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Archive for August 18th, 2009

Guinness World Record Attempt

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

When I was at the Sock Summit conference, I participated in a fun group event. Over 900 knitters came together to make an attempt at the world record number of knitters knitting together at the same time. I do not have any photos, because I was busy knitting. However, there is a great professional video at Oregonlive.com which does a nice job with the story.

It was quite fun, I don’t know why for sure. I think for me, it was about being with that many others who share my same passion. We all love to knit. Many do not understand, but for that fifteen minutes, we all were in it happily together.

There were rules. We all knit for 15 minutes. We used two straight needles (no double-pointed needles and no circulars). We could purl, as that is part and parcel of the knitting process. Ripping back was not allowed during this time, however. Hiccups had to stay in the piece until the 15 minutes were done.

We did not set the rules. Guinness set them before we were involved. There was a group in Australia with fewer than 300 people, who set the record earlier this year. They had the same rules we did. Since we are socknitters by virtue of the conference subject matter, many of us do not typically knit on two straight needles. There was a knitter in the room who had a basket for unwanted straight needles which were going to a charity… for those who got needles specifically for the event and did not want to keep them.

I knit something called double-I-cord. Regular I-cord requires double pointed needles if done the standard way, but double can be done on single-pointed straight needles. I knit skinny sock yarn on size 10 bamboo needles, just because those were the supplies I had with me when it was time to start. I had expected to miss out on the experience due to time restrictions, but it worked out and so I grabbed what I had.

In the end, that double-I-cord became the “chain” for my Mini-Chippy-Sock necklace. Here is a photo:


Sock Summit Teachers & Incredible Evening

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I’m still processing the amazing experience which was Sock Summit. So often in my “real life,” portlandannazpeople don’t understand that I love knitting socks. Yes, one can buy them for a good price. But they can’t have exactly what they want that way. Maybe they aren’t picky, but I am.

So here I was at Sock Summit, an international socknitting conference. Here were thousands of folks, passionate about the same thing I adore. It was incredibly powerful.

I’m fond of saying “You can’t buy passion.” You can’t decide, either, what it is you will be passionate about. It comes, and it’s yours. Some are into coffee, some wine, some motorcycles, some gardening.

I’m into socknitting. In particular, colorful wool socks… ethnic-inspired (or historical) socks, more often than not. I loved socks before I knew one could knit them. After? They are my career.

What I Didn’t Do

I didn’t meet anyone from Ravelry or my blog unless they came to me… I swear, I am distractable enough to only notice what is in front of my nose when things get off my regular routine. I had a great time in spite of missing out on meeting some very cool people from online.

I didn’t sleep enough. In fact, I fell asleep with my netbook on my lap two nights in a row, trying to blog or tweet or something. I got back to my room so late that I just couldn’t stay awake to do much.

My Classes


I took Publishing with Deb Robson, Ethnic Socks & Stockings lecture with Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and Turkish Stitches lecture with Anna Zilboorg. Also Opening Ceremony and Luminary Panel. And the Guinness World Record attempt (935 people knitting for 15 minutes at the same time, in the same room), which I did not expect to do and which was quite entertaining.

Somehow I didn’t get any photos of Deb teaching. I think I was too fascinated with her subject (publishing in the knitting realm). Here are photos of Anna and Priscilla (more than their socks, this time), teaching.

The Best Part, for Me

I missed the Ravelry party because I instead spent the night having dinner with Deb, Priscilla, Anna, and Nelda Davis (dear friend of Priscilla’s from grad school, also a textile scholar and ethnic sock enthusiast). It was Turkish Sock Heaven.

Anna crashed early, but the rest of us were together about 4.5 hours, documenting my own 4 pairs of socks from Turkey and having a quick look at my Andean hats as well.

A Dream, but Not

It was surreal. Surreal. The women who write the books who have made my own Turkish Socknitting pattern/teaching adventure easier (by writing books on the subject) spent time with me, and we all were equally passionate about it. Well… I think nobody could be as passionate on the subject as Priscilla, but the rest of us follow closely behind.

Here is a photo of Deb Robson, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and Nelda Davis, documenting my Turkish sock (you can see it was a pleasant time):

Deb Robson, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Nilda Davis

More photos of the evening:

Priscilla looking at a few of my Andean hats.


Passionate Priscilla in a pensive moment.


Deb perched on chair taking photos of my socks, PGR looking on.portlanddebpriscillaphotos

Nelda, poised to steam the sock into shape for photos.


Deb with magnifying glass, inspecting stitch irregularities while Priscilla pins sock to maximize photo quality. Deb spoke of this on her own blog, here. It turns out that the (anonymous Turkish) knitter ran out of white yarn and substituted another, part way through the sock. Unfortunately, it was handspun and very different in gauge. This introduced a change in stitch count and other irregularities which Deb and Priscilla investigated in depth.


Deb and Priscilla, expert spinners, determined that the second yarn was from a different fleece altogether. I would not have noticed.

Many Gifts

Deb and I made friends through my blog. We have communicated several times a week for a few years now. However, I knew that some day I’d meet her at one fiber event or another. I did not have to manage a trip to Oregon in August (slow time for knitting income) to see Deb.

But Priscilla is not teaching these days, she’s mostly retired from public events. She did decide to do Ethnic Sock lectures at Sock Summit, after she was assured that Nelda and Deb would assist her. I was not sure I’d have a chance to meet her at another time. (For the record, Alice volunteered to schlep a lot of Priscilla’s materials around for much of the time. I don’t have Alice’s photo but she was great fun at all times.)

I told Priscilla that the reason I made sure I did this trip, was to hear her speak. Meeting her in person, working with her for 4 hours, was an icing on the cake that I did not imagine possible. It was totally surreal, in all the best ways.

What Now?

I’m sure my work is ready to change in the direction of more colorwork. I have many projects partway in development, but I need to follow my singing heart, toward more and more colorwork.

Can you see why I’m still sort of twirling and not settling down quite yet? I don’t know which direction to point next. Thanks, Deb, for making this meeting of the minds include me. I’m honored, and still blown away, by the experience.