The final day - Sunday - was the slowest of all as far as sales went. But - Barbara Walker came to our booth! She came for her present and wouldn't you know it.... it was missing! I was so embarrassed! And the only thing I could think of was that someone had stolen it - so I was upset, too. She was really nice about it, saying, "Don't worry - it's fine." Then she leaned in and, in a conspiratorial whisper, added, "I live in Florida and, truthfully, I really don't even knit anymore!" We chatted a bit more, she signed my autograph book and went on her way.
I was stewing about the stolen Stitch Saver and I sat there and quickly made her another one so I could give it to her at the Luminary Panel. Later, I found out it wasn't actually stolen. When Donna and I had the overlapping classes and we got help from one of the women in the booth behind us - she sold the Barbara one. We forgot to tell her they were for the teachers!
At the end of the day, another teacher came back - Betsy McCarthy. She had already picked up her present the first day of the Market and now she came back right before Market closed and ordered 2 Customized ones! I made them up for her quickly and told her, "If there's any problem with these - just email and I'll send a new one. I've never made a Customized one that fast!" She was great to talk with and we kept looking at each other in that way you look at someone that you know but can't place.
Also, as we were gathering things up to dash off to the Luminary Panel, I got another visit from the lovely Heide and she brought me two small jars of jam that she had made! I LOVE jam and was so happy I didn't even know what to say! I've since finished the raspberry jam (soooo delicious!) she gave me and am cracking open the plum jam today. Can't wait!
When Market closed, we grabbed some knitting, left our booth as it was (we had until 9p that night to clean/pack it up) and dashed to the Luminary Panel. We got decent seats and I went to the front row where the teachers were sitting and found some of the ones I'd missed, gave them their present and got their autographs. Lorilee Beltman took the wee mini-skein of Donna's out of her little baggie and said, "OH! I've been looking for a skein this small all weekend so I could do this...." Then she took the skein and put it insider her hands and did the "Here's the church, here's the steeple" thing only changed it for the Sock Summit. The Oregon Convention Center has two spires on top and when I first saw it I remember remarking on what a waste of space and construction those were! But later realized it made the damn building a lot easier to find! So Lorilee said, "Here's the building, here's the spires [putting index and pinkies up], open the doors and see all the dyers! (turning her hands over to show the little skein)" Very clever!
Betsy and I were eyeing each other again and she was the first to say it, "Do we know each other?" I laughed and said, "I know right? You look so familiar to me, too!" Then I gave a run down of places we might know each other, Fresno, Clovis, Army, Tucson, Colorado - but no dice. We didn't know each other! Then she told me a funny story about being on a train in Chicago and some guy giving her the "don't we know each other" line. She was blowing him off when he said, "I know!" and said Betsy's cousin's name! He thought she was that cousin. One of those small world things since neither Betsy nor her cousin live in Chicago and he knew her cousin some ten years earlier!
The panel started and I took my seat next to Donna. Donna said she might not stay for the whole thing as the knitting royalty isn't that big a deal to her. She said I should stay because she knew I liked it. Cool! She lasted about the first hour, hour and a half then went to break down her shelves. I felt guilty staying but she insisted it was fine, so I did.
The panel was.... interesting.
Tina and Stephanie took about 20 minutes to introduce everyone. It was kind of sweet and funny as they kept getting all twitterpated and almost didn't' make it through introductions!
So, right to left, we had Nancy Bush, Judy Becker (of Judy's Magic Cast-On fame), Barbara Walker, Meg Swansen, the podium with Tina and Stephanie, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Anna Zilboorg, Deb Robson, Cat Bhordi, and Lucy Neatby.
After intro's, Stephanie asked the first question of the panel and was met with silence. She said, "And this is my nightmare." Everyone laughed and she saw that she was going to have to single people out so she called on the first person (I think Nancy).
The Panel talked about the industry and was it hard to be taken seriously as a knitter when trying to get things done and all sorts of things. At one point, Stephanie asked for each panelist to say how they got into the industry and Meg Swansen quietly said, "I was brainwashed." That got a good laugh! Later Stephanie asked her if she thought it was more difficult in the industry to be taken seriously as a woman, to which Meg replied, "I don't' know, I've never been a man." She's funny!
Anna Zilboorg gave a gem of a thought with this...
"So much of ordinary life is so...ordinary, tedious, and demanding," she said. "When you have knitting, it really carries you through." Then, after a brief pause, "If you're a knitter, that is."
(Seriously want to take that woman to lunch one day!)
The, um... interesting part was that one panelist in particular kept commandeering the discussion and would ramble endlessly, telling her life story, never really getting to the point (or question at hand) and would talk.
In such a way.
That you never knew if she was finished.
Because she usually.
It was so strange! At one point, this woman talked (in that odd, halting manner) for nearly 15 minutes straight! And, as I said, she never answered the question posed to her and never came to any point at all except to tell us her apparently very unhappy life story. Also, the last day of Sock Summit happened to coincide with the 99th anniversary of Elizabeth Zimmerman's birth. So, Tina and Stephanie had sort of an EZ bent to some of the questions and this panelist didn't seem to care too much for (or maybe just didn't care about?) EZ and actually was a bit insulting about it! Especially odd (rude) considering EZ's daughter was up there with this panelist. It got a bit uncomfortable for Tina and Stephanie but they handled it with diplomacy and aplomb.
Other then her, the Luminary Panel was a lot of fun! Very bright, engaging women up on that stage. Very cool stuff! (For more on what the panel talked about, Clara Parkes has a great review of it (along with the rest of Sock Summit) here.)
After the Panel was over, they brought out this enormous cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to EZ. Then everyone kind of mingled. I went up on stage and gave Barbara Walker her fresh present. I also gave some of the other teachers who hadn't made it to our booth their presents and got their autographs. I found Stephanie and told her I found all the teachers and ST team members I could but some had left early or weren't to be found and could she pass on the presents to them? She said yes, then gave me a hip bump and said, "I'm pretty sure we have all their addresses as we still have to pay them!" and we had a laugh. She cracks me up! Tina came over and Stephanie told her that I had the extra presents. I had them in this little square, deep plastic lid and I pulled them out one by one and handed them to Tina as I explained who they were for, "This teacher, that ST member, this teacher, blah, blah." By the time I was done, Tina's hands were full and she looked at me and asked, "Can I just put them in the plastic thing?" All three of us cracked up! Of course, how silly of me! Here's Tina standing with her hands overflowing with about 9 of these things and I'm standing there with an empty container! I'm a dork. Again.
I walked around a bit, saw two of the teachers I'd missed and went back to get their presents. (I told Stephanie I was taking them so they didn't think they were missing later.) I took Sivia Harding's and Cookie A's. It was so cool to get to meet all these people!
Then I raced back to our booth and.... sure enough.... Donna had the whole thing broke down and mostly packed up! I told her to just relax and chill out and I'd take care of it when I got back but she couldn't sit still.
Anyway, we got everything packed up and did our shipping forms. We goofed around with Jennifer from Holiday Yarns and her co-hort Tsarina from Tsarina Tsocks.
Then we took our remaining things and went to the car.
We got to John and Melissa's in time for dinner. We took them to their favorite Indian restaurant and had an absolutely delicious meal!
On Monday, Melissa drove and we went to Pine State Biscuits. It was on Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives and was everything the show promised. Holy Cat-Head Biscuits, Batman! I ordered a biscuit and the Grits Cake Sampler (as seen on the show), Donna got the Biscuits and Gravy, and Melissa ordered a biscuit and some Biscuits and Gravy to go (for John who had to work that morning). They told me the Grits Cakes would take awhile as they are made to order. So I ate my biscuit with the delicious jams (strawberry and... loganberry?). When the biscuit was gone, I was still waiting for the food so I ordered another biscuit because damn they were good! (And I still had jam left. Y'all know how I feel about jam!)
The Grits Cakes came out and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I don't like grits. I've had them in the Army and I've had other people (that really know how) make them for me and I'm not a fan. These were not a bowl of grits. These were 3 small round cakes (only about the size of a silver dollar each) and they were topped with 3 different kinds of wonder. The first I ate had a fried green tomato and some pimento spread. Yum! The second had a fair sized piece of their special fried chicken atop it along with some hot sauce and honey drizzled over it. Oh. My. When I speared the chicken with my fork to cut it, all these lovely clear juices ran out. mmmmmslobbermmmm. The last, and my personal favorite, was topped with prosciutto and a sharp white cheese. sigh. So. damned. GOOD! I'm just happy they don't have one around here because I would be enormous and broke from eating there every day!
Donna said she's on a quest to find the perfect biscuits and gravy and Pine State ranks up there, tied for first place with a joint she went to in Miami. Melissa's biscuit disappeared pretty quickly, too!
Then we went downtown and Melissa took us to Powell's Bookstore (another thing I'm happy isn't too near me!). Wow! Is that place big and wonderful! Then she took us to a street full of fun and funky shops. Then the Rose Garden (smells so pretty!). Then back to her place. We said our goodbyes (John was back) and went to the airport.
What a nasty surprise we got when we turned the rental car in! Donna found a rockin' deal online. $189 for the 5 days we were there! Plus about $10 a day so I could be a driver, too. So, by my math that takes us up to about $239 - still not bad considering we didn't have any hotel bill. Well. The final bill with all the "taxes" was $313. W. T. F! That totally pisses me off! It's not a deal if they screw you in the end. Donna said it's not the car company's fault as they can't keep track of all the different city, county and state taxes. I say Bollocks! They don't have computers??? There's absolutely no reason they, as a company, shouldn't' know what's being charged where.
Uneventful flight and in Denver about 11p. Donna's husband was kind enough to pick us up so late and take us home. We had a bit of trouble finding each other because DIA is set up stupid. The baggage pickup is downstairs and you can go outside to a curb but it's only a curb for buses and cabs or something. Not really marked that way but there it is. So you have to go back upstairs with your bags to get to a curb where personal cars can do pick-ups.
When I got home, I went to see the boys in their rooms. Trev didn't wake but Davis woke a little. He said, "Mommy!!!" and hugged me and went back to sleep. When I went to see him in the morning (Trev was already downstairs) - he did the sweetest thing!
Before I left, Davis was getting a little worked up that I was going to be gone so long. I sat him down and said, "Davis. I'll always be with you. No matter what and no matter where we are, we'll always be together. I hold you in my heart [I put his hand over my heart]. And I'll always be with you, too. Right here [I put my hand over his heart]." I told Trevor the same thing.
When I woke Davis the morning I was back, he smiled and put his hand over my heart and said, "I was right here all the time." I had to lay next to him and hug him tight so he couldn't see my eyes welling up. My boys are so dear!
So there's the Sock Summit. Only took me two months to write about it! I think I'm still recovering. hah! I'll probably talk about it for the rest of my life. I had such a great time!
Back to the real world, Ruth!