Dye for Glory

One of the things that’s been super about the whole Sock Summit thing (and we think the fact that we can still think of super things is a very good sign) is the way that every time one of us has a big idea, it’s caught on like magic and spread like wildfire. One of the most fantastic things has been the Dye for Glory contest over at Ravelry – which accomplished exactly what we were hoping, that dyers would get a little face time, that we would all get to see some of their clever work and that they might sell a little yarn and boost their businesses. (I know that worked because one several of my favourite skeins didn’t win and I still intend to hunt them down and buy them in the Marketplace.)

In the end, 14 557 people voted and 154 828 votes were cast, and the masses have spoken.

Hop on over to the Results Page and you can see the grand and glorious winners, and if you’d like to see them in person, we’re going to round up a skein of each and put them in the Colour me Crazy Booth for the whole world to see. Congratulations Dyers. We love the way you do things, and a thousand thanks to Casey, Jess, Mary-Heather from Ravelry. You’re pretty freakin’ awesome too.

And so it begins

The hardest part of packing for me is always trying to figure out what knitting I’ll take, and I would like to do while I’m at Sock Summit. Not that I really think that there will be much time for knitting, b but you never know, and I just find it sort of comforting and appropriate to have a sock with me all the time. (Don’t you?) In any case, I thought a lot about what socks to bring. What should you be knitting when you’re meeting Barbara Walker? Maybe one of the stitch patterns from her books? (Which is, by the way, almost all stitch patterns) What if Meg Swansen wants to look at it? What if I find myself knitting near Nancy Bush? I thought I should be knitting one of the teacher’s patterns, but which one, and how could I knit Anna Zilboorgs but not Priscilla Gibson Roberts? Every time I thought about it I got so flipped out that I couldn’t imagine what I would knit. It seemed all loaded, like trying to figure out what to make Julia Child for Dinner or how you would toast Gandhi at a pacifist contest… it was too big. Big enough that after days and days of trying to figure it out and imagine myself knitting on something while they were there, I finally realized that I was about to leave. Really about to get on a plane and go do this, and that I had got myself so flipped out about it that I couldn’t hardly take anything. It had become so charged that all of a sudden it was 15 minutes before Denny and Rachel were picking me up to go to the airport and I had no knitting at all, and I took a deep breath, stepped back and realized in a second that I was overthinking, and I needed to get a grip. (This happens to me a lot lately.)

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Meet my new sock. That’s Tina’s new colourway ST-1, being knit into my plain vanilla sock pattern. How perfect is that? Totally perfect. I’ve hauled it all over the place so far. I started it in the cab yesterday when I was leaving to begin this epic, I knit it on the plane, I knit it while I waited for another plane, and then I knit it on that plane. I did a few rounds on the way to our meetings this morning at the Convention centre…

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Where they are totally starting to set up tables and chairs. (Yes. That makes me feel really really sick.)

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We looked at the empty Marketplace hall, and we looked at the empty lobby where registration will be. (Remember we said “under the dragon boat”? There it is. )

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We saw the empty loading docks where all the vendors will bring in their stuff, and Rachel found a machine that she liked, and they wouldn’t give her permission to drive it. (That’s probably best.)

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Then Tina found a forklift that she really liked, and I know it’s best that they wouldn’t let her drive it, especially since she made “zoom zoom” noises like a four year old when she was sitting on it. She would drive it fast, I tell you that much.

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We rented equipment, we had a very scary “pre-con” meeting where lots of people who were not us had suits on.

We picked up all of the handouts for all of the teachers for all of the classes.

(We know. It’s a lot.) In short, we got it together, and although there were only 4 hours of sleep last night and not a single member of a ST (Sock Team) thinks anything will be different tonight (or in the next 6 days…really) we got a lot done. It’s been a really huge job, but while we’re still writing an appalling number of things on post-its, the jobs we’re scrawling on there are starting to be smaller and smaller, take less and less time and seem more and more doable. I think there’s the tiniest, most misiscule, itsy-bitsy, teeny weeny chance that this is going to be okay.

Still. The sock is pretty freaked out.

(PS. Dye for Glory results are coming. Hang tough.)

Priorities

I spent the week, all week, struggling with my priorities. On the one hand, if I don’t work on Sock Summit virtually all moments of the day and night I’m not sure I’ll be ready. (I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready actually, I suppose what I mean is “finished” rather than “ready”) On the other hand, Meg was on the Friends for Life Bike Rally – riding 600km for the People with AIDS Foundation… and the thought of a seventeen year old doing something like that and not having their mum and the finish line was more than I could bear. We’d been considering surprising her, and late Thursday I snapped, decided that being a mum had to win this internal war, tossed pretty much my whole office into the car and told Joe to drive.

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He drove. We hauled arse as far as Brockville, stayed in a cheap motel (with wi-fi, so I could work) I worked into the night, slept a little, then worked until checkout – then got back in the car again the next morning and drove into Montreal while I kept on working from what became my road office.

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(I’d like to take a minute to point out that Joe is actually one of the best husbands in the world. He really is. He’s game, he’s good natured, and he knows better than to buck a woman this close to the edge. I say “I need to be in Montreal tomorrow” and he says “Awesome. I’ll get my keys.” I say I have to plaster the car in post-it’s and keep working the whole way there, and he wipes the dash so they’ll stick real good and gets himself some cd’s to listen to while he drives. He’s taken a lot of Sock Summit heat, and I just love him to death for all that he does for me. It’s like he’s Captain of the good ship Hellofaguy.)

So we pull into Montreal (on the way there Meg texts us that they’re almost there – I don’t tell her I’m on my way) and and we can’t find the place and I’m flipping out. I mean, we take all this time that I don’t really have and I make Joe drive seven hours to get to see Meg, Ken and Pato pull in, and I can’t find it? I’m on the phone with Rachel H, she’s google mapping and website checking and I’m yelling “I’m on Rue Sainte-Catherine!” when a woman walks up and says “It’s here. This is the place. If you’re waiting for someone on the ride, they’re coming in here, but not for a while, so there’s time to get a coffee” and she’s so familiar to me, you know? I totally know this woman, I’m sure of it, and then I’m about to say “Have we met? I’m sure I know you” when Joe leans over and says “Holy cow that’s Ann Medina” and my gosh it is, and I don’t know her – she’s famous, almost everybody knows her (or her voice) and we chat with Anne for a while and it turns out she’s waiting for her best friend’s son Phil, and we tell her about Meg, Pato and Ken, and then there’s Pato’s older brother, and soon it’s a little party, and more people come, and more people. Then the crew that’s been supporting the riders for six days shows up and that’s really exciting, because if the crew’s there, then the riders can’t be far away.

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We all wait, we all look up the road and wait. We know they’ll have a police escort, we know that they do the last 10k as one big mass of blue. A big force of riders coming up the road, and that’s not the sort of thing you can miss, but they’re still not there. We wait, and wait more and finally someone yells “I see them!” and I ran out to see if I could see them coming, and I could.

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Way down the road, there they all are – and I’m so excited I can’t stand it. Will she be happy to see us? Is it going to be one of those things where parent’s make a supreme effort to turn up and the kid’s all “Hey, what are you doing at my party – and um… how long are you staying?”

Finally, when I think I can’t stand it anymore, and everyone around me is cheering, the riders arrive…

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riders and riders,

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and riders and riders… and I can’t find Meg and Pato, or Ken… and Pato’s brother yells “GOT THEM!” and he points and there they come, my little Megaboo… riding in, part of this great huge thing…

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and I should MEGGIE!…. and she looks at me, and her face lights up, and she yells “MUMMY”, and I started to laugh, because she must have been glad to see me, because she’s just about 18 years old, and she gave up calling me “mummy” in public a lot time ago. They all ride by and she’s gone, into the crush, and Joe yells “I’m going to find her! ” and he’s gone too.

We found them, the three of them after a period of confusion, and I was so happy to see her. So happy I choose her over the Summit (sorry Tina) and they danced and celebrated.

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Meg introduced me to all her new friends…

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I met Ann Medina’s Phil

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and I took a good look at the three riders I love especially. The People With Aids Foundation does some pretty awesome work, they really do, and this ride does a lot more good, but I’ll be forever grateful for what it’s given me, which is a chance to see my little Megaboo not just as my child, but as a woman with a heart of gold, the willpower of a woman twice her age, and the strength of an ox.

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I’m so proud of all of them. Three cheers for my three riders. I love them all.