The opposite of alert

Finally, Sock Camp is over… and all the campers and staff have gone home, and Tina and I are staying on for a while to work on Sock Summit, and we are entirely and totally done in, which makes both of us really rather nervous, because here we are, finishing sock camp destroyed, only to work on Sock Summit, which is like sock camp on a steroid injection plan that would make a hardcore wrestler flinch.


This would make us think we were crazy people, except for we already knew that we were crazy people. Camp is crazy. We had scavenger hunts, games, learning, classes… Cat taught a new archtechture for socks, which is crazy by itself, because I can’t believe she thought of another architecture for socks. (She’s going to teach it at the Summit too. It’s not a finished thing yet. Her students have been sworn to silence) and that there is part of the crux of the thing. Sock Camp is a crazy idea. It’s a great big slice of crazy pie, but it’s not just that. Underneath the games and the fun and the antics the campers get up to, there’s something else going on, it’s just in disguise.

The students were asked to go on a scavenger hunt, and they did… but really they were making friends and building community. They were asked to knit a sea creature or a crab and tell it’s story.. and they did,


(Click to Embiggen – and you really should.)

but really,


they were unleashing their creativity, and I think they surprised themselves. (I know they surprised me.)

In a culture that has trouble valuing art, and valuing our sort of art as knitters in particular, camp offers something bigger. A chance to show off. A chance to have your peers, people who understand what you are making and why…


a chance to look at the bigger picture. A record. A chance to know names and value work and tell the stories of what we are doing and how hard it was.


A chance for us to know each others names even, which is valuable in a culture that doesn’t really have a fibre arts tradition that takes down this sort of thing and write the names of the artists within it down next to the names of painters, or songwriters… or poets. It gives me a chance to tell you that this is Sarah.


She’s a knitter. She’s a pilot. This is her spindle-spun cashemere, plied with a strand of silk and knitted by her own self… and it’s really beautiful, and it’s art, and at sock camp?


There’s a whole lot of people who care about her efforts… and want to know her name. Sock Camp looks like fun, and it is, (A lot of fun) but it’s also a place where knitters get what they deserve. Validation. Encouragement. A place to pass information on and help each other know things, expand ideas…


move the craft forward and make sure that nothing is lost as we go.

I love Sock Camp.

Now. I have a Summit to plan. It’s going to be like this. But bigger.