Ah, it’s been one year since the first Sock Summit and what can be said about it that hasn’t already been said? Well, from my perspective, it was the best knitting event I’ve ever attended. Ever.
What was so unique about it?
Well, ask anyone who attended and first and foremost, it was the friendliest and most humble, grateful, and open group of people I’ve ever met.
To contrast, I attended Spring Fling, which is put on annually by the wonderful team at the Loopy Ewe. Unfortunately, I found the attendees to be a little clique-ish. I don’t know how else to say it. I arrived solo and at a time in my life when my own local friends had all moved to other states, or distant jobs, or were simply too busy for various reasons – new babies, new husbands, new jobs, you know the drill. We’re women. We’re busy!
Now, I don’t fault a single person at Spring Fling – they DID know each other. They had been there many times before. Most of them lived nearby, they had existing relationships, ongoing discussions, etc. Sheri was fantastic, checking in with each of us newbies and sitting to knit with each of us for a bit. Still, in the end, whenever I sat down at a table where I, of course, knew no one … the conversations at the table continued and well that was fine and all that. Of course, I did try to get in on the action, ask questions, share my projects, admire their projects, engage my knitting neighbors. In the end, it all seemed just a little reserved to me. It was probably a result of the situation I was in personally; I don’t know.
At Sock Summit, however, it was completely different. When any of us sat down, he or she was immediately welcomed. Names, Ravelry IDs, and blog addresses were shared. Projects were admired, treats were offered. We shared walks back to our hotels. We shared our knitting needles, our notions, our beads – no questions asked. We hopped on the metro for new locations and shared cabs. We shared meals, directions, information, maps – everything. We made instant connections. It was amazing. I still mail my leftover sock yarns to a lovely knitter in New York who’s knitting a blanket from them.
I believe the difference was because we were all grateful to have been able to attend the summit. It wasn’t and isn’t a great economy and the ability to attend at all was not lost on any one of us. We each recognized that this was the very first event of its kind (sort of like Woodstock, only without all the grime), and we were individually amazed and grateful that the organizers would be so brave as to put their reputations and their own financial security on the line to pull off such an event for all of us to enjoy.
I’ve asked others who were there since I’ve returned, and they’ve all said the same things. They say they have never been to such an event before – the teachers were incredible, the attendees friendly, lovely, and open, and the dreamers who came up with the vision of Sock Summit, the Knot Hysteria team, organized by friends Tina Newton of Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee were humble, willing to help, grateful to see everyone – in short, it was simply amazing.
I can’t wait for Sock Summit 2011!
More sock heels to be knitted up!
Another Ravelry party to attend!
Another rousing round of “99 Skeins of Yarn on the Wall!” before the market opens.
Another chance to beat our own record for the number of knitters knitting at the same time in the Guinness Book of World Records!
Thank you Tina, Stephanie, and the entire Knot Hysteria Team from Sock Summit 2009!
P.S. Here are the Yarn Harlot’s memories of the first Sock Summit.