Yarncaching

When it comes time to tell you about Sock Camp, I’m always sorry that we have a media ban there.  What happens at Sock Camp stays at Sock Camp, and that cone of silence is in place because Tina and I love the idea of a place where you can entirely be yourself without worrying about what’s going to end up on YouTube. (I assure you, that Marcy showed us all something this weekend that would make the world a better place were it on YouTube, and that JC Briar owns something and used it in a way you wouldn’t believe without me showing you the banned photos. Use your imagination, know that it is failing you,  and if I outlive her, someday I’ll post them.)


I could tell you about the hats. I could tell you about the tea party, I could tell you about the scavenger hunt or Anna Zilboorg’s workshop (I tell you, her brain is a big, broad, trippy, place to hang out) I could tell you how very, very funny Anne Hanson is (I bet you suspected) or I could tell you about the circumstances that led her to I knit a tiny swatch out of 100% acrylic.


I could tell you about my class, which was about sock repair, I could tell you about the food (oh my, the food) I could tell you about Stephen doing a killer job, and Debbi’s endless good humour, flexibility and grace under fire, or I could tell you about finding these bizarre tiny chickens everywhere I go, even now, after the camp’s done – I could tell you that I’ve had a sore throat from laughing so much, and that I can’t believe the way the Inn staff got into it this year.  (Think costumes.)

It is four days where knitters run the world, and I like the way it looks like that – and I think the Resort at Port Ludlow has finally come to like it that way too. This camp (like other events here) campers yarnbombed the inn.  Little knitted decorations sprang up and were attached to the most wonderful spots.  Knitting from lampshades, around door handles, not just placed there either.  Sewn on.

There was a great moment at camp, when Tina and I are waiting to begin antics and we couldn’t find a few campers. When we asked where they were,  someone lifted the tablecloth, and underneath it, was a little clutch of knitters  huddled under the table, using their phones for light while they sewed a big chunk of knitting to the table support.

I almost cried I loved it so much.

It always breaks my heart that we just get things the way we like them here, and they we leave and it all just goes back to being the way that regular people think hotels should look, and I’ve never understood why they feel the need to take the yarn bombings down.  I feel like the knitters have improved the inn, created art, beautified the place… that’s why I just about fell off my chair when yesterday Debbie, the wonderful new General Manager here, breezed by the table where Tina and I were having breakfast, and dropped a copy of an email the staff was discussing right in front of us.

In it, they talk about how fantastic the yarnbombings are. How they think they should leave them up for a month after we leave, every time… and how maybe there should be special events around ordinary people looking for and enjoying the art that the knitters create and leave behind – and that maybe they should think about it like geocaching

Unbelievable, and the best possible end to Camp. 

123 thoughts on “Yarncaching

  1. I hope they keep it! What’s more cozy than some wool booties on a table anyhow?
    One of these days, I’ll make it to Sock Camp. What a great time!

  2. That is wonderful! Stitch by stitch, knitters really are taking over the world.

  3. They GET it! And not only do they get it, they want to share it, sure that others will want to come be a part in enjoying it. Fabulous! Congratulations!

  4. Sounds wonderful! Maybe someday there will be a sock camp or sock summit on the east side of the continent? Or the middle?

  5. I have been loving your pictures. I really look forward to the sock camp ones (the ones you can share, anyway :). Someday I hope to be one of your intrepid sock-campees, but until then thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t tell us about all that secret stuff. You might’ve been drummed out next year. That was a close one. And now I’m suddenly struck with the urge to knit socks for my dining room chairs…

  7. Wonderful, wonderful to be media-free! So hard to remember what the world was like before cell phones, digital cameras, the internet… I guess we have a love/hate relationship with them, but a little holiday is probably a good thing.

  8. Love it!! I think they should leave them up! What a great philosophy you and Tina have re privacy!!

  9. I am so going next year. You are having one next year, right? Where do I sign up?

  10. I cannot express with mere words how happy this makes me…and how I long to be a part of something like this, and how totally awesome (overused word, I know, but in this instance, so true!) even just these little snippets you share with us are!

  11. Our son certainly understand geocaching, and he may even get the nebulous link between geocaching and knitting! So it goes.
    Sounds like a great time.
    I quite like the idea of some sort of media blackout for a short duration – it would be a real trip away. It might be a little outside some people’s comfort zones.

  12. To avoid sounding totally whinily jealous I am going right past the whole camp thing and focusing on the caching thing. A friend of mine geocaches, and I recently read a pretty good book in which geocaching figures prominently in the plot, but I didn’t see myself getting into it… but if there were a nonzero chance that a cache could have yarn in it?
    So. there.

  13. Sock Camp sounds like so much fun. I just finished my first pair (YES!!) and have sworn a solemn oath that SOMEDAY I, TOO, WILL BE THERE!

  14. Yarncaching! I love it! (Also, totally going to come up with small yarny things to leave behind whenever I go geocaching now… ).

  15. So, in your final picture, is that really a piece of chocolate wrapped in knit? If so, beyond beyond fantastic way to end Camp indeed.

  16. That looks like so much fun! I swear I am going to start yarnbombing the hotels I stay in. Hampton Inns of the world, look out! 🙂

  17. A knitting scavanger hunt! That would be so cool! On the paired statues, it looks like someone knitted the one statue a pair of lungs. Or am I really seeing things?

  18. I’ve never been to Sock Camp, but the staff at your hotel sound a lot like the hotel we had a science fiction convention at for many years. Duckon had a bit of everything… Furries, Techies, Artists and Klingons… and the staff of the hotel looked forward to us every year … after the Klingons broke up a bar fight one year when the Bulls were in the playoffs. I’m telling you… if you’re a drunk Chicago Bulls fan and a 6’7 Klingon in a tuxedo tells you to knock it off… unless you’re REALLY STUPID, you stop.

  19. That’s not how you…oh wait…maybe it is. 🙂 I got Anne’s awesome little 6 by 6 swatch and am totally getting it framed. Also will probably make some kind of little narrative tag for it. Like a museum piece.

  20. Your sock camp report is the only thing that eases the fact that I’m not there.
    So much fun! But of course socks are inspirational.

  21. And here I was wondering if this was a new way to bend the rules for a no-stash yarn diet. I’m not stashing, I’m caching!

  22. Wow. I hope to attend one year. It sounds amazing and transformative, and looks like an unbelievable amount of fun!

  23. You know Steph, next time we are together I can show you what geocaching is 🙂 I will bring my GPSr and show you how things are hidden “in plain sight”

  24. Please Please Please let them keep them up. Then I can drive over (only about 30 minutes) and get to share a little bit of Sock Camp.
    It would so fit the atmosphere of that area (Jefferson County).
    P.S. I’m also a geocacher.

  25. wow, sounds like you had a really good time. maybe someday i’ll be able to go. hopefully you’ll be able to share more about what went on.
    and i absolutely love the yarnbombing.

  26. The world needs more nonsensical fun in it, and I think the knitbombers and the hotel staff have figured that out. Bravo!

  27. Stephanie,
    You’ve truly captured the spirit of sock camp. I had the most amazing time.
    I learned so much. I knit. I wore a witch’s hat. I ate too much (the food was fabulous). I laughed ’til I cried and I cried for joy. I communed with other knitters. I saw an otter swimming. I yarn bombed. I knit for a wee child. I dyed. I shared my room with a lovely young and very promising knitter. I watched the eagles. I sang with a chorus of knitters. I crafted. I scavenged. I held a tiny, tiny hermit crab in my hands. I took another step away from being judgmental (mostly I judge myself unfairly and others sometimes too!) And I came away a better person for it.
    Thank you Tina, Stephanie, Debbi and Stephen. Thank you Anna, Anne and JC.
    I am so blessed and I shall return!
    Naomi aka Crystal Belle

  28. I talked with Susan as she wandered the Inn looking for the yarnbombs and taking pictures. There is serious thought being given to leaving the yarn bombing in place for awhile and also a promise made to leave the “hidden” ones in place. (She’d walked right past one that I knew about.) I got one placed that she’s certain will stay there until next camp if not longer because no one will see it unless they really look for it. Kind of like her Koala Bears.

  29. The yarnbombing gave the hotel a homey, personal touch that is always lacking in public accomodations. I hope they go through with the plan to leave the knitting up for a month!

  30. I love the little socks on the table legs. In some crazy way, it makes me want to make some for some of the tables in my house. Or to replace those felt sliding-things that you put on the bottom of chair legs. Maybe these would be socks that I’d actually be able to finish!

  31. sock camp sounds amazing, your post makes me wish i could have been there (sadly the uk is rather a ways from america) if for nothing else than the yarn bombing event. i love the idear of yarn cashing, as it were, maybe it will catch on (fingers crossed), it would be such a great was to get people into knitting and crochet or at least appreciate them more.

  32. Yarncaching is a brilliant idea. Now I am fiddling with the details of how to make it work. There are plenty of knitters in Pittsburgh who would be all over this idea.

  33. What IS is about yarn bombing that just makes me smile? Outside one of my yarn stores, they have knitted a cozy for the light pole and it makes me get all warm and gushie inside every single time I see it.
    Note to self: Must yarn bomb my sister’s house someday.
    Glad you had a wonderful time, Stephanie. You deserve some good times.

  34. I am positively green, I would so much like to come some time and join all this. When the youngest is out of college, and the college no longer requires a pound of flesh each month…sigh. So glad it was fun.

  35. Inspirational, as always. Just (re)started my first pair of socks last night at knit-nite; moved to this new city 8 months ago, and it’s the knitters there who are the most fun & welcoming. Maybe we could spread this yarn-bombing all over? like Hilarie as seen, above?

  36. Please don’t be a yarn tease if you can’t show and tell. Living vicariously through those that are able to attend Sock Camp is a special event on the calender. ;>)

  37. i’m so glad you couldn’t share everything with us – i’m already overwhelmed by envy…anything more and my head would probably burst! but i think yarn-caching is a very fine idea…

  38. I’m so glad you, Tina, Stephen, Debbi and all the campers had a good time. I think it probably was a great stress release in the run up to Sock Summit. I’m ready for that one.

  39. Sounds like a suggestion for Casey. Maybe he can add a mod to Ravelry like the geocache site.

  40. In England and a little in the US there is this thing called Letter Boxing. It isn’t done with GPS’s and coordinates, It is done with poems and clues.
    They should host a poem group just after the Sock Camp and then a graphic art group(to create the pamphlet) 🙂
    I would love to visit then.

  41. Oh, please, please, PLEASE consider a Sock Camp on the east coast! Some of us will never get a chance to get to the west coast and Sock Camp sounds like too wonderful an experience not to attend at least once in a knitter’s life.

  42. Yarn caching sounds like a lot of fun. Originally my brain wanted to think of this as special excavating (or rotating the stash) of yarns buried deep in the stash, but your way is much more of a group activity.

  43. Is there any crocheting allowed at sock camp or just knitting? Inquiring minds want to know.

  44. What an inspiration! I am saving my money for sock camp, so I can be a part of this wonderful explosion of knitters! I agree w/ Colleen, I think little socks for my furniture instead of those felt things is an awesome idea! Thanks for so much inspiration Steph!

  45. What a cool blog entry today. I love the “yarn bombings”. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  46. I LOVE that the Inn staff are so excited about the knitters and the art that the knitters create! How wonderful to be appreciated and loved like that! 🙂

  47. I think I’m in love with the yarn in the 4th picture-the sock on the table leg. Do you have any idea what it is?

  48. Kudos to you guys…it just goes to show that you couldn’t have picked a better hotel to host Sock Camp. I love that they get it!

  49. What a wonderful resort. You are right, they look like beautiful fiber art and I’m making rock covers for my dining room table too. Maybe I’ll make a lot of them and give them as Christmas presents. That will teach them to take my knitted hats and socks lightly!

  50. I think it’s a great idea to leave them in place. What a wonderful treat for tired parents to have a “knit in” scavenger hunt for their children! Very sad to have missed all of the fun. Thinking of ideas to yarn bomb my town!

  51. Yarn bomb geocaching is an idea I approve! Think of all the fun kids (of all ages)will have searching for the wooly art work.

  52. The yarn bombings sound like a hoot and half…a great way to cheer up the hotel staff who are constantly on the look-out for bed bugs. You know it’s more fun to look for yarn bombs…although the word bombs is loaded. You would be hauled off to the jail if you mentioned that word in the airport. So i fully support using an alternate word..yes in the interest of political correctness since no one should end up at the police department just cuz they talked about yarn bombs at the local airport. Just saying…

  53. OMG. Now I REALLY want to go to Sock Camp next year. I’m a school teacher; I’ll have to take time without pay, plus the travel expense, plus the cost of camp. Totally worth it!!! Priceless!!

  54. Hmmm… geocaching/ mystery KAL/ multiple clues must be knit to find the location of the next clue until you EVENTUALLY get to the prize – a nice hank of STR!! Hmmmmm…. I’d go for that!!!

  55. So fun. Once the knitted decorations are taken down, where do they go? Does the staff have a special box labeled, ” Yarn art?” where they are secretly stored?

  56. Thanks for all you and Tina due and all the lovely staff and teachers and campers, you are all “the bonb”! Rest up .:)

  57. Make that do but maybe my tired brain is telling me I owe all of you.

  58. I’m glad all of you had such a grand and glorious time … but wish it were something other than sock camp. Maybe mitten camp???? 🙂

  59. ohhh, to have been there! I attended the Silk Retreat last year (?)…Port Ludlow has a little bit of my heart there.. love that place and love the yarn bombing/geocaching idea.. PERFECT. FYI.. our knitting/spinning group did a “yarn bomb” – we hand knit hats.. and then a friend and I put them in ziplock bags with a note “you’ve been yarn bombed. here is a hand knit hat to keep your head warm” then we “stashed” them in a local park where we know homeless hang-out/sleep at night.. Just another spin on “bombing” YarnBombII will probably be baskets full of mug insulator wraps to have out at local coffee shops….

  60. Some of it is way over the top for most people, but I wondered if there were some few really special pieces, if they might just leave them up.

  61. How wonderful to leave the decorations up and even encourage people to come and see them!

  62. What a wonderful compliment! It shows that it’s a great place to go and that you all are a great team.
    Knitters will take over the world!

  63. awww, camp was so much fun this year; thank you again for having me come teach. i really enjoy working with you an tina too and i especially love making tina laugh!

  64. I am in Indiana at a quilting, knitting and spinning Retreat…I am the only one spinning, but its the same. People are together, doing the same thing with love, affection and laughter. I go home tomorrow and I will leave with hugs and tears to start my 2 day drive home to northern Ontario.
    It is important for us to get together, to share and laugh, but mostly to just “Be”
    Thanks for putting into words what I feel Stephanie.

  65. As much as I would LOVE to see pictures of everything and everyone, I applaud the decision to keep Sock Camp “media-free.” For those of you who are well-known it must be wonderful to just let go and be yourselves being goofy or serious or tired, or even cranky or giddy, without fear of that moment being immortalized for the world to see and share. All the wonderful teachers deserve for Sock Camp to be a bit of a break, albeit an arduous task to put together. And kudos to all the attendees who honored the media ban; it can’t be easy to refrain from sharing all the fun.
    P.S. LOVE the knitted dragonfly!!!!!
    Storm from Florida

  66. There’s such a thing as sock repair??? Is there a tutorial on it somewhere? My husband is a bottomless pit as far as handknitted socks go, but he always wears holes in the toe and heel after about six months (wears ill-fitting boots. A battle I have lost many times over).

  67. I love it! like graffiti but in yarn form. there is a yarn bombing book by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain that looked pretty cool.

  68. Someday, when I am out of grad school and have a paying job like a real grown up, I want to go to sock camp! It sounds like so much fun! Thanks for the pics of the yarnbombings!

  69. I love the yarnbombing. My lys has a retreat at a local hotel and spa every year. This year we yarnbombed a tree outside the side entrance. The staff liked it so much they have left it up and put a laminated sign next to it explaining what it is.

  70. Holy flippin’ hell! You have a Wikipedia page! That is awesome – you are the “Michael Jordan of knitting”. I am verklempt and somehow proud for all knitters, all at the same time. (Sorry for the swearing. I’m bad that way).

  71. Oh my, all the yarn bombings were great, but what really got me and I love the most were the little socks on the table legs!! The cuteness, I may die from the cuteness 🙂
    I love how the staff enjoyed things so much that they want to leave things up for a month. I love that idea and I think it would make a great conversation piece for the hotel visitors that come after Sock Camp.

  72. Jealous! Even just going on the small amount you can tell us about sock camp…I need to go.
    Also, I need to start yarnbombing, because how cool is that?

  73. Love the “yarn bombings”, what way to leave your mark! I hope they leave them alone for a while, it adds such a neat ambiance (sp?)

  74. Camp was a blast this year. Honestly, JC made me laugh so hard my stomach ached the next day. I checked with the residents of the room I had at the Silk Retreat in Nov., and one of my bombs remained! (I thought it might. It was sneaky and unobtrusive.)

  75. I totally think they should leave the yarn bombings up. It would make it so much fun for other knitters who come to stay there! (like me, ahem.;D)

  76. Although it does not speak well to my character, I must admit that I am sososososososososososo jealous. Might have to have an all-week pout.

  77. I love the yarn bombings of table legs and hand rails and lamps – furniture yarn bombing is fun. But, at the risk of being a wet blanket (handknit, of course), yarn bombing art work, such as sculptures, is disrespectful of the artist, despite your good intentions, and could even be an infringement of the artist’s intellectual property rights (moral rights) in the work. Remember the sculptures of the flying geese in the Eaton Centre in Toronto that were decorated for Xmas many years ago? The artist took a very dim view of this (and so did the courts).
    So let’s show some respect for non-fibre artists and leave their works to be seen as the artist intended them to be seen!

  78. Camp was sooo much fun! Thank you for posting these pics. And in case anyone else reads this and is curious. That marble table was so freaking heavy! It took two of us to lift it on one side so another person could slip on the little socks. Of course we were laughing the whole time.
    I loved loved loved coming across all the yarn bombs during the week. Brilliant stuff – I love knitters to pieces.

  79. As a longtime geocacher and new knitter, I LOVE IT! Maybe instead of signing a log as you usually do in geocaching, though, geocaching knitters could add a row in their favorite yarn or color? Maybe that would be impractical, but it’s fun to think of such things!

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