There’s been a lot of mail suggesting that Tina and I could have done things better on Tuesday. We’re looking into it. Our IT company has launched an investigation, we’ve got people sorting it… we’ll see. We’re more than open to constructive criticism, and it’s all getting cleaned up. More details below.

But first.. I want to show you something. Look at this. This is the sign-up sheet for STITCHES, right after the sock summit. Now we’re bigger – class wise, than Stitches. Scroll through that for a moment. Notice anything? We did. Something we’ve been noticing for a while. They aren’t sold out. Neither is TNNA. The classes at Rhinebeck and Maryland don’t always sell out either, and all of these are really big, really well established organizations (or corporations) that have done this a lot, and have nice big reputations. This was our first time out, and with the economy the way it is, we were worried about making it as big as we did. I mean, if those guys aren’t sold out, and we make ours bigger… It was a risk – and a pretty arrogant one. (We relied on the power of the sock.)

There were 12 000 people on the “interested” list for Sock Summit. We pointed that out to anyone who would listen, and they all told us that you can expect about 10% of your mailing list to respond. “Ha” we thought. They don’t know knitters, and so instead of expecting that 10%, which would have been about 1200, we expected four times that. About 5000.

For months now, Tina and I have been being treated like we’re incredibly arrogant and awful human beings for preparing for that. Our friends, families, colleagues and associates have been acting like we smoked some pretty huge SS09 dope. When you rent a conference centre, you have to put down a down payment. It costs a lot of money. We did it anyway. We watched the news about the crashing economy and people losing their jobs and nobody spending any money and we were really, really scared about losing everything on this gamble, but we did it anyway. We believed. We’re running an event with more spaces for students than anyone else.

Registration time loomed, and we got a server that people thought was a stupid waste of money. We got it anyway. We primed it to get way, way, way more hits than anyone thought was reasonable. “Thousands of people are going to try” we told them, and we didn’t let it go. We made them believe – or at least do it anyway. There’s a rumour out there that our IT company let us down… and I don’t think so. We built a huge server and a pretty good system and we tested the snot out of it. All things considered, they handled the crash really well, because what happened to our server was so insane that when we saw the raw data we couldn’t handle ourselves.

On Tuesday the 26th, at 10amPDT our server got upwards of THIRTY THOUSAND SIMULTANEOUS CONNECTIONS. That is, just to be clear… 30 000.

I am sorry for what happened next, which is that the server slowed to a crawl, then seized helplessly, then had to be rebooted several times (which was hard to do while it was still receiving that load) and some registrations were arsed as a result. When it was finally rebooted and working well (the techs had to break about 19 rules to get it “wide open”) a lot of classes reappeared and we had a round two that was a lot better. Mostly, the problems we have now are due to people reacting to the server behaving badly. There are people that the server just didn’t let complete the classes, but the people caught in a registration at the time (which was everyone- thousands and thousands) sort of freaked out. (I would have. We’re not blaming anyone. When that stuff starts happening you start problem solving.) They used the back button (which was a no-no and gave some people extra classes) they registered twice because they weren’t sure if the first one went through, and if we told you the number of mistakes (from rushing and frustration) in peoples registrations, you wouldn’t believe it. Names, addresses, emails… lots of typos, and these create extra problems all their own.


This means we aren’t going to be putting up the page where you can search for your registration, because it isn’t a “for sure” way of telling what’s going on. When we were testing it we had a lot of trouble, and realized that if we put it up, what’s going to happen is that people are going to search, not find themselves, figure they aren’t there and freak out. Meanwhile, they are there, they just have a typo or glitch. We’ve decided to make sure that everything is accurate by doing it all MANUALLY, ourselves. That means that if you have trouble, you should write to us on the Contact us page with as many details as you can, and we’ll sort it. If you already wrote us, we’re on it. The first refunds went out today, and we have all our staff working only on this, and we hired more staff, and the IT company is lending us staff. It should go fast, but please be patient. We’ll sort everybody out as best we can, as quickly as we can. The good news about duplicates is that there may be some open slots coming up on the website. Haunt the place, you might get lucky yet.


Now. A final word. We are very sorry if you are disappointed that the server crash made things more complicated for you. We feel your pain, we assure you. It was our server, we accept responsibility for its behaviour and at our own expense, we will fix all of it’s mistakes. (Great. Just what we needed. Another teenager.) I assure you however, that even with the server working perfectly (and we’re hearing from IT types that they aren’t sure if you can have any server perform well under that strain) 30 000 connections competing for (about) 4000 spots within 5 minutes meant that no matter what, there were going to be a lot of disappointed people. Servers that work perfectly don’t make more spots appear.

In exchange for doing our level best, putting down the cash to start this up and sweating blood to make it happen, including getting a bigger, better tested server than anyone said we needed…. Tina and I have had some really, really terrible mail. I’m not going to go into details, I’m just going to let you know that we’ve both cried more in the last few days that we ever have. We agree childbirth is better, and we’re both no-drug/homebirthers. This email isn’t just disappointed. It’s hateful, some of it is threatening, and we are asking nicely for it to stop. We want to hear from you. We will solve all of the problems to the best of our ability, but from now on, if we get an email that is overtly threatening, cruel, deliberately mean or wholly abusive, it will get moved to the bottom of the pile. This is not as punishment, it is because our staff (who are our friends) can no longer bear to read it, and we don’t want to make them. Tina and I will do all of those ourselves.

We’d like you to remember, before you email… that your problem is that you didn’t get into a knitting conference. It is actually not like Tina and I napalmed a village of orphan babies and then ate their puppies and it is up to you to exact revenge.

Some quick answers.

-No. We can’t make it bigger. It’s the biggest ever, it’s really big, and there isn’t more room at the Conference Centre, and we actually don’t have a responsibility to make sure everyone can fit. A knitting conference for tens of thousands of knitters isn’t a reasonable thing to ask of us. I couldn’t get tickets for the last Prince concert even though it was really important to me and I was really, really looking forward to it. I have worked through my pain, and I did it without emailing the man and saying nasty things or implying that he should be better to me.

-No. We can’t get the bigger ballroom at the Art Museum. It’s is booked, and has been since we tried to book it before.

– No. We can’t put more students in all the classes. Class size is dictated by the teachers. That’s industry standard, and if the classes were any bigger you would just be sad that the classes were so big you couldn’t learn in them.

– No. We can’t get Barbara Walker to do some extra lectures. She’s almost 80, and a retired and extraordinarily well respected matriarch of our community. We won’t be exhausting her.

– No. we don’t agree that we are horrible people because you didn’t get what you wanted.

We are very, very sorry you are disappointed. We are even sorrier about the server crash, because it made what we now understand was inevitable – a lot of disappointed knitters, a lot of disappointed knitters who think that if the server hadn’t crashed it would have worked out for them. The server slowed down for all of you. It crashed for all of you. Nobody got an advantage and we’re heartbroken that you’re sad. Write to us. We’re helping everyone as best as we can. Really. While we don’t think we’re horrible, we know that this feels horrible, and we want to make as many people happy as we can.

It is a very good thing my friends, that we love knitters the way we do, because a few thousand bad skeins are sorely testing our patience. For every one of you who wrote to us with sympathy and intelligence (and there are way more of you than the other).. Thank you. We appreciate your patience, we are very sorry, we’re working really fast, and we’re getting it fixed – but demand outstripped supply way more than we could have realistically predicted. It’s like the tickle-me-Elmo of knitting conventions, and you couldn’t have surprised us more.

Thank you for the compliment. We’ll earn it.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m putting this topic down long enough to go do a book event in Plano, Texas (I had Austin last night, what a gas) and tomorrow I’ll tell you all about it. Austin kept up it’s reputation for weird.

991 thoughts on “Update

  1. Wow, you and Tina have all my sympathies. I helped organize my kids annual school fair, and it was insanely stressful. I also learned from that experience that you CANNOT predict everything that could go wrong, and you CANNOT help the doubters and haters and people who are generally hard to please. Keep your head up! It will be a great conference! I didn’t even try to apply because I can’t afford to go. I will try for next year. Have fun!

  2. Hard to believe that ANYBODY could get mad at a couple of knitters working their tails off to make something wonderful happen. Perhaps they would be happier if you hadn’t gone to the bother…
    Way to make a dream happen!

  3. I’m so sorry. And I’m not even going!
    We know that you’ve put so much heart and soul into this — you don’t deserve the hate mail.
    Rock on,

  4. I’ve said it privately before and I’m going to say it publically now: I don’t want your job. While I’m not attending the Sock Summit (don’t ask why, living in Washington, I could certainly go), but I’ve dealt with server crashes and insane people on a smaller scale. I admire you for having the patience to not rip out all the hairs on your head and spout off some nasties to the same people who were rude to you. That’s awesome of you and Tina.
    When this is all done, you should totally soak in some bubbles with some wine (that could also be bubbly). You earned it.
    Hope the Summit goes beautifully!

  5. Wow! Hard to believe you have coped as well as you have with those numbers. I guess the good news is that the people who wrote the stinker emails won’t have to be dealt with at the conference. Here’s hoping that this frustrating event might help the rest of the folks you’re dealing with get a better grip on what is headed their way. A ton o’knitters!

  6. I’m so sorry to hear of the bad messages you’ve been getting. What you guys are doing is so amazing, and I’m sorry that a lot of people have lost their grip.
    It is a sad fact that the world does not revolve around me, or you, or you over there. Calm down. Pet some pretty yarn, people, and breathe.

  7. I’m so, so sorry some people are behaving badly to you. (I suppose it’s inevitable that in a crowd of 30,000, you’re going to get some who are a little off their rockers — knitters or not.)

  8. I think you are brilliant, and I am full of gratitude that you would suffer through this to give us what is sure to be an amazing experience. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  9. Oh, y’all. I’m so sorry for all the trouble you’ve been through, and for organizing such a wonderful things. Shame on those who are acting this way. Know that you and Tina (and everyone helping you) are appreciated and supported.

  10. Now admittedly I’m a pretty happy knitter who (after a bit of initial strife) ended up with pretty much exactly what she wanted but I feel absolutely terrible that you guys are getting hateful mail and also terrible about some of the stuff I’ve read. I am in awe at what you are attempting. Hell, I’m currently planning a wedding for 100 people and my mind is reeling at the amount of detail involved in that. I can’t imagine planning a multi-faceted event for 4000.
    Thank you thank you thank you.

  11. I laugh at anyone who only figures out that knitters aren’t all good people on reading this post.
    And I’m sorry, and rather glad I decided not to even try. *big hug*

  12. wow, I can’t believe that people would send hate mail. Why on earth would anybody think that the 2 of you hadn’t done the best job you possibly could!!!
    As you said, this is a sock knitting event for crying out loud. While it will be wonderful for sure for those who are attending, not getting to go is not a catastrophic event by any means.

  13. I really wish I were going to SS09 (I’m not a disgruntled or merely disappointed knitter…I’ve known for ages that I wouldn’t be able to go, because of employment issues, LOL!), because I’d love to give you and Tina a big hug of gratitude for all the work you’ve put into this amazing event. And buy you a couple of beer (tee-hee…I enjoyed your tweets this morning!)
    I really, really suck at math, but even I could figure out that no matter how smoothly the technology worked, there were going to be thousands of disappointed knitters. I am so, so, sorry that some people have behaved in the way they have. They should be ashamed of themselves.
    Being disappointed: totally normal and cool. Being an arsehat, not so much.

  14. No way I’m actually first, but I wanted to say that even though I didn’t even try to register (being on the other side of the country to begin with just made it too far out of my budget) I’m sure you guys did everything you could, and I’m sorry you’re getting nasty notes that make you sad. I can’t wait to hear the details of it, and maybe try for it next year!

  15. There’s simply no excuse for hate mail, and I’m glad you’re sticking up for yourselves. I hope this doesn’t turn you off of ever doing this again, but I would completely understand if it did. What does it say about this world that some people are probably MORE mad at you for not getting a spot than they would be about anyone napalming orphans?
    I’m so disheartened.
    Don’t read the ones that make you cry anymore. Please?

  16. I’m dumfounded that anyone (let alone a knitter of socks) would email you with nastiness.
    Must have been imposters.

  17. Aww, Steph. I have a big hug and a cup of tea for you. Probably some chocolate around here somewhere too. I’m not going (that drat economy thing) but I’ve been reading through your blog just how much work has gone into this and I hope once it’s done and it’s awesome and you look back the nasty emails of little people won’t even make it into your memory. If it wasn’t you, they’d be angry over something else — entitlement works that way.
    I do have friends who are going (and got classes and are super excited) and I’m looking forward to hearing their stories and living vicariously through them. Thank you and Tina for working so hard so I can get stories!

  18. I just wanted to say, from the bottom of my heart, how very truly sorry I am that you got mean, spiteful, hurtful emails about this. That is utterly unfair and awful, and there’s really no excuse for it. When it comes down to it, you and Tina are doing an absolutely incredible thing, making a fun event happen for thousands of STRANGERS that is taking up huge amounts of your time and energy — for knitters to be anything at all other than wholly gracious and thankful and respectful is ridiculous.
    All this to say, thank for all your hard hard work, your dedication, and your grace in the face of some unfortunate and, it sounds like, cruel behaviour. I feel a bit cheesy, but I really hope I can manage to achieve your level of grace and calmness in the face of such challenges.
    May cashmere fall into your lap,

  19. I’m so sorry that you’ve gotten nasty e-mails out of this. I won’t be going to the sock summit, but I sincerely hope that you enjoy the heck out of it, and I hope that this little hiccup won’t destroy the event for you.
    Tell the nasty e-mail senders to pull on their big girl panties and act like adults. In the real world 30,000 people clicking on a page at a time causes issues, and trying to actually do stuff will only make it worse!
    Congrats to those who won the sock summit lottery!

  20. Kudos to both you and Tina. What an eloquent e-mail you wrote today. I’m standing up and applauding both of you for all your hard work!

  21. I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with ungrateful people. I’m happy I have something to dream about attending next year! Finances this year were such that it was more important to go to work than stay home and try and get a spot. I just knew it would be completely sold out by the time I got home, which sounds like it happened a full four hours before I got home. I hope the joy of the even makes up for everything you’ve been for and all your hard work. Sending virtual hugs to all those involved behind the scenes, you deserve it!

  22. Wow.
    I’m sending you guys really BIG HUGS and lots of soft woolly thoughts because you guys are soooo Awesome to be putting this huge event together!
    Hang in there and again, Big Hugs!
    :o) Elaine.

  23. Wow. I’ve read this blog for an age and have never commented before, but I just have to say something.
    This post absolutely broke my heart. You and Tina have clearly put a mad ton of work into this, and to be rewarded with vicious hate mail is absurd. I have never understood – and never will understand – why the anonymity of the internet makes people behave so horribly. It’s just so sad.
    All I can say is, when you come up for air, take a victory lap. You sold out the biggest knitting conference ever with Springsteen-like speed. That’s freakin’ awesome.

  24. Thanks… I can’t wait and if I’m too shy to hug you, understand that I am thankful for all you have done and continue to do.

  25. i love you both to pieces. tina by first hand experience and you, because you are her friend and because you write and speak so wonderfully and have my own daughters’sensibilities. hope you are remembering that there are many more people like me out here than there are the nasties who write you mean notes.

  26. I’m surprised that some knitters are being so ugly! I expected better of our lot! Hope you can relax a bit on the book tour. (I’ve never been on a book tour…is the thought of it as something relaxing making you giggle?)

  27. congratulations – everyone else is seeing reduced attendance for their event. You guys as fabulous and should be congratulated. even if things had worked a dream, there would still be mean stupid people. that is not your fault. so forget them, and appreciate that 4,000 people (WOW!!!) will have a wonderful experience. Everyone else is jealous. (including me, but I couldn’t get to the event so didn’t apply. Still envious though!

  28. You ladies are amazing. I’m another who’s not going and didn’t even try to register. Just wanted to say those hate mails should never have happened. Never. Thanks for being there for us knitters.

  29. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all this after all your hard work, especially the nastygrams. Don’t let them get you down. Clearly, they’re not spending enough time knitting.

  30. I read a lot of the vitriol on threads on Ravelry and was very embarrased by the lack of perspective of some. I was pleased by the rallying of the more compassionate and the reasonableness of many of those who were disappointed. Many many blessings to you both and all those helping you. You rock big time, hang in there you amazing and wonderful woman!!

  31. I am so sorry to hear that people are working out their frustrations by treating you (and Tina and the other staff members) badly! I watched some of the Ravelry threads get pretty heated and I was hoping that things would calm down. The last thing any of us should want is for you guys to decide it just wasn’t worth the pain and not do a Sock Summit II! Hugs…

  32. I am absolutely gobsmacked that that people, KNITTERS are sending you hate mail after all the work you and Tina have put into this. They should be ashamed of themselves AND abusive behaviour should cost them any spot they have at SS09.

  33. Holy Horse!
    Hate mail and threatening mail?! You have got to be kidding me! Those knitters need to get over themselves. I am so very sorry that this has happened to you and Tina.

  34. I’m so disppointed in my fellow knitters that they could turn on you like a snake and wish you harm. Shame on them. I guess now you know why Meg Swanson’s Knitting Camp is done by lottery! For all those disappointed, I say, if you treat Stephane and Tina nicely, they may do it again next year. Under the circumstances, I wouldn’t blame you for not doing it again, ever. I did manage to sign up. No, I didn’t get all the classes I wanted but so what!? I’ll be there, in the place, with all the other knitters, some of whom are already my friends and some who will become friends. Peace and wool!

  35. Please add my comment to the congratulatory and sympathetic email pile.
    I knew I couldn’t go this year, but am thrilled that you’ve set up such a fantastic event, and we blog readers KNOW how much you’ve put into it. I hope this won’t put you off doing it in future years.
    I can’t believe people haven’t been universally supportive and understanding. It’s the FIRST time for crying out loud…
    We loves you, Yarn Harlot and Tina, and I really appreciate what you’ve put together. Keep that stiff upper lip – and what a fine fine blog post this was. Elegant. Remarkably polite. An example.
    Bravo and Thank you.

  36. That’s just insane. Abusive emails? Do people really think that freaking out the recipients of their emails will get them what they want?
    If this is the biggest problem in their lives, then they are very fortunate (if somewhat rude) people.

  37. Boy, no good deed goes unpunished.
    I think you’ve been hit with a double whammy: Because you *seem* nice and people feel like they know you, they have outrageous expectations. (This happens throughout the knitting world… People have way higher expectations for Interweave Knits than Time Magazine.) And because you *are* nice, all this disappointment and anger hits you and penetrates, where a jerk would be able to shrug it off.
    I imagine I hear some reinforcing of the force fields, which is necessary for your sanity in the face of so much toxic debris, but I’m so sad that all this insanity might rob you of the chance to enjoy this wondrous thing you have wrought.

  38. Just know that you and Tina are not deserving of the nasty emails you have gotten. While I cannot attend the Summit this year( how dare relatives plan a wedding at that time??) I plan to go next year and promise not to be an adolescent if the IT does not cooperate. May the knitting gods take revenge in an appropriate way on the offenders!

  39. I’m always amazed at people with entitlement issues. It’s knitting for Pete’s sake! These people with the hateful emails need to get over themselves. You are not obligated to answer, write to or in any way respond to these nasty people. Hit the “delete” button. Take care of yourselves. I am truly grateful that you come into my life through your blog. I recommend chocolate, hot bubble bath, wine and/or hot tea and, liberal use of the delete button.

  40. I also can’t believe you received any emails that was not completely understanding and supportive. Maybe some disappointment expressed in email would be appropriate, but not anything vindictive, insulting or impolite. Those who sent you bad emails and bad vibes are not worthy of the name “knitter.”

  41. In the immortal words of Bono – don’t let the bastards grind you down. Sit back, drink a nice zinfandel and allow yourself to enjoy this historic moment!

  42. Wow. *mouth agape* 30,000? *shaking head* Hate mail? *scrunching brow* The silver lining I suppose is that a load of people are coming, including myself, and SS09 is guaranteed to be quite a party! Hopefully the “how exciting is this going to be” feelings will come back after this is all sorted out. Thank you so much for organizing this event!

  43. I’m one of the people who didn’t register, or get caught up in it, because sadly SS09 is scheduled for my first wedding anniversary.
    I’m really sorry that this has shaken out like it has – I feel bad for the people who didn’t get in, and I feel terrible that you and Tina are taking such terrible abuse for it.
    You have my sincerest sympathies and good wishes for smooth sailing from here on out.

  44. I heard that the knitting goddesses have declared that you and Tina may knit mohair without ever having to rip back for the rest of your lives, and also that the squirrels in Toronto have met and decided that no squirrel shall ever steal your fleece, whether indoors or outdoors, again.
    If it makes you feel any better, when I tried to register for Stitches East the server crashed. I eventually got one class I wanted; the other was full. It never occurred to me to send anybody a nasty email.
    Lots of hugs to you both.

  45. Much as we like to think otherwise, not all knitters (or wanna-go-to-SS-cause-EVeryone-else-is knitters)graduated at the top of both Manners 101 and What is Really Important in the World 102. I suspected registration might be as it was and chose a wedding in PEI instead. Wishing I could help you as I am a heller on paper detail work.

  46. You two and your team are the best! I’m so sorry that some folks are treating you badly, because you’ve done nothing but treat us with respect and kindness. I’ll be honored to buy you beers in August.

  47. That is really awful, that people would be abusive towards you just because you couldn’t perform the impossible. Heck, you’ve performed the improbable, which should be enough to satisfy everybody!
    Knitters, of all people, should know better! I mean, what are we supposed to do when we’re frustrated? Take deep breaths and pet some cashmere, that’s what! Not heap abuse on two of the nicest, most generous people in the whole universe.
    So all you badly behaved people, first write a groveling letter of apology to Stephanie and Tina, and follow it up with apologetic gifts of cashmere and qiviut. And maybe even vicuΓ±a, depending on just how ugly you were to them. Then put on your big girl panties and grow the hell up!!!

  48. Just in case you actually see this note, do you need any volunteers to sort through the emails? I can help extract info out of emails or whatever would help. (I do have a programming background, point being that I’m analytically minded. And I’m not attending the summit, so I’m not trying to earn brownie points :D) I think it’s wonderful that you’re willing to organize such a tremendous project. Hugs

  49. 30,000 at one time (ANY time!) kicks @$$!! That is TERRIFIC and I hope you are all as proud of yourselves as you should be! I know how it feels, on a much MUCH smaller scale, to put your heart and soul into something, work until you are exhausted, and then be criticized or generally abused because of things that are out of your control and/or inevitable and it is really disheartening. Hopefully the good thoughts and well wishes and excited attendees and a successfull Summit will outweigh the negativity you’ve been exposed to!

  50. People are assholes. Truly. You are awesome, and the undeserved victim of a bizarre frenzy of spoiled tantrum throwing todllers! I hope moths get into their sock yarn.

  51. I think you are doing a great job, and you seem like a very nice person. Please don’t let the things people say affect the way you think about yourself and the job you are doing, there are some bitter people out there. And although you may not be able to do anything about the mean e-mails, consider reporting the threatening ones to the police.

  52. Dear Steph (and Tina):
    I’m so very sorry that horrible people have been sending you hate/threatening mail! Don’t read it!
    The rest of us, and you just found out how many of us there are, think you both are wonderful. You’ve worked your heads off getting this up and running and it looks like being fantastic. Hugs (30,000)!
    I’m looking forward to every single minute.

  53. I echo the kind words that proceed my comment. Unfortunately,it is too easy this day and age to send hateful and hurtful comments and ignore that there are live human beings that end up being the recipients of these comments. The convenience of the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. I hope that you know that the majority of us truly appreciate the time and effort that has gone into to create this opportunity for us.

  54. Steph, You and Tina rock! You are my heroes (and I knew I was not going to get to the Sock Summit, but just LOVE the idea, and the hope for the future). Stay strong, and have a chocolate bon-bon – with a brandy center…

  55. Stephanie, I am so sorry that you and Tina (and your family and friends) are having to deal with the nastiness of so many people. You are handling it with grace and kindness and class. I wish the same could be said of those who are so upset. I can understand being disappointed, I can’t understand being abusive toward people who are only trying to do something wonderful for the knitting community.
    I have been reading some threads on Ravelry about the Sock Summit, and I have wanted to tell the complainers to get a life. Do they have food, a roof over their heads, the disposable income making it possible for them to attend a Sock Summit? Then I don’t think they have a lot to complain about. To the nastiniks I say-Life isn’t fair-get over it-snap out of it and move on.
    Have a beer or two, or perhaps some wine, and do it in public if you want to. Add some chocolate and relax and knit. You deserve it. And may the knitting goddesses smile upon you and Tina and Sock Summit 2009.
    (I agree with the M. The abusive people could not truly be sock knitters they must have been imposters.

  56. Love to you both for all your efforts, courage and strength in the face of such abuse! I don’t even like to knit socks, but I know you have put together an amazing conference and it will enrich the whole knitting community. Stay strong, and know that you are loved and appreciated by most of us!

  57. I work with cancer patients all day/every day on the phone and it never ceases to amaze me that some of the people who have the rawest deals in life, seem to be able to respond to their challenges with grace and good humor. And then we have some people who did not get into a knitting conference sending hate mail. What is wrong with this picture? My advice is don’t read them. You already know what can be improved and will do that next year, forget about the rest. You can only control your attitude, not other peoples boorish behavior. We love you.

  58. I, too, am sorry that you got hate mail and nastygrams (WTF?), and want to add my voice to the pile of thank yous and deep, deep appreciation for even considering making this happen in the first place.
    Here’s hoping there’s lots of wine and beer in your Texas future (role model be damned!).
    – Meg

  59. Stephanie, I’m an IT professional. You know how everyone says that the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?’ Well, I’ve always said that in IT, the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting the SAME result.’ You could not possibly have done what is called ‘volume testing’ for this, and you couldn’t possibly have anticipated this mess. The only thing you CAN do (another of my sayings when things are completely f&&@#d), is “enjoy the mess.” Have a beer and relax. Nobody died because of this,(I work at a hospital, so that’s important to me). Have a beer and relax. Next year, could you please have a Sock Summit on the east coast?

  60. Wow. Just WOW all around. I knew this was gonna be big. I’ve been telling everyone I know about how BIG an event it would be. Some believed, some didn’t. None, including me, understood just HOW BIG it would be.
    Frustration is understandable on all sides of the equation. You guys have done a GREAT job of dealing with it, as have the ZenCart folks.
    Reading some of the threads on Ravelry has been bad enough. I cannot begin to fathom what kind of hate mail you’ve received. Nor can I fathom what kind of people would get their knickers in such a knot (or as Joan Schrouder said “moebius pants”) over whether they did or didn’t get a class. Frustrating? Yeah. Adrenalin rush inducing? Definitely. But enough to inspire hate mail and threats? No way!
    For those people who booked hotels and flights in advance of even knowing what the classes were, much less whether or not they could get a spot in them, well, you took your chances. To now cry foul and pout and rail at the moon that you’re not coming because you couldn’t get any classes and you feel ripped off ’cause you’re going to abandon your non-refundable airfare — well, my dears, you rolled the dice and came up craps. Sorry. If you can’t see fit to come to Portland anyway, enjoy what you can of the show and maybe drink in some of the wonderful stuff Portland and the Pacific Northwest have to offer and call it a “VACATION,” then the heck with you. Next time, plan better, be more flexible, and don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to lose.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to this more than I can ever, ever say. I’m taking one, half-day class and attending the three special events and the rest of the four days, I’m hanging around and looking to help whoever needs me doing whatever needs doing.
    And I just bet that my cheeks are going to be sore from smiling so much!
    Here’s hoping that I get a chance to buy you and Tina a pint or two. You deserve it! πŸ™‚

  61. I am so sorry to hear (and even sorrier not to be surprised) that you are receiving such ugly emails. The people who are sending them really need to step away from the computer, take a deep breath, and ask themselves “is this the kind of person I want to be?” You and Tina are handling this with immense grace, when most of us would be extraordinarily tempted to tell the haters where to shove their DPNs.

  62. Wow! You and Tina have done an awesome job. I’m sending you both BIG HUGS, a couple of beers, and my undying gratitude for all you do for the knitters of the world.
    To have people send you hate mail because they didn’t get what they wanted, when they wanted, is just unbelievable and childish. Hang in there!

  63. I just wanted to tell you that I discovered your blog at a time in my life when I had nothing good happening. You inspired me to pick up my knitting again and one stitch at a time I got through it. I will always appreciate you for that. You do good things a lot of the time. Thanks for that.

  64. As another commented, this post broke my heart. Huge hugs for everyone!
    On a side note I had just lent your books to my Aunt as she went to my grandparents homestead (she had never read them!). She is in love with your writing and was reading sections aloud for them causing much laughter and love. All three of them are responsible for teaching me knitting and crochet and it made me feel great to be able to share something back! Thanks for all you guys do!

  65. I can’t really add much to the above, except to add my total admiration for what you and Tina have achieved in terms of demand, and for everything you have done to match it, and that I find it quite unbelievable that anyone can send even rude, let alone hateful, messages about something that just (given the circumstances) couldn’t have been avoided. I’ve been reading for weeks about the preparation you have both been putting in – haven’t they?
    You’ve gone above and beyond, and can rest completely satisfied that you have all done everything humanly possible, and enjoy the Summit!
    [PS: If I didn’t live in the UK, I’d have tried!]

  66. I didn’t get in the Sock Summit. By the time I got into the registration page darned near everything was full. So I said, “Good for them! They planned this all out (two totally detail-oriented people) and it worked! In spades! Now maybe they’ll get more respect.” I was disappointed not to be in a class at the first ever Sock Summit, but I would never have dreamed of blaming the people who worked so hard to make it happen. Who knew there would be nasty people lurking among us? I guess, at a time like this, it helps to remember that bottom line we’re a bunch of fanatics armed with pointy implements and some of us, unfortunately, aren’t nice. If I locate any, I will discretely tie knots in their laceweight. πŸ˜‰ You rock!

  67. 30,000 knitters – really, I love how dedicated to the cause knitters can be. Makes me really look forward to hearing about various WWKIP Day events in different locations.
    While I’d love to go to a knitting camp, it hasn’t been in my budget yet to do so. But the joy in such an event, I would think, would be in great company and some knitterly fun. Which can be had in smaller scale at local knitting events. And there will always be more conferences & fiber festivals. I live about 4 blocks from the location for Stitches West, but I’m on a stash diet, so I didn’t attend this year – maybe next. No biggie, life will go on.
    Sorry you ladies have had to go through so much hassle. Normally, events dealing with 30,000 people are coordinated by *way* more than 2-5 people, and that would take a lot of server space.
    I hope you can get a nice relaxing weekend without having to worry about all of these troubles!

  68. This post just makes me sad. I take that back. How you and Tina have responded to all of this is incredible! This event is going to be incredible…unimaginable! Seriously, there aren’t sold out classes at Stitches, but they are all sold out at Sock Summit!!!
    But how some mean people have responded is just disheartening. I can’t even imagine trying to read those emails. The mean threads on ravelry make my heart race to where I can’t read them anymore. Just know so many of us who are coming are grateful, excited, and love you two to bits!!

  69. I was feeling sorry for myself that I did not get into a Barbara Walker event (other than the panel) but now I am ashamed that I allowed myself even that much self-pity when I realize all the work you put into creating a wonderful experience for me and as many other people as you could accomodate.
    Please add my admiration and consolation to that of your many friends and admirers.

  70. I feel for you, I really do. I do this kind of thing for a living and can honestly say that some people are just plain old bat sh*t crazy. All you can do is laugh and have a glass of wine (or a bottle) and focus on what worked. As in the number 30,000. That’s awesome.
    And if you want help with the next one, I’d volunteer in a second. even if it was responding to all the bat sh*t crazy people. πŸ™‚ Congrats on the success!

  71. I not going to SS09[it’s a lottery problem..they will not pull my numbers] but I literally drooled over some of those classes{the things I would do to be in the same room as Anna Zilboorg}. You and Tina put together an amazing, an awesome gathering of talented knitters. Congratulations to both of you and don’t let the disgruntled few diminish that for you. For every kind patient person there are 4 waiting in the wings to arse up your world…my motto “%&!$’em if they can’t take a joke”.

  72. Steph,
    Shame on the people who are throwing fits. Kudos to you and Tina for being so absolutely spectacular!!

  73. Holy Sh*t. 30,000?? Honestly, that is amazing. And I suppose it stands to reason that in that hoard there are likely to be a few arses, but it’s too bad they felt the need to announce themselves to you. Thank you for having more grace than they do.
    (And just so you know, I feel terrible that I sent you a fluffy, unimportant email message this morning with things as crazy as they’ve been for you.)

  74. Dear Stephanie, Tina, and Cat,
    Thank you for everything you have done. While I am one of the lucky ones who got spots, I was also very frustrated in the beginning, but I never said anything hateful about you, only the server. You are my heroine, Stephanie, have been ever since I read “…Women Who Knit Too Much.” You are all three mightily awesome, and don’t let the haters get you down. They stink.

  75. So sorry to hear that after all the trouble you guys went to trying to make this problem free that there are still folks who feel the need to vent against you just because they didn’t get what they wanted. Holy smokes though 30,000 hits at one time — the muggles need to learn to believe!

  76. Would it be possible to record and sell DVDs of Barbara Walker’s classes and the Luminary Panel presentation?

  77. Take heart Steph. I think you’re awesome for having the vision and the depth of knowledge to even create it. Stuff happens. Especially in the ether.I watched with great interest and envy and if I wasn’t knitting a toddler blanket in 8 ply 4 mm needles 184 stitches wide by 6 balls of yarn x 100 gms – and just started the second last ball, and the toddler is aging rapidly, and didn’t live in rural Australia, I’d sure be there, or trying to.
    Keep the faith.

  78. You guys have done an unbelievable job! Wow!! 30,000 all at one time! Do you think that could be a record?ou guys deserve all of our thanks for taking on this huge endevor.Thank you thank you thank you!!

  79. The whole thing is so amazing on so many levels – what’s being offered, the number of people who are interested in this event – and how difficult it is to get respect and success. I think you are both just awesome!

  80. Oh, my. Although I’m not going and I can understand the frustration, I can’t understand the hatefulness. I’m so sorry, dear hearts. {{{hugs}}}

  81. Even Apple’s servers crashed when the iPhone 3G went on sale last year. I think it’s commendable that your team was able to get registration running pretty smoothly so quickly in the midst of the panic. And I think it’s commendable of you to only move the nasty emails to the bottom of the pile and not right out the door. I hope you’re still aware that this event (not only classes, but market and luminaries and a trip to Portland) is bringing so much happiness to a lot of people (especially me!)

  82. It is absolutley insane that people would send you two hate mail. I agree with what some others have said – DON’T READ THEM. Folks like that who have no perspective really aren’t worth your time and heartache. I live in Portland and am devastated that I cannot get into the classes I wanted but, as you said, no babies napalmed so…yeah. All that money I can’t spend on classes? HELLOOOOOOO YARN SHOPS!

  83. So…I’m not even remotely a sock knitter (sorry!) so didn’t even contemplate going to the Sock Summit…but I am a crazy avid knitter of other things and have to express my dismay that there are angry knitters out there. I was thinking that all knitters must be nice, good, crafty types and I’m sorry that you’ve had such hostility thrown at you. As a psychotherapist, I just have to add that there are people out there (as we all know) who get their jollies out of spewing venom, actually only feel whole when they do. So put up your force fields and deflect (i.e. don’t read) the nasty comments, or even feel that you have to respond to such things. My canned response to that kind of treatment is ‘when you can talk to me in a reasonable way, I’m open to listening’:)

  84. You really put yourself out there with this all and just know that the hurtful/horribleness is the minority – it’s unfortunate it’s louder than the majority.

  85. A little OT, but I admire this as a piece of effective writing; you struck exactly the right tone.

  86. I don’t have much to contribute that hasn’t already been said, but I wanted to come out of lurkdom to offer my support and outrage. I was one of the ones who didn’t attempt to register (expecting twins and shaky finances), but I was not surprised that you had such an amazing response. You and Tina and your IT staff did everything you could to prepare, but you can only do so much in the face of 30,000 people!
    I hope that the childish behavior of people who dare call themselves knitters does not discourage you and Tina from continuing this sure-to-be-fabulous event. Please know that those people are in the minority, and the majority of knitters worldwide adore, respect, and are humbled by you.

  87. Virtual hugs to you and Tina.
    This too will pass, the sock summit will rock thanks to the all the hard work that’s been put into it.
    Kudos on having 30,000 folks all clamouring to get through.
    I pity the poor server, if it had sense it would by now be a pile of babbling circuitry in need of tea, sympathy and a room with padded wallpaper.

  88. You and Tina are doing wonderful things for the world of knitting. 30,000! I knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to make it to your SS09 and even so, I pitched classes. It is lucky for me (and all of us, really) that it didn’t work out. I will move to Winnipeg sometime in there, but while I am moving to your fair country, I will think loving thoughts in your direction. There are some totally screwed up people out there (yup, even knitters can be obnoxious) and I hope the nice notes will outnumber the crazy folks 10 to 1. I hope you both have an amazing time. Drink a beer in honor of all the fantastic knitters who will be thinking about you –at home. Please, please, try not to let the turkeys get you down. There were bound to be problems. No one’s server expects 30,000. Not even university servers are ready for that! I hope it all goes well, and wish you a fabulous experience (and a seat at Barbara Walker’s lecture) when it all happens. Thanks again for putting this on. Good on you. πŸ™‚

  89. It’s just as well that the people who have been sending you hate mail because they didn’t get classes aren’t going to be there (let’s hope they don’t get lucky in round two!) because they don’t deserve to come! And thousands of us with pointy sticks would be happy to defend your honor!! You guys did and are continuing to do an amazing job. THank you! PLEASE take time to eat and drink and rest and be with people who appreciate you!

  90. Just so that something good comes from all this unearned angst, I made my first contribution to KWB – in honor of best laid plans and in despite of the people who have nothing better to do than to strike out at those who have done nothing wrong.

  91. So glad to have been able to see you in Austin last night. It was great good fun, as always. I think the nastiness must have been sent out by impostors. No real knitter would push nastiness out into the universe. Would they?
    Keeping up the “repetitive visual spatial tasking” here in Austin.
    All our love from Tejas! Hope you enjoy the green-and-orange bag!

  92. Wow – 30,000 is quite a load. Hats off to your IT team for getting the thing back up during that sort of connection storm.
    Hang in there – sorry to hear that some people can’t handle disappointment without striking out at someone.

  93. I’m really, really sorry people were so mean. I don’t know why people do things like that. I haven’t the money to go, but I hope everything runs well.

  94. Steph, I love and adore you and I think that you & Tina have been absolutely amazing with Sock Summit. I didn’t even try to register, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to manage it among all the other things happening in my life, but I heard about the server crash and everything. I say SHAME on the hate-mailers!! Get some perspective, people!
    I also volunteer to help sort the mail for you. I have plenty of flexible time and would love to help you out any way I can. Please email me and I’ll dive in with shirtsleeves rolled up. I sincerely mean it.
    Good luck, Steph!! For every nasty Nancy, there’s about a hundred of us pulling for you. *mwah*

  95. I am in advertising and marketing. I put together events for clients. I also do web work. I am a knitter. 30000 HITS!!?? You guys are ROCK STARS!! You are absolutely the goddesses of word-of-mouth marketing and I bow down to you! There should (and probably will be) articles written about the viral marketing sensation that Sock Summit is.
    Enjoy the success. Try not to get too worn out pulling off the actual conference.
    And don’t let the turkeys get you down.

  96. This just makes me sick. No good deed goes unpunished, eh? Well, I know this is going to be the most amazing event and I hope you, Tina and Cat can feel the waves of love from those of us who are coming to Sock Summit.

  97. While I was sort of disappointed that I didn’t get into any classes being a local PDX resident and all, my budget was not disappointed and I will get to see the Luminary Panel and shop so will be content with that and maybe the fates will get me into a class next time.
    That said, my experience is that there are all kinds of different people in the world at all different stages of development and with all kinds of different expectations, so when I know that I have done my best, I really try to let it go and let people keep their feelings as their own. I’ve never found explaining a lot to make angry people less angry, or that they calm down and say “Oh yeah, maybe I did overreact.” That seems to be true whether they are family members or the general public and somehow my explanations only seem to upset them more, so I have quit explaining my every action in life. They’ll get over it in time and life will go on.

  98. I can’t tell you how sorry I am that there are so many unpleasant and rude people out there. I knew I couldn’t attend from the get-go, finances simply won’t permit, and that was dissappointing in and of itself. But I can’t imagine getting nasty about it.
    Just remember, there are far more people who appreciate all your hard work than don’t.
    Just toss out the ones that are nasty. They don’t deserve to be read.

  99. You can be glad that I decided I couldn’t justify the $1,000+ it probably would have cost me to fly out and go to classes and stay in the hotel and buy yarn and eat out and drink beer & wine with awesome knitters. It would have been 30,001 hits @ 10am.
    Just for the record, you guys are awesome to have undertaken this. The server crash? I think we could all see that coming, given that more knitters ALWAYS show up than anyone in their right minds expects. But you guys are still awesome. Absolutely.

  100. I’m one who can’t come, even though I live only 100 miles away. I appreciate so much what you guys are doing, and I hope that in some future year you will do this again and I’ll make it then. I’m so sorry for people taking it personally that they didn’t make it in. I can imagine the frustration and sadness over missing what seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity. But being mean to ya’ all is really unacceptable. After all, we want you to want to do this again, right? Remember to be good to yourselves!

  101. Man, that totally sucks. I am in so much awe of the conference you and Tina are assembling: the size, the scope, the number and quality of instructors. I desperately wanted to go, but I can’t afford knitting classes on my wages. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for Barbara Walker!
    Don’t let the bastards get you down. This conference will be MADE OF AWESOME. Let people buy you beer.

  102. Plain and simple: Thank you for all your hard work. It *will* be worth it!

  103. I am always surprised when adults act badly, but doubly surprised that knitters would. My goodness, with all the problems in the world, not getting into this event shouldn’t rate as a disaster for anyone. Sheesh. Obviously knitting isn’t making these people mellow out.
    30,000 is an amazing number! And I can’t imagine the planning that is involved for an event with 4,000 people! I hope everyone has a good time including you and the other folks running the event!

  104. I know you don’t even have time to read this, but I just wanted to say thank You. Thank you for you common sense view and being able to write it out for everyone. Than you for going through the effort to do something that sounds like so much and has so much talent. Thank you for dealing with the crap that comes with life with such grace and sincerity. Everything works out in the end, it always does, sometimes just not the way you wanted. And yes the server will crash again next year, becuase I am sure there will be a next year. Enjoy you trip! ~Jo-Ann

  105. I love you guys. You’re amazing. Simply amazing.
    The meanies should have their registrations cancelled, and their knitting needles revoked.

  106. Thank you so much for organizing this. I only got one of my classes, but I still expect to have a great time at a unique event.

  107. Oh, sweetie, I am so terribly sorry. I hate the thought of the sick-to-your-stomach feeling you must be getting every time you face your inbox now. I hope that people Get a Grip but quickly — sending hate mail because they couldn’t get one of 4,000 (!!) spaces is utterly ludicrous.
    On a completely different note, I’m flat-out gobsmacked at the numbers. I keep reading that 30,000 and giggling, and then pointing it out to my husband. I’m going to put it up on my office door as evidence that I’m not alone in this world. Even if, apparently, several thousand of my fellow-knitters need to take a chill pill.

  108. 30,000?!?! Wow, that’s mind-blowing. I was frustrated, then relieved when the locks got released and I got a few classes. I know if I hadn’t gotten clases at all, I would have been quite disappointed. But no matter how disappointed I might have been, I can’t imagine blaming you (the collective you, that is) for the overwhelming success of this event. And threats? What are these people thinking?
    I’m so sorry that you and Tina have had to read such nastiness, and I hope you can both take pride in the fact that you have organized such a huge event without the kind of support organization that is behind events like Stitches. It’s an impressive feat, and I’m totally looking forward to the opportunity to be there.

  109. I wish people wouldn’t use the anonymity of the internet to be jerkwads. I’m sorry that is happening to you. I did get in to one of the classes I was interested in but if I hadn’t, I certainly wouldn’t have held you personally responsible!
    Hang in there, Stephanie! Keep up the good work!

  110. Hats off to you, Tina, your loving friends who are helping you fix the problem, and all your immediate support system.
    I think it fantastic that you would attempt such a thing. Just hope that you do it again in a year or so and I can make arrangements to attend.
    Hope you have a great time and more good memories than bad. I am sure in a month or two (or maybe a year) you will look back with laughter and a huge sense of achievement.

  111. thank you for taking the time for a gracious fact-filled explanation of what happened, what is happening and the plan moving forward. I can only hope those “adults” that felt the need to be nasty will not totally ruin the entire sock summit experience for you & Tina and the other team of ‘thousands’ who are trying to make it work for the thousands of US. I will wait patiently to know for sure I have my classes, as I registered during the crash zone, before I do my happy dance. Please accept my personal thank you for attempting this incredible project!! I am pretty sure you will see an upsurge of love & support as this moves forward, in light of the jerks who attempted to take you down…

  112. You did great. I say that as someone who didn’t get in, after looking forward to this for months.
    You planned, you tested, you bought plenty of server power. You worked yourselves to the bone.
    Nothing you could have done would have prepared a server for 30,000 simultaneous connections to a shopping cart system. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is misinformed.
    I’m sorry people are taking it out on you. That’s completely unfair. If it helps, try thinking of them as you would a person who demanded you start and finish their full-size, complicated sweater in 1 day, because they can get something “just like it” for $22 bucks at the discount department store. Or the people who don’t understand why you don’t want to knit a king-sized bedspread as a “little side present.” They just don’t even understand what they’re asking for.
    Thanks for doing the conference, and I really really hope you do it next year.

  113. You two are amazing. Plainly and simply amazing. And it makes me sad and angry that people are seriously sending you hatemail because of something you had no real control over. Ticketmaster crashes. And they have loads of money and a dedicated IT team to fix it. To expect you and Tina to handle the results of that many connections is just ludicrous. Karma will get them – I know it will.
    Enjoy the success. And please don’t forget to breathe, and to have some good coffee.

  114. ACK! I can’t believe people are so rude! Technology is beyond anyones control. I was very excited just to be GOING. I got the classes that I wanted, so I was SUPER excited. I can not wait for SS09 and I hope that you guys get to have a little bit of fun while you are there. Remember that some people will never be happy, so we shouldn’t try. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate what you guys are doing and I am very excited to be going to my first knitting conference. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! You guys are amazing.

  115. I think that this highlights how darn rude people are these days. For some reason I thought that knitters would be nicer.
    The first time I learned how rude knitters could be was when I glanced at a pattern that a fellow LYS shopper was buying. When she saw me look she snatched it away. I was stunned. I seriously stood there and told the next 3 people that walked by. Where were all the nice and inviting knitters I have met?
    Ever since then it has been (mostly) disappointing to interact with most knitters that I have come across.
    Stitches West was horrendous. I have never been so stepped on, elbowed and generally mis-treated.
    In reading the various Ravelry boards I am disappointed at the level of competition that seems to be picking up (“I passed my masters knitting course the fastest!” so what?!).
    At least I have the option of not attending or reading those threads. I cannot imagine the time, money and effort that you have put into this and thus how you feel getting this angry reaction in return.
    I am glad that those people didn’t get their chosen classes. Imagine the nightmare that they would have been when they didn’t walk out of the class a total professional!!

  116. You and Tina are just champs. I signed up as one of those “interested” people, even though I knew there was no way that I could go, just because I think that the Sock Summit is a terrific idea. I hope to be able to go to another one sometime in the future, if you wonderful people make another one happen.
    Keep up the spectacular job, don’t let the bad ‘uns get to you, and *seriously* if there’s anything I can do to help (even though you don’t know me from Eve) you can contact me through Ravelry.

  117. I’m sorry so many people were so mean. Probably no consolation at this point, but it’ll come around to bite them – it almost always does.
    I’m just starting with socks, so didn’t even try for the premiere sock summit. Next year – watch out! I know how much effort it takes to organize an event & promise to behave myself, successful or not.
    Congratulations on the interest and the huge participation. You & Tina definitely need a break – preferably involving a margarita & a massage . . .

  118. Blegggh, the nerve of some people! πŸ™
    So sorry about the crap that’s being dumped on you ladies. Just sent in my email; am convinced everything will land on its feet. Thanks again, and keep rocking like nobody has rocked before.

  119. Thank You. And is there anything I can do to help? Let me know if you can use a free volunteer to help sort through emails or something. Really.

  120. Aw, you guys…..we love you no matter what!!!! If I could send you a nice bottle of wine right now, I would!

  121. I think that when you get to the nasty people you should have emotional reenforcements with you. Like cashmere or silk or Joe. I commend you for being adult enough to even contemplate dealing with them. And remember that if they cross the line to illegal threats, dealing with them could be calling in the police. I’ve always told me kids, “There is no excuse for being rude.” It goes for adults, too. Big Hugs!

  122. I am not one of the lucky ones that gets to go (I would LOVE to but have yet to tackle socks and then there is the whole money thing) I am sorry that you two received so much hate mail, you don’t deserve it. You all have worked your tails off and everyone should be thanking you.

  123. I’m so, so sorry that some members of our community are being horrible to you. You and Tina are doing an amazing thing for our community, putting together this great event. They need to remember that and get some perspective! I am very disappointed that life circumstances prevent me from coming to Sock Summit. I will hope for a year two and an opportunity to go then. All the best for a great event!

  124. Stephanie–
    Bless you for the countless hours you have put in for the knitting community. For the bad comments, in my mother’s words, “Consider the source.”
    My daughter and I have planned from the first time we heard about the event that we would be there. We booked our flights and hotel over two months ago. If we didn’t get classes, we were still going to come since neither of us has been west of the Rockies.
    As a former in-home yarn shop owner and a 60 yr. old that still learning more about knitting I really appreciate all you have done to further the cause ….. knitting that is.
    God bless and we’ll see you at Sock Summit.

  125. It is so hard to ignore the negative comments. It is just human nature to let it get to you. You two have done an amazing job and you know you have done an amazing job and 99% of us applaud you for doing an amazing job. Try to ignore the, well, I shouldn’t really say what I am thinking. Will just leave it for you to fill in the blank. You know full well that the complainers about this are complainers about everything in life. Maybe they should see some footage of the children in Pakistan or Dafur…you think?

  126. I knew there was no way that I could attend this conference, so I didn’t try, even though I’d love to be there! But to read that some people are sending hateful emails just breaks my heart.
    Dudes, you are doing fantastic!! Sending you lots and lots and lots of hugs!!!!

  127. I’m so sorry that some people can be so very hateful when they’re upset. You’re doing a wonderful job and I think it will be a marvelous convention. (Even though I don’t get to go this time… sniff.) And kudos to your IT team. That many hits to any server in that small of a time frame would melt them down in quick fashion. Hang in there.

  128. First-time poster here…I’m so sorry about the horrible emails. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not–the internet, with all its good points, seems to release the most vile instincts that people try to cover up “in real life” in order to appear normal and socially acceptable.
    Even if you don’t take it personally (and that’s almost impossible), it’s still disturbing to discover how much nastiness there is out there. That’s a hard reality for nice people like you to have to face firsthand.
    I hope you turned any overt threats over to the authorities. Even if people don’t actually mean them, a little talking-to by law enforcement might slap them back to reality.

  129. Just because someone knits, doesn’t mean that their inherent meanness gene has been disabled.
    Sometimes people just behave badly :o(

  130. My heart aches for you. So much so that I made my husband listen as I read him your whole post. He’s as shocked as I am but had a different take on it. He said, “That really socks.”. He loves a pun…
    Hope that made you giggle.
    Much love and respect – remember, this too shall pass.

  131. My husband the non-knitter suggests that perhaps too many registrants focused on the HARLOT part of your name when they Goggled and are going to be mighty surprised when they get there…..

  132. 30,000 people?!? All at once?
    And they thought that having 200 people sign up for a sock club was ridiculous, and likely a money-making scam. They just don’t get us knitters, do they? Especially the sock-fanatic variety.

  133. Stephanie,
    I posted this over on Tina’s blog as well, but I wanted to tell you personally.
    Let me just say thank you. You and Tina have done something absolutely amazing for the knitting community. Seriously. I cannot tell you how sad it makes me that you are getting hateful treatment when you have worked so very hard to pull this all together and taken such personal risks to do so. I booked airfare & hotel knowing full well that I might not get classes because I knew that the knitting community is a wonderful one, that the program was going to be fun no matter what, that Portland will be a wonderful city & that the whole thing would be fun. If there was anything I could do to make it better for you guys I would. So I’ll simply say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I never imagined that I would get an opportunity to see the kind of knitting rock stars you have pulled together and the opportunity to just be in the same city at the same time as all of you, well, I’m sort of expecting that I’ll have trouble talking to you since I’m in such awe.

  134. I totally feel your pain. As the community person for several game forums, I have been on the receiving end of some particularly virulent nastiness that just comes out of nowhere, because people can’t get what they want instantaneously. For some reason some people lose all semblance of humanity when at their keyboards and will write things no sane person would ever have the gall to say to you face to face.
    Don’t people learn manners any more? Or learn how to deal with disappointment? If I ever said or wrote some of those things to people my mother would have tanned my hide.
    I think several thousand knitters need to learn how to be human beings again, and it really, really saddens me to have to say that about fellow knitters.
    I think you did a great job and to heck with anyone spewing their spew. You have my support 100%, and I didn’t even have the chance to attend in the first place.
    Keep on knitting.:)

  135. Steph – I just wanted to tell you that it is clear to me that you and Tina have handled this whole situation with the upmost professionalism and aplomb. Don’t let the haters get you down – there are a lot more of us who are impressed and inspired by your hard work!

  136. Stephanie,
    I posted this over on Tina’s blog as well, but I wanted to tell you personally.
    Let me just say thank you. You and Tina have done something absolutely amazing for the knitting community. Seriously. I cannot tell you how sad it makes me that you are getting hateful treatment when you have worked so very hard to pull this all together and taken such personal risks to do so. I booked airfare & hotel knowing full well that I might not get classes because I knew that the knitting community is a wonderful one, that the program was going to be fun no matter what, that Portland will be a wonderful city & that the whole thing would be fun. If there was anything I could do to make it better for you guys I would. So I’ll simply say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I never imagined that I would get an opportunity to see the kind of knitting rock stars you have pulled together and the opportunity to just be in the same city at the same time as all of you, well, I’m sort of expecting that I’ll have trouble talking to you since I’m in such awe.

  137. Oh my gosh!! 30,000 hits! Has to be a record somewhere! Thanks for all your hard work – I’ve dealt w/computers, etc, and I can certainly appreciate it.
    Though I’m not able to attend, I will be there in spirit. What an awesome event!! Who would have thunk it? !
    You both are amazing. Keep up the good work, and try to hold on to your sanity. Best wishes from the Last Best Place!

  138. I knew this would happen, no matter how well prepared you are, because well, everyone underestimates the popularity and the awesomeness. I didn’t even try, but I have been and am sending you, Tina and everyone involved good vibes, healing energy and if you need any help, please ping. I am still amazed that you’re trying to do this yourselves on a shoestring budget, and it sucks that…well, to be frank, that some people’s sense of entitlement overcomes their good manners and rationality.
    Be well, and know that many of us understand, and we think you’re doing good work and will be pulling for you that things? Only get better from here.

  139. 30,000?! HOLY CRAP! You and Tina impress me in ways I don’t even have words to describe. Tell the riff-raff to pound sand then go have a beer and celebrate the fact that the muggles were wrong and YOU WERE RIGHT!

  140. I am so disappointed in the human race for you.
    You guys deserve only praise and love for everything you have done. Cake and beer to you, don’t let the haters get you down, there are so many more people who love and appreciate what you are trying to do and have obviously succeeded in doing.

  141. Stephanie:
    You and Tina are to be commended on a fantastic effort to put together such an event. Even though I would not be able to attend, I have still enjoyed reading about this extravaganza that you were able to put together. I will look forward to hearing wonderful stories from those who will be attending and those who will be teaching. Good luck.

  142. You and Tina should call Dee at Posh Yarn-she has had the same experience, albeit on a smaller scale. I must be like the children who says they hate their parents–only that much love can generate the opposite emotion. It is incredibly disappointing for adults to behave in that manner.
    I have been amazed at you guys putting this together. An amazing undertaking. You guys rock! I had NO IDEA that you planned for that many spots. That is half the size of my TOWN!
    This too shall pass. Enjoy the trip and hope you get home soon!

  143. I missed out completely and I live in Portland. I was dismayed, but I should have realized it would sell out quickly. I am not the teeniest bit bitter (and I didn’t write at all!) I am just hoping the experience won’t be so harrowing that you all give up after this year and never do it again. Here’s hoping — I am glad you are doing this and I am excited to read all the blogs of those who got to attend. I am so sorry you are getting unpleasant mail — please accept my heartfelt love.

  144. So sorry that there were mean people to add to the stress of your day.
    I was not one of them. But I do want to be one of the many (I hope) who give you kudos for what you did, what you’ve accomplished, and what you had the inspiration to do.
    Whenever the heck I figure out how to knit a sock…then maybe I’ll come to a future summit.
    peace and blessings,

  145. I’m so sorry that people can’t deal with not getting into Sock Summit — I wonder how they reacted when they couldn’t get the classes they wanted in college?
    And I’m sorry I was able to be in Austin yesterday. I saw you there 3 years ago, on that very hot day, when you “preached” in the Baptist Church – I would have loved to be there again.

  146. Dear Steph and Tina,
    I applaud your wonderful sense of forward and positive thinking. In this time of “economic
    downturn” you put together a marvelous program. You didn’t listen to the Chicken Littles of the world and did your thing. Keep up the great work.

  147. You have both my congratulations and deepest sympathies for the success of this idea. I’m so very sorry some people have decided to behave in a juvenile manner… hugs, and hang in there.

  148. 30,000? That is amazing! Mindblowing. Whew.
    I appologize for sending a suggestion that there be more classes. I was being tongue-in-cheek, or trying to be, but I feel embarrased now that I know some people were being ugly to your sweet selves.
    I am offering all the positive vibes I can to you and your team to buck you up. Enjoy your talks, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Summit.

  149. You poor things, my heart just goes out to you right now! Nobody deserves that over a technical problem that was out of your control. I’m glad you’re powering through, and you know you’ve got our love and support as always. You’ve even got me tearing up here on this end.
    But isn’t it so awesome everyone wanted to come to make socks that much! AHHHH! Yay for you Steph! You’re such a winner!

  150. Big hugs and lots of chocolate and beer (yes, you may drink it and even talk about it in public) to both you and Tina. Most people don’t understand that it’s absolute hell to put together an event like this, and add the online nightmare of getting an online system put together for registrations, and I don’t know how you guys have done it and not killed yourself and several others in the process. I know that this will be an INCREDIBLE event that will knock the socks off everyone who attends. I’m sorry I will miss it.
    As for the idiots (yes, idiots–I do not suffer them lightly) who have been rude and insulting, you deserve to have all your knitting needles and yarn taken away from you FOREVER. You give fiber folks a bad name. I’m sorry you didn’t get registered, but how about doing something selfless for a change–maybe donate your SS money to a food bank or charity to help those who are less fortunate? At least you’ll be able to face yourselves in the mirror tomorrow.
    And then–GET A GRIP.
    Hugs to you both.

  151. Dude, I feel for you. As much as I wish I could be there, I didn’t even try since I knew it wasn’t going to fit into my life. Regardless of anything, I’m a little pissed that you had to read that stuff.
    I’m hoping the “bottom of the pile” is a synonym for “recycle bin”…
    Hoping for August…

  152. Oh ye gods and little fishies – I cannot believe people could get so bent out of shape over hitches in registering for a knitting conference! Well, obviously I have to believe it because clearly it happened, but I am terribly sorry to hear you are on the receiving end of so much abuse as a result of it! Sheesh!
    And yes, I am looking forward to hearing about Austin. I know what David gave you and I want to hear your side of the story!

  153. I’m so sorry that some unhappy people have been so unkind to the Sock Summit people! My DH and I were so lucky that we actually were able to register for what we wanted. (He is a new knitter and will take the 6-hour beginning socks class.) Even if we had not gotten our classes, we would still be going, since this trip is doubling as a family reunion. (We used to live in Portland.) The market alone would be worth the trip. THANK YOU for dreaming up Sock Summit and working so hard to make it happen! Thank you for taking the risks and trying to create something so special! I’ll see you in August!

  154. Having been in software development, it sounds like you and Tina have stood on your heads and bent over backwards. I’m embarrassed for my tribe of knitters. Love to both of you!

  155. I cannot believe people are getting so nasty because they didn’t get into a few knitting classes. Crikey. Those people should be ashamed of themselves. I thought my country was heading in a better direction of being less self-centered, greedy, and entitled. I guess not. How depressing.

  156. First off I want to say a huge THANK YOU for planning this event! I can’t believe how many people were/are interested in going. Apparently I don’t hang around with enough knitters because everyone I tell I’m going to Sock Summit looks at me funny lol. I am so excited that I am able to attend!!
    30,000 people?? That just boggles my mind. Wow.
    Second….I’m so sorry you’re getting hatemail from knitters, of all people. And I hope you’ve been staying off the Rav boards the last few days, there were some nasty posts there. Ugh.
    Anyhow….lots of hugs to you and many KUDOS to both you and Tina!!

  157. People are morons. They think a knitting class is a God given right. Idiots. I’m sorry you and Tina and the staff have been given so much grief. It’s wrong.

  158. You and Tina and the IT staff and the friends staff are all incredible. Truly incredible and wonderful people. Resilient beyond measure.
    Personally, if an email starts out yucky to you or whomever is reading it, I would delete it and not give the person the satisfaction of knowing you read their spit.
    Sending you much love,

  159. I live in Oregon. What can I do to help? SO thrilled it filled up.. knew it would. You guys rock.

  160. I told your story to a coworker who completely didn’t believe me. I think that he now understands not to underestimate knitters!
    I totally understand your stress, having worked on a few (smaller) conventions myself. I had one thought when I read through the saga of the server, though. You might consider looking up the response of the company Blizzard (they that make World of Warcraft.) Their convention registration process was overhauled for this year for a similar problem. After all, it’s never too early to plan for next time, right? πŸ˜‰

  161. Grr. What annoys me is that the people who wanted to sign up for this probably did so because they were fans of yours, and then to turn around and send you hate mail… I know it’s not unheard of and happens to many other well-known people but I really don’t get it.

  162. SHAME on the senders of nastygrams. may their wool tangle and be full of knots. may their socks be devoured by m-o-t-h-s and may their needles snap and the handles of their knitting bags break until they learn some manners.
    you, dear sock summitteers, have achieved a phenomenal feat; don’t let the bastards grind your @ss!
    wishing you clear sailing from here on out.

  163. 30K simultaneous hits – that’s a DNS attack on a sole-server. No wonder the server crashed!
    If one knew that 25% of the 120,000 e-mailers would try to register for a class at SS09, then they would say that there would be an infinitely, unbelievable response rate!
    Folks just got to get over the fact that the response for classes was vastly greater than anyone would expect – no matter what you say Steph!
    Your computer geek,

  164. As soon as I saw the class list, the prices and knew the level of interest, I decided to stay home and knit socks in my comfy chair.
    I don’t get the mentality behind the nasty emails but I also don’t get the martyrdom and discussing said nasty emails on your blog. You want sympathy for a monster of your own creation?
    I hope you can get it all cleared up so you and your fans can have a good time for all the grief and trouble.

  165. People are crazy, any excuse for complaints. I think you did a great job! And no orphans or puppies died in the process.

  166. “A little OT, but I admire this as a piece of effective writing; you struck exactly the right tone.”
    I agree!

  167. Thank you for dreaming big and making it happen even when it seemed you were swimming against the current and risking everything. I admire the courage it took to do that. Thank you for making everything as fair as possible. I am sorry to hear about the mean-spirited stuff. I understand people being disappointed, but the other stuff I have heard really disturbs me because it sounds so extreme and unbalanced. I have had a server crash when trying to pay for classes at a popular knitting event and ended up losing everything – this is not something new or horrific. Disappointing, yes, but not the end of the world. We all knew there was a lot of interest in the event and that there were no guarantees. So why burn someone at the stake when it did not work out how we planned?! I think after the shock of disappointment wears off that most people will begin to deal with their emotions. Of course, we will always have those others with us who are not capable of this. I am sorry that you have to deal with this after working so hard and sacrificing so much. My hope is the success and joy of the event will dim the memory this part for you and your partners.

  168. My best friend and I were both on the interested list and fully intended to register for classes (being allergic to wool, I was particularly interested in the Socks Without Wool class). However, we were slackers and didn’t even check until Wednesday when everything was already full. You know who I blame? Me. I was too slow. I knew how much interest there was in the Summit, and I didn’t jump right on there with everyone else. I would’ve killed the server with them…and still not blamed you. You know why? It can’t have been as bad as my old university phone in registration. There I’d be with my phone at 6 a.m. repeatedly hitting re-dial in hopes of getting through to the automated system before all the classes I needed were gone. They just didn’t have enough available connections or classes…and they’d been using that system for YEARS. Y’all did great! Ignore the mean knitters; they are the minority. We – even we who didn’t get classes – still love and appreciate you and Tina.

  169. Gadzooks! I didn’t even try because I knew it would be huge and it makes me very happy to just think about all the knitters and teachers, and learners, and laughs that will take place. I stay away from the Stitches sign-ups too….I never get what I want so I bask in the glow of my friends who pounce first thing and actually get in. As far as hate/abusive mail….criminey….imagine how many needles their cats and dogs will chew as karma turns her inevetable wheel! Hugs to all of you….and a mahhhhveous sock summit too!

  170. LOVE (eleventy billion) to each and every member of ST-1 and ST-2. And once again to you and Tina. At registration time…I was frustrated. I have a double-payment on my (husband’s) credit card. I didn’t get my first choice of classes. And I never, ever doubted that you – all of you – had done anything less than your extraordinary super-human best…or that the registration mess would be untangled with grace, wisdom, and class. You rock.

  171. so this is actually a good time for some analysis
    30,000-4000 = 26,000 = n (disappointed)
    x = n (people who hurt other people when they’re disappointed)(nasty emails)
    I’d guess that knitters are a bit different than the general population, but I wonder what the ratio of x/n is?

  172. Please try not to let the nastiness get to you- the Summit will be fantastic, and it will be fantastic because you and Tina have poured your hearts and souls into it.
    I am honored to attend, and can’t wait to see you both in person.

  173. Oh,my dear, cool, amie canadienne! There are Perpetually Outraged in every SINGLE venue; without realizing it, perhaps, you delighted them too, because the miserable-er they are the better they like it. If you ever have a Toque Summit I’ll sign up. In the meantime – those who go will have a fabulous time, those who don’t – by gosh or by golly – can still happily prepare for Worldwide Knit in Public Day, have a nice cup of tea and thank the Powers That Be. On general principal. I’m sending lovely garter-stitch affection.

  174. I have never been more happy that I have no job and no way to pay for a trip out there. I know that I would have been ‘grr’ing and cursin’ and super disappointed too. But … I am not, instead I stand in awe that there are 30K sock knitters and wondering why the heck I can’t get more than 2 of them to show up at my stitch n bitch on a regular basis…..
    Keep at it Harlot, you are doing something amazing here.

  175. Pretty much thought the IT guys didn’t do a proper stress test… sorry it didn’t go well.

  176. Nancy (my dw) should have said that I could have gotten the Sunday 3 hour class on 2 circs, but I wanted to get a Thursday class on 2 circs so that I could get my classes over and have family reunion fun during the rest of the weekend.
    We’re going up the coast from SFO to PDX for 2 days, then we’re returning via the coast over 3 days – 1 in Port Orford and 2 in Mendicino before we get back to SFO.

  177. Hatemail? Seriously? I. Am. Stunned.
    I sincerely hope you can put that nastiness behind you and focus on the incredible compliment of so many people willing to pay for and travel to a project you’ve labored so tirelessly over.
    I wish you and Tina much success and innocently remark to you on what is sure to be the loveliness of New England in Autumn 2010. ;-D

  178. I really wanted to come, but trains are a little complicated and there’s that last year of Son’s college…Thrilled you got more that enough knitters to come. This means you can do it again. Anyone who sent nasty e-mail should be excluded from future SS. Nasty never helped anyone. Thanks for your loving care of us and “see” you at the Olympics.

  179. May all those who sent unkind words to you and Tina have an attack of conscience and now send you skeins of beautiful sock yarn.
    I work in IT and have planned large conferences and understand how fast you had to move to fix things and all the tears and doubts. You two have done a fantastic job at maintaining a positve attitude and handling difficult situations and people. Hug your IT folks, order pizza for everyone, and go to bed, in that order.

  180. It wasn’t in the cards for me to go so I didn’t try to register. The way that you have been treated by some of those that did is absolutely shameful. They are lucky that you’re just putting their emails to a lower priority and not sending them to the police. Hopefully some of them will realize how stupid they have been and apoligize. For those that don’t, may their stash be infested by voracious moths that will eat anything including acrylic!

  181. Now I am crying. It breaks my heart that anyone could express such thoughtless negativity to such nice, hardworking, creative people as you all.
    I’m sending rows and rows of comforting garter stitch to you and the teams. I am beyond amazed and honored that I will be in attendance.
    Much love and gratitude,

  182. Don’t let the people with entitlement issues get you down. You, Cat, and Tina have done such an awesome job putting SS09 that the light from awesome will take years to reach your location. Seriously.
    And the childbirth analogy has been made more than once….well, when you’ve got a baby in your arms for the first time, suddenly the labor pains don’t seem so bad. I betcha that when August rolls around it will be such an amazing time that nobody will even remember this.

  183. I wish people could keep in mind that shit happens and not take it so personally. How quickly we decide we are entitled to things that we want, ya know? Nobody is owed anything, but it’s nice you are trying to sort of let everyone know what’s going on.
    I think you guys will have an awesome event in the end. Hang in there. Remember that wine often helps. So does chocolate.

  184. I am so sorry that this has been so stressful for you. But, your post today hints at the big picture which I think all knitters have to focus on. The economy sucks so that Chrysler and GM are bankrupt and Ford is in trouble. Nobody is buying any electronic gismos. Best Buy is in trouble. Yet, 30,000 people not only want to spend thousands (counting hotel, travel, class fees and yarn purchases) to go to the Sock Summit, but they send you threats when they can’t part with their bucks. The power of the sock is right. I’ve been knitting socks since the economy tanked. You can turn the temp down and wear your $20 socks and be money ahead. It’s sort of the same thing as all the comfort food people want right now. There has to be a way to exploit this sock explosion into a real money making thing. As far as I know none of the serious stock exchanges have any sock yarn makers listed. It is the indie dyers and makers we all want anyway not the self striping stuff made by the bigger companies. Could we get some sort of a consortium together and do an IPO? I think we could make a bundle. I’m a lawyer, but a trial lawyer, not a deal lawyer, but I am not too old to learn. It could be an IPO to rival Google’s, done right. Stephanie and Tina might feel better about the hate mail, which they seriously should have never had, but look at how badly those folks want to buy. A wild idea, maybe, but I sure think it could work. Maybe it could be organized though Ravelry. I’ve got to join up there. Been resisting it because it is such a time consuming place.

  185. Just wanted to add my comments to the “love and support” pile to help offset the nastiness. You and Tina have done an amazing thing organizing the Summit. I get positively nauseated every time I think about the enormity of the risk you two took on this event…I so admire your vision, your courage, and all the hard work you’ve put in to make it happen. I knew from the get-go this thing was going to be popular, but 30,000 hits?! Awesome.
    I’m lucky enough to be among those who will be there, and can’t wait for what I know will be a hugely fun, meaningful, memorable experience. Looking forward to thanking you both in person when I get the chance. In the meantime, try not to let the b*stards get you down!

  186. Disclosure: I was on the list, but didn’t try to register as my ability to be elsewhere at that time shifted.
    I’m really glad the good emails are outweighing Teh Crazy. You guys are going to have a fabulous event, historic and wonderful and I cannot wait to hear from all the various attendees about what they learned and the friends they made and the joyous wonder that was Portland in August.
    Rock the love, and change the world.
    I’m on my second pair of socks now. πŸ˜‰ I’ll be converted sooner than later, I can see it now.

  187. very disappointed that folks have not treated you both well – I hope the bad does not outweigh the good!!! Thanks for SS09

  188. I said my piece on Ravelry, and I think everyone else has pretty much already said it here; there’s really nothing I can add about the insanity and outrageousness of people having the temerity to attack you in this way, just because you’re doing the world a huge service. (Must be nice for them, to have such a perfectly confident sense of entitlement and to be so entirely devoid of shame and dignity, don’t you think?)
    But I’m wondering – is there anyone on your wonderful volunteer staff, or anyone among the staff members being lent to you by the IT company, who has a comparatively thick skin and/or less of a personal stake in this? Seems to me it would be worth having someone relatively impartial do a quick and dirty screening of the e-mails and perform preliminary triage. Why should you and Tina even have to SEE the worst of the crap that’s being flung at you?
    Seriously, get someone to play human spam filter, and siphon the really hateful stuff off into some segregated bit-bucket. You have much, much better things to do than to give that garbage the satisfaction of being read at all.

  189. Sweetheart, I’m sorry people have been so horrible to you! I know what that feels like and it sucks huge. On the other hand, I’m THRILLED that your enterprise is doing so well–absolutely thrilled. Because this means there may be another, and another, and another… and someday, I might be able to make one, if only (only!) the nasty, moth-filled, sticker-laden, badly-dyed skeins of dross don’t hurt my beautiful hand-painted merino/alpaca/cashmere treasure of a Harlot because of their thoughtless winding.

  190. Well, if you ever throw a conference with workshops on how to behave like a grownup under trying circumstances, sign me up.

  191. Hey stephanie – we don’t know each other, but I thought I’d give you a webby hug of support. I get a lot of hate mail through my work. People can be very irrational and for some reason the immediacy of the internet makes them say stupid things. The good news is that you might just have pointed out to them in this very eloquent post how stupid these things are/were/will be. Maybe you’ll get an apology, though I doubt it. Shame makes people say stupid things too. Hugs. And frankly, mad props for hosting an event that’s so popular. Good for you!

  192. I’m very sorry that some people were so hateful towards you; it’s pretty clear that you’re working so hard to make this a positive experience.
    And I commend you for handling this treatment with such calm and grace. Had I been in your place, my post today would’ve consisted of “Hey, f you, too, buddy!”
    I hope you can enjoy the actual Summit, even if the prep was just crazy.

  193. Steph,
    I hope that when you are at Sock Summit and you have a chance to look out over the smiling faces of the happy knitters, that it brings more tears to your eyes than those nasty letters you have received. You will remember the smiling knitters long after the sting of the hate mail subsides.

  194. Kudos to you ladies for blowing the non-knitters’ expectations out of the water! Maybe this’ll teach them to take you (and all of us) a little more seriously. : )
    As for the screechy, whiny clutch falling on you & Tina…it’s appalling and pretty d*mn absurd that you’re being subjected to such wretched behavior. Hugs and good beer to the two of you for organizing such an extraordinary event. And I leave you with the (sorta) cheery thought that the nastygrams may suck, but they’re marginally better than being trapped at the sock summit with a horde of entitled knitters who clearly have a low threshold for frustration.

  195. Stephanie, Thank you for all of your efforts. You and the SS team have crossed a new fronteer (30,000!). Sending you heaps of LOVE dear one.
    – Denise (aka dlotter on ravelry)

  196. You guys ROCK. I would imagine the pain you feel and the panic you must have felt when it happened is WAY WORSE than anything anyone out here feels about not getting into a class. I was called by JoAnn today, she worked really hard to get my stuff straightened out. She was kind and patient and apologetic. In her/your situation I’m sure I’d be a LOT less tolerant. It’s gonna be awesome! And I’m coming no matter what I get into or not…. there’s the market and the camaraderie, and DARN it, ALL THAT FIBER AND ALL THOSE SOCKS!

  197. Thank you for the class you showed in your response. What you and Tina put together is fabulous. And I didn’t get a spot! smile…thank you Stephanie for the joy you bring to my knitting world.

  198. Bummer. I was sorta hoping this would be such a wonderful experience that you would consider repeating it next year on the East Coast. Or even like, Toronto. (That’s do-able.)
    Sorry to hear all the immature and nasty people got to you first…
    If we drain the hotel pool and fill it with yarn, and let you go swimming in it, would that be enough wool fumes to make you feel better?

  199. You guys are great!! You both deserve a case of beer and a big big slice of the raspberry cake I just made. Don’t let anyone get you down! You’re doing everything right by helping all these knitters and holding one of the best knitting events of all time! Huge hugs to both of you – and I’ll see about those beers.

  200. My goodness Stephanie, what is with people who would bash the very people who are creating a unique and special event. Obviously, they have never been involved in an event of this scale, to have even a miniscule idea of the work involved.
    Steph, you and Tina have done a remarkable thing here, and if people can’t understand that some things are out of your hands, then they shouldn’t be allowed to attend such a great event.

  201. So sorry that this knitting community isn’t better than other communities out there. I thought for a while it was, and I’m disappointed, too. Good thing that this aspect will be far behind you by the time the SS opens. Don’t dwell on it. Fix what you can and walk away from the rest.

  202. Sometimes one is ashamed of humans (knitters!!!) . . . . this is one of those times! Please remember that you are most appreciated, admired and respected for your talent, humor, and vision for a super fabulous once in a lifetime event! You rock! Thank you SSTeam! Ettamae

  203. I gotta say, some people need to get some perspective. My God, to think that you’re getting email so mad you don’t want you staff to have to read it fairly boggles the mind. What is wrong with people? I’m sure Sock Summit will be swell and all, but,as you say, it’s a knitting conference. Obama won’t be there. World peace will not be achieved. Global warming will not be solved. It’s a crime that people who are trying to do something great — and putting up the money for it — should be treated so shamefully. Knit on, Stephanie. Those people don’t deserve Sock Summit or even decent yarn.

  204. Wow. I’m not even going, But I’m sorry so many people have been so rude. It’s undeserving to people who have worked so hard.
    On a brighter note I hope this means a future for Sock Summit that is even bigger and grander than what you have now, with even more support and help for you. Especially since now you know the um, demand is there.

  205. First, congratulations on the outstanding response. I’m sure the Stitches and TNNA people are green! I’m so sorry about the people who are so self-involved that they think this was done “to them.” Oy! I hope you never get to the bottom of the pile. YOu don’t need the downer those folks will bring.
    I hope Plano is fun. Until a year ago I lived there, and I’d be in the audience if I were still there.
    Best wishes for continued success.

  206. Wow. You’re one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. To read that people are being so mean to you just makes me sad. I guess the mean people are probably just really unhappy people in general and should be pitied for that, but they should at least keep their bitterness to themselves.
    I have absolutely no money in my budget for travel or conferences so I didn’t even try, but I hope you’ll keep doing this in years to come. Maybe eventually I’ll be able to go.

  207. I am so sorry you’ve had to read such yucky mail! Maybe these folks just need a nice long stretch of garter stitch and a glass of wine.
    Won’t be in Portland (doesn’t fit in my schedule) for your event, but will be thinking of you!
    Rock on!

  208. I have never commented before but am compelled now. I am outraged that people, especially knitting people, would send you hateful mail for doing such a wonderful thing FOR THEM!!! What ever happened to being gracious and kind and did Websters remove the word “understanding” from the dictionary? I think you and Tina are incredible for persevering through such negativity and your postive karma will be rewarded. I’m sending you warm, fuzzy and loving thoughts!

  209. Mean people suck.
    May the entire rest of the event flow with nary a hitch or a glitch. I am praying that it will prove to be such a success that you will be willing to try again…one day.
    Wish I could be in Dallas tonight, too…alas..

  210. I want to add my voice to those offering our cheers and compliments to the *wonderful* and *huge* job you did. I was one of those initially disappointed in not getting a class in the initial server crashes and I was very sad. Never once did it occur to me to blame you guys for that – I knew there would be thousands of people trying for a select few spots. I thought you all handled it with grace under fire and got everything up and running again amazingly quickly. It turns out that I was able to get some classes I’m going to be delighted to take when classes were opened up again I just wanted to tell you how excited I am to be going and how grateful to all the time, thought and energy, and most importantly, love you put into organizing this.

  211. I wish I was more surprised that people are acting like spoiled children and sending nasty messages because they didn’t get their way.
    I commend you folks for being willing to even move those mails to the bottom of the pile – personally I vote for a firm index finger on the delete key, it’s well deserved.
    On another note, I have found it interesting to see the comments in this thread. There were 30,000 simultaneous attempts to get into the server. And according to the comments, there are plenty of people who would have tried, except for __ (insert situation here) — so if everyone who wanted to be there had been able to try, your servers probably would have imploded. πŸ™‚ Just good to know for next time – if you feel like torturing yourself enough to consider a next time! (And honestly, most of us would not blame you if you opted not to – after all the stress and trouble and level of effort you are putting out, to be insulted, disrespected, threatened (!) and what not in email is unacceptable.)
    Good luck, try to relax and enjoy your book tour!

  212. I hope some of the whiners will read this post, or have it read to them, and feel at least a little bit remorseful for showing their arses to you. Thank you for taking the risk and spending so much time and energy on this big adventure; it will be stupendous.

  213. Do you need to pass the horrible emails off to designated volunteer replyers? I’m pretty sure I could handle 20 or 30 place-puttings while I finish this bottle of wine. . .
    More seriously, though. Kudos to you and Tina for putting together such a popular and awe inspiring event. The server crash was nearly inevitable, given those numbers; the fact of people’s disappointment, though, was assured. When you have 30,000 people trying for 5,000 spots, a lot of people are going to be sad. I’m sorry that some people seem to be unable to subtract 30 from 5 and see that the numbers just weren’t in their favor, and sorrier still that they seem to blame you for this arithmetical reality.

  214. What an awful thing for you to get hate mail! I hope whoever sent that ends up thoroughly ashamed of themselves, because they should be. May they end up stashed under my bunny hutches to receive what bunnies deliver so well, and so often.
    Enjoy your book event!

  215. I had to laugh when I read some of the ridiculousness on Ravelry – people were outraged! simply outraged! that they couldn’t register for a sock knitting convention. But what you’ve described above isn’t funny. You’d certainly be entitled to electronically block the emails of those sending the abusive messages. Moving on… I’m sending my best wishes for an awesome gathering!

  216. I was gonna say I hope they are NICELY suggesting ways you could have done it better. I mean, it’s not like they are hosting a teaching conference with 4000 attendees. I don’t know what it is about people that makes them feel that just because they are unhappy they have the right to treat others horribly. These people should grow up….and I didn’t even try to register for SS09. You did a great job. Don’t ever doubt it.

  217. See. THIS is why I don’t knit socks. Ok, I do, but not often. Hardly ever really. πŸ˜‰
    Srsly, I’d love to go to Sock Summit and hang out with the luminaries that be. Not in the financial cards, alas.

  218. From reading posts on Ravelry even before registration I realized there would are some really nasty people out there- the kind who were harassing other knitters to be careful about not registering for classes if they weren’t ‘qualified’- you know the kind. Anyway- I was one of the lucky ones- I never thought I would get into any classes and I have YOUR class, Stephanie, AND Barbara Walker’s! I am over the moon. I know it’s hard to ignore all the nastiness, but use it as a preparation for your daughters’ future weddings and remember- YOU WILL NEVER MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY! I’m convinced that the more you try to make everyone happy, the harder it is. Just remember this- I will be bringing chocolate to your class- I’ll be there with bells on on Thursday a.m. Thank you and Tina from the bottom of my heart.

  219. Reading your post made me weepy too, Steph. I have tremendous respect and admiration for you and Tina, and am deeply grateful for your efforts. So much hard work has gone into wonderful fiber ideas this year, not only Sock Summit but Phat Fiber. And when the sample boxes sold out in a nanosecond, as we knew they would, a few who missed out got ugly and dear Jessie got the same kind of (totally undeserved) emails. Honestly I don’t know where that kind of malicious behavior comes from or why–fiber arts are for pleasure and enjoyment! Anyway, Sock Summit is hot hot hot, and this confirmed vendor (thank you for calling me “exalted”, that’s such an ego stroke) can’t wait! ~Sharon aka Stitchjones

  220. Stephanie and anyone else who happens to read this:
    I am not attending SS09 because of illness and disability. I am too sick to get on a plane. I seriously considered saying “ef it” and making a plane reservation anyway before reality set in. I guess what I’m saying is: I could not even TRY to register for SS09 because I am so sick.
    I wish, with all my heart, that I had the option to be pissed off because I couldn’t get a slot. Those of you who are disappointed because you were shut out? Thank your lucky stars that you even had a chance to try. I would gladly sacrifice my sizable stash and more to be in your shoes. Socks. Whatever.
    Stephanie and Tina, you are two of the most admirable, intelligent, creative, persevering, confident women I’ve encountered. I’ve learned much from reading your words and watching you work. SS09 will completely utterly ROCK, and that’s because of you. Forty years from now, someone will be telling other disappointed knitters “No, we won’t ask Stephanie and Tina to teach more classes. They’re 80 years old, retired, and have earned their matriarch status among knitters. We revere them for the wise women that they are.”

  221. Oh! I second Kathryn @8:39’s offer volunteer to deal (tactfully, I promise) with replies to people who don’t have the grace to act respectfully about something you even pre-emptively blogged you were trying to prevent. I have a thick skin and would be happy to help you if I could!

  222. I am not attending SS, but I did see some nasty responses on Ravelry. If people said half the things to you they said there, then their rudeness was inexcusable. Please don’t take it to heart. We all love you! (And we haven’t even met.)

  223. Don’t worry about the naysayers… 30,000 people is a hell of a lot of people… and you guys aren’t IT whizzes… you can tell the IT whizzes how crazy knitters are, but in my experience the IT whizzes are a little arrogant about their own abilities (and that of their gear) and few people who aren’t knitters understand how INSANE knitters are. The Sanguine Griffon has to sell her yarn by lottery because hundreds of knitters keep crashing her site, and Wollmeise has similar problems… you did you best, but if the IT guys didn’t listen, not much you can do….
    I think you’ve got plenty of kahoonies for doing what you’ve done and you deserve a HUGE pat on the back!

  224. Congratulations! Except for the hate mail (who’d have thought that so many knitters would do that?), I think that your news is wonderful. Imagine 30,000 simultaneous hits as registration opens! It’s a true testimonial to your and Tina’s ability to attract ALL the best and the brightest teachers and vendors to the first Sock Summit. Hopefully you’ll be able to do it again next year, or perhaps every other year.

  225. So not right of people to behave this way toward you and Tina. You two did a tremendous thing and blasted through all expectations–that is amazing. The event will be incredible, and everyone will be delighted.

  226. 30,000? Really? 30,000? Wow. I remember at one point hearing 10,000 being thrown out as a possible attendance figure and thinking that was totally insane (but if anyone could bring it, it would be you all). I am sending so many positive thoughts in your general directions.
    I’ve vied for concert tickets by phone and by web so many times with Ticketmaster and been shut out – it sucks, but life’s just not fair sometimes, as I like to point out to my 6-year-old on a nearly daily basis.
    Just know that in the end, it will all be worth it, we will have a fabulous time worthy of legend (even those who didn’t get their classes but decide they need to come anyway, or those who don’t get to take classes because they’ll be working), and I will work my own butt off to make my teeny tiny little part of SS the very best it can be (and I’m sure all the other teachers, vendors & authors will do the same). There are so many out there who appreciate everything you’re doing – don’t ever doubt that!

  227. Stephanie, you and Tina should be applauded for thinking that the rest of us would want a Sock Summit and then actually putting it together for us. You and Tina should be applauded for all the hard work, sleepless nights, and money you poured into this hoping we would respond.
    Who would have anticipated 30,000 concurrent users. I work in the IT department of a major corporation and I don’t think any of our apps were tested for 30,000 concurrent users. Who would have expected that?
    You and Tina did the best you could, you’ve learned from the experience, many knitters will go to Sock Summit and have a blast, and next time maybe I’ll be there. May moths get into the stash of those that sent you nasty email. You’re being nice to leave them in the pile. I’d want to toss them in the trash. You and Tina both get a 10 in my book.

  228. Dear Stephanie,
    I’m sorry this has been all so hard. I had a wee bit of registration trouble but not enough to spit fire over. I’m thrilled that the Sock Summit is going to be in Oregon, where I live. In terms of promotion and advertising I am only vaguely aware of other knitting conventions and I would/have not consider(ed) flying to them as so many have planned to do for this event. You have zillions of readers, there now is Ravelry. Somehow the advertising was just really big.
    On a much smaller scale I am reminded of how there was a deluge of scarves knitted for the Red Scarf Project a few years ago due to the efforts of Norma’s Blog at Now Norma Knits. She commented then on the power of the Internet. Clearly it is amazing and unpredictable.
    I appreciate the hard work you and Tina have put into this. I am looking forward to attending as it will be a tiny vacation just for me.
    You also mentioned the economy. My husband was laid off in January. So I had to think about going to this or not. However,upon deciding to go I have been saving up. My Market Place spending will be somewhat limited. I am fortunate to be able to stay with family in Portland which is essentially why I can afford to go at all plus I can simply drive to Portland. Thankfully I am employed but the economy is still an issue.
    I hope things improve and go more smoothly for you. I am really looking forward to the Sock Summit.

  229. Wow. I’m gobsmacked at how some people are acting. There’s just no call for it.
    Have none of these people ever tried to get on a website that was being flooded with requests? One more IT type saying that it would have been very very difficult and maybe actually impossible to have handled that many requests without crashing and burning. And even if you had webservers that could have handled the load (costing you thousands of dollars), the databases storing the info STILL might not have been able to handle it.
    And even if they could have, there STILL would have been people who didn’t get what they wanted, because someone else’s request would have arrived a millisecond sooner than theirs and would have been in line ahead of them.
    That people would ask you to magically make it bigger, that they would ask you to over schedule the teachers just so they can go, really kind of says a lot about the trouble we all have sometimes seeing past our own noses. That they would be mean and threatening and hateful about it, well, there really aren’t words for that. I’m sorry that by trying to do this awesome thing for your community, you’ve been subjected to that kind of treatment.
    You guys do amazing work, and this sock summit sounds like it is going to be astonishing. I didn’t try to sign up, since I knew I couldn’t go, but I wish I was going to get to see it!

  230. Ooh, it sounds like some sock knitters with their double-pointed (pun intended) barbs can be quite vicious. So sorry to hear that you’ve had to endure their undeserved criticisms. But, I’m happy to hear that your Sock Summit will be so successful.
    I hope someone gave you a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt yesterday. Yes, Austin is weird, but in a funky, good sort of way. I’m wishing I was 40 miles away right now in Plano at your appearance there. Unfortunately, I just arrived home from work and couldn’t make it to Plano in time. (Plano is Upscale Weird.)
    Mary G. in Texas

  231. I am so, so, sorry that you and the team have been taking s**t over this. What a huge, phenomenal success you’ve made of an inspired and outrageous idea!!!
    I did get my classes, but I was one of the people making the trip in any case – just to represent and show my support and be in the vicinity of the people who could come up with such a cool idea. You guys absolutely ROCK!
    Although I’m really sorry that the remonstration part was necessary, I loved your post. You’ve made a huge success of a visionary concept. You’ve stated your response to the complaints with grace, compassion, and unyielding conviction — now that’s a role model!! – the person who thinks you can’t enjoy a beer at the same time is another one that has their priorities screwed up.
    Hugs to you all.

  232. Wow, I’m sorry about all the negative feedback and threats, etc! Anyone who reads your blog can understand how hard you’ve worked. At any rate, no one deserves to be treated like that. I believe, though, that those who made it in are going to be so incredibly PSYCHED that it’s going to be a fabulous summit!

  233. How awful for you guys. I decided early on that I couldn’t afford to go, so I wasn’t amongst the masses trying to register — but I am really sorry that you’ve received hate mail over this.
    You are loved and respected in this community — and we are glad you love us back. Even when we don’t deserve it.

  234. That was a very gracious post, and a lot more polite of a response than any amount of hateful e-mails deserve. Folks say stuff in an e-mail that they would never think to say out loud to a person, and it always amazes me.
    Thank you for your hard work and taking a chance on something no one else believed in. Even though I’m not a sock knitter (yet), I can only imagine how much fun you’re all going to have, and hope you enjoy every second of it from this point forward. The list of teachers is astounding.
    And to the folks who aren’t going, I’d like to point out that if they manage not to make this a horrible experience for the two women who believe in it and knitters the most, there will be many many more Sock Summits to attend.

  235. So sorry for this experience, Stephanie. *hugs* You are a rock star and please remember that…and don’t let a few bad apples get to you!

  236. The server didn’t crash because 30,000 people logged on simultaneously. The server crashed because you drink beer in public.

  237. Dear Steph & Tina,
    Holding you in our hearts.
    Nasty people: take deep breaths, hugs to you, too.

  238. I’m so sorry about the way some people have responded to the server troubles. I hope you haven’t lost faith that most of your readers are kind, decent people. While a trip to Portland wasn’t in the cards for me, I’m sure it will be an amazing experience! I’d love to be there just for the people.
    By the way, if you’re able to record any of the lectures or panels, I’m sure there would be a market for them. Just a thought.

  239. Man, 30,000!?! No wonder the servers crashed. I agree, if you can recruit people to filter out the nasty emails so you don’t have to see them.
    Assuming you decide you want to do this again after all this… might it make sense to set up some sort of lottery system instead of a simple first-come, first-served? People would still be disappointed, but at least you wouldn’t have tens of thousands of people hitting a server simultaneously to cope with.
    Dunno, I’m not sure how registrations for conferences that this high a demand/supply ratio usually work, but I spent a few years working at Duke and couldn’t help but think of men’s basketball ticket sales there… a combination of “first-come” and a lottery.

  240. Hey there – I feel you pain – really, I do. I do this sort of thing (managing transactional websites, etc) for a living and it really is a thankless job much of the time.
    I can’t believe the traffic you’ve managed for your first time, and how well you’re coping with it. It’s true – 10% would be considered a good response rate, and a success! What you’ve managed is truly incredible.
    Even with the best of organisation, “sh** happens”, as they say. Keep up the good work and know that we love you.

  241. I didn’t read all the comments – which are probably coming in fast and furious. But I am SURE that I am one of many who says – ignore the bad, hateful, threatening and abusive email. Don’t move it to the bottom of the pile; put it at the top and delete them from all classes and refund 100% of their money. They don’t deserve to be at Sock Summit and they will spread bad energy while there.
    and this just cracks me up: “We’d like you to remember, before you email… that your problem is that you didn’t get into a knitting conference. It is actually not like Tina and I napalmed a village of orphan babies and then ate their puppies and it is up to you to exact revenge.”
    Seriously people. It’s knitting. socks. it’s supposed to be happy. Get over yourself.
    everytime you get a bad one, remember there are AT LEAST 100 times that number of people who LOVE you and Tina.

  242. Oh, you poor things. :c I wish I could hop a plane and help you sort through everything. And it’s a shame that people took themselves a little (or a lot) too seriously for a knitting conference. I think it’s one of the downsides of the internet – there’s a bit of a hive mind, and the anonymity thing that we’re all so familiar with, and people who get excited when people around them get excited get a little TOO excited and then behave badly.
    It’s like the Wollmeise of knitting conferences. I never understood the Wollmeise thing either, but this sounds like it’s been a horrible experience for you – something that should have been fun and wonderful. If I were there, I’d hug you, and buy you a beer, and send you off to the bath while I wrangled paperwork.

  243. Wow. I am sorry for all of the yuck you’ve had to deal with the past couple of days. A knitting convention is not in my budget right now, but I hope that you all are able to relax and enjoy yourself when the convention comes to fruition. Congratulations on SO MUCH interest in the Sock Summit, and frankly, I hope you make lots of $$ from it. Shame on the rude, crabby, writers of nastygrams. I expect better of knitters.

  244. For all those rotten people who sent you hate mail:
    May their mohair and laceweight yarns be forever tangled beyond recovery.
    May their entire stash of wools be eaten by pesticide-resistant moths.
    May the rest of their yarn be inundated by a sewer overflow.
    May all of their dpns break, two at a time, forever.
    Feel free to add to this list.
    Stephanie, your post today is an amazingly calm and reasoned response to the event, the server overload, and particularly to those hateful people who have written you with blame and anger over missing out on SS09. I was one of the 30,000; when I couldn’t get in and all the classes showed full, I sniffled a bit in disappointment. But anyone with one dpn’s worth of sense had to KNOW that there would be far too many knitters for the classes available.
    You have *Represented* for us knitters so well, and tolerated so many idiocies by people who thought ‘there couldn’t possibly be that many’. I’ve had the privilege of meeting you several times, and you are an amazing woman with the patience of Job and a helluva better sense of humor. Thanks for everything.

  245. I am so sorry you and Tina are going through this. I had something similar happen a couple of years ago, and it is astonishing how vicious people (in this case the parents of college students) can be.
    We tested the heck out of our system before we launched it. On opening day, we got 15k hits in 5 minutes (now, this means that the people who needed to use it were getting everyone they know to try too) and crashed the server. Which crashed all the other sites in our division too.
    People were so insane that they managed to tie up 8 phone lines and fill the associated voicemails for each, while we were answering all the calls we could manage. The vitriol we received for days and weeks after was appalling. It is amazing how badly adults can behave when they don’t get their way.
    My advice is when you have room to breathe, find a batting cage and whack the crap out of some softballs.
    You’re doing great! Good luck, deep breaths, and carry on!

  246. Wow, isn’t human nature something? I didn’t try to register, am not one of the disappointed. But as I’ve been reading all about this on your blog, I’ve been marveling at the event you are putting together. It’s certainly a labor of love. Disappointment I can understand. We’ve all been there. But to send hateful emails. That just isn’t right. Thank you for putting this together. It is an awesome list of instructors and classes. Keep on keeping on and try not to let the oinky folks get to you.

  247. Since this one is such a sellout, is there a reason why the other venues do not sell out?
    So, SS10–will book all of the E side convention venues? Here’s hoping.

  248. Stephanie, I’ve never posted here before, but I just had to today. I’m a former conference manager and the largest event I ever managed was 800 people. I am in awe of the two of you for planning and executing this so well, considering the unbelievable numbers of knitters interested in attending.
    You deserve all of the kudos, thanks yous and hugs that you are getting here.

  249. Hi again – and I meant to add to my comment above: The way I deal with the crummy e-mails that I sometimes get from people on the sites that I admin, is that I remember that they must be having a really, really, crummy day. They must have a life that is a lot worse than mine, with a lot less to be thankful for. I figure that they’re really suffering, and perhaps they don’t have the ability to deal with their frustration as well as I am capable of doing. So I take pity on them – poor them!
    I hope that’s helpful – and from your post it appears that this is just the way you’re dealing with it. Well done!

  250. Wow! I hope the responses you describe don’t sour your stomach for next year! Maybe those knitters should reconsider…not making it into a class is the perfect opportunity to divert those funds toward the stash and the FABULOUS market you have planned! I will be there and am saving up!!!
    I had trouble also, when I got on the class I wanted said there were 13 spaces left, but then sadly told me it was sold out… but, I say, I’m coming and having a fabulous time with other knitters and learning new stuff anyway! I’m SO EXCITED!

  251. I’m extremely sorry that you and Tina have had to deal with this hatred directed at you. You are truly a grande dame in your own right, and this post is a reason why you will continue to triumph in the petty meanness.

  252. There’s no accounting for some people. >^..^< I raise a glass to you and your efforts. Slainte!

  253. You know, I’ve been telling my son about Sock Summit for weeks, how I wish I could go, how many other sock knitters would be there. He kept telling me that I was making them up, that there couldn’t possibly that many sock knitters in the world willing to travel to Portland to do nothing but knit. Hehe.
    Hate mail sucks, hope you can ignore and/or forget them and just remember that you’ve put together the biggest and coolest knitting event ever. Wish I was going!

  254. I strongly believe you did your best and you guys are awesome. All those haters out there…well you didn’t want them showing up to your conference anyways…

  255. Thank you is not enough to convey how much this sock knitter appreciates your hard work. =) I am thrilled to be attending sock summit and I know its going to be the most amazing event ever!!!!

  256. Stay strong. Celebrate the positive. Everything will get fixed. We’ll have a blast. You can’t please everybody – even if things had gone exactly as planned some people still would be unhappy, frustrated and/or ugly – that unfortunately is how it works on any level – you can’t and will never be able to please everybody. I truly appreciate the hard work, energy, time and effort of everyone involved in this massive undertaking and can’t wait for August to get here and hope I’ll be able to meet you, Tina and the rest of your trusty team to express my gratitude and appreciation in person. I know it will get fixed and I know you are all working as hard as you can and please know that it is appreciated. See you in Portland!

  257. You two are caring, thoughtful, dedicated people to have put so much time and effort into this and to continue to do so. Unfortunately, the few people who don’t appreciate this are also the ones who aren’t considerate enough of others to understand how much nasty notes hurt. The written form is particularly devastating as people feel free to say things they would never say to your face. Your time is too precious to waste on these rude, thoughtless people. Don’t even bother with the bottom of the pile – just throw them out. There’s nothing in them worth reading. Wouldn’t you rather be knitting, anyway?
    If it helps at all, keep in mind that thirty thousand people wanted to attend your event, and that’s only the people who tried to register right away. If that’s not impressive, awe inspiring and flat-out terrifying I don’t know what is. You’re amazing women, doing an amazing job, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  258. Stop apologizing!!! I have always wanted to go to Knitters Camp with Meg & maybe will never get there, but the world is not going to end!!!
    Knitting is a passion, a craft, an art. It is not something for people to fight over and be insulting and intiminating to others about -geesh!!
    Take good care & delete the naughty boogers – they are not worth your time.

  259. Entitlement is an ugly, ugly thing.
    When I thought I wasn’t getting into any classes at all, I was sad and figured it just wasn’t meant to be. Of course, I also didn’t buy a plane ticket in advance because I knew I wasn’t guaranteed anything. I ended up getting classes and am so grateful to you and Tina for putting yourselves through all this. Sending hugs, kisses, rainbows and a cloud of fairy dust your way. And a stiff drink, too!

  260. You and Tina did everything right: you planned a tremendous event and a lot of people are going to have a wonderful time and learn a lot. You planned and tested and did everything in your power to make sure that it all worked.
    I’ve been part of more than my share of IT projects and I have seen how often it’s the case that you can think through everything, plan, test everything you can think of and still something unexpected happens. It really is true that you will never know exactly how the technology is going to behave until you go live.
    I think it’s a testament to Tina’s and your vision that so many people wanted to be part of Sock Summit. Thank you both for persevering and making it happen. It’s going to be great!

  261. Wow. Just, wow.
    When you first posted the list of instructors on your blog, I thought that would be a neat event to go to just to learn from those people, and I’m not big on sock knitting! Finances wouldn’t allow me to go in any case, but it sounded big and fun, and I could see why people wanted to go. The collective you deserve the highest praise for even attempting such a thing!
    30,000 people trying to get 4,000 spaces?! Mind boggling! I agree with a post near the top of the list in that Meg Swanson has a good solution for her camp by allotting spaces via lottery. My gentlest, kindest suggestion would be that you consider such a thing for any subsequent summits, allowing plenty of entry time for all interested parties before the final drawing.
    The rudeness you encountered is inexcusable. Period. I think they all owe you the finest yarn their LYS has to offer as an apology.
    I hope the rest of the event is stress-free, and everyone has the good time that has been intended from the first “you know what would be fun?”

  262. *hugs* *love* *kittens* *laceweight silk* *chocolate* *all the other good things you deserve for daring to try this in the first place and pulling through the server crash with so much class*

  263. I cannot believe people are friggin’ threatening you guys over SS!!! I mean, really, if your life sucks so much that you have to threaten and demean another if you can’t get into a knitting conference, you have issues my friend. You deserve congratulations and chocolate covered strawberries at such an achievement, if it was closer I’d try to be there but I’m in SC so alas….. Be proud of yourself and screw them, politely of course πŸ™‚

  264. I feel your pain. I work in the customer service department at a large retail store and I know how mean some people can be when they don’t get their way! Hang in there.

  265. Steph&Tina,
    Sorry to hear of the the trouble. Congrats for the overhelming response. The next Summit is already on my dream list for next year, needles crossed for a spot.

  266. Put me down as another person offering support to you and Tina for all you’ve done for this conference! I didn’t even try, as I can’t afford to send myself and family to Portland for the event, but it sounds wonderful and I hope the challenges of registration don’t bring you all down! Thanks for putting this together, and I’m hoping for lots of blogging about it so I can live vicariously through you!

  267. From the standpoint of one of those people for whom the bad economy made coming to Sock Summit an impossibility, I’m saddened to hear that many fortunate people who have the means to attend are treating it like a right rather than a privilege. I hope this experience won’t keep you from offering the summit again in the coming years so I can get a chance to join you.

  268. just what the world needs………KNITTING TERRORISTS!!!!!!!
    Somehow, I’m GLAD they didn’t get in.
    They need to stay home and go to anger management classes…………..HA!

  269. Sounds like the Sock Summit found the knitting sweet spot! And now there are tens of thousands of disappointed knitters, most of them well-behaved, who did their best to register at the first possible moment and, through no fault of their own (or anyone else’s), aren’t going to be able to come. Might it be possible to tape some of the lectures and offer them on youtube later? Obviously the presenters would have to agree, and those who are giving classes aren’t likely to want to do that since it undercuts the way they earn a living. But Barbara Walker might be willing to have her lecture taped and shown later, and so might some of the others … could be one way to soften the blow and also to preserve something important for knitters everywhere.

  270. Stephanie & Tina – I’m actually a little speechless that people would be mean about not getting into the Summit. That is so wrong. On the other hand, 30,000 hits brought tears of pride to my eyes. I hope you submit it to the Guinness Book of World Record.
    Oh yeah, and be glad you are not Sonia Sotomayor. She’s getting some pretty nasty hate mail right about now too. Again, that is so wrong.

  271. I am soooo sorry the speshul snowflaykes are abusing you and your staff. I think it was incredible of you to organize an event of this magnitude in the first place. Although I am one of the many who was not able to even attempt to attend due to monetary concerns, I applaud you for your efforts and hope that you will not let this keep you from offering this again in the future. Thank you!

  272. 30,000???? Holy cow! No wonder the system crashed and your IT guys couldn’t wrap their brains around it. The power of the sock, indeed! Wow!
    To those who are sending the hate mail… I agree with the poster above… you took your chances and you knew it, so GROW UP!!!! Take responsibility for your actions and knock it off. It’s not like we all haven’t read that Steph and Tina tested the system all that was possible. How could ANYONE have predicted that? And indeed, it’s a SOCK conference, not the end of the earth! Bad manners are inexcusable.
    To Steph and TIna… Life is short. You did the best you could. And you will never make everyone happy, so give refunds if needed and let it go. Folks like that aren’t the ones we want at the Summit, anyway. Don’t answer the letters, just do what you must. Otherwise, it’s like knitting a sweater for someone who won’t appreciate it…. not a good use of your love and effort.
    For me, I am going to be able to attend and I am beyond thrilled. I look forward to seeing you there.

  273. Stephanie and Tina, I’m so sorry this could happen to you two! I respect and appreciate what you are doing, even if myself and several others cannot attend. Sending good vibes y’all’s way!

  274. Good god. We’re knitters! Pull it together, people!
    I had a sinking feeling from the first sentence of your post, and then I had a bit of hope, and then found out I was right. It is amazing how people will react to disappointment.
    That said, even I am surprised at how huge those numbers are (and I’m rarely surprised by knitters.) This is like the Woodstock of knitting conventions! Seriously! You are a force to be reckoned with.

  275. Stephanie, you and Tina have done an absolutely awesome job. I hope you’ll be able to take a moment to pat yourselves on the back.
    Rudeness reflects a bitter heart; those who offered rude comments have to live with that bitterness. I hope you can let those comments go and concentrate on all the people who are in awe of what you have accomplished.

  276. Oh my. The world is full of small rude people. I am a disappointed knitter (no, didn’t try to register for sock summit…just disappointed I can’t go and missed your Texas visit…I am in Houston) but that’s not your fault! Some people just don’t have a clue. I did customer service for many years, several different jobs…people can be total buttholes.
    Hang in there!

  277. Nothing like stomping on good souls when they’re working their hearts out for your own good. I’m with Cookie – I hate people. Except the good ones. You can’t please everyone, and you can’t expect unprecedented responses. Tell the asshats to go cast something on and lose their registrations. Screw ’em. I wouldn’t want them to attend anyway. Bad karma!
    You guys are doing crazy good. Don’t let them ruin the day. Merlot is always good. Even for breakfast.

  278. I’m so sorry you had to deal with petty nastiness on top of server issues. I hope when this is done that you look back and consider it not only a raging success but worth the work and aggravation.

  279. You guys rock! If you’re going to dream, dream big.
    Know that the mean and spitefuls are the minority. NoOne could have predicted this. It is wonderful that SS09 such a success. Know too that thousands of us are so grateful that you took this huge risk, and that it worked for you. Virtual hugs for Tina and Stepahnie and their team.
    (and a hex on the meanies)

  280. I think the answer is simple, clearly you and Tina didn’t work hard enough. Oh wait…

  281. Well dang, unfortunately it is just glaring proof that knitters come from all walks of life. Chin up Woman you should be proud of what you guys have accomplished, it is a wondrous thing.
    I do kinda wonder how many people out there like myself who, really wanted to go, could have easily gone, but didn’t even try cuz of the onslaught I feared would happen? C-ya next year. :o)

  282. I wish I could be there to give you and Tina each the big hug and massage you both truly deserve. I’m awed, by the number of hits in the first moments of registration, and by the way the two of you are handling yourselves now. I’d have gone postal…

  283. How could anybody threaten YOU?! You were the ones who came up with the whole Sock Summit in the first place!!! It’s like people being angry at Dylan for going electric! It’s his music, he can go electric if he wants to! It’s YOUR summit, you made it as big as possible, how could people be horrible to you because it is just not humanly possible for everyone to make it in?!
    When I don’t have faith in the goodness of humankind, I am able to maintain my faith in the goodness of knitters. Now…I’m not so sure…. For Shame.

  284. Megan (a couple of posts up) is right on. The Sock Summit will be better off without those individuals who go all apoplectic when faced with overwrought technology. Psh. Self-centered infants . . . .
    Need help? You’ve got the email.

  285. I want to thank both of you for the wonderful job you have done from the beginning. The location, the number and variety of classes and the huge number of people you tried to accommodate. I did not get into everything I was hoping, but life will go on and I will enjoy the things I can do. I am saddened that sisters would treat other sisters so poorly. Personally, I think you both rock for the job that you did and will continue to do, I am sure.

  286. I’m in Australia so have not been trying to sign up for anything (although I would have loved to!), but I have seen some terrible, horrible threads in places about what happened. I am so sorry for you that people have reacted this way. What a terrible way for this to start out for the both of you. And I echo the sentiment that IT’S A SOCK CONFERENCE – it’s not life and death. Be thankful that you have your health and try again next time (if there is a next time, and I for one wouldn’t blame you if you never did it again!). I hope it goes successfully and smoothly for you when it actually starts.

  287. This just shows how much we have become such an entitlement bunch of selfish people. Me first and no one else is such a sad state of affairs. Whatever happened to “please, you first”. For all you have been through, I know that this endeavor will be much more and better than could ever have been imagined. You will need such a time alone with just your needles and yarn after all of this is over. And doing a book tour too! Mercy, girl. I know I will never be able to attend such an affair but I do know it would be so worth the effort that was put in. I’m really trying hard to make my very first pair of socks. Just the vanilla pair. I could use that beginners class. But for now, your book of rules is helping me get it done.

  288. I am so sorry you’re having to put up with the lot of idiots. Entitlement is amazing, isn’t it? Hugs and wine to you both.

  289. I know my comment is waaaay at the bottom here and will probably never get read, but I’m going to say it anyway:
    I didn’t get the classes I wanted, either. ALL of the classes I wanted were full. But y’know, no one guaranteed me a spot just because I wanted one.
    So to the 10,000 or so people who are miffed because they didn’t get into THAT class, please repeat the following mantra:
    It’s not all about me. It’s not all about me. It’s not all about me.
    (And to the event organizers wherever Stephanie goes: LISTEN TO STEPHANIE. SHE’S NOT EXAGGERATING.)

  290. Looking at the hundreds of emails, I know you don’t need another email, but I make it! I am ashamed by the behavior of the few! You guys did a fantastic job against amazing odds. I didn’t get the classes I wanted, but did get some that will be great I am sure. Even when I had none, I was not even considering not coming, I was already booked, and just being there was not to be missed! I will come bearing chocolate, wish I could bring more to tell you how grateful we are for all you guys have done!
    Thanks and more thanks!

  291. I’ve been following all the hullaballo and have been appalled at the way folks have over reacted.
    Instead of being crucified, you and Tina should be commended for having the vision and the energy and the faith in The Sock. I congratulate both of you on a job well down and look forward to hearing all the wonderful stories coming out of Sock Summit.
    Now, if you could only do something about that “SS” acronym. πŸ˜‰

  292. A friend of mine once gave me this advice “don’t let those old fogey #ssh#oles get you down.” You have acomplished an amazing feat. Knit on!!!! We love you guys

  293. Looking at the hundreds of emails, I know you don’t need another email, but I need to send it! I am ashamed by the behavior of the few! You guys did a fantastic job against amazing odds. I didn’t get the classes I wanted, but did get some that will be great I am sure. Even when I had none, I was not even considering not coming, I was already booked, and just being there was not to be missed! I will come bearing chocolate, wish I could bring more to tell you how grateful we are for all you guys have done!
    Thanks and more thanks!

  294. Some people are thrilled to be hateful when it’s all anonymous . Walk up to them and say “Hi” and they are just sooo friendly.
    Gotta be sorry for them appalling as they are.

  295. I’m sorry people are crabbing at you. You guys are killing yourselves to make this wonderful event. No one could have predicted that the server would take that kind of hit. No One! And I work for a gigantic
    Hang in there. We love you!

  296. I just wanted to say that anybody with brains knows that you are obviously someone who commits fully to projects and doesn’t half ass things. And I’m sorry you have to put up with grouches.

  297. So sorry to hear about the frustrated people behaving badly. I’m always amazed at just how overdeveloped some people’s sense of entitlement gets. To borrow a phrase from a friend’s 3-year-old son: You’re pretty. Want some chocolate?

  298. wow wow wow! First, you two have created something so wonderful and done it wonderfully well. Do not lose sight of that! For years to come, marketing and IT courses will teach the Amazing First Sock Summit Success. As for the nasty comments, I can’t believe they are really knitters and crocheters yet…may they one day join the true sister-/brother-hood. You are magnificent!

  299. So sorry for the mean and nasty knitters! It is just too bad that some people think it is ok for them to treat others this way, they would be hollering foul if they were treated they way they are treating you.
    Keep up the great work – maybe I can come next year!

  300. May the knitting force be with you : ) you are a class act through and through.

  301. Hi,
    I wasn’t able to register, not cause of any Server problems, but just cause I can’t. I wish I could, because you guys are awesome, and it sounds wicked fun.
    I’m really just writing to say congratulations on such an amazing turn out. You guys are great, and I’m sorry you had to put up with crap from poorly mannered people.
    Have a great SS09!

  302. 30000 connections at a time is a lot for ANY server – I was around to listen to a major TV network news company freak out when their entire network slowed to a crawl on 9/11. Because surprise, half the US was trying to get current updates online.
    It sounds like you guys did as good of a job as anyone could have expected and there’s a lot of just plain petty, mean, and ignorant people out there.
    And if they want to bitch about their entitlement that much, you probably didn’t want them at SS09 anyway:) Good luck straightening out the glitches.

  303. You’re in Texas? How did I miss that? I hope you’ve been getting plenty of hugs after all that nastiness, which horrified me just reading about it.

  304. I love you all … I love that you are putting up with the meanies and doing your best to get this up and running. You are strong and able. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Good luck!

  305. Consider yourselves hugged from me and the thousands of others who appreciate the work you. Tina and others have done. Although there were no classes left for me to sign up for, I am happy for those who will be taking them. I can’t wait to go and catch site of the “stars” who will be attending.

  306. Two words: Mercury Retrograde!!!
    My heart goes out to you, Tina, and all those who have worked so hard on this event. Be well.

  307. I wrote a message, no threats, just letting you know how disappointed my daughter and
    I were because of the server problems. I feel awful about it because I let my disappointment get the best of me. You guys sent me back a rather nice response and i responded with an apology. I am SO sorry for getting angry and I have learned a lot from the experience. I did get into classes during the second chance but even before that I was over my anger and wishing I could take my email back. Again, I can only say how sorry I am. If I upset any of you in any way, I am sorry!!!!

  308. Just want to say that I and most of the other sentiment that I’ve read on Ravelry and such is not that you and Tina could have done better. I and most of what I’ve read think you all did smashing job….It’s mostly the IT folks underestimation that’s being blamed. The conference will be terrific for all who attend. The rest if us that wished to will have a chance another time. I wish you much luck.

  309. I couldn’t go to the summit, but I’m sure it will be awesome, and you two are awesome for starting/running it! Sending positive energy and Yuenglings your way.

  310. You guys rock. I hope this is going on (probably under someone else’s management) 25 years from now. I hope I get to one someday. Problems? Of course. Worth it? On yeah. Come to Virginia so I can wait on you hand and foot.

  311. Steph and Tina…
    I applaud you for even taking on such a thing. I think you have handled it all with grace and poise and I hope that your sock summit rocks harder than you ever imagined. ((hugs))

  312. “No. we don’t agree that we are horrible people because you didn’t get what you wanted.”
    I’m very glad to hear that! I think you and Tina are wonderful people for organizing this in the first place.
    I wasn’t one of the 30,000(!!) who crashed your server, but I promise that if you do this again next year, and I try to register and can’t, I WILL NOT send you any threatening or angry emails! You’re the reason I’m a knitter and have a quickly growing yarn stash. How could I ever be angry at you for that?! I can’t promise I won’t be disappointed if I can’t go, but I’ll keep that to myself.
    Hang in there! Big hugs to both everyone involved.

  313. Ahem, sorry guys. I sent an email (not hateful or threatening, just bitter and mad) when my efforts were originally thwarted by the server’s lie that classes were sold out. I am now very ashamed that it didn’t even occur to me how it would become part of the chorus of criticism which you both so don’t deserve. Words typed in the heat of frustration, but still indefensible. I did send a follow up email apologizing for my outburst, but really, I should have just gotten a grip.
    That said: I now want to let you know how much awe I have for what you visionary women have pulled off here. Culling the best of the best and offering a creative, intense, obsessive, wacky and dazzling series of experiences, all as part of one conference. No wonder SS sold out and Stitches, etc. don’t. This is the vision of “you who really get us.”
    I hope you get the chance to feel really, really good about what you’ve done, and who you are. I mean, even the manual resolution of each of 4,000 people’s registration problems…. I can’t imagine.
    You are taking such good care of us. You are creative, imaginative, loving women, helping the rest of us to have a terrific experience. The fact that you can’t do it for every single person who wishes you could…. we all have limits.
    And again, sorry about the snarky email. I have to learn to control myself. (This is not the first time I’ve had the opportunity to learn that lesson….)

  314. My DH who is coming with me to Portland wanted to know what the big deal was. I struggled to find an equivalent group of golfers, or race car drivers, or tennis players that would be the equivalent of the line up you have laid out for us and failed miserably. There is no equivalent.
    Thank you for your vision and hard work. I’m one of the ones who managed to register but probably typed my email wrong, and I’ll wait patiently to hear back that I am in the classes I thought I was in. And if I’m not I’m coming anyway, to help out at a booth, and just absorb all the knowledge that will be floating around in Portland on August 6. I hope you don’t start hating us knitters because some people don’t understand the limitations of computer equipment.
    You have done an awesome thing just putting this together and you should not have to put up with whiners or threats.
    Nina Elsohn
    Pacifica, CA

  315. I’m not going to the conference but I was so sad reading this whole post. It’s insane to me that people get so crazy upset as to send horrible, hateful things to you and Tina. I’m really sorry. I have the conference is a smashing success!

  316. You are both awesome, intelligent, diligent and talented. You did your due diligence, and then something else happened. That’s life. To you I say: Bravo! To the hatemailers I say: Get over yourselves. With luck, there will be other Sock Summits. No, they won’t be The First Sock Summit. But if you don’t put Stephanie and Tina completely off the idea with your ridiculousness, there will be a Second Sock Summit. Maybe you’ll get in to that one.
    Thank you for all that you do, Stephanie!

  317. You and Tina are the best. Big Corporations could not have handled it any better. Some just like to unload their bad on others to make them selfs feel better. I know you will listen, just don’t pick it up and carry it for them. Knit on and do it with humor. Thank you for the many times you made my bad days go away because of one of your posts.

  318. A lot of what has been said above, kudos for all you are doing, and lots of virtual Good Thoughts are going in (all) your direction. This thing is going to be an absolutely incredible event, and I’m just happy basking in the glow from a distance!

  319. Blessings on you for all your efforts – and for liking beer! I had to deal with the “crash” feelings about a week before when I realized I would be vacationing without internet access when registration opened. I resigned myself to missing this amazing first sock summit then, but I did manage to hook up via a library later in the day when everything was filled. My friends couldn’t believe it – but I was not surprised. You are heroes for putting together something so many folks want to be a part of. Blessings on you (both) for creating a community that is apparently badly needed by all us knitters. You ROCK!!! (And I’m not even registered.) πŸ˜‰

  320. Not that you need to read any more feedback – good or bad – but I have to say this for my own piece of mind. You cannot please everyone. You can only do your best. You are only human. No one will die from what happened.
    I recently co-chaired a gardening conference in a small town. MONTHS of preparation and pasting flyers, notifying newspapers, etc… we expected to get 125 people, we prepared classes so that 150 people could attend, just incase… On the deadline date 33 people were registered. We could not understand it, we must have picked a date that something else was happening on, we were heartbroken. And then it started, tons of registrations, and calls, and even walk ins – and in the end we had 138 people.
    And here is the killer – only a handful of the LATE COMMERS did not get their first choice for a class, and they grumbled, and it made us feel like we had done something wrong, which we clearly had not.
    We had a couple complaints, one of each of the following – that the seats were too hard, the lunch was not great and that we didn’t have a recycle bin handy for flyers in the goodie bag that people didn’t want to take home. Those 3 complaints crushed us. Even though the other 100+ people raved. Those three little complaints cut us to the core.
    You only had to sit for an hour at a time in class – was it really that uncomfortable?
    It is only once lunch out of your life, was it really that bad?
    We tried very hard to only include informative brochures in our goodie bag – would it kill you to take them home and recycle them?
    Just want you to know that I feel your pain and I want you to reply to all of the nasty e-mailers with this:
    “We appreciate you writing to us with your comments. We look forward to registering and attending the conference that you will be putting on. Please send us a registration form as soon as it is available.”

  321. Sending loves of knitterly love to you and Tina.
    I like to believe that whatever you put out into the universe — good or bad — comes back to you in some way or another. With that in mind, I sure wouldn’t want to be in the haters’ shoes.

  322. I think part of the problem is the internet itself.People have gotten used to the world at their fingertips and in seconds.They don’t understand that there are real people behind the technology working their butts off to make things happen.I think you and Tina deserve an entire week to retreat with your beer and your knitting/dyeing/spinning and when the week is over ,hopefully all will be cured.

  323. This is only the second time I have been totally disappointed by knitters. The first time was when I heard that a local knitting shop was having a horrible problem with shop lifting -I couldn’t believe that knitters could be dishonest(one shoplifter took $3500 in one visit !!)
    This is the second time. Please try to tune out the negitive comments . For you even attempt such a huge event shows your love for knitting and knitters.
    May the knitting Muses send them knotted yarn, patterns full of mistakes and lost needles.
    A popular song says it all–“God is great,beer is good and people are crazy”.
    I hope the Summit is a huge sucess-maybe you should keep their names on a “Never in a million years will you get in to a SS class”.
    Kudos from Michigan knitters.

  324. It’s very sad that people feel that they have the right to be rude and nasty behind the safety of their pens and keyboards. It’s fine to be frustrated but it’s absolutely absurd to take it out spitefully on others that don’t deserve it. I’m very sorry to hear about the hate mail and hope these people feel ashamed of themselves.

  325. Thank you thank you thank you for all you do. i would buy you a beer right now if i could – you make the world a better place and i mean that sincerely. Kim

  326. sorry to add MORE stuff for you to read, but… just sending good karma. lost of it

  327. dear steph and tina, here are some good, positive and appreciative vibes for you.}}}}}}}}} (those are good vibe waves, btw!)
    i just never will understand mean people! once the summit starts and you are in the thick of your brilliantly successful event, the unkind words will be no more than a mosquito bite on your summer of glory!

  328. Stephanie – I know you may never get this far down your list with all of the other things you have going on, but I wanted to tell you that I think you and Tina are SuperGirl and WonderWoman (you two fight over who gets which character). I WISH I could afford to come to something as awesome as 4000 knitters all knitting socks! Heck – I wish I could attend ANY of the bigger yarn events! But finances being what they are for “me” I’m super content to sit with my stash for now. I’m thankful that I have it to keep my company while I read the smartest women in blogdom.

  329. Maybe you could tape the Barbara Walker lecture and sell the DVD as a Knitters Without Borders fundraiser? Just a thought…
    Thanks for running this and good luck sorting everything out!

  330. I am sorry to hear that there are some people in this world who do not understand all things happen – good or bad. And it is a terrible shame that they decided to take their frustrations out on two lovely people who have been working their arses off to do something good.
    Now I am not going to be attending the conference as much as I wish I could but I wanted to send you positive reinforcements all the same.
    You are two great and wonderful people. Poo-poo on the naysayers.
    Lots of love. And as Katinka (above) says karma is real.

  331. Dear Steph and SS team:
    Please add my post to the hundreds I am seeing offering support for all your efforts. Stuff happens, and I have not only been following the blog, I have been following your tweets and twitter and know that you and your posse have been trying you’re best to get ready.
    Its all good, girlfriend. Its all good…

  332. You and Tina ROCK! It was so clear what you were trying to accomplish, if one read your blogs-and the snags that were surfacing as you worked—and I know you only revealed the proverbial tip o’ the iceberg.
    Please please please don’t pay attention to the relative few who took heaven knows what out on you! Remember instead the Thousands (many thousands!!!) Of Us who are simply astounded, awestruck and amazed at what you had the nerve to try, and have carried off, with incredible grace and poise (as Beth says above).

  333. I was taught that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. What the heck has happened to simple courtesy?
    Anyone with half a brain knows that Stuff Happens, and especially stuff happens when it concerns computers. Who could have guessed that 30,000 people would hit it at one time! WOW! (remember the bank issue for Blue Moon fibers? They should print this post and show it to their erstwhile bank!)
    You guys are creating a wonderful, incredible fantastic event for a LOT of people, and are to be commended for it. I just hope that at some point, you’ll have enough time in all the mayhem to enjoy it yourselves.
    many hugs, many good vibes heading your way. Hang in there, it’ll be fine. Really.

  334. 30K hits? Holy crap! Please accept this giant jar of chocolate-covered espresso beans to your IT staff, and a few rounds of beer (your choice) for you & Tina. You’re awesome. Seriously.

  335. 30,000 knitters! you should find comfort in the fact that you have inspired 30,000 people to be a part of sock summit. And that 30,000 number doesn’t include all of us procrastinaters (including myself) that weren’t there to click the very second the registration was open.
    a million kudos/blog hugs/high fives to you. in the words of my younger brother,
    “don’t let the (knitter) haters get you down.”

  336. I’m so sorry you’re both getting nasty e-mails! What you have done and are doing is amazing. It’s surprised how rude people can be when they’re stressed andupset. But it’s so exciting to see how successful sock summit is going to be and I wish I could be there. Keep kicking ass and taking names, and happy knitting!

  337. Yeah, I saw the hate threads at Ravelry and was astonished. Then I figured you’d probably be getting the same vitriol in your personal mailbox and just cringed. I’m so sorry and impressed that you’ve been able to be so even keeled about it all. (At least in public–I hope you’re making judicious use of a punching bag in private.)

  338. Geesh! Nothing I can say to make it more plain: people need to get over themselves. I am truly shocked that knitters, of all people, would send hateful mail to *anyone*, let alone the two of you. What a crock. Many of us are “disappointed” — welcome to the real world!
    You two and your minions and your staff and your pals who are seeing you through this mess deserve all our positive energy comin’ atcha. We do appreciate you and the lovely time we’re all going to have in August.

  339. As well as sending major love to Stephanie and Tina and all their team, some people on Ravelry are making donations to Knitters without Borders. It won’t make the hate mail go away, but it might take the sting out of it a bit.
    Thanks, Stephanie.

  340. Hi ST-1 and ST-2,
    Thank you for being awesome. You all have handled this crisis with grace, compassion and wisdom.
    I’m so sorry so many people are sending cruel, hurtful, hateful and threatening messages to you all. None of you deserve this. You all work so hard, and this kind of response (30K!!!!) is amazing. Thank you for everything you do.
    For the record I (thankfully) was able to get into a few classes, but none of the ones that were at the top of my list.
    I am so sorry to hear about the tears and hurt. Know that far more of us love you, and appreciate everything you have done and the optimism you have shown in the face of adversity and pessimism.

  341. Stephanie (And Tina too)
    From one of your instructors.. I just need to say THANK YOU! You have worked so hard on this and I just need to tell you that from this corner of the world, I appreciate all that you are doing.
    And can I say? You should be darn proud of what you have and will be accomplishing.
    Coming from a technical background myself (I used to troubleshoot computer systems for a living) nothing could have prepared you for the sheer numbers that came to you Tuesday morning. In an industry like the fiber arts industry, to think 30,000 at one moment for an event like this, in our economy, who would have thought?
    And for that alone, I raise my mug of beer! Congratulations! πŸ˜‰

  342. β€œDon’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”
    David Lloyd George
    Bravo for your courage to dream big and kudos for a job well done. Yes, very well done! You pushed the boundaries and succeeded with grace and over-the-top integrity. Gratitude to you, Tina and your whole team.

  343. The people who are sending you hateful email are the ones raising hateful children who think they are entitled to anything their little hearts desire.
    You and Tina are doing an amazing thing with this Sock Summit. While I considered attending, I decided I needed a low-key summer more. Have a wonderful time, throw the mean people in the trash and I hope to see you in Pittsburgh one of these days.

  344. Stephanie —
    I hope that you read every single one of these supportive comments and take them straight to heart.
    Maybe even three times.
    Because you, my dear, totally rock.
    I know the negative stuff always makes a bigger impact than the positive stuff (why *is* that, anyway?) but please try your best to bask in the warm glow of this knitterly love.
    And ignore those other &*@#% jerks who have their heads firmly planted up their butts.
    It’s not you. It’s them.

  345. Holy cow! That’s just an unbelievable assortment of numbers, no wonder there were problems.
    There must be something extra odd going on…we’ve gotten some really snarky, nasty emails from “people” regarding our spinning guild and our fiber fest. My only hope is that they are just so offended at our inability to please them, that they won’t ever show up to our events!
    Keep up the good work and, remember, that the vast majority of us still think that you (and Tina) are absolutely fabulous!

  346. I hardly know where to start …
    The good stuff first – I was chanting along with the expectation number wise, the 10% expected of those interested all the way through to our beloved Team’s plan for 5,000. But the final tally of hits almost made me swallow my tongue!
    I’ve gone from hysterical, joyful, astonished laughter (i was a part of this, yes,yes,yes) of vindication at it’s finest for The Team! …to
    stunned sadness for the behaviour of those we called knitter friends.
    I was deeply disappointed to have lost every class that I signed up for and was sooo-ooo close to receiving when the charge hit my card. But threats? I am broken-hearted that you and Tina received such words and, for some reason, embarrassed.
    Well, back to the AMAZING Response.
    Just about everyone I’ve met hears from me since last Tuesday, “do you know what we did? We Crashed the New Server!!” Now I can say, “-and you know how? With…30…THOUSAND…HITS!”
    love and hugs all around

  347. Here’s the thing: Some people will complain about anything. In another life I was a travel agent. I had a customer who wanted me to negotiate a full refund on a two-week cruise because “the shuffleboard tournament was fixed.” Another threatened to sue me because I refused to sell him a bus ticket from California to Hawaii.
    You rock. You totally rock. You (all of you) are doing the absolute best you can do, and NO amount of preparation would have forestalled the server problems. The nasty messages have nothing to do with you. Some people are just, um, hard to explain. Don’t let them cause you suffering.
    Big hugs to all of you.

  348. I’m so sorry that you had to deal with hatred from disappointed people. I appreciate and am grateful for your vision, sense of humor, and commitment to kniters, as well as all the hours, blood, sweat and tears you and Tina have put into SS09. It is going to be one helluva good time and I can’t wait. You are amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  349. Glad to hear you didn’t eat the puppies. Hope the rest of your shindig goes better.

  350. I’m so sorry you had to deal with the wrath of disappointed people. Anyone who has ever organized an event has had the same experience. I only wish I was able to attend this year but circumstances will put me attending a wedding that weekend. Hang in there!

  351. Steph, next time you’re in New York, I’m buying you a couple of beers, ok? Hopefully after the summit is over!

  352. WOW, harlot—but I totally saw this coming. You’re so extremely popular, and everything you touch turns to gold—and so it was only natural that some of those who were frustrated by the limited spaces of the SS would flip out and show their dirty laundry. But hang in there–and don’t beat yourself up about it. It goes with the territory….

  353. My heart goes out to you and Tina for having to deal with hurtful and hateful knitters on top of the stress of the server problems. Anyone who reads your blog knows just how hard you both have worked to make the conference registration a success. And threatening emails? What is WRONG with people?
    Hang in there. You guys are doing a great thing.

  354. Dear Stephanie and Tina,
    Thirty thousand hits at once. Crap. I had heard about the snafus but that really puts everything in perspective. Considering that kind of volume, I’d say you’re up there with the fiber gods in how you handled the whole shebang. And those who got all pissy about how it was handled should grovel at your feet in abject apology.
    Let me know if you’d like me to sing “The Traveling Sock” at the event.

  355. I cannot believe some people!
    The ones who send hateful messages or threats need to be reported to the authorities.
    Thankyou for all your hard work and love that you have put into the amazing Sock Summit! Many, many more people appreciate what you do, that those who critize you.
    Know you are appreciated.

  356. Just writing to show my support and I’m not even trying to attend the Sock Summit. I’d love to but the scheduling just didn’t work for me.
    Please don’t let the problem people distract you from the phenomenal response and excitement about this event.
    Huge events come with lots of challenges. I have faith that the planning team will do its best of deal with whatever comes up.
    Despite what some people might think, I’d suggest liberal applications of beer πŸ™‚

  357. Love, I’m so sorry that people have been mean and petty about this. Some folks need to get some perspective in life. You guys are really wonderful for doing this, and I wish that I could go to Sock Summit.

  358. Wow! My congrats on doing such a great job even though not all things went as planned. I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend even before registration day, so I’m happy for all those knitters who can go. You will have a fabulous time! Take lots of pictures and share them!!

  359. Many many sympathies (and DWB donation) for all of this stress – I agree with the “liberal applications of beer” suggestion above! (though apparently not too liberal as we have to be role models or some crud like that…but liberal application of something good, that’s for sure). It will surely get better, and since most knitters don’t suck I know you will have lots of good flooding your inbox and not just those bad ones!

  360. You did good, kid. I’m sorry that you and Tina and the SS09 staff are being subjected to some behaviors that are less than desirable. But two things were clear to me from the start:
    1. This thing was really, really big and
    2. you guys did the best job you could to be prepared for the unnatural mob of sock knitters who were banging on the Sock Summit doors to get in.
    30000 people? Sheesh!

  361. 30,000 hits – freaking amazing! And props to you and Tina (and the IT peeps) for sitting through all of this when you could do little to help it along.
    I feel really bad that some people are being jerks about this and taking it out on you two personally. Blog land can tend to feel personal and people are just taking it to an extreme.
    I’m not going – but I give you a heartfelt thanks for going through all the effort to set up this event. It’s really amazing what you and Tina have done.

  362. I don’t know why some people feel so entitled! You’ve worked very hard and though it will be happening over my birthday I will be unable to attend. This is similar to what another blogger, Jenn Lancaster, ran into. Someone sent her a nice letter and at the end of it asked her to pay off one of her credit cards. You’ll have to go to her blog, jennsylvania, for more but people expect blood, sweat, and tears from those they admire. Thank you for your (FREE) blog! I have been a reader for years and I probably would not be such a knowledgeable knitter without it. Thank you!

  363. tell the mean people they can’t come! no ss09 for you, meanies!
    Thanks for all you do, can’t wait to come to the big ss09 party!!

  364. Like you need another comment. However, even without your explanation and apologies, I know you ladies are doing something special. I did not join the craziness of registration, but I sincerely hope Sock Summit is all you envisioned–it looks like it will be. Well done.

  365. I am so sorry that you and Tina are getting hit so hard for this. As a marketer, I am in awe, I repeat AWE of your response. A mailing list of 1200 and a response of 3000? I can see where the people you were working with scoffed at your expectations. I am impressed with your insistence on not letting them create doubt in your heads. I am disappointed that people are responding with such toxicity. I wish you all the best.

  366. THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! To all those involved in anyway with this project. I sure hope Portland is paying attention. They are about to experience the awesome power of knitters.
    To the disgruntled emailers, “What goes around comes around.” So look out.
    I do believe bad karma is heading their way. Of course, their not getting in could be bad karma for someother mindless thing they have done in the past. People like that think they are special and have the right to grumble about everything.
    I agree that you should just delete their emails and don’t let their foul behaviour pollute your world.
    Hugs from Santa Fe. See you in Portland!

  367. I think you both have done a terrific job. You both put so much of your time into this and planned for everything you could think of even against other people’s so called expert advise.
    I lusted to attend but unfortunately I couldn’t swing it monetarily right now. I hope you will continue to host this annually as I really want to attend. πŸ™‚

  368. I didn’t try to register for SS, as it wasn’t in the cards for me this year anyway, but I can’t believe people would behave this way over not getting into a knitting convention. Seriously?? That’s terrible. Whiny people are just the worst. πŸ™ Hugs, to you and Tina and your whole crew trying to make this fabulous thing work!

  369. Recordworthy awesome good.
    Recordworthy awesome bad.

  370. I feel such sorrow that you and Tina have worked so hard and are being rewarded with abusive emails.
    But I saw you in Austin and you rocked! You are charming and hilarious, erudite and personable. And weird, too. (When we say that in Austin, it’s a compliment)

  371. I’d be sorely tempted to refund anyone who sent a nasty email. (Provided that they had paid me already.) I was surprised at how disappointed I felt when I realized my chance was gone.
    Matter of fact, I’m looking forward to volunteering even more than I was to classes before. lol I just wish I could make the haters go away.
    Delete happens. ;o)
    If anyone hasn’t heard back after all the emails have been sifted through, a general “If you haven’t heard from us, we apologize. Please try again,” post could be made, and they could do just that. (This is better than the bottom of the pile, as you don’t have to process and respond to the nastiness. Just give them each a chance to try again, politely. Maybe most of them were in the heat of the moment, and would come back with more civilization?)
    Whatever happens, know that you have once again shown incredible class. Thank you.
    I hope I get a chance to shake your hand some day.

  372. To everybody who is complaining: Grow up and get a life! It’s a sock summit, not the second coming of Christ or the coming of any divine being. They did the best they could. They really, really tried. There are a finite number of places and an infinite number of knitters trying to fit into them; it wasn’t going to happen.
    Now, go spend the money you were going to spend on the Summit on Doctors Without Borders, Heifer International, your local Survival Center or make loans to Kiva. Just shut up, be beautiful and do good in the world. There are many more important things than the Sock Summit.

  373. Hugs to you and Tina for going through all that you’ve gone through in getting SS09 off the ground. Most of us do really appreciate it.
    And to everyone who sent nasty emails: knock it off! If you harass them enough there won’t be any chance of a SS10.

  374. I am so sorry to hear that you and Tina are having to deal with difficult people. I love both of you and what you are working so hard to do. I don’t have the means to go and it saddens me to hear that people who are fortunate enough to have the means are not gracious enough to deal with disappointment. I really appreciate how you politely put it in perspective. Well done!

  375. Ok, I see that you have nearly 400 comments here, and I dearly hope (and expect, perhaps optimistically) that they are all supportive and understanding. And I doubt you need to hear from me (I would’ve liked to attend the Thing, but am one of those who just can’t spend the $ right now, so I didn’t even try). But I will put my tuppence in anyway, just in case you are still short of kind words. You guys rock to set it up in the first place, and tech glitches happen, and I can’t imagine why anyone would feel the need to get nasty about it. And I am pissed off that they made you cry. Jeez. Everyone be nice to the crazy knitting ladies now, and buy them beers next time you see them, okay?

  376. To Stephanie and Tina: I would like to personally thank both of you for putting your lives on hold for such a long time to engineer the undoable (Sock Summit). I am also so sorry to hear that there are some mean spirited people out there that call themselves knitters writing spurious emails to both of you. Shame!

  377. Wow, people do really awful things when they’re disappointed. It’s amazing that you’re even trying something like this… please remember there are a lot of us quiet people out here who never comment on blog posts or sign up for summits, but who still think you’re pretty wonderful and are thankful that you’re in our lives — even in a small bloggy way.

  378. I am so sorry that you and Tina are getting hate mail. I’m on the wrong coast to offer personal assistance in sorting this out, but if there is anything I can do to help in addition to sending my good thoughts your way, please don’t hesitate. You have both done so much work to create a magical event – I hope that the trials, tribulations and lack of respect offered to you both don’t put you off of the knitting community.

  379. It is a shame that you and Tina had to shed a single tear for this wonderful event. It is awful that people chose to behave so terribly. No one on the SS09 team deserves any of the negativity that has been thrown their way. You all deserve better.

  380. I am one of those who couldn’t get in because of the server issues, but I would never, ever send you and Tina hate mail because of this. I hope you tell the police about the threatening mail. There is no excuse for this. Of course you cannot make the classes bigger. Of course you aren’t horrible people. I drowned my disappointment by buying new yarn, not abusing hard-working, caring people. This is pathetic and I’m sorry it happened to you.

  381. I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and can’t wait to see this exciting event in person. Great job!

  382. And here I was, all set to write a nasty note complaining about your lack of foresight in providing me with a pile of money and a week’s childcare so I could sweep in like a princess and knit a sock.
    But now I guess I really can’t. Should I maybe write a nasty email about how I can’t write a nasty email? Let me know.

  383. Dear Steph and Tina,
    I’m adding my two cents: thank you so much for having the vision and the persistence to invent SS09! I can’t wait to get there and attend the courses I got registered for, and to ooh and ahh at the (knitilicious) humanity you will have brought together. Ignore the out of proportion negativity. The event will be stupendous, and we will all be better for your efforts to pull it off! Hope ST-1 and ST-2 get a chance to take a breath from registration soon. Y’all are great!

  384. i too am sorry that you all had to encounter negativity…i know that by in large knitters are understanding, patient, altruistic people (they wouldn’t knit if they weren’t!). i’m sorry that there are some that are not. XhugsX

  385. Being a customer service rep myself as a job, I 100% feel your pain. I get paid to take people’s guff and you don’t. I know how you feel deep down inside reading all the awful hate mail (all pacifism flies out the window down deep inside), but all you can do is grow a thick skin and not take it personally.
    If someone wants to act a fool and be so childish to behave as if going to SS09 is the end-all-be-all to their existence, it’s not worth your time. While I would have LOVED to be there, I know there’s going to be other opportunities.
    You should just send responses to those mean and nasty with three simple words… “Ce la vie!”

  386. I just want to say how sorry I am that you’re getting cruel and abusive email. It is wholly undeserved and sad.
    Hugs to you and Tina.

  387. Sorry, meant “C’est la vie”
    my french went out the window with my anger to whomever angered you πŸ™‚

  388. Wow. I just got home from your fantastic talk in Plano and have just read your post. I am astounded that people would/could be so cruel about Sock Summit. I mean really, as hard as you all have worked I can’t believe that people would not understand a computer wipeout. Here are hugs to you. By the way, you were great fun tonight. Thanks for the laughs.

  389. What on earth? I can’t understand how anyone would send hate mail when all of you have busted your arses to make this event happen!
    You are all *wonderful* people, who deserve all the praise in the world for coordinating SS09. I know this comment can’t make you unsee some of what you’ve had to read in your inbox, but I hope that it helps.
    May you be blessed with dark chocolate and Belgian beer!

  390. I am sorry to hear that people are being mean. I was disappointed that I didn’t get any classes but I wouldn’t dream of hating or blaming you.

  391. Wow! Just how crazy is the world that people send such evil email because they are disappointed about not getting to go to Sock Summit? These people need to take a deep breath and do some deep soul searching.
    I’m really sorry you worked so hard to make a fabulous event that I wish I could attend and hope to in the future, [that is if you are crazy enough to do this again! :o)], only to have a raft of abuse from self centered brats!

  392. Chin up; sounds like y’all did a Fabu job!!
    You know what they say: Don’t let the bastards grind you down– knitters or otherwise! ;D

  393. Saw you tonight in Plano; it was a pleasure to see and hear you in person. Knowing that traveling to Sock Summit wasn’t going to be a possibility for me, I hadn’t really followed any of the news of the registration issues, but I’m so sorry to hear you and the team have been treated so poorly. Hugs to you, and good on you for inserting some perspective into the whole thing.

  394. I am sad to read how horrible those people have been to you and your staff. You and Lisa have been working so hard to make this work, and you should not have to accept the blame for there being so many interested people, and for the fact that we cannot rent an ENTIRE COUNTRY for Sock Summit.
    It has just been proven to me that not all knitters are nice people. And I do hope that those who threatened you or insulted you get their comeuppances soon!
    I still support you, and I wasn’t even trying to register for the classes!

  395. I sincerely hope you report overt threats to the proper authorities. Seriously – if someone makes threats over a knitting conference, what else might they be capable of?

  396. After 400+ posts, I don’t think I have anything new to say, but I hope another supportive comment will cancel out another nasty email. Thanks for everything! I’ll be here on the other coast, teaching myself to spin all on my own. But I’m definitely signing up for classes at MD S&W next year!

  397. I’m really sorry that I won’t be at the Sock Summit (I had to work at the time the registration happened, and I knew it wouldn’t be available to me by the time I was done), but not nearly as sorry as I am to learn what a bad time you are having for having done this wonderful thing. I will be with you in spirit, and will look forward to seeing lots of great projects inspired by the summit on Ravelry and various blogs. I’ve even got yarn and a pattern picked out for a pair of socks I’ll knit at that time, in celebration!

  398. I’ll admit I was disappointed when I didn’t get the classes I wanted. But then I had a few pieces of chocolate and put on my big girl panties and dealt with it. It occurred to me that a similar thing had happened at Stitches one year and the class I ended up taking as an alternate (which I didn’t think I’d like *at all*) ended up being the best class I’ve had in years. I think we’ll all have a good time if we just let it go and make the best of what we got.
    We really appreciate your hard work and know that sometimes things happen that you can’t predict or fix. Don’t let a few moth-infested skeins ruin the whole stash. We’ll still be there with wool and coffee (or beer…) in hand.
    Lots of hugs to you and Tina!!

  399. I’m going to add my “wow – how could anyone send you hateful email just because you were trying to do A Good Thing?” to all the others.
    You and Tina rock, big time. People who send hate mail are just poopyheads and should have not just their emails but also their registrations sent to the bottom of the pile.

  400. I can’t wait to tell my coworkers about the huge response you had. When I told them about Sock Summit they thought I was nuts. I work at a living history museum where there are a few textile geeks. Knitters, quilters, weavers, spinners and multi taskers doing period stuff. Most visitors think we are the last of a dying breed and aren’t we wonderful to keep these dying arts alive. Pleeeeez.
    Fiber power to you all.
    Have a super conference.
    PS My mother knit every pair of socks my father ever wore. After she passed away he wondered if she really loved him. My reponse was “Look in your sock drawer Dad”.

  401. Stephanie,
    You and Tina are fabulous people. You have worked on this project in addition to your other commitments, trying to make sure the people you were working with could understand the potential magnitude of what you might be dealing with. And at 30,000 hits, that’s four or five times as much as an exaggerated guess would have been. Don’t let the cranky people let you feel bad about yourselves or the incredible things you have accomplished. I’m not going to the Sock Summit but I hope you’ll keep us posted on it so we can share in your success. You are an amazing woman and I admire the dedication and humor with which you live your life. Enjoy your enormous success and let the bad stuff slide away. Keep on smiling and knit until the calm returns. Have a fabulous weekend.

  402. I have been in awe all along of what you two were pulling off, knowing you could do it like nobody else on earth could, and you did. Well done! I so hope I get a chance to come, enjoy the market, and enjoy the sheer presence of it all.
    And to Sue J at 9:39, shhh, dear, you’ll scare the banks. They’re skittish, you know.

  403. I’ve said it to Tina, and I’ll say it to you – I have nothing but love, respect and gratitude for you both. You don’t deserve this abuse, and if I could make it all go away, I would. I’ve been thinking about you a lot this week, and I can’t even imagine how hard this has been. I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that there are lots of us out here who love and support you, no matter what.

  404. Just wanted to give you my vote of confidence in your hard work, your wonderful personality and soul, and to say that I, too, am disgusted by the Entitled Crowd. And, after working with the public for many years, planning several conferences, and running a yarn shop, I know just how hard you’ve worked and you deserve nothing but kudos for all you’ve done, and the extremely classy way you’ve handled all of this. You rock.

  405. Hugs and sympathy.
    You got, not one, but half a dozen or more top name people any one of whom would have been a big draw, as Guest of Honor.
    You had an absolute minimum skeleton crew of staff.
    Smaller conventions with fewer big names have had trouble with staffs of thirty or forty and most registration done by snail mail a year in advance.
    You have done an amazing job.
    I suggest you find someone to sift the emails before you ever see them, to remove any that are purely hate mail and aren’t actually giving any information about a real problem. A reasonably bright teenager could do it.
    No, I wasn’t trying to sign up; I had a schedule conflict.

  406. My last thought when I went to bed Monday was “I really hope things go well with registration tomorrow” because I knew how hard it would be on you and Tina if it didn’t. Sure, I had problems with my registration, and no, I didn’t get my dream schedule, but I didn’t expect to. I didn’t get main floor Springsteen tickets for his most recent tour, either, but that’s what happens when demand outpaces supply. It is so true that some people were going to be disappointed no matter what, and it is so unfortunate that the server issues muddied the waters and heightened emotions. From my experiences with you and Tina (mostly at Sock Camp, and also from some of your book tours), I know how seriously you take your business and how deeply you both care about what you do. I respect you both a great deal. Looking forward to seeing you in Portland.

  407. There is an International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and they are having their annual tribal council from August 3 to 7 in Lincoln City, Oregon. I encourage everyone to at least read about the work they are doing at their website: http://www.grandmotherscouncil.com/.
    I was able to see four of them speak in my town recently. They are an amazing antedote to the madness that is befalling many of us now. I made the four of them felted medicine baskets.
    Love and calmness to all people of craft and wisdom.

  408. What the Tsarina said… please find some thick-skinned person (in a radiation suit?) to read the garbage emails. If you knew me from Adam, I would volunteer, just to keep them away from you and Tina. You don’t need the emotional drain of that right now (or ever.) You’ve already heard way more of the hurtful stuff than you ever needed to hear.

  409. It shocks me to see how hurtful and mean people can get over something as unimportant as not getting into a knitting conference. I too equated it to not getting concert tickets, and I know if I didn’t get tickets I would never send a nasty email to the organizers. People need to learn to be decent human beings and that not being accepted into a knitting conference is not the end of the world. I feel so sorry for you, since you worked so hard on this. I hope you can enjoy the actual event and forget the haters!

  410. Thank you for coming to Plano, TX (aka Dallas). We enjoyed your visit, and thanks for holding my baby girl – Evie – for her sweater’s debut.

  411. On the one hand, I’m proud of knitters as a whole that we’re such a large group and make the muggles think twice about what we’re capable of (30,000 knitters at ONCE!?). On the other hand, shame on those that are making a bad name for the rest of us by getting their shorts in a twist over not being able to register. Hopefully (and I know the thought of this probably makes you want to go have a lie down, Stephanie), the overwhelming response means there will be many more chances in the future to give all of us a chance to go. I know I’ve started saving up for the next one since I couldn’t make this one!! No way I will be missing this again due to funds!
    I suggest those that didn’t get in do the same instead of writing hateful e-mail to wonderful people.

  412. I just want to say that I am very, very sorry that you were mistreated (to say the least) but ingrates. That is really uncalled for. Maybe I’m naive, but you would think that adults would actually behave that way. Clearly you two did absolutely everything you could (anticipating the huge demand), but it didn’t work out. What more can you say? Enough mea culpas and crying, you two. Just try to appreciate and enjoy the fact that you have put together a fabulous program that will be enjoyed by a huge number of people. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

  413. Both you and Tina are wonderful to do this, and the way you have handled the situation is definately laudable. I did want to suggest that maybe recording/video taping the lectures (especially Barbara Walker) for future generations and those who cannot see her this year may be worthwile. Think of the Woodstock documentary, it sold millions!
    Lots of love and hugs.

  414. May I apologize on behalf of all those who have abused you rather than appreciating how hard you and Tina have worked to set up this event. Maybe if they are nice to you, you will try it again next year and maybe they’ll be luckier. Than they deserve.

  415. I did not sign up for SS09, but have heard all about it. I know if it were me, I would be a wreck after what some inconsiderate people are saying. I think you and Tina are amazing for putting this together, and agree that NO ONE expected it to go that fast.
    My deepest sympathies with you having to deal with some downright rude individuals.

  416. I told my DH that SS09 would sell out the first day but WOW – even I was amazed at the response. Without defending the nasties in the least, please remember that people get so hateful when they experience such a strong emotion. Nothing excuses rudeness or hatefulness – sorry you had to receive that.
    Consider this – if you had 30,000 hits in the first five minutes – you could have easily had 50,000 to 100,000 within a day or so. Now that’s just mindblowing!
    I second the suggestion that Barbara Walker (and more?) be recorded on DVD with profits going to Knitters without Borders – what a way for those of us who couldn’t even dream of coming to be able to participate.

  417. Please stop crying just because some people are being total arses. The server said my time ran out 30 seconds after it started processing my credit card. I was pissed, mad, disappointed and all that, BUT NOT AT YOU AND TINA. I’ve worked with computers for too long to be mad at you for what happened. I still think your IT people should have planned for more hits, but hey, 30,000 all at once is like a DOS attack. (Ask your IT people if you don’t know what that is) There’s not a server on earth who would not have problems under those conditions. So I’m taking the money I would have spent and getting my leaky deck roof replaced. It’s all good – now I’ll have a dry place to go knit my socks.

  418. I am a knitter, too. I would be horribly disappointed if I didn’t get into some knitting event I desperately wanted to go to. I would probably curse and maybe scream…but NOT at the people who are doing their level best to organize it so that I and many others can enjoy it. That is so. not. cool. You can feel free to send me the nastygrams. I’m a lawyer. I’m used to it. And I’m not as nice as you are.

  419. I do have some Russian Mafia connections if you need to use their services. You two were great for just thinking about having a Sock Summit. I know it will be great and I will be there only one day for shopping. My nephew has to get married that weekend…but there is next year…and please let there be a next year.

  420. I also don’t have anything new to say, but just wanted to register in on the “nice email” side just to balance things a bit.

  421. Hugs to you and Tina. You’ve done the near impossible and we love you both.

  422. Folks being nasty to you and Tina, because you can’t make every sock knitter’s dream come true? Well, they should ALL just GET OVER IT! Wonderful as you and Tina are for doing this, you are not solving world hunger, or curing cancer. You are trying to arrange for a group of slightly nutty people to have a really fun weekend. That’s all. I am sure there are folks in the world who just don’t “get” why us knitters would think any of this foolishness is fun. (That’s OK, we think spending hours in front of a video game is dumb, too)
    I had wanted to come to Sock Summit, but no, business and duty calls. Instead of attending Sock Summit, I’ll be riding down the Oregon Coast in a Corvette Convertible on my way to a conference in San Francisco…knitting socks all the way! Hey, it ain’t Sock Summit, but I bet I’m gonna have a pretty good time, anyway!!
    Tell all the haters to take a pill, and get a little perspective on the REALLY important things in life. There are many of us who still love you, whether or not we get to go to Sock Summit!

  423. 30,000???? No wonder!
    I did not get any of the classes I hoped for, but I will be there anyway, to bask in all the sock glow and buy the books and touch the fibers, stare at the sock stars in awe, hop in my socks and have a wonderful time. It is going to be a great event, thanks to your incredible work and brilliance. I can hardly wait. My plane ticket has been in a safe place for months!
    Many hugs to you both.

  424. Bloody good job Harlot! Find a place in your psyche where you can leave the nay-sayers behind; your accomplishments are insanely admirable.

  425. I’m so sorry you’ve gotten hate mail from mean people. But, wow, this conference sounds fantastic! Congratulations on nearly single-handedly infecting 30,000 people with sock mania! You’re a star! (And so is Tina, I’m sure.)

  426. I think you did a fine job. I didn’t even try to attend, I’m busy going to school. But I’ll repeat what I said on a thread in the Rav – a good size wedding would render most of whiners apoplectic.
    Yay knitters!
    By the way, the largest convention every year in Houston is the International Quilt Show. Never underestimate women and men who make beautiful things with fiber. Ever.

  427. I was at the Plano event tonight, sitting in the second row, laughing until I cried and enjoying the educational aspects of your talk as well.
    I didn’t know about all this negative stuff until I was at dinner afterwards with my Rockstar friends. I follow the blog, but I wasn’t going to be able to even contemplate Sock Summit, as I am hoping to bring a baby home in two weeks.
    I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you are going through that and that you had to go give a speech while going through it. I owned a huge free scrapbooking website once and I’ve been exposed, first-hand, to the sense of entitlement some people carry around with them. It’s ugly and painful. It’s not like you owe these people a spot in a class…and some people are too conceited to see that, apparently.
    If I had known in advance what all you are going through right now, I would have also brought you a beer, like my friend Diana did.
    Glad you came down to see us…it was a privilege to finally get to see you and hear you in person. You are just as I thought you’d be, only with less of a Canadian accent than I expected.
    Thanks for giving Dallas some love.

  428. People have no filter in the anonymity of the internet. I’m sorry you’ve received such terrible emails from some people. You two are doing a great job organizing.
    Hope to see you in Portland!

  429. It absolutely boggles my mind that people would respond in such a way. When I didn’t get in the first 30 minutes of trying I though ‘my God, this thing is HUGE!’ and was so excited for you and Tina’s success in pulling off such a fabulous event. I resigned myself just going to fondle all the marketplace yarn. I tried again a little later and I’m happy I did get the couple of classes I did. I will be there just to say damnit, I was there. Because you already know this is something big, really big. Like 30,000 hits big.

  430. Bravo for doing your best and I am going to put a smile on my face and hit the vendors mall and have a great time with my fellow knitters just the same!!!
    Portland is a great city and those who visit whether they got a class or not will have a wonderful time!! Really!!The whole idea is just awesome so stop being mean and say thank you for trying…

  431. Wow, Stephanie, I am so sorry that you and Tina have gotten such hateful mail from people. I think it is wonderful that the two of you have invested your time, effort, and money into this event. I want to thank you even though I’m not going (because of work) – it takes a lot of dedication to the knitting community to pull this all together.

  432. so sad and disappointed to hear that you have received hate mail. totally undeserved, it’s been clear that you both have been working your butts off to try and get this running as smoothly as possible.
    those people need a nice big cup of STFU.
    many nice thoughts are being sent to you and tina! (and damn i wish i could attend this sock summit – i’m across the world and it’s out of my budget at the time.)

  433. One more for the sympathy and gratitude pile. I was following your twitter throughout the insane process, and please, don’t let the haters get you down. If you’ll pardon the expression, they can suck it.

  434. Yikes what a mess you’ve had to deal with. I sure do hope that things settle out for you guys. But more than that, I sure do hope y’all quit getting mean email.

  435. It never ceases to amaze me how mean,critical and whiny people are, no matter what age! What a wonderful opportunity to learn from these posts and see how ungrateful people can be and to remember we have much to be thankful for. I have just enjoyed even the possibility of going and to be able to read about it has been great fun. Thank you SS09 for all your hard work, don’t let the turkeys get you down!

  436. I’m so sorry to hear that some knitters are giving you grief over a completely unforeseen event. The fact that you and Tina went out on a limb and created an event that people want to attend is amazing, considering how quickly it has come together.
    Maybe now event organizers will realize that we fiber people have more power to change the world if we get together, one stitch at a time!
    My IT-type Hubby just read your post, and his jaw dropped and he was speechless at the thought of 30K people hitting the server concurrently. If you should plan on a second Sock Summit (and I don’t blame you if you don’t), he has some ideas that may help next time.
    Many, many hugs to everyone on the SS Team!

  437. Thanks for all your hard work and I hope you get time to decompress soon. I’m sorry there were hurtful words thrown at you and Tina. Last Tuesday the knitterly community released an ethernet tsunami. I think it is important to note that the SS09 team now has quantifiable data on just how powerful (physically and economically) this group is. This can only be a good thing for the future. You guys rock like no one else e-v-e-r has.

  438. Yeowch.
    My brow is furrowed and I’m a bit disgusted that knitterly folks could even be so cruel as to send hate mail on the Sock Summit. (Either they shouldn’t be knitting or they need to knit A LOT MORE!)
    But, I have to say – I spot-read through the hundreds of loving, charming, empathetic, and kind comments above from true Knitterly folks, and I hope that out-pouring eases the blow of the offensive hate mail a schoch.
    I think you-all did a grand job. (Huge Understatement.) Well done and thank you!!
    No – essentially all the classes were quite full when I got into the website. S’ok – I’m only on my 2nd pair of socks. I could use more time to practice so I’ll be able to comprehend/participate more next year.
    Perchance, could there be a video of the Luminary Panel event or perhaps Barbara Walker’s Lecture that could become available later in the Sock Summit Shop?
    Keep up the good work!! Truly – thank you both for your efforts (and those of your Sock Summit Crew!!)

  439. I think you did a fabulous job. I did’t get any classes but will be at the Luminary Panel and the last time I checked there were still spaces in that for anyone that didn’t get any classes. the whole experience will be wonderful, I can’t wait. I just figure if I was meant to take a class I would have gotten one, as it is I am going to have a lot more time to meet people and SHOP can’t get any better than that. SMILE

  440. 30 000? Holy Wow. That’s amazing and no one could see that coming.
    Unfortunately, I cannot be there (I’m one of those caught in the crummy economy – hubby lost his job in January), but I will be knitting on socks in solidarity. πŸ™‚
    30 000. In five minutes. wow. That’s so flattering. And so frightening. I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster you and your team have been on. Hang in there. Let us know if you need anything. I’m sure someone can provide beer and hand massages in Plano!

  441. 30,000? Yowza!
    Thanks for dreaming this, and making it come true. I’m looking forward to August! Please ignore the haters.

  442. I am so sorry that you would have to deal with any hate mail at all! Knitting is pretty important to a lot of people, but it does not warrant being hurtful to another person. I (and my foot lol) was at Plano tonight, and it is obvious how hard you work and what a kind and wonderful person you are. I really wanted to got to SS09, but I won’t know if my work schedule will allow it until closer to August (and that’s why I didn’t try signing up for classes). I still hope to make it to the market place. Again, thank you for doing everything you do.

  443. If only I knew the correct words to say to heal some of the pain you’ve been feeling, I would.
    My gratefulness for the amazing creation of SS09 is beyond words. You are an amazing and extremely talented woman and no amount of “hate mail” will change that.
    If I don’t get a chance to tell you in person (since I’m in your Saturday SS09 class), I would like to tell you now … Thank You. From the bottom of my heart.

  444. Wow, thank you so much for taking some time during this incredibly stressful event to come to Austin and talk to us about knitting. I loved seeing you there.
    When I was leaving my car battery was dead and I hung around in the parking lot unitl 11:00pm waiting for triple A to come rescue me. I thought me day was the worst, and actually it was not that bad compared to yours.
    I’m always so shocked when knitters are mean. I want all knitters to be friendly and cool and logical and preferably liberal. oh well.
    Good luck!

  445. Wow – I cannot believe that you are receiving hate mail!! That some people have so little of importance in their lives, that not getting into a knitting event warrants that kind of infantile behaviour! I’m still sitting here shocked.
    Yes I would have loved to have attended SS09 … but being in NZ and not in a position to travel currently, I’ll just live vicariously πŸ™‚
    All the best, and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. You have done sooooo well.

  446. In what appears to be sympathy for your server, all of our work computers went down- TWICE- this week! I didn’t try to log on (I’m part of that list that wouldn’t try), but I sympathize with your IT crew. Keep up the good work, and don’t let the sore losers get you down!

  447. You guys are awesome for putting on this summit and for every effort to make it as big and as brilliant as you could allow, especially for the first time doing it.
    I live in the UK so attending was never an option. My only disappointment is the reaction of knitters, our people turning against us. Yes we can be pretty insanely passionate about things like this but.. dude… seriously? I’m shocked and appalled that anyone would react that way but.. knitters!!??!! I’m speechless..
    I wish you the best SS09 once this has all died down.. be proud!

  448. I’m really sorry that you have had people sending you nasty messages! That’s really uncalled for! Personally, I’m really looking forward to the Sock Summit, I think it is going to be great and a lot of fun! I also am one of the lucky ones I guess – although I experienced the server crash too, I just patiently kept at it and was rewarded with spots in classes I wanted! Thank you for all your hard work, I know this couldn’t have been easy!

  449. So sorry to hear you’ve been getting such ugliness. I hope you feel all the love coming from the vast majority.
    I already emailed my registration questions, but I want you to know that however it works out, i am amazed and astounded at what a wonderful thing you and Tina have done.

  450. I don’t even knit, but a friend of mine linked to this post on twitter and I was curious. I’m so amazed and heartened at the way you believed in the event and yourselves and realized a dream…and disheartened that anyone would be that mean to you based upon some tech issues. :-/ Please know that your belief in yourselves and commitment to a dream is inspiring reading. I hope it all gets sorted out quickly. You rock.

  451. As a wannabe sock knitter, I’m watching all of this with great interest from Australia. It sounds like an absolutely fantastic event and I’d love to see something like it in Melbourne sometime! I hope that the negativity disappears really quickly (especially via some apologies >:| ) and that the hiccups are all smoothed out πŸ™‚ All the best with the next few weeks.

  452. Stephanie, I’m so sorry that you and Tina have been receiving such vile mail from people who are disappointed that their registration didn’t go as they wished.
    Since I realized my own life would prevent me from participating in Sock Summit this year, I haven’t paid careful attention, but I’ve been aware of your and Tina’s preparations from reading your blog/Twitter. And the one thing I’ve seen is two women working themselves to bits pulling this grand thing together.
    You two are doing a fantastic job, at no small sacrifice to your own lives, and I just hope that as people settle down from their understandable frustrations of registration day (what /is/ it about computers that make us lose our poop in such spectacular fashions?), you and Tina can get back to enjoying putting together what I’m certain is going to be a completely amazing event.
    (P.S. I read off to my Network Operations hubby about the 30,000 hits in five minutes, and he about crapped himself. Short of borrowing TicketMaster’s set-up (and like they’d have loaned it out anyway), I don’t know how you two could have prepared for this any better.)

  453. Hey Stephanie, next time you and Tina need a break to get away for a while you can come over to my house here in Norway. IΒ΄ll have beer and food ready.
    I am just sorry that anyone would be hateful and threatening about not getting to go to a class at a knittingconference. I really thought knitters were better than that.
    I live to far away to go to Sock Summit, but I hav followed all the posts about because it seemed so cool how you and Tina came up with a plan and followed through. Especially in these time, where not many people take economic chances. In my opinion, you guys are inspireing.

  454. I felt that you made it plenty clear that to get the classes I wanted I would have to be ready to register right off the bat. I was busy at work, and did not start right on time. A friend and I are happily registered for two classes! And we are looking forward to our trip to Portland. We were delighted at the prospect of this event, and are grateful that you undertook the project! So thank you for your time!
    Portland is a great city to visit with wonderful public transportation, so even if our every minute is not filled with class time, we will have many opportunities for amusement. The rose garden, anyone?

  455. Stephanie and Tina, please please please don’t let the “bad skeins” keep you from having SS10! Maybe there’s a better way to set up a registration system. Oh, here’s an idea: auction the class spaces on eBay! One auction per class using Dutch Auction format. Run the auctions for 10 days. If any winners renege on payment, you can use the Second Chance Offer system. It would definitely make eBay and knitting history.
    Oh, and if you like my idea and I’m the first to propose it, maybe I could get a free class of my choice or something. LOL

  456. Please don’t feel any need to apologise just because there are a few overgrown toddlers out there who are throwing tantrums because they didn’t get what they wanted. I’ve run big conventions and I admire you greatly for what you are doing and how efficiently you have been doing it. Woolly hugs to you.

  457. Seriously? 30,000? I had to stop and re-read that a few times to make sure I hadn’t had some sort of dyslexic episode. That has to be some sort of record, doesn’t it?
    I sadly won’t be able to attend since it happens to fall on the weekend of my 21st birthday and I doubt I’d be coherent enough to even comprehend a class. Though my wonderful boyfriend has promised me a day trip to the marketplace. Not sure how well that’s going to go over. I’m imagining something involving stumbling around and inappropriately petting the yarn. πŸ™‚

  458. While I was sitting at my desk at work, lamely hitting the refresh button to try to get to the shopping cart – watching your server reboot – I was wondering many things. Mostly, was there some way to get the serious knitting geeks with serious internet savvy job titles at really really cool places to sign on and explain to your techs what they were about to experience. You know, street cred.
    Uh, yup. 30,000 simultaneous connections: that’ll do it.
    I am sooooo disappointed I didn’t get in. But I am just relieved I wasn’t in charge of this project, technically speaking πŸ˜‰
    And I do hope you, and all the lucky winners, have a fabulous time!

  459. Tina and Stephanie, I’m so sorry that you are getting nasty mail from grownups who should know better! I’m afraid that the fiber world does have it’s share of nasty people, but most of us are NOT like that. I’m sorry that you are having a tough time with the server and all. For the record, server crashes also happen to the big companies that sell tickets to concerts and other events too, and that’s what they do for a living! I recently bought AC/DC tickets (I love AC/DC!) from Tickets.com and I was on line on their website before the tickets went on sale. When the sales started they had so many peopleat one time that their server kicked me (and many, many others) out and put me in a que. Their server burped, kicked and finally started taking our orders. This is a company that is used to supporting thousands of people at a time and they still got bottle necked and had trouble from “unexpected volume!” So it’s not just you guys. Since it’s your first time and all, you definitely deserve a big congratulations and high 5! Please don’t read the nasty mail. It’s not worth it. In my experience, people who write nasty emails usually do so because they feel they have a certain degree of anonymity online that they wouldn’t have in the real world. It’s much easier to take your frustrations out on, and be nasty to someone that you think you’ll never have to meet face to face.
    To let you know that the fiber world is still a wonderful place and full of amazingly kind and generous people, I’ll tell you what happened to my friend Michelle yesterday. She had cancer, which is now in remission, and discovered spinning and other assorted fiber arts right after she finished chemo. My friends and I taught her to spin, and she is now an official fiber junkie. She’s been wanting a wheel, but because of her illness she couldn’t afford one. I’ve been looking for a used wheel for her at a price our group could afford. Our spinning group would take up a collection and buy it for her together. I was talking to a weaver spinner friend of mine who had a house fire last November, just before Thanksgiving, and had lost all his fiber equipment. People had given him tons of weaving and spinning equipment and had basically replaced most of what he lost. We were talking about wheels and I asked him to keep a look out for a wheel for my friend Michelle. To make a long story short, he gave a Majacraft Suzie to my friend Michelle, because someone had given it to him, and he had just replaced his beloved Journey wheel! How cool is that! The real kicker was that the wheel Michelle fell in love with and really wanted was a Suzie! So, there are still a lot of great fiber people out there. Don’t read the nasty email. Those people are the exception, not the rule in the fiber world. I hope that you have smooth sailing from this point forward. Congratulations!

  460. I was disgusted to read that some people are directing their anger and hate towards you and Tina, after all your hard work and dedication. These people are below contemped, and please know that the vast majority of us who follow your work have the upmost respect and admiration for your service to the knitting community. You really deserve a big thank you, (and a huge pay raise). Dawn

  461. 30,000 hits?
    In 10 minutes?
    I knit, I knit socks, I’m still surprised that there are that many knitters that would be interested! (Ok, I’m interested, but can’t go since I’m in UK)
    And there is no server in the world, I agree with the IT guys, that would have coped with that.
    I saw the thread on Ravelry about the issues, and frankly I was ashamed to be a knitter and a Raveller at that point. In every community there are people who react badly to this sort of thing, but the venom was shocking.
    I hope that the number of good emails outweighs the bad, you’re doing a great job!
    Chin up!

  462. As we always said in the restaurant biz: anyone who had a lovely time of it forgets to write nice things, but you always manage to hear from the gerks, no matter what you did right. Well, you can count these some 500 comments all saying lovely things as a testament to the wonderful work you all have done. I for one thank you. And no I didn’t get anything I wanted, regardless, I’m stoked to be a part of history.
    Wish I could send you guys some delicious Belgian beers! Xoxo

  463. Stephanie and Tina —
    You two are simply amazing and in no way deserve the crap that has been thrown your way — 30,000 hits in 5 minutes — simply WOW!
    As an avid sock knitter I have been following the news about Sock Summit 2009. I would have loved to attend, even if I did not get any classes — just to be there, shop at the market, etc. Portland is one of my favorite cities in the US! But alas, I live in Norway and just cannot afford it this year. I am hoping to convince my brother that lives in Portland to go to the market for me— perhaps if I promise him at least one pair of hand knit socks??
    I look forward to hearing all about the Summit. Best wishes to the entire team — you all rock!!

  464. My heart aches for you and Tina. I just don’t get deliberately mean people. To quote an En Vogue Song:
    “The irony of trying to do the right thing is whatever you do, soome will undo, and sometimes destroy.”
    Don’t let them destoy your excitement, your creation, or your joy!
    I can’t come, but I definitely won’t hate on those who can or those who organized.

  465. I just wanted to register my support. I’m sorry people are being so mean to you for what is clearly not your fault.
    I know they’re disappointed and uspet and want to blame someone but it’s just not on.
    I didn’t register for Sock Summit because I live in the UK and the cost of the flight on top of the cost of the summit is just too much. But if I was back home in Seattle right now I’d have been on that server with all the other 30,000 knitters trying to register for Barbara Walker and all the others and I would’ve been disappointed too.
    But I do just have to say…I wouldn’t have written hate mail for not getting on the list. People need to put this into a bit of persepective.
    HONESTLY, it’s just a knitting conference. A super fabulous one sure…but a knitting conference nonetheless. We’ve all got problems in our lives…right now for some people their biggest problem will be that they didn’t get a place on SS09 (and hats off to them because if that’s their biggest problem they’re damn lucky) but in the grand scheme of life, the universe, and everything it’s REALLY not a big deal.
    And unless these few people have ruined it for the rest of us (and I seriously, honestly doubt that) there’s likely to be future Sock Summits. Not the same, sure. But who knows? Maybe even better.
    Relax, people. SERIOUSLY.

  466. WOW. Sounds like you could stop writing and just organize kick-ass knitting conferences all year. 10,000 spots every 3 months, like clockwork. It’d be AWESOME! Sorry people are being mean, that totally sucks.

  467. Well done to you both for dealing with difficult times with grace – you deserve kudos for doing the hard work and those that are basking in their own negativity and complaining should try to organise their mini summit and see how hard it is to make people happy – keep up the happy cashmere thoughts – enjoy the conference and don’t let the bastards get you down ( as we say in Australia)

  468. It’s disgusting that you have had to deal with impossible people on top of an impossible situation. You deserve so much better, and I hope that we can eventually restore your faith in knitters. Thank you for the enormous amount of time, energy, blood, sweat and tears you’ve spent on us over the years, and I wish there was a way to send you a beer. A really, really good beer. xxx

  469. Those hateful emails? Not from REAL knitters. REAL knitters have better manners. Wannabe pseudoknitters. Therefore, do not give them credence.
    Come to the East Coast. We have cookies. And beer.

  470. Wow- that, being everything,is unbeleivable! It is just terrible that knitters would actually threaten and be abusive- I feel bad about this. To think other kitters are willing to give up classes so these type of people can attend. You all did the best you could and can’t imagine the stress you were and are feeling. To sell out in such a short time- kudo’s to you both and thank you for allthe effort you both put into this. I did get classes and am looking foward to meeting you both.

  471. Wow- that, being everything,is unbeleivable! It is just terrible that knitters would actually threaten and be abusive- I feel bad about this. To think other kitters are willing to give up classes so these type of people can attend. You all did the best you could and can’t imagine the stress you were and are feeling. To sell out in such a short time- kudo’s to you both and thank you for allthe effort you both put into this. I did get classes and am looking foward to meeting you both.

  472. Some people suck, but there are loads that are awesome. Remember the awesome ones and don’t worry about the sucky ones – they aren’t worth it.

  473. Yes, Stephanie, there are mean knitters with sticks in this world. A year from now this will make for a great story and lots of laughs. I think it’s terrific what you have accomplished with Tina. Keep thinking big!

  474. I feel so bad for you and how horrible some people are being about the server issue. It sounds like you couldn’t have done anything more to prepare than you did. To have this happen on top of all the work you did must be exhausting, but it looks like more are rallying behind you than not. Hope all gets cleared up soon. I personally would have loved to go but couldn’t afford it so I am looking forward to reading what I expect will be entertaining blog entries about the event.

  475. It pained me to read your post. You are doing a WONDERFUL, GENEROUS thing…..everyone else just needs to take one giant chill pill and get a grip. I’m sure there will be more headaches for you surrounding this whole sock summit, but just remember – there are tons of us out in the cyber knitting world that appreciate you and what you’re doing. Don’t ever underestimate the Power of the Sock.

  476. Well I, for one, think you rock.
    You have done this because you wanted to – no one was paying you to go run this conference for them (although I hope you will eventually get some payment). You guys just thought (rightly) that it would be a good idea. It is. If my uncle’s wedding wasn’t that weekend, I’m sure I would have been the thirty thousand and first person to be disapointed that the server crashed.
    On the other hand, I am thrilled that this was so successful because it means there is a chance you may run it again next year (I know, I know – it’s mean of me to mention that) and that I may be able to go then.
    Just think of it, all 30,001 of us would like to come next year.
    Maybe two servers next time? πŸ™‚
    As I said before, you rock!

  477. Stephanie & Tina (and all who have done such an amazing job working through all the difficulties of the past few days) – I am usually a lurker, but am compelled to comment here…negativity and cruelty demean those who engage in it. The unfortunate truth is that there are lots of not-very-nice folks in the world – some are bound to be knitters. Shocking and sad, but true. I understand how such intentional nastiness can be terribly hurtful – console yourselves with the fact that you have done a truly spectacular thing. You are kind, good, hardworking people who give of yourselves to the world. People reap what they sow – rest assured karma will come back and do some serious butt-kicking someday to those who send out their venom and spite to others (really, I’ve seen it happen). Look forward to enjoying this most excellent (and historic) event you have planned – you have earned that and so much more. Many thanks for all you do for our community – it is so greatly appreciated.

  478. “overtly threatening” emails do not go to the bottom of the pile–they go to the police, along with a formal complaint. &, yes, that is punishment! threats over a downed server?!? *grow up*, people!

  479. I’m sorry you’re so stressed! You should be proud that so many people want to attend something you made happen! I am very proud of you and Tina! I hope that you stop getting mean e-mail.
    Try to SMILE! It always helps!

  480. I found that post very painful to read. What can I offer you in the face of such mean spirited behaviour? Hugs my friends. Hugs.
    You said this was worse that childbirth. That was a labour of love and this too is a labour of love and when you look out at all your assembled students and teachers and conference attendees … this will all be worth it.

  481. When SS09 is over and done, when the incredible greatness of this first ever event has started to quiet down…the roar of knitters chanting for y’all to start SS10 will begin. You two are makin some history…
    Dont let the pissers get ya down!

  482. Congratulations on putting together and executing the Godzilla of knitting conventions! We have all met a few knitting b*#ches in our knitting travels, you have now acquired a truckload it seems, I imagine it was really hurtful for you both, but I know you can toss it off. Putting the b*#ches to the end of the line, bottom of the list, corner of the room is the best thing for them. Nasty, rude and cruel behavior was always punished and it should continue to be done. May all who wrote nasty things have their needles break and their yarn tangle.
    Remember bottom line, its yours and Tina’s party, and you control the guest list.
    I am praying everything goes well and next years Summit will be closer to Massachusetts, I am starting a jar of change already, hope to be there. Good luck, God Bless and all that stuff.

  483. Wow – just, wow. I am speechless. I have tried to explain to people how many knitters would be trying to get to the Summit, but people just smiled and said “rrrrright….”. I am so sorry that some people (well – pseudo-people) have been taking their disappointment out on you and Tina. You should be hugging each other for joy knowing that this event is going to be so well-attended. I would have loved to be there too, but because of work constraints, distance, and just the whole intimidation factor (this is my first year in the STR club, and your rogue roses socks are my fourth pair of socks EVER – loveloveLOVE them by the way), I just couldn’t swing it this year. I hope that the deplorable behaviour of a few does not prevent you from wanting to try this again next year. And if you are able to put on such a show again in the future, I am promising you now that I am one of the knitters who would be happy to attend just to go to the yarn market and soak up all of the amazing sock vibes and happy knitting karma from the other knitters.
    I also wanted to thank you Stephanie, because it was your plain vanilla sock recipe (from Knitting Rules) that taught me how to knit socks. I had always found sock patterns to be very mystifying and super-intimidating. By showing me that by just doing a little math and a swatch or two, I could knit and wear works of art made by ME without needing an official pattern, I will be eternally grateful. (And all of the future recipients of my socks would thank you too, I am sure).
    I am sending many virtual hugs your way, for even considering trying to put on such a major event as the Sock Summit, and for showing me that with a little bit of effort, anyone can knit.
    You guys rock!!!!!!!!

  484. I am so sorry that you are getting so much grief over this. I cannot imagine what you have been through to set this all up but I applaud you. And I’m sending you many many hugz. ((((())))) x 1000.
    Hang in there girls. Karen

  485. I just wanted to exted my apologies for all of this- it’s cruel and hurtful that you have to deal with this…because you were trying to do something GOOD for us knitters! Please remember that there are people who appreciate what you’ve done, know the amount of work and stress that has been put into this, and continue to support you. I hope that this will open the eyes of some people!

  486. Good luck in Texas! I loved Austin and there is something extremely special about the rest of Texas. Pablano peppers are great (I was thinking steak at first but then I remembered the whole vegetarian thing…)
    Thank you for keeping a cool head when others are overreacting. It is clear that you have been exhausted and hurt by others’ behavior. Your maintenance of self is laudable. That’s why I truly love your blog- because you are calm headed even when others are ridiculous.
    Congrats again on such a huge and amazing contribution to the knitting community. I will just lurk everyone’s pages on Ravelry to see what they learn and hope that if sock summit happens again, I can attend.

  487. Hard to believe that people forget how to behave when not in a social situation! (hugs)1000 for the two of you – I can’t even begin to imagine planning such a huge event!
    Carol in IL

  488. Anyone who would send you hateful mail that makes you cry doesn’t deserve to go. End of story. I think you and Tina have handled everything with remarkable grace and efficiency–you should be proud.

  489. I think that the folks who have been so critical sho have to organize the next SS. When you contact them, tell them they’ve been elected.
    Also, don’t worry about the beer. Beer in public is done all over the world and I doubt if that has “corrupted” anyone!
    Keep up the good work!

  490. I’m so sorry that you and Tina are getting all this grief. I’m so sorry that people are being mean to you. May I suggest all the mean people could trade places with me? My husband was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Perhaps they would rather deal with that? Best wishes and hope you can get some rest soon.

  491. OMG!! That is horrible. People need to wise up and realize what is REALLY important. So you didn’t get knitting classes you wanted…..oh well. Good grief there are WAY more upsetting things going on in the world than that for you to waste hateful energy on. I think you all have done a bang up job and are handling the whole thing perfectly well. Don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for the people who know how to act. We couldn’t make it happen this year but next year (assuming you all are up for more torture!) we will be there as vendors. I can’t wait!!! Big hugs (and glasses of wine) for all of you!

  492. I can picture these hateful, stupid people deciding they will go to SS09 anyway. They’ll calm down, realize they already have a plane ticket and they can still meet up with a gaggle of other knitters and shop. So they’ll go.
    Then they will meet you or Tina. They’ll remember their stupid, hateful email and…..AWKward!
    People should really think before they speak. Especially so before they commit to writing it down and sending it over the internet. As you say, it’s knitting – calm down, people!
    You guys are doing a great job!

  493. Oh, I hate to hear of all the ugly emails. I’ve never understood why people think that HELPS anything! Hang in there – that was an insane amount of hits – knitters are always surprising! I’m not going to your event, but sure hope you don’t let the bad taste of this one stop future ones. Hang in there.

  494. Really, people. Stop being assholes. I’m so sorry to hear that this is happening to you guys, Stephanie. I hope it doesn’t sap all of the fun for you guys.

  495. I am sorry for you guys. Everyone knows you are dedicated and doing your best. I think with the economy and all and with all the wonderful people that are going to be at the summit, people were just hoping for an escape. That does not excuse the behavior at all but please know the rest of us know you mean well and are doing your best.

  496. I hope you stop getting the angry mail. Honestly, I think the people sending the awful hate mail don’t deserve to go. And, I feel like the people who bought plane tickets and reserved hotel rooms before the class registration opened should have known it was a possibility that they wouldn’t get into things.
    I am saying this as someone who booked their flight two weeks ago. My friend and I knew what could happen. Whether we got everything we wanted or got into nothing, we knew the SS09 would be an amazing time. And, we are going to have an amazing time! We are both so so excited.
    Hope things start to look better in that inbox. πŸ™‚

  497. Wow. I’ve organized very small events before, and I know what a hassle they were. I can’t imagine trying to organize an event of such herculean proportions. And to have knitters (KNITTERS!) diss you because of problems that you had no control over? Shame on them! Really! SHAME on them! And may their yarn always be tangled. And knotted. And inconsistently dyed.
    While I’m not coming to Sock Summit (sadly), I’m grateful for all the work that you’ve put into this event, and I just know that it is going to be one of the best yarn-related events EVER! I can’t wait to enjoy it vicariously through your blog and the blogs of others who attend.
    Kudos, Stephanie, to you and Tina.

  498. Ok, I plan a conference for my company that involes 170 attendees who not only attend for FREE but they also have one night accommodation paid as well. The stress of arranging all the hotel rooms, planning the meals, organizing the registrations (sans cool online booking system) and individual personalities (ahem), usually has me in tears a few times and gives me nightmares.
    With 4000 spaces and 30 000 attempted registrations, you and Tina have my utmost respect and admiration. The fact that you haven’t taken your ball (of sock yarn) and gone home, is a testament to your commitment to this conference!
    At this point in the conference planning, I would normally be threatening to make people sleep on park benches and eat Lean Cuisine at dinner. Mind you, I threaten these things to the wall as being rude to people doesn’t get you anywhere – something which attendees should understand. (for the record, I think that your response to the knitterly outrage was very well put.)
    I hope that things level out and that the conference goes well. If not, I’m pretty sure that some SS09 dope may be in order. Once you get back across the border, that is.

  499. I was not part of the fracas, having sadly decided that SS09 was not in my budget this year. I feel compelled, however, to express my sincere apologies on behalf of whatever ill-mannered knitters have behaved in such a deplorable manner. I seriously can barely believe it, and might have assumed you were being “oversensitive”, had I not read the many, many threads which confirmed that the situation is exactly as you described.
    I’m shocked at the behavior, and disappointed, as I truly hope there will be future SS that I might attend, but I can’t imagine why you’d want to take on such a thing again, if this is how you’re treated. Shame on those who acted badly, disappointed or not. Perspective, people. Look into it.

  500. I just wanted to send some love to counteract the ugly mail you’ve been getting.
    Having worked on a good-sized conference for polymer clay, you have my sympathies. I know how much work I did, and from the looks of things, it was maybe 1% of what you are doing.

  501. I have been out of the knitting “loop” for a while now due to a nasty divorce and moving twice in the last five months and having to start working at a full time job for the first time in twenty-five years (this has really cut into my knitting time, lol), so I have just started reading your blog again. I can’t believe all the hard work you and Tina did to have a wonderful knitting convention and all the amazing instructors you have lined up to be there. GREAT JOB!!!!!
    Please don’t let anyone take away your huge enthusiasm. Servers are EVIL!!! My son-in-law is a programmer and I’ve heard many, many horror stories.
    People today feel that they are entitled! Don’t take the nasty ones personally and know that the knitters who will be able to attend your conference will be so appreciative and that you and Tina are “making history”!!! Hurray for the Harlot!!!!!!!

  502. I would have crawled under a rock long ago. I hope you and your team get through this! Maybe next time you could have ticketmaster sell the tickets/classes for you.

  503. It was great to meet you last night in Plano, and I’m sorry some people are being nasty about the Sock Summit. You have done a fantastic job, and I’m ashamed of people who behave in such an impolite manner, to say nothing of knitters being so nasty. Just goes against the grain.

  504. I’m an IT manager (and knitter, get that). I deal with servers that crash and the people who crash them, and try to fix them, every day. When I read your post, my first thought was that you guys did a brave and wonderful thing. My second thought was how your IT department let you down.
    Writing this, I hope your “IT Department” isn’t a friend or loved one… Anyone who volunteered to help for the IT part also did a brave and wonderful thing. But if they had you sign a contract, or they expect money from you, then they should be ashamed.
    Don’t blame yourselves! The job of IT is to take the dreams and visions of non-IT people and turn them into reality. And it’s IT’s job to explore the what-ifs and make sure that you, the customer, understand the risks and pitfalls.

  505. I can’t believe how mean and crazy people are being over this. Big girl panties, everyone! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. The sane knitters among us know you took a leap of faith to do something unprecedented, and we really admire you for that.
    Don’t let the haters get you down!

  506. I wasn’t going to be able to attend the event anyway but, as a huge fan, I am so happy for you that you have such an overwhelming interest. That, in itself, must be incredibly gratifying. Good luck sorting it all out. It sounds as though you had planned ahead with more than reasonable due diligence!

  507. I don’t see how you could do anything more. You sized the kit to deal with what you thought was appropriate – well outside of what experts said was normal. You can’t house an infinite number of people – and some people got luckier than others. Whatever happened, you did not personally set out to frustrate anyone, and to get the nasty emails is so not fair. But if someone’s of the mindset that they can have anything they want, then they can get snipy like a toddler does, when he hears his first “No”. I hope the event’s a spectacular success, and that you can leave the nastiness in a box somewhere at the bottom of a very deep lake.

  508. Big hugs to you and Tina, okay?
    I’m not one of the disappointed (too far from Scotland, at least this year) but even if I was I certainly would hope I remembered my manners. Life is life and socks are only socks. (Do I get a lightening bolt from heaven for saying this??) I trust that when the miserable, entitled and RUDE people that still somehow manage to make it through get to SS09 they remember all of this and it really lessens their enjoyment of it all. Entitled? Geezzz..
    Anyway. I still like you. πŸ˜€

  509. Wow! That’s infuriating! All I have to say is keep on rockin’ in the free world! We all love ya and what you do.

  510. I am so very sorry that nasty people have made your brilliant, inspired plans more difficult. They are out there, aren’t they? We will do our best to keep them away by showering you with hugs and positive thoughts now and in Portland!
    Much love to you all.

  511. It’s kind of like people trying to generously ‘take’ items from a charity event for the children… b/c they think that their ticket allows them to take the centrepieces etc and make a case for their ticket to be comped.
    But there is the rest of the 80% of those out there that just thank you for your kind and hard work… keep your eyes on those ones.
    Mean knitters… please go sniff more yarn fumes, it will make it better!

  512. Stephanie,
    I left this on Tina’s blog but I want to leave it here, too. Tuesday was stressful in so many ways, and I fervently hope that the onslaught of positive vibes and grateful emails is assuaging some of the yuck that was slung and helping you find your emotional footing again. It was tremendously brave and generous of you and Tina to put yourselves out there and organize this momentous event. People responded because they know how awesome it’s going to be. I feel certain that the measure of reactions is linked to the measure of our respect for your work, even if it didn’t feel that way. I feel so thankful that I am registered for some classes and am able to make the trip from the East Coast (my first ever to Portland). My registration is going to require a little sorting but I’m confident that I’m coming and that this will be a wonderful learning experience for me. And – it’s my 40th birthday gift, so that’s fun! If you have time for a laugh, read my account of registering wirelessly, in the rain, on the street, en route between a lunch meeting and my office. http://tt820.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-knit-because-it-relaxes-me-i-knit.html We’re dedicated because you’re dedicated! Have a wonderful day. I’ll be in line to give you and Tina a big hug in Portland. Janelle

  513. I was not planning to attend; geographically inconvenient, so did not experience disappointment. However, I am totally embarrassed by fellow knitters who acted/reacted so badly to you and Tina. I have always maintained that knitters/needlepeople are terrific, lovely folks. What a disappointment this is! I do hope that when it is over and the dust settles you guys will have reason to feel that it was worth it!

  514. The good news is that once you get to the conference, every knitter there is going to hug the heck out of both You and Tina and probably ply you with endless amounts of beer and yarny goodness. I hope it makes up for the nastiness that you and your families and friends have had to endure. There’s no excuse for that kind of behavior among adults. (((HUGS))) and hang in there!

  515. I can’t believe people would blame you for not getting in to a class. That would be like blaming the lottery company for not getting a winning ticket even though you bought 20!!! Are people really that petty?? I guess they are, I am sorry to hear that. Know that there are people out there who love what you do and wish you to keep doing it. That would be ME!! Hugs and Happy Knitting

  516. There are some sour, foul people in the world. Why not send the people who have been so nasty to you a refund and then simply avoid them going forward? This is your event! Since there isn’t room for everyone, why not cull the nasties? You and Tina genuinely don’t need such negative behavior.
    Thank you for all that you do.

  517. Dear Harlot, Friends and Family
    I have to tell you that I have been reading your blog for around two years and it absolutely makes my day. My kniting skills amount only to plain and purl and I limit myself to scarves (after the shameful baby sweater incidents of 1986 – but we don’t speak of these) but I love to ogle your fine work. (knitting porn really).
    I am so sorry you have had to experience the ugly side of life but felt compelled to add to the overwhelming torrent of folks that support you and cherish you for your efforts.
    I wish I could come to the summit but alas I am in Australia and lets face it, it is better if someone with skills attends but I wish you all nothing but best of luck and a speedy lapse in memory of the nastiness.
    Warm regards, Ms Lushess

  518. I’ll admit it, I was cranky when I couldn’t get into my classes. Even cried. Probably had more to do with it being a VERY stressful week otherwise and that was the straw that broke the camels back. I live in the Portland area, for crying out loud! But ya know what? It’s okay. Because hopefully we’ll make this such a rousing success that there’ll be a Sock Summit 2010. I’d already requested and received those days off from work, and while I had planned on canceling those vacation days, I think I’ll keep them. I’ll do my part to contribute to the Summit, namely, attend the Marketplace and spend way too much money, and hopefully contribute to the Museum! In the meanwhile, those days I’ll be riding MAX while knitting and knitting in public as much as humanly possible. Let’s see if we can weird out the Portlanders.

  519. Oh my… sympathies for having to see and share with your friends, the crap side of human nature. And thank you for the real work you have all done providing us with opportunities to have fun with these sticks and learn from respected and creative teachers. I love to laugh with you, through your blog, about life, family, this world, raising kids, finding a creative way to enjoy our crazy lives.

  520. absolutely shameless. just goes to show that having a hobby in common, even a really great one, a fantastic one, even… is no indicator of class. so sorry you guys are having to deal with people snarking at you over this. those folks who have contacted you with any amount of mean-spiritedness should be ASHAMED.
    hope things get better soon! =]

  521. Make time for tea and cake.
    I’m horrified that people ar ebeing so narky, silly people. What would their mammies say?
    good luck and take care fo that team of yours!

  522. I’m new to the knitting community, (and I haven’t taken the plunge to knit socks yet — gasp!) and I just want to say that you and Tina are a total class act.

  523. In another life, I spent a few years teaching Freshman Composition at a mid-western (US) university. Every semester the students filled out teacher evaluations. Of the 100 or so students I taught every semester, I always had one or two that wrote less than complimentary evaluations. And thirty-odd years later, these are the ones that I remember. Not the ones that thought I was the best teacher since Plato, although they didn’t exactly articulate it that way — they were freshmen!
    My point is that criticism always sticks with you longer than it should. It doesn’t matter if you know that you did the best you could. Soon you will forget the rash, but remember the sting.
    Okay enough. Here’s an old joke – What do you call a dentist that lives in Plano? A plain o’dentist.

  524. When dealing with computers the operative phrase is “Anything that can go wrong WILL go wrong!” You all seem to have done much better than that. Ignore the twits and enjoy your success.
    You are very nice putting the nasties at the bottom of the list. I’d delete them. But then they might show up and bring their miserable selves to the event!

  525. I’d just like to say, as someone watching from the outside, that you guys did an amazing job. Half my family is in IT, running servers for Google and Smith College, institutions which rely on servers running, and they are *constantly* putting out fires. Anyone who thinks you guys did something “wrong” or “stupid” clearly isn’t nearly as knowledgeable in how this shit works as they’re claiming.
    ::hugs:: And best wishes.

  526. Oh good grief! This is the type of situation when I want to ask people, “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” I think any letter or email that is threatening or abusive does not deserve the courtesy of a reply. HOWEVER, I will tell you not to bin them because if the sender repeats the offense, you’ll want to have a paper trail of abuse. That kind of thing is against the TOS for most email services.
    I hope it all goes well. I wish I could be there, but that is back-to-school-time for us.

  527. I’m not attending Sock Summit (this year) as I’m getting married in the fall and decided to be responsible and save my money for that. (Really sad I’m an adult when it comes to situations like this!!) Anyway, my sympathies go out to you and Tina. You truly did everything you could do, and no one should demand any more of you. I’m sorry that you are going through this, and even more sorry that my fellow K(k?)nitters are the ones putting you there. I know the Sock Summit will be fantastic! Thanks for putting it on, and I hope you do it again next year πŸ™‚

  528. Wow.. sorry for the nasty emails – but I am really glad it will work out for you and everyone who can attend.. See you next year then !!

  529. Completely speechless with astonishment. Sympathy flowing in your direction but no words to accompany it. Dumbfounded.

  530. Wow, entitlement rears its ugly head! I’m trying hard to break my teenager of those sorts of behaviors, but it’s even uglier in adults who should know better by now.
    On the upside, as I read the posts, I just realized I may be at a folk dance thing on Labor Day (U.S) weekend – IN TORONTO! And I can go to all those lovely stores you’ve mentioned in your posts.
    Don’t take the nastygrams personally – I know that’s hard to do, but life is too short to waste on mean people.

  531. Stephanie and Tina, you rock. Congratulations on organizing such a huge (in numbers, in interest, in everything!) event!

  532. You guys do things with so much love and enthusiasm, it’s beautiful.
    I’m sorry you had to suffer through such terrible technical difficulties and I’m sorry some people are being nasty about it.
    You deserve better, really.

  533. You did as much as you could in preparing for that huge flood of applicants–and next time, as proof to your IT people, you could re-direct them to your ancient blog posts about bookstores and yarn shops not setting out enough seating for your chats. We are sock knitters, hear us roar.

  534. Oh oh oh… I am so sorry you are getting hate mail! ItΒ΄s one thing to consider that on a statistical basis you are going to get some, it is another to be faced with it!
    Take a deep breath, drink some tea, put the ugly ones on the bottom of the pile and then see if you can hire a temporary employee to deal with those. Seriously. You donΒ΄t need the pain.

  535. I once worked in a fabric store that had a $1/yard sale on calico. I was almost trampled when I unlocked the doors. I quit after nearly 300 women (most likely well behaved under most circumstances) pushed, shoved and used the most abusive language possible towards me and each other, broke into fights…all over 100% cotton.
    I’m sorry, but the vision of 30,000 people physically rushing into your conference center, fighting over chairs, pushing, shoving, calling out the most horrendous curses makes me think that there are advantages to those same people duking it out with the SEND button.
    You apologize very nicely and I almost wish that I had tried to sign up…it was that nice of an apology. And, while you and yours may still be feeling a bit guilty for all that transpired…I have to admit…I found myself wanting to be a fly on the wall when the IT company finally realized that you were right on the money when you told them what would happen…

  536. Peace be with you. Registering for Sock Summit was as frustrating as procuring a skein of Wollmeise from Loopy Ewe. Some are lucky, others are not.

  537. What a shame that people would be so self-focused that they couldn’t admit that they just didn’t get in. Those things happen. Grace under fire – that’s what you two have been. Don’t let the bad eggs spoil what will surely be a wonderful knitting conference. I look forward to reading all about it. Life does go on.

  538. Wow. Just, wow. I’m astonished both by the events, and by the response you’ve gotten. I feel like all of knitterdom owes you guys an apology, not the other way around! Never blame yourselves – no one without an Amazon-level server could’ve survived that hit.
    Someone posting earlier suggested making DVDs of talks and selling them as a Knitters Without Borders benefit – if there’s a Cafe Press equivalent for DVDs so it wouldn’t be yet another migraine headache for you, that would be a wonderful thing, and though I could not convince myself to fly cross-country for SS09, I would buy that in a heartbeat.

  539. You two are absolute rock stars…and I suppose there is a reason rock stars “turn to the drink (…and nose candy…)”. I’m sorry this happened after you tried so hard to make sure it would go smoothly. Take a deep breath, have a nice beer or glass of wine, and tell yourself some people are just JERKS and deserve to be on the bottom of the pile because that type of behavior just isn’t acceptable. Behavior that would not be allowed in children should not be tolerated in adults.
    BIG HUGS to both of you. You did a fantastic job!

  540. You and Tina are wonderful people. I am ashamed of everyone who has sent you hate mail. (I so wanted to attend the conference but couldn’t get the time off work.) There’s been many times I’ve wanted to take a class and have not been able to get in, the last thing I do is abuse the organizers over it.
    Feel better, hugs to both you and Tina. You are doing a stellar fantastic job and I hope you are getting far more happy emails then hateful ones.

  541. 30K HITS! OMG!
    You do not deserve hate-mail. You and the IT company deserve a giant parade of congratulations for not going belly-up right then and there and soldiering on!

  542. your grace and humor in the face of hatefulness always inspires me. peace to you and Tina.

  543. Time for a template letter. As soon as you hit an abusive or threatening statement, stop reading. Don’t put it on the bottom of the pile, instead, reply with a form letter. Just hit reply and copy and paste something short and curt like the following in there. Perhaps keep a list of the email addresses of the offenders for a “watch-out” list?! Less stress for all of you and problems quickly solved. ALSO, the meanest ones aren’t rewarded with your (or anyone else’s) personal atention.
    Just make it a more specific, less understanding version of the above post:
    Demand on the server and for the classes far exceeded supply. Many people have patiently waited and had their problems addressed. Some problems were solved and classes were assigned; others were disappointed to not get classes they wanted.
    However, your email was only read to the point at which it became threatening or abusive. [insert clip from email here] At that point we stopped reading and sent you this form reply.
    If you have questions or are perhaps registered for some classes, feel free to contact us again, stating the specific registration problem only.
    Thank you.

  544. Thank you for all you do. I’m sorry I won’t be joining you (mostly I want to show how FAST and EFFICIENTly I knit now!) but it’s not such a bad thing for me.

  545. Stephanie and Tina, Your strength and patience and dedication are monumental. To Hell with the F@$ktards that dared to steal your joy. I am one who would love to go, but don’t have the time or money this year. Your historical event will go down in …. History! Congratulations!

  546. Just wanted to let you know that you guys rock, that you have put together the knitting event of the century (excepting the ones that you put on in the next years (wheedle, wheedle), that I hope I do get to go to), that you have gone above and beyond to make this a great event, and that I hope that, for your effort and brave risk-taking you:
    1) make a TON of money (you deserve it).
    2) get to have a wonderful, wonderful time at SS! As someone involved in running (much smaller) conferences, I know you’ll be stressed throughout, but I hope you look back on it and tell each other “It was a great idea.”.
    Much love from Santa Barbara

  547. The one thing that strikes me most in your post (and maybe I read this wrong) is that your “friends, families, colleagues and associates” have been treating you like youy’re “arrogant and awful.” The general public is one thing but friends and family! Sheesh! I guess you’re stuck with your family but maybe you should find new friends.

  548. We’re watching a paradigm shift here: Corporate-backed TNNA and Stitches classes woefully under-subscribed, but Sock Summit (engineered by two mortal women) over-subscribed and inciting very strong emotions. Revolutions always have a dark underbelly, even when they result in healthy empowering change.

  549. I have just one thing to say to the people who sent you the hate mail….karma. You can never escape from it.

  550. I am so sorry you got hit by the less generous elements of society in regards to your server crash. I heard someone talking about it at knit night and thought it was just amazing that so many people would hit it at once that it would crash. Actually, that should make you feel pretty good, that 30,000 people wanted in. Not the server crash. No one feels good about a server crash. Unfortunately, it is easier to be nasty in e-mail because you’re not going face-to-face with the person you’re mad at. That’s one of the downsides of the internet.
    I know people who are going (officially registered, and entered socks, and vending) to Sock Summit, and I wish you, and them, all the best. But for all the people who were boo-birds and nasty e-mail writers, well, I boo back!
    Stephanie, you’ve made my day more than once with something you’ve written. I just thought you should know that. Come to Wisconsin again soon. Then I can tell you that in person and hopefully make *your* day in return.

  551. I wish I could adequately express how my heart has sunk to hear that there are people who would be so thoughtless and hurtful to send you vile emails over this issue!
    Who among us could have done a better job??? NONE! For every sour-puss there are many many of us who are grateful and wish you lots of love!

  552. It is a good thing that we are not all judged by the few nuts amongst us. Knitters are wonderful people who are patient giving souls. Enjoy the conference and obviously the ones who should not be there in the first place are the ones sending the slam mail. Totally ignore such and enjoy the fun!!

  553. Find some joy in the fact that the you will not have to spend any time with any of the folks who sent nasty emails. I hope they will consider the Karma of all of this.

  554. Ignore the haters. You have been wildly successful during a very difficult economic time. You are to be lauded and should be proud of yourselves. Knit on!

  555. Congratulations to you and Tina for your breathtakingly huge success. You deserve the opposite of abuse from our community and I’m really sorry that on top of the enormous strain of dealing with all of this demand, you also have to deal with people running you down.

  556. First, so sad to hear about the hate mail. People should be thrilled that you are organizing this at all.
    I was sad long before registration, because I couldn’t go at all. πŸ˜‰ But I’ve been following the saga and I really hope that all the glitches and stress won’t deter you from doing this again!!
    Finally, I LOVE the fact that the IT people didn’t believe in the power of the sock. The next time someone asks me why on earth I knit socks I’m going to tell them about the 30 000 sock knitters who crashed a server so they could go to a sock knitting conference! πŸ™‚ ROCK ON!!!

  557. while i can believe that there are people so stupid and mean out there as to personally blame you for not getting into the classes and write you nasty mail, well… i don’t want to believe it. how horrible. *hugs* you’ve done so much, and it’s not cool.

  558. You and Tina have done an AMAZING thing, and you should be very proud. Sadly, there are a lot of mentally and emotionally stunted people out there – knitters and otherwise – who still think they should get whatever they want, simply because they want it. Use that “delete” button and get yourself some cashmere. Sooner or later their behavior will bite them in the butt – hard. In the meantime, SOCKS ROCK!!

  559. Dear Tina and Stephanie,
    I am not a knitter of socks. I feel terribly left out and have decided to go home and cry. Just kidding. I am consistently amazed by the creativity, compassion and patience that you have displayed in putting together what sounds like a fabulous convention. I only wish that I could be a fly on the wall for it! Best of luck with the rest of the summer.

  560. Stephanie, I am so, so sorry that people are behaving badly. There will be other knitting events to attend and not getting into one is NOT the end of the world, fer Hank’s sake. I am just so wowed by the nature of the response– I have been telling everybody about it. We really ought to get our own TV channel. I mean, you can watch people catch fish on TV. Knitting is way more exciting!
    Sending you power hugs and cyber-beer. Hope you feel better.
    If it were me (a less charitable person) I would insert nasty-grams in a folder. Archive the folder. After about three months, treat as you would moldy leftovers in the fridge.

  561. Way to go Stephanie and Tina! You two should be *insanely* proud of yourselves! The majority of the knitting community is πŸ™‚ Forget the debbie downers, you pulled off the impossible! Hooray!

  562. Well said! Beware the email trolls – they are nasty nasties. Best put at the bottom of the list, I agree. Their karma will catch up with them someday.
    You guys climbed everest and live to talk and laugh about it! Bravo!

  563. It’s not too late for the people who actually fricked up on manners and decent human behavior to apologize. Ick.
    You are exhibiting remarkable and inspiring grace and patience and optimism.

  564. I’m so sorry that you’ve been receiving this type of mail. You and Tina have done an amazing thing with this event. Even though I was disappointed with class registration, I’m still looking forward to the marketplace! Thank you!!!

  565. Mean people suck, and you and Tina do not. Unfortunately, Teh Intarwebz brings out the Nutjobs and even if the server had not had a meltdown and registration would have gone perfectly, there would still be a few crazies out there sending poison pixel emails because something Sock Summity isn’t the way they want it. Entitlement + relative “anonymity” (no-one is as anonymous as they believe on the internet) + disappointment = unbridled crazytalk and a veritable asshaberdashery fools.
    Much love!

  566. From the Apache Web Server manual:
    The MaxClients directive sets the limit on the number of simultaneous requests that will be served. Any connection attempts over the MaxClients limit will normally be queued, up to a number based on the ListenBacklog directive. Once a child process is freed at the end of a different request, the connection will then be serviced. (ref: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mpm_common.html#maxclients)
    Better to queue connections than lose them. You work out how many connections the server can confortably handle and then set the maximum connections to prevent the server from crashing under load. Sorry, but what happened to your server may well have been preventable.

  567. Hang in there, Stephanie. Lots of us admire you and consider you a good cyber friend. Keep in mind that nice knitters far outnumber the mean ones. Shame on them.

  568. I read your blog but never really comment and i was really taken aback by this post. I would have thought better of knitters. Iy seems to me you all are doing the best you can and people need to just chill out. I didn’t get any classes i wanted but that is ok maybe next time! Don’t let these people get you down!!! Not one more tear for their heartless comments! Your sock summit is going to be wonderful, no cranky people allowed.

  569. I’m so sorry you had such a hard time, and then people got so angry about it. I’m not even going, and I feel your pain. I hope the actual summit is much more friendly to you.
    Good luck.

  570. Here is my mantra: “I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m doing the best I can.” Repeat it whenever appropriate. It actually does help.

  571. As a newly retired teacher I know that no matter how hard you try there are nasty mean people that just can’t be pleased. Somewhere along the line some people think that want should equal get hmmm not the best of life philosophies. You and Tina are terrific and I am so inspired by how hard you work and how much you care. You make the world a better place daily. Don’t let the meanies get to you. they are just like spoiled milk and smell sour over time.Meanwhile you two are the cream of the crop!

  572. As always, you respond with class and grace. I would have loved to attend, but didn’t have the funds, however it is disappointing that knitters can be that ugly to each other. The event will be wonderful, and you and Tina are to be congratulated for having the cajones to even attempt it!

  573. So, I was all outraged over the treatment you received at the hands of a few imbeciles and I was going to add those sentiments here when it occurred to me that in addition to THAT issue, there’s another one: why is it that people are still so underestimating your audience? Why is it that after you have proven everyone wrong by being a best-selling author (the numbers don’t lie, right?) that people still think they know best when it comes to giving advice on how to go about serving that audience? I don’t get it. Why is it that, in addition to the asshats who showed up (who ALWAYS show up), you also have to deal with people you actually LIKE telling you that you have over-reached?
    It pisses me off on your behalf on a whole different level than the one that wants to send stink bombs through the mail to the rude people.

  574. I work for an internationally-known reference company. We have a daisy chain of 5 servers we use for our online references. I think our max hit load is 50,000 simultaneous lookups spread over those 5 servers. I cannot IMAGINE one server trying to handle 3/5 of that hit load. My gods.
    And as someone who has gotten for-reals death threats for some of the stuff in my company’s reference books, I am urging you to set aside the ones that are deeply personal and truly, truly threatening, because even internet threats are are actionable–though it makes me sad to say it. It also makes me sad that anyone would care so much about sock knitting that they would threaten the safety and life of someone else over it–and god knows I’d rather give up breathing than give up knitting.
    Hang in there. You have my deepest, most heartfelt sympathies (and if I could ship it, you would also have the biggest crate of beer I could afford to send you).

  575. Please don’t take mean people’s comments to heart. Anyone who has ever organized a big event knows that no matter how hard you try something will always go wrong when you least expect it. Thank you so much for putting so much time and effort into this for us. I would have loved to have gone, but it was not to be for me this year.

  576. I am so sorry that some extremely rude and unrealistic people would do that to you. I didn’t try to register, had no interest in doing so (love to knit, love socks, but it’s not the thing for me right now), and would spend my money on a different sort of vacation if I had the money, but NO ONE has the right to treat you that way just because they couldn’t get into a SOCK conference! Sheesh! Get real.
    I’m sorry you had to deal with snots like that. Go, teach, learn, enjoy, and know that you did your best.

  577. I am appalled and saddened that knitters would treat you and Tina with such animosity and disrespect. Know that there are thousands of us who love and support you and are grateful that you are making a knitting conference happen! Heather

  578. I just wanted to join the throngs saying that I wish people didn’t suck. It’s absurd to reward someone who has worked hard to put together something that we would love to attend by making her life so miserable that she will never want to go through the experience again! Here, I’d been hoping since SS09 was so successful, there would be an east coast SS10 (or maybe, more realistically, SS11). Think about Pittsburgh – good convention center, good knitters…

  579. No doubt it’s been pointed out already in the comments, but–Mercury goes direct tonight! Huzzah!

  580. Sock it to ’em (pun intended). I think you put things very well today. Anyone that would send you hateful email about this deserves to be permanantly banned from any future conferences that you organize.
    Unfortunately, the pseudo-anonymity of email seems to make people more likely to spew than if they were face to face with someone.

  581. PLEASE don’t let the haters get to you. You and Tina should be very proud of SS09.
    HUGS HUGS HUGS from Houston where we might not be as weird as Austin, but we LOVE you too!

  582. I think you’re really awesome people for putting together something that makes knitting look this freaking cool. Although I am sorry that I won’t be able to attend (regardless of registration or whatever hoo-ha), it gives me the warm and fuzzies to think of that many knitters learning, talking about, and doing knitting. Thanks.

  583. My better half is the knitter…I follow YH because you are a great writer. I am sorry a percentage of the Knitters Clan has let you and the Clan down with abusive responses. How sad to have their lives tied in knots over things beyond reasonable controls. To the majority, who do life in love, “Knit On” and enjoy your talents. Blessing to you all.

  584. Ever since Sock Summit was announced I wanted to go. I decided that if I was able to register for even one class, I would somehow find the plane/car/hotel money to make it work. The crash was actually a good thing for me. Now stop apologizing to nasty people and enjoy yourself.

  585. Honestly, I can’t see how you and Tina could have done this any better or any differently and if a few individuals can’t see this, well, it’s their problem, not yours. I know it’s hard, but don’t give another moment of thought to the complainers.
    I think your promotion of this event was just right — not too much, not too little. You did all things possible to insure against a registration overload. How were you to know there would be 30,000 hits? Answer: you weren’t. One server versus 30,000 knitters — it’s pretty obvious the server’s gonna lose.
    Hopefully those who are gnashing their teeth over this will get over it and move on. Thanks for putting this in perspective for us (it’s a knitting conference, for pete’s sake).
    Thanks for having the guts to organize such an event.

  586. I just felt the need to send you a virtual hug. Thing will get better and the SS will be a dream come true for you and thousands of sock loving knitters…I’m pretty sure It’ll be worth it.

  587. I have not signed up; I think it’s awesome that you are doing this and may angels perch on your shoulders all the rest of the way. You are wonderful!

  588. When Tuesday happened, yes I was frustrated, and yes I almost had my classes when the system crashed, but I was able to get something, for which I am very greatful. But the biggest feeling was oh by, what are Tina and Stephanie going through right now. I really, really feel for you guys, what a wonderful event you are putting on. I hope that this does not sour it for you two and that you will continue. This is not world peace, it is a knitting event. Please know that we all appreciate what you are doing, and it will be a wonderful event. What I did not spend on classes, I will just have to buck up and spend it at the Market. Oh well, it will be tough but I am an adult. Please accept a computer hug from me and have some chocolate and a beer, or a glass of wine.

  589. Sounds like a super size variation of the “I told you we need more seats for the book event” theme…
    Knitters rock!! (Even if you find some bad specimens among them).
    I would like to second an idea which was made some 100 posts ago: Tape the lectures (or at least some of them), make them into a DVD and sell them.
    The knitter who mentioned the idea before me, added to use it as a Knitters Without Borders fundraiser. Good idea, I say.

  590. Wow. Sorry you’re dealing with people’s petulance as well as the technical issues! Hope it all goes smoothly from now on… it’s a heck of an endeavour and looks like a wonderful event… unfortunately I’m on the wrong side of the Pond to even have attempted to register…

  591. There’s definitely a book in this experience (know anyone who can couple knitting w/ astute observations about human nature leavened w/ humor?). So keep the faith, don’t let this spoil conference and keep good diary entries for that book!

  592. Oh, many hugs, Steph. I have wanted passionately to attend the Summit since I first heard about it, which was last fall when I was in Portland and fell in love with that lovely, fun city. Knew it was impossible for many reasons, which include $$, distance and fear of an overwhelming bunch (and I did think thousands) of sockers getting to the church before me. I’ll have to wait until you get back to St. Paul, or even Winnipeg. I can get there if DH is good to me!
    Stay the course – as if you would do anything else! Soon it will be the love of millions coming your way, and the negatives will be but a blip on the horizon. Cheers from Minnesota!

  593. I’m in IT, and completely understand what you went through. At my organization, we have to plan for big events, too (like shuttle launches, landing on mars, little things like that). You did all the right things. If you ever go through this again, the next thing you need is a caching network (also called CDN, or content delivery network). The most common vendor is Akamai. Yes, this is expensive, but it’s how you handle the sheer volume of requests.
    What I’d suggest, to deal with the unfortunate fact that 4,000 is less than 30,000, is to invite someone to do a documentary of the event. Is this expensive? Not necessarily. Filmmakers typically have cameras already (or they rent them, along with lighting equipment), so the cost is primarily their time. You can offer the filmmakers the opportunity & the access, and let them bear the cost of making it and share in the proceeds. (or you can split the costs, or whatever works for you)
    You can sell the DVD’s to people who couldn’t go. You could include the straightforward things like the lectures, which are easy to film – people stand in (mostly) one place and talk for a while. You can also include interviews with the luminaries you have at the summit (also not so hard to film, if you setup a filming area, herd people through it one at a time, ask them a few questions and record the answers). Filming classes effectively is harder, so I’d skip those. You can get some woman-in-the-street bits, and give people a taste of the summit. If you need help finding a filmmaker, let me know. (My sister’s in film school at UCLA and I can ask her)
    You don’t have to set up a storefront or get into video distribution or order fulfillment. CD Baby has a sister, http://www.filmbaby.com/, that does distribution for independent filmmakers. You send them a box of DVD’s, they do the work & send you the money.
    Admittedly for me, I have some self interest. I knew ahead of time I couldn’t go, and would desperately love to hear Barbara Walker’s lecture…
    Hang in there. Believe in yourself. Don’t let other people’s disappointment stop you. We still love you.

  594. I’m so sorry that you all had problems and that some people were so inconciderate as to write horred things to you. Please don’t think of not having another one next year. If you send us out a hit list of those who were not nice we will go take away their stash until they learn to behave better. Love and hugs to all of you. Gail in Beaverton

  595. Condolences and sympathies on the hate mail. I know how much you hate people to be unhappy. Consider, though, that everyone probably wrote that mail in the first throes of their disappointment, and since most of them are nice people at heart (hey, they’re sock knitters, so they must be, right?) at least half of them probably regret sending you nasty e-mails already. And most of the rest will realize the same thing in a week or two. Look at it this way: they’ve demonstrated just HOW MUCH they love you and how much knitting socks means to them.
    I second the suggestion of filming the conference and selling DVDs. The luminaries should be recorded for posterity, in any case.

  596. Just a note to pile on the thanks and gratitude for what you do. I hope your travels allow you to get away from it all for awhile. Hugs,

  597. Dear Ms. Pearl-McPhee,
    I wish I’d been able to say in Austin what I’m going to say here… was too shy.
    You’re endearing, and a great presenter, and yeah, you and your co-Summit conspirator Tina deserved so, so much better. Thanks for being you. Next time I will get you some soup for your head cold (hope you’re feeling a bit better, physically!)
    And yeah, there’s totally a book in this. “How to Succeed at KnitCrazy Without Even Trying”, mayhap? πŸ˜‰

  598. Thank you for this. It makes me feel better to know that 30,000 people tried to sign up at the beginning. My chances of getting to sign up were lower than I thought, and it was very likely that I wouldn’t have gotten classes, even if the server hadn’t crashed. Have a great conference!

  599. What a wonderful evening last night at Legacy Books, Plano Texas. You totally rocked the crowd.
    Meant to bring a Blue Moon (beer) for you, but maybe next time.
    Sorry the space was so small, but you know how book stores can be in denial. I did chat with a store employee who wanted to start knitting – so you reached at least one non-knitter.
    Treasure the Sock Summit; many of us will be there in spirit, in Theta Brain spirit!! And that will be good for everyone.

  600. I must admit I was disappointed that I didn’t get the classes I really was hoping for when I registered, but girl! I never blamed you for it! This just proved how much of a success your project is and we all know how much sweat and tears you and Tina put into it.
    Congratulate yourself on a job well done, nothing ever goes without a glitch. I, for one, am tickled pink at the fact that I will be able to attend even though I live far away (Florida). Chin up girlfriend! Have a beer! and pat yourself on the back.

  601. So sorry that you had to deal with horrible hateful email — and thank you for planning this whole thing in the first place!! Even if I can’t go, and didn’t try to sign up, I’m amazed at the entitlement some people must feel.

  602. When you agreed to take this on, you did not agree to being used as a cyber punching bag! What is the matter with these people!?!?
    You must be wondering if all this is worth the effort and abuse….
    Take heart Stephanie…there’s a pony in the maure pile somewhere!
    PS maybe reject those entries that are plain nasty and give spots to those more deserving?

  603. Oh, Steph and Tina. I wasn’t going to comment because you have thousands already, but I just had to. I didn’t even try to sign up for SS for various reasons. I just admire the hell out of you ladies and am so sad that some people are being assholes. πŸ™ You know the reason that SS is more popular than Stitches or TNNA is because of the people behind it (i.e you and Tina!). And that was *before* you signed up the entire knitting luminary world to teach and/or lecture! I send you strength and love and all the virtual beer and chocolate you can stuff in your tired, overwhelmed little bodies! And don’t let the bastards get you down!
    With much love…
    P.S: I too, love the idea of a DVD to purchase! πŸ™‚

  604. I suspect that at this point you have more comments than time to read them, but I can’t keep myself from adding one more to the “you did a great job and the reasonable people in the knitting community appreciate it and love you” pile. I am so sorry that people are angry instead of just disappointed, which would be a reasonable response (as long as one got over it in a day or two).

  605. hi Tina and Stephanie
    I have enjoyed your blogs and the awesome yarn fromm BMFA for a while….but never emailed because I did not want to add to your work load!! But something in the latest blog touched me…I recently left a 6 figure job to become a primary care provider in a small rural town. I take care of people who for the most part are down on their luck…unemployed, poor, elderly with no family, etc…there are a small percentage of these people who are an absolute blot on humankind…needy, self absorbed, mean spirited…you get the picture. So when I ask my self why I left my cushy previous well paying job I remember that it is because this is a passion that I have, that I am good at…and most people are thankful…thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you both do…I know you do this because of the love you have for knitters and the advancement of your craft, and I know you make sacrifices that many would not….ok, now I have to go work on my socks….Ann

  606. And this is where you find out that the saying
    “NO good deed goes unpunished” is really true.
    Tell the nasty ones to bite you!

  607. 30,000 ….. !!!!!!!! Never, in my wildest dreams would I have thought…. Wow. Just wow.
    btw-I didn’t even try to register. When I heard 12000 were on the interested list I said to myself “forget it. I live on the west coast. The east coast gets up 3 hours before me.”

  608. First, thanks to both you and Tina.
    This event was a gamble from the concept but you were both ASOLUTELY right in your vision, concept, and delivery. I wanted to attend especially since Portland is a wonderful place to visit. Everyone who is going – ENJOY the Portland area even if you are not attending SS09 (Note: I am from the Midwest).
    To the persons who sent rude, hateful, and/or threatening email – PLEASE APOLOGIZE. You can begin by donating some of the money you planned to spend at the Sock Summit to the charities that both Stephanie and Tina support followed by a personal note of apology. There is NO excuse for bad behavior.

  609. I just wanted to say that you make my knitting more enjoyable with your stories. Don’t take the mean people personally you are wonderful.

  610. I usually don’t post, but thought that you should get as many supportive comments as possible, given how poorly some of us are treating you and how graciously you are responding. You are an inspiration and a role model for anyone who aspires to be an adult. I am one of the many who would gladly buy a tape or DVD. Perhaps someone could volunteer to assist with this (or call the local public TV station). This certainly is a newsworthy event, but the last thing that you need right now is more to do.
    Best wishes for a wonderful summit!

  611. you all are amazing women. it must be tough for those who can’t cope with things not going perfectly. the world really doesn’t work that way. it’s amazing things have gone as well as they have.

  612. Were it me doing this, the nasty emails would go in the circular file, never to be looked at again. Reality of life people, servers NEVER behave under load like they do during test. Never. Ever. Ever. Ask me how I know. I’m not even going, nor did I try, but kudos to you for having more patience than I do with a bunch of trolls. And for making a lot of knitters really happy.

  613. With 600+ comments you’ll never read this one.
    Full disclosure – timing and location is such that this wasn’t an option for me.
    Chin up. Anyone who said anything rude, crude or nasty should not be allowed to attend – no one else wants them there, and I’m sure they’ll have something in the same vein to say then. Pfeh!
    Having just come across this article
    AP poll: Most students stressed, some depressed
    I am totally tired of the folks that think they should be completely happy all the time. Are these the kids that grew up getting a trophy just for showing up? Get a grip. They have no concept of dealing with any kind of adversity, and NOT GETTING INTO A KNITTING CONFERENCE IS NO WHERE NEAR THE TOP OF BAD THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN.
    I commented on an earlier post mentioning the issues with Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock club being thought to be money laundering and having the bank cut them off, and my own experience with an IT support group that just didn’t believe we were going to expect them to store all the files WE TOLD THEM THEY’D BE GETTING.
    It is likely not economically feasible to get a server that will handle 30,000 hits all at once. Perhaps if you survive to do this again (I know, furthest thing from your mind at this point) you will have to do an advance sign-up and a lottery. Or a registration with lottery following. Just a thought.
    Good luck. Have a beer. Or two.

  614. I would like to think that knitters are totally different, but I would say that we are, like the old Ivory soap ad used to tout, 98.6% pure. The rest are complainers, just as there is some bad yarn in our yarn shops. You can’t please everyone, however, my suggestion is that when people are so ready to criticize, is to take a step back and either be constructive or say nothing, rather than to be nasty. I think one of the reasons why I love your blog so much is, that even when faced with nasty e-mails, you still are nice and you still are constructive. We all can learn from that. I’m not going to sock summit- didn’t even try, but now I kind of wish I was…Best of luck with this project. I’m sure it will be wonderful for all folks attending.

  615. I truly think you and Tina did the best possible job making something totally unheard of come to be. The number of knitters crashing the server was way, way beyond expectations (though us knitters knew we are a powerful force).
    As I posted in an earlier blog post-your caring for the knittters themselves, who you obviously see as fellow humans with actual feelings-comes through in every way. If only the other businesses/governments, etc, in the world showed such compassion to their folks, there would probably be peace on earth, no poverty or hunger, and no ecomomic disasters.
    That said, I am so truly sorry to hear there are such awful people with such skewed priorities that they think they have a right to be nasty or threatening(!) because they were disappointed. There is absolutely no excuse for such behavior!
    Please be comforted to know that the love and caring does indeed flow back to you. I’ve seen the angry Ravelry posts, but I’ve also seen those posting that say they only got one class, or no class at all and are still excited to be attending SS09, and grateful for the opportunity. I, for one, have always wanted to visit Oregon, and SS09 is going to be my vacation, as well as a totally awesome experience. . Many thousands of us appreciate your courage, grace under fire, resourcefulness, and just plain respect for us.
    Please don’t shed one more tear on those hurtful, hateful people.

  616. I hope you get to this one. Sorry registration was a nightmare. BUT – no public beer drinking? When a pint and a little knitting soothes the soul? Perfectly acceptable behavior for the role model of a thirty-something mother of three girls who’s oldest turns 12 today. Please, drink on and knit on. (And as she blows out her 12 candles today, please know I will be wishing I was doing the same thing.)

  617. Lisa Grossman at May 29, 2009 8:14 PM and a few other posters had the right idea. Let some one else handle the abusive mail, save yourselves to keep up your spirits. I’m sure there is still a lot of work to be done.
    And Hey, how about a big high five!! You and Tina have put together the Super Bowl (Sock Bowl?) of knitting!!
    You both gave it your best, you had to turn to the experts (IT guys). Sounds like they recovered as best they could.
    Let people who are less vested emotionally deal with the ….er….ah…. disappointed {{cough, cough}} knitters. And for the most abusive email… here is one poster who offered: Suzanne (Yarnhog) at May 30, 2009 1:15 AM
    A 2010 Sock Summit would be great. Hopefully on the Atlantic side of North America. But I’m sure that is the last thing you want to think about right now.
    Looking forward to your next book (maybe a travel theme?) and many thanks for the entertainment your blog gives me.

  618. so sorry to hear about the hateful mail. it’s always heartbreaking, not just disappointing, when hate and anger appears even when all you have is love and courtesy.

  619. Then does this mean that you and Tina are also responsible for my ex being so irresponsible that it was not possible for me to attend? Hmpf! πŸ˜‰
    I may be overreacting to our time – but maybe you should consider compiling all the nasties and having law enforcement look into/at least be aware of them? I’m sure I’m not the first to err on the side of caution, but I’m not reading through over 600 comments to see what others have already said!
    I truly hope that SS is (aside from this) so wildly successful that there will be a repeat performance. I am disappointed I won’t be going and will hope for another chance.

  620. I am so sorry that people were ugly to you both. Just remember, at the end of every day you can be grateful that you are not one of the ugly people. They have to live with themselves all the time and, my goodness, that must be hard!!

  621. Stephanie, I am shocked that some people are being so spiteful and childish in their writing to you:but because I organise a major event every year I am also not deeply surprised. Some people do not realise just how much work event organisation takes or that you can’t plan for everything, but I know you have worked your fingers to the bone for this; and that it is going to be great.
    I deeply admire that you and Tina have managed to keep your sense of humour and proportion through all this.
    (The nasty people will just continue to be disappointed in their lives until they wise up. I hope you set Rams on their sorry arses).

  622. Oh goodness, you two definitely do not deserve ANY nastiness – in fact, quite the opposite. I think it’s safe to say you all were as prepared as you could have been, and in fact you went above and beyond to try to be prepared. I didn’t get in, but honestly, I *expected* that – I *knew* it was going to be a mad crush, and that only a small percentage of the overwhelming masses would be able to register. I just figure it all means that there’s a good chance that you’ll decide to do it next year, and the year after that (I hope!).
    I hate to think that a small minority of nasty, narrow-minded, selfish people are trying to ruin what is so obviously an amazing success for you two. I hope that SS goes amazingly well and I am eagerly looking forward to reading everyone’s stories about all the wonderful new things they learned and did, and all fun they had.

  623. I’m one of those disappointed knitters who didn’t get the classes she wanted (or any classes, actually), but I would never dream of blaming you for that. I’ll attend the marketplace and the luminary panel grateful for the chances I have. Thank you so, so much for organizing this amazing event and dealing with the crazies. You can never do any more than your best, and you and Tina have done a wonderful job.

  624. I am astonished that some people have been so mean to you!!! I personally am so grateful for all you and Tina have done. As post 640-something, I’ll keep this short….but I think it’s safe to say you have experienced the nadir of your SS09 experience, and it will be getting better now. You’ve done an amazing job. Thanks again!

  625. How embarrasing that fellow knitters could be so hateful. I was super excited to go to the sock summit but, stupidly, thought that I could wait to sign up in the evening on Tuesday. It was much too late by the time I got home. I know it will be a fabulous event and I will be sad to miss it. Thank you for all your hard work and I am sure that the end result will make it all worth this pain! I may just fly to portland and walk around the convention center during the summit, you know, just to be there…thank you again!

  626. I’m disappointed that I won’t be going to the SS. I didn’t try to sign up. When it’s being held and I read posts about it, I’ll be a little disappointed that I’m not there. (Post anyway – I can’t wait to hear about the awesomeness) But I’m no where near as disappointed with not attending as I am with the reactions of some people.
    To all of you who are putting this event together, what an amazing job you’re doing! Don’t let a few negative comments make you forget that most of us are pretty amazed at what you’re accomplishing.
    To those who are lucky enough to be attending – Have a blast! Learn a lot! Share what you learn!

  627. Aww, poor Stephanie and Tina :(. I’m not being sarcastic, I really mean it. Good luck and Godspeed.

  628. (Sorry if someone already suggested this – lots of posts here…)
    Any chance the BARBARA WALKER talk could be recorded (audio or video) or transcribed for those of us who would love to hear her? Maybe sell it as a fundraiser or for seed money for next year.

  629. Hugs to you and Tina, you are awesome.
    I think all of us knitters should buy extra copies of your all books and extra skeins of Blue Moon yarn as our thank you for putting this show on for us.
    I hope it’s possible to film the event. Your event gives me goose bumps every time I think of the incredible people you are joining together. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
    I’ll see you at the Luminary Panel!!

  630. I am also among the many, many people who won’t be able to attend the Sock Summit. I work afternoons and the classes were sold out looong before I even got home. Was I sad? Absolutely. Does that make it right to turn on the people spending all of their time and money to make this happen? Absolutely not! Shame on those people who have been nasty about it!!! If it weren’t for you guys putting this together it wouldn’t be happening in the first place. I am truly sorry for all of the anger and nastiness you’ve been dealing with!
    I wish you all the best with the Sock Summit! I hope it is a huge success, and that maybe next year you’ll have one on the East Coast πŸ˜‰ Even though I’m not going, I also want to thank you all for the hard work and sleepless nights you have put in!!!
    Hugs to you all!

  631. Everyone’s said it well, many times, so…
    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{to you and Tina}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
    (More waiting in Portland when you get here.)

  632. You guys did a truly wonderful job, and I want to thank you personally. I’m excited about the summit, and looking forward to August.
    I hope that you both valued your work appropriately — women do tend to undervalue themselves, and even beyond the fun and excitement of pulling this off, and creating an epicenter of knitterly coolness, you deserve to pay yourselves in cold hard cash.

  633. I have been so ashamed of my fellow knitters on Ravelry. You and Tina have my complete sympathy and admiration. I wish that I were closer to Plano because I’d love to stop by and buy you some great Texas beer.

  634. holy CRAP! 30 000 hits?!?!?! I would have LOVED to see the IT guys ponder that one in person. congrats on creating such a desired event. It says alot about the organizational abilities of those behind the event that that many people want to go. rock on.