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Tuesday
Aug182009

Leslie H Reports from Sock Summit 09

I'm sure you've all heard by now (you who are knitters, crocheters, sock fetishists, or merely curious Portlanders wondering who the heck was cramming up the Voodoo Donuts line) the sighs and fond reminiscing about the first-ever Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon, the weekend before last. Even while vacationing, way up in the mountains on Peak #7, the following week, I heard the reverberations of that once-fabled Sock Summt, where socks from far and wide came to mix and mingle, share deep thoughts, and seek beautiful new patterns.

And, of course, to boldly go where no socks have gone...

Oh, who am I kidding? It was all about the donuts for some knitters. Here is Amanda from Lorna's Laces, with Natalia Apple of the  Purls Beyond Price blog, noshing on what looks like a Fruit Loop donut and maybe just a chocolate-glazed.

Let's contemplate the maple bacon donut...which I, fair-weather vegetarian, bit into, only to feel both joy and pain in a single delicious moment.

But nevermind the donuts, no full Sock Summit day could've been started without a deliciously smooth cup of Portland's finest brew, and so I started out my mornings religiously at the counter of Red Square Cafe. Thanks to our amply stocked supply closet back at the office, I also left them with a few packages of our Greetings from Knit Cafe coffee sleeves. I got around to a few other hip spots as well...

...including Powell's Bookstore cafe, and even the Convention Center's Starbucks. Cha-ching!

Mmm, now that we're fueled to the max on virtual sugar and coffee, let's have a look at some of the beautiful booths (and booth people) who helped us sell our STC Craft creations: the brand-new Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner (displayed with samples of the socks , which folks just loved!), and the STC Craft classic-to-be, Knitalong, by Portland gal Larissa Brown.

Thanks to the wonderful Sandy Kay of Knit Purl...

...the lovely (and lucky) Shannon of Twisted...

...John (way back there selling!) of Village Spinning and Weaving...

...Dawn and pal of Fiber Rhythm Craft and Design...

...the folks at the Cherry Tree Hill Yarn booth,and Lisa of the popular Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks booth, where Judy Sumner spent most of her Marketplace hours.

Our books and authors got out to the knitting shops around town as well. Here's Judy Sumner signing stock at the lovely Close Knit (while the talented Nancy of the blog Getting Purly With It winds yarn and shows off her handknitted flowers)...

...and here's Judy enjoying conversation at the local designers party at Knit Purl.

Local STC Crafters Leigh Radford (One More Skein, AlterKnits, and AlterKnits Felt) and Larissa Brown (Knitalong) enjoy the party with friends...

...and (yay!) even a random cute boy gets lured into the mix!

Next highlight of the night...this crowd at Powell's Books' "A Night For Knitters"! Around 80 people!

Judy was a natural on the stage! Inciting laughter, curiosity, and even sympathetic awww's when she talked about having to reknit some socks because of color issues. Of course, the crowd also loved looking at the socks from the book closeup.

Larissa Brown got a chance to talk about her book, and her fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, the Knitalong Barn Raising Quilt Raffle, which ended up raising $600 (here are a couple of the gorgeous quilts, hanging out with Larissa at the Sock Summit author signing earlier that day).

By the time the authors finally finished with the line (and signing the massive amount of stock piled up for them), it was nearly time for bed...and for dreams of the next morning's Barbara Walker lecture. Now, I really didn't know much about Barbara Walker before this trip (I'm pretty new to knitting), so I just sort of expected to be sitting there politely, trying to stay awake while knitting my first sock ever. But seriously! This woman is hilarious and super-engaging, and she's done everything! Modern dance! Square dance! Feminist writings! Tarot card designs! And I so want to read her book The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets.

Well inspired, Judy and I headed off to Knit Purl once again, for Judy's Japanese sock technique classes, where everyone had a blast!

After such a busy two days, it was back to the hotel for Judy, who was finally feeling the effects of nonstop hobnobbing! I headed back to the convention to take random pics of this curious yarn culture!

Oh, and here are some crazy people posing with me. They claim to be my parents.

No, really, my folks surprised me and hopped a plane from Sacramento to Portland! Somehow they wrangled their way into the Marketplace, which they quite enjoyed! My mom bought giant glitter needles even though she doesn't knit, and my dad stood around commenting on the funny knitted hat/wigs he saw.

Eventually the parental units left to go dine at some place called Burgerville, and I moved on to the Ravelry party! I was pretty beat by this point, but I spread some STC Craft love about, and took in the awesome site of hundreds and hundreds of Ravelrers moving and shaking (and of course, knitting and crocheting) and winning raffle prizes from the fun-loving Ravelry mavens.

Sunday! Last day of the Sock Summit, and I got to experience the Luminary Panel. Did you know that Barbara Walker invented SSK? Did I know what SSK was? No. I've since learned that it stands for slip slip knit, and it's a way of decreasing and making your sock or whatever get narrower. One day I'll SSK like the best of them here: Cat Bordhi, Nancy Bush, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Lucy Neatby, Deborah Robson, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker, Anna Zilboorg.

Look! A Luminary attendee is covering up with the Knitalong quilt they won. Nice! (Thanks to Mary-Heather of Rainy Day Goods for this great pic!)

And the closing ceremony cake? Well, I ran away before I could get near it. Toooo many dooonuuuts!!!!

Aside from all the extra calories and caffeine, this Sock Summit was an amazing endeavor and a fantastic success. I, for one, am really looking forward to next year's summit, where we will "sock it to 'em!" yet again. Thanks for reading!

 

Thursday
Aug132009

Sewing Green ”Show Us How You Sew Green” Special Offer

Sewing Green author Betz White and custom-fabric printer Spoonflower are teaming up for sustainability. Betz has designed a new Sewing Green print (shown above) and Spoonflower is printing it on 4-oz pure organic cotton. The fabric is available for purchase through Spoonflower's Etsy shop.

To celebrate this beautiful eco-smart collaboration, for $6, while supplies last, Spoonflower will send you a swatch the exact size you need to sew the Organic Washies from Betz’s book. And to sweeten the deal, we invite you to take part in our “Show Us How You ‘Sew Green’” Contest for the chance to win the book of your choice from STC Craft.

We’ve created a Flickr group called “Show Us How You ‘Sew Green’”. To enter, before noon EST on September 14th, post a photo to this group showing one of the following:

-a project you’ve made from Sewing Green (to see a gallery of images from the book, including the washies, click here)

-a project you’ve made with Betz’s new “Sewing Green” fabric

-a green or eco-friendly craft project you’d like to share

For more details and to share this offer with your friends, click here.

All eligible entrants who upload a project photo will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win the STC Craft book of his or her choice. On or about September 14th, 2009, we will pick three (3) winners in a random drawing. (To see our online catalog, click here and here. To see galleries of images from many of our books, including Sewing Green, click on the titles you're interested in at right.)

Limit one (1) entry per person, per Flickr account. We’ll be contacting the winner via Flickr mail, so please be sure your account is linked to a valid email address!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are 18 or older as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59 AM ET on 9/14/09. Visit www.abramsbooks.com for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

Wednesday
Aug052009

Where Will STC Craft Be at the Sock Summit?

 

The question is, where won’t we be?! From all over the Sock Summit Marketplace, to the world famous Powell’s Books, to knitting stores all around Portland, Oregon (and yes, definitely stopping by Voodoo Donuts!), STC Craft will have holes in our socks by the end of this exciting weekend! Stalk us via our sock trail below, or follow us on Twitter @ STC_Craft to get up-to-the-second updates on what we’re up to!

Can't make it to the Sock Summit? Don't be sad! We've got something to keep you busy as well. Etsy has partnered with us to offer a complimentary copy of the Tatami Socks pattern from Knitted Socks East and West (shown above).  Click here to download.

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6

7-9pm: Sock Summit Opening Ceremonies, Introductions, and Reception

Mixin’ and minglin’ with the teachers, organizers, and, ohh . . . just thousands of knitters. Someone is going to get their knitwear snagged for sure!

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7

8:30am-1pm: Sock Summit Marketplace @ Abundant Yarn Booths 506 and 508

Larissa Brown will be signing her book, Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together and raffling blankets for the Knitalong Barn Raising QuiltFundraiser for Doctors Without Borders.

11am –noon: Close Knit 2140 NE Alberta Street (corner of 22nd and Alberta); 503-288-4568

Book-signing and trunk show with Judy Sumner, author of Knitting Socks East and West, a compilation of 30 sock designs inspired by stitch patterns from Japan, most of which have never been seen by Western knitters until now. So many beautiful socks to fondle!

1:30-4:30pm: Sock Summit Book-Signing (Hall A1)

Larissa Brown will be signing copies of Knitalong, alongside knitting greats such as Cat Bordhi, Clara Parkes, Amy Singer, Barbara Walker. and many more!

6-9pm: Knit Purl 1101 SW Alder, (503) 227-2999

Portland Designers Showcase: Mix and mingle with local knitwear designers, including Larissa Brown and Leigh Radford—author of AlterKnits, AlterKnits Felt, One Skein, and the upcoming One More Skein. Cocktails are rumored to be here. Ooh, and do check out their site; they’ve got all kinds of fun things planned for this weekend!

7:30-8:30pm: Powell’s Bookstore 1005 W. Burnside Ave.

A Night For Knitters: Book-signing and Q&A with Judy Sumner, author of Knitted Socks East and West, and Larissa Brown, author of Knitalong. A night, and a bookstore, not to be missed!


SATURDAY, AUGUST 8

8:30-10:30am: Sock Summit Marketplace @ Abundant Yarn Booths 506 and 508

Larissa Brown will be signing Knitalong and raffling blankets for Doctors without Borders

9am: Sock Summit Lecture (Room: C123 (AV) (L))

Attending the lecture, “How I Became a Knitter” with the prolific and inspiring Barbara Walker 

11am-noon: Close Knit 2140 NE Alberta Street (Corner of 22nd and Alberta); 503-288-4568

Book-signing and Knitalong Trunk Show with Larissa Brown

Noon-1pm / 1:30-2:30pm (same class twice): Knit Purl 1101 SW Alder; 503-227-2999

Judy Sumner, author of Knitted Socks East and West, will be teaching a workshop on four different Japanese stitch patterns used in her book. Call to register. Fee of $35 includes a signed copy of the book.

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9

1:30-4:30pm: Sock Summit Luminary Panel (Oregon Ballroom)

Rubbing elbows and needles with knitters who’ll be ga-ga for these folks 

And…be sure to scout out the following booths for signed copies of both Knitalong and Knitted Socks East and West!

Abundant Yarn: Booths 506 and 508

Close Knit: Booth 214

Knit Purl: Booth 1022

Knitwear and Dyeworks: Booths 801 and 803

Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design: Booth  307

Village Spinning & Weaving: Booths 901, 903, 1000, 1002

Twisted: Booth 812

Cherry Tree Hill Yarn: Booths 715, 717, 719

Hope to see you there. Remember, to follow our tweets @ STC_Craft!

Monday
Aug032009

Betz White's New Organic Fabric Line

 

Betz White, author of Sewing Green, has just released her debut line of organic cotton fabric called Family Cottage. Her inspiration:

I believe there’s a place in everyone’s life
real or imagined
in your mind or in your heart
in your backyard or far far away
where you are truly yourself.
Not defined by what you do or to whom you belong
but by the person you have always been deep down at the core.
The authentic you of your childhood, when long summer days stretched on forever.
When time stood still and there was nowhere to be but right where you were.
Fun and joy and life just happened.


To see more photos of the fabric and to read more about the collection, visit Betz's blog.

Friday
Jul312009

Last Stop on Vintage Baby Knits Blog Tour

This is the last stop on the Vintage Baby Knits blog tour, so author Kristen Rengren and I thought it would be fun to end where this book adventure began--with a few of the original vintage designs.

Original Jasper Diamond Hoodie (top left)

 

Jasper Diamond Hoodie in VBK

 

Original Violet Sacque (top left)

 

Violet Sacque in VBK

 

Original Harry Sailor Sweater

 

Harry Sailor Sweater in VBK

 If you'd like to see sample pages from Vintage Baby Knits, click on the book cover in the right margin. If you'd like to see a gallery of images from the book click here. If you're interested in learning about working with vintage patterns, check out Kristen's Knitting Vintage blog tutorial.