSITE!!!  Look isn’t it beautiful?

…and it has a lot of information. A whole lot, so make the beverage of you choice, get cozy and have a look see.

There are classes and prices and times and accommodations and a bare bones schedule (that will be added to as we progress).

There is an information email addy.  So, if you have any questions you can email there and we will do our best to answer them.

Phew, that was a lot of work.  Now I can see if there is any yarn to pack for Camp.

We will send out a bulk email on Monday ( not the weekend) to everyone on the attendee list. That would be all 11,459 signed up there.

Sock Summit Website

We did an IP migration last night and blah,blah, blah,blah. lots of techie stuff to do with servers and who knows what else.

There was a glitch and it seems to not be working.

I am sure it will get fixed today but as of now it is not working on every mac system we have here.

On the positive end we are moving along on the website upgrade. The new website is awesome wait til you see.

So excited!

P.S.  So it turns out that everyone can access this but me. No one is having a problem seeing the sock summit website except me.  How funny is that?  Hear that sound? That would be me laughing all the way out the door to the acupuncturist.


Imagine, if you will, you are innocently starting your day. Coffee in hand, you sit down at your desk, shuffle the pile of papers around so it at least looks like there was something accomplished the previous day. You open your email and peruse the list of incoming messages and, as you scroll down, there is an addy from an az@something-or-other and it looks unfamiliar but doesn’t seem to be junk. So, nonchalantly you open it. Hover that little arrow over it and innocently click on that name like it is has no significance at all. Like it is just a regular everyday sort of thing and not something that will have great meaning and alter your day, if not your life.

This is what happened to me on a Tuesday in August of last year. I opened that email and what I saw was a note, a request for information to teach at our humble little Sock Summit. And it was from my knit heroine. In my inbox on that Tuesday was an email from Anna Zilboorg. Take a minute to breathe . . . I know I needed several. I almost passed out.

Well, after I screamed and giggled and cried (Sorry, Anna; if you are reading this, the gushing is just going to go on for awhile.), I emailed her back and told her that, of course, I would love it if she came to this event of ours and I gave her my phone number so I could fill her in on the details. Then I prepared myself to talk on the phone with the woman who kept my color self going right when I doubted it the most.

I tried to prep for this call by talking to Steph and Debbi and JC and saying, “You are just not going to believe this . . . guess who emailed me and I am going to talk to and . . . oh no! How am I going to talk to her? . . . and I am going be be incoherent and a fool and there is no way she is going to want to do this after talking to me . . . and on and on it went until the next morning when, in fact, she did call. I admit that the whole previous day I fluctuated between the fear of what I would do if she did call and what I would do if she didn’t. I drove everyone here a little nuts..

You probably get by now that this was a huge thing for me, but I will try to give you a bit more of the why. About twelve years ago, I found Anna’s book on Turkish socks in a used bookstore in Corvalis, Oregon and it saved my little color soul. I was frustrated and wondering if, in fact, all of those around me were correct and I didn’t know what I was doing. That I didn’t have any color sense at all, had no design talent, and truly should just play in my studio and leave it there.

Sitting on the floor of that bookstore, I saw in her book all of those marvelous socks with all of that vibrant color and design and intermingling. How the color and patterns danced and sang with each other. How this person was not afraid of color. How she was willing to play and experiment. There were no limits for her in this realm. I thought then (and still do) that imposing limits on color keeps you from creating magic and art. And I had found in this little bookstore in a small town in Oregon a kindred spirit. And I finally felt that I was not alone. And from Anna I found the courage to keep on playing with color, pattern, and yarn design. And . . . so far so good.

So I am sitting at my desk and the phone rings. I look at the caller ID and it says “A. Zilboorg” and I sit there for a brief moment (that felt like years) anxiously frozen. I finally answered it and there she was. She was extremely gracious and handled my gushing admiration (I did warn her of my adoration in advance) with kindness. We had the loveliest conversation about the Summit (she was excited) and color and yarn and . . . . I told her I would send her the specifics so she could make an informed decision. She did. She said yes. She said that she would love to teach at the Sock Summit. She said YES!

When I found this out, it was rather late here on the west coast and certainly too late to call Toronto. So I called Debbi (“cockeye”) and was crying and saying “She is coming, she said yes!” over and over like a mantra. Deb says that was certainly not what it sounded like (she thought someone had died) and, hey, isn’t it Steph’s job to scrape you off the ceiling? Thanks, Deb. You scrape well too.

It turns out that Anna and I are indeed kindred color spirits and are developing (at least from this seat) a lovely friendship.When we talked about what she would teach and she asked me what I would like her to teach, I came back with “What do you love to teach?” She of course said, “Color.” Be still my heart! Sigh. We chatted about how she would like to do this and I sat there with tears streaming down my face listening to her speak my color mind and soul. I was so blissfully happy.

After she was done and before I could stop myself, I asked her if I could be her assistant in the class. I know. Sometimes the mouth is completely disconnected from the brain. She said absolutely not and that we should do it together as a team. Typing this here and on the contracts and on the schedule has put me right over the moon. It was the same as when I was trying to tell Prisclla Gibson Roberts who I was and what I do and she said, “Well, of course I know who you are and what you do.” Another story for another time. This is the flip side, the bliss side, the complete opposite of the massive work side of creating this Summit. And the wee bit of stress that goes with it.

Probably the most important part of the Sock Summit for me is its soul (sole). The full circle. The connection of the past and present.  Joining together. Honoring where we have come from. All of our teachers are extraordinary. Each and every one has something special to share with us and we are profoundly lucky to have them all. The whole beautiful staggering list of textile wonder.

And then there is our list of goddesses. (I don’t think anyone will be offended by me using that word, stating the obvious, what we all know to be true.) These women have charted the pattern we are following and we will have the opportunity to walk among them, sit with them, listen to their stories and wisdom, and give them our thanks and respect. I don’t have the words to do justice to how exquisite I think this time will be for us all.

Anna, I want to thank you for so very much. Truly, it is a long list. But I would especially like to thank you yet again for boosting my courage, for helping me keep on track with this conviction to make sure this part of the Summit is full and rich and real and joined.

I am sure that I am not the only one that has a story or a moment involving any of these and other talented knitters and how they have influenced us and our knitting.

If you build it they will come.

The resounding chorus back and forth between Steph and I for months now has been. You are not going to believe this. No really, you are not. I mean I know I said it last time I called, but really, you better sit down because well… you are just not going to believe it. I cannot even tell you… and it was on and on like this for weeks. It has been ridiculously exciting and crampingly terrifying all in the same moment.  Really all of these people are wonderful and I know that when we finally meet there are just going to be embarrassing moments. I see lots and lots of gushing. Don’t you?

“If you build it they will come”, this has been our mantra.  Quite a leap of faith and an apt description of how this feels from the inside out. 

I really liked The Field of Dreams when I first saw it, but now it speaks to me in volumes. Every step from walking into the Oregon Convention Center to this stunning list of teachers, to the close to 8,000 on the mailing list, to what is next in building this sock knitting vessel, cradling this dream.

Building a dream at this point I would like to take a moment to thank our sponsors for helping us make this be all we want it to be. 

Simply Sock Yarns, WEBS,, Southwest Trading Company, The Fold, Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks and The Loopy Ewe.

You have our dyed in the wool gratitude, in my opinion way better than undyed gratitude.

As you read this list of talented knitting, spinning, crocheting, writing, designing teachers you will get a taste of what this has been like.

In my very fertile imagination there are many conversations that play out today something ike the ones Steph and I had. The ones that start with you are so… not going to believe this. Do you see who will be teaching at the summit?

We are thrilled, humbled, honored and honestly staggered to host this wealth of knit knowledge.

For detailed teacher bios go here; and here;

Here they are in all of their knitted glory.

Cookie A

Star Athena

Deb Barnhill

Judy Becker

Lorilee Beltman

Anne Berk

Cat Bordhi

JC Briar

Nancy Bush

Laurel Coombs

Angela Davis

Carson Demers

Amy Detjen

Laurie Drew

Abby Franquemont

Chrissy Gardiner

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts

Marjan Hammink

Anne Hanson

Sivia Harding

Stephen Houghton

Janel Laidman

Judith MacKenzie McCuin

Betsy McCarthy

Denny McMillan

Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Lucy Neatby

Tina Newton

Heather Ordover

Clara Parkes

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Deborah Robson

Merike Saarniit

Joan Schrouder

Charlene Schurch

Amy R Singer

Meg Swansen

Barbara Walker

Karen Whooley

Anna Zilboorg

See… isn’t it wonderful!

On the website if you click on the teachers names you get their bios.

Classes and Descriptions and Pricing to follow soon.

Waiting is hard…

It just is.

As a child I had the hardest time waiting and would fidget and cause a world of trouble, mostly for myself.

If my mother had relented and taught this little left handed girl to knit then it would have certainly solved a lot of her impatient tina-related headaches.

I am still trying to wrap my head around that and honestly I have always thought it was revenge an even exchange, but I digress.

Back to waiting and how difficult it is to wait for something that you are excited about.

The birth of a child, the end of a story, the beginning of a story, a holiday, visiting a far away friend, vacations, your turn, water to boil, a plant to grow, that first step,

yarn to come in the mail, turning a heel, a blocked shawl to dry… maybe a teacher list to be posted.

So much anticipation and excitement.

Glorious anticipation full of possibilities. I love those full of promise moments and I often relish this time even though it can be a bit hard on the patience muscle.

So what can we do here while we wait one more day for this moment?

What could we possibly do while we wait? hmmmm.. what can we do?

Holy mother of all, you know what we could do?

We could KNIT!

Well, actually, you can knit.  Steph, web chick (susie) and I are going to wrap this baby up.

( knit the list, knit the list, knit the list!!)

Stay tuned tomorrow here, there and back here at the bmfa blog.

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

Sock Summit Update 3 ( where we are now)

We are buried in mounds of virtual paper. Lots and lots of amazing and intriguing class proposals from quite an impressive group of teachers.  Thank you so much for getting these back to us within the deadline. It does help in keeping things moving along and on schedule.

This brings us to the next step, going through all of this knit brilliance, organizing and framing it all into a cohesive and thorough representation of all that is sock knitting from cuff to toe, yarn to needles.

We will be contacting teachers within the next few weeks to go over the details, ask and answer questions, sign contracts, basically setting this part of the stage.

I think this is one of the fun parts like putting together a really big knit puzzle. This class piece goes here and look it fits so nicely with this one and then creates this space… (yeah, call the geek squad).

There are also a fair amount of vendor information sheets that have come in. Debbi is going through these. If you have not sent yours in yet, please do so as soon as possible.

Vendors can expect to hear from us towards the end of December with more information.

Our wonder-web people at Hops Studio are working on the next phase of the website. Cat, Claire, Gail and e few others are pulling together a really exciting KAL that will start very soon and go through the beginning of July.

We are checking the sign up info weekly. Vendor and sponsor info is sent out then, once a week. We are not ready to send out attendee info and probably won’t until after the beginning of the year. for updates please check here. This is the easiest place so far for us to do this. The moderators on the Ravelry group will do their best to answer questions and or bring them to our attention. You can also comment here or email a question to the appropriate addy from the sock summit update 1 post here.

We do have hotel room blocks in the area with Sock Summit discount rates. We will put these up with the next website upgrade. This is why all of the hotels seem full we have them, so don’t panic.

Well, I think that about covers it for now. Off to wade through all of this glorious sock knitting brilliance and talent. There is a lot. There are not enough words to tell you just how privileged I feel to be part of this knit tradition. ok…