Easier than we thought

A wild and wonderful weekend of work, here at Sock Summit World Headquarters, and in between the work with the waitlist and students and teachers and vendors and spreadsheets and maps – Tina and I finished up really the best part of an event that’s brand new to Sock Summit, and one we hope you’re going to love. (We’re hoping that even if you can’t come to the Summit, this one is going to be cool from a distance.)
We trucked our little selves out to Jan McMahon‘s little farm, and we had a visit with some sheep.

They were good sheep, and we got a tour, and visited with Ginger the sheep dog (and Sean the sheep dog – a retired border collie who figured out we were there about an hour after we arrived) and had a chat with Jan.

Then we took a good look at her sheep, and had a lovely pat on some beautiful coated lambs, and then we met two sheep that are going to be good friends to us in the future.

Meet Heel Flap and Gusset. Two beautiful CMV/Merino crossbreeds, who will be serving a noble purpose in the service of the Sock Summit.
On Sunday, the 31st of July, Jan is going to put those two pretty little lambs into a trailer, and she’s going to drive them to the Oregon Convention Center –

and once they’re there, they will meet their shearer (It’s Amy Wolf. I know. It’s all very exciting) and then they’ll get ready for their event.

Their event? We’ve devised the first ever Fleece To Foot Challenge. (You’re going to love this.) The sheep will be sheared, right there in the convention center – and everyone can watch – and then the fleeces will be divided up and distributed to the teams. What teams?

Teams made up of five spinners and knitters – and those teams will prep, spin, ply and knit A PAIR OF SOCKS in the least amount of time possible. It’s like a race. To make it fair, they’ll all knit the same pair of socks, and to make it possible, that pair of socks will be modular. Each knitter will make parts of a sock, and it will be assembled at the last. (There’s a design contest for the pattern too.) All proceeds, including the prizes go to charity, and Tina and I are footing the bill for the space, sheep, fleeces, shearer and the donations to the charities of the participants choice. The rules are on the Fleece to Foot page of our website, and man.. do we ever hope you all love this idea, because if nobody forms teams and takes part we’re going to look pretty stupid hanging out with two sheep and a shearer. (Although really, we both spin – so we could find a way out of it.)

We’re thinking costumes, themes, general mayhem, and we’d love it if you helped us spread the word. We have the sheep, and the sheep are ready.

Remarkably, we just went to a big planning meeting at the Oregon Convention Center, where we showed them pictures of the sheep, explained how we were going to do this, and how it was going to be fine, and it worked.

Don’t tell them, but I sort of feel like we just pulled a Jedi mind trick on them. I sat there, casually projecting all sorts of relaxed ideas onto them, even though Tina (who simply cannot be managed in any sort of way, I tell you) had thwarted my efforts by writing on the schedule "3:30 – Fleece to Foot ends. Shorn sheep are released into the Convention Center"

(They didn’t notice that. The force is strong within me.) I just kept sitting there, waving my hands in a calming way and acting for all the world like live sheep shorn anywhere we want them are just fine.

"You will allow us to do this in the Convention Center. Live sheep are fine in the Convention Center. These live sheep are absolutely fine. They are not the live sheep you are seeking."

201 thoughts on “Easier than we thought

  1. As always loving the blog. If only I could make it across the pond….maybe one year

  2. And to think there are folks who fail to see the sheer drama in sock knitting!!!

  3. just told this to my husband and he said, “that doesn’t sound weird at all to me.”
    the force is so strong with you that it worked on him!!!

  4. I can’t wait to watch, and would love to participate in some way, if only I were a better spinner/knitter. I thought about submitting something for the pattern contest, but I have a lot to do before the end of July (like knit socks, so I won’t be the only attendee wearing cheap ones from Target). I’m sure you’ll be beating hopeful participants away with your knitting needles.

  5. Oh how I wish I had enough vacation time built up that I could go to Comic-Con AND Sock Summit.

  6. I’m going on a tour of Scotland this summer which just happens to include a visit to a sheep farm with herding dogs. I’m hoping there happens to be some wool for me to buy close by.
    Also wish I was able to go to Sock Summit too.

  7. Holy Moly!!! That is the craziest best idea I have ever heard. Wish I could be there for the fun. Will be awaiting updates!

  8. What a hoot! You’re almost making me wish I hadn’t booked classes that day 😉

  9. Who gets the fun job of cleaning the fleece so the spinners aren’t picking sheep dung out of it? Will the animals come pre-cleaned?

  10. Good luck and great fun with this race. Did you get the idea from the “International Back to Back Wool Challenge”? Toronto Spiders won again this year (for the fourth time I think). They sheared, spun, knit a sweater in UNDER 6 hours.

  11. Knittable sheep AND dogs in the one place? Heaven!
    Oh, and the fleece to foot thing sounds like so much fun… but I’m a little too fixated on the lovely doggie photo…

  12. Not only is the whole sheep to sock idea amazing —- and I’m sure you’ll get oodles of teams —- but the Jedi mind trick on a convention center planning mgr is advanced Yoda. Now I understand the whole as-little-housework-as-possible thing. Oh hubby? I was thinking ……

  13. Will spectators be able to donate to their favorite team with the proceeds going to the winning teams charity?
    I have been running on a long needed happy dance of anticipation since my registration came through. Thank you for coming up with so very many fun things for knitters to do.

  14. Will the lambs be bathed *before* being shorn? Seems like there would be a shortage of time for washing/drying fleece under the Convention Center circumstances….
    S.F. Bay Area, CA

  15. OMG I love the last image …”these live sheep are absolutely fine. They are not the sheep you are seeking”.
    Blogs like today’s reinforce my addiction, or should I say make the force of my addiction be strong!
    Giggles, thanks and hugs

  16. Maybe they’ve heard about how furry cons sometimes have things like live tigers in the convention center (or hotels) and decided the sheep sounded safer? 😀

  17. What a WONDERFUL idea. You are going to have more people wanting to sign up than you know what to do with. Can’t wait to see photos from the event!

  18. OMG!!!! This is so incredibly awesome!!! I hope to find a team to be on. I’m a pretty fast knitter (I only say “pretty fast” because I’m speaking to you—the lightning knitter!) and also spin fairly fast as well. What a blast this is going to be!!!

  19. First: Bless your cotton socks.
    Second: I love how you use The Force for Knitterly Good!
    Third: I can’t wait to meet Heel Flap and Gusset.

  20. I just have to say…the sheep shearer’s name is Wolf?? Really??
    It all sounds like tons of fun. Maybe someday I’ll get there.

  21. Coolest. Thing. Ever. This just cries out for a webcam – honestly, it is just about the best idea I have ever herd of (oh, bad pun, guilty as charged). But really, how cool would that be to watch – it is a Survivor meets Mr Dressup kind of craftiness.

  22. Heel Flap and Gusset sound so much better than Short Row and Afterthought. Glad I’m going to be there to see this! Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  23. You must – MUST – video tape this event for those poor souls (or mainly, just me) who cannot attend. Happy shearing and may the flock be with you!

  24. I think you will be fine with Heel Flap, but Gusset . . . there in the back? Keep you eye on Gusset, that’s a trouble maker if I’ve ever seen one.

  25. I so wish I could go, if only for more great puns like “footing the bill”. Hehehe! Oh, those pretty blue eyes on the sheep… Please promise pictures? YouTube videos, perhaps?

  26. I love this idea, and I soooo wish I could go, it sounds like loads of fun! Will the modular sock pattern for this fun event be available to the public after the event??

  27. Fantastic. But please proofread your SS website — throughout the instructions it says “pair of socks” but at the very end it says “Judging: The first team to finish and have their _sock_ approved by the judges will be declared the winner.” D’you mean “sock” or “socks”??

  28. That is such an awesome idea. I love that you are using your jedi powers for fibre instead of evil…use the force. ~ksp

  29. Some day I am not going to be paying colleges staggering amounts of money to educate my children, and then I am going to come and have fun doing this absolutely make me snort fun kind of thing with you. some day…

  30. What a fantastic idea! In fact, it’s EWEsome! Ok, a bit cheesy, but I wish you the best of luck.

  31. My husband likes to combine words to make funny little punny ideas. So, I just read him this post explaining that not only are you wonderfully funny, you love fiber and sheep and knitting, AND you’re a Star Trek/Star Wars style geek, too. Perfect!
    So, he said, if you combine sheep and geek, you get “sheek” … it’s like chic, only sheepier and geekier 🙂

  32. I hope you didn’t tell Heel Flap and Gusset who’ll be shearing them. And I guess if your name is Wolf, you’d kinda have to work with sheep.

  33. Love the idea, can’t wait to hear how it goes.
    Also loved the Kinnear’d photo at the end – showing mind force technique?

  34. Brilliant! I’ve loved Sheep to Shawl contests I’ve been to in the past. Always the best part of a Sheep Fair.

  35. I love the Jedi reference! They do fleece to shawl at the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool, so why not Sheep to Foot at Sock Summit? It makes perfect sense to me!

  36. Wonderful! I’m so excited you’re in Portland planning such wonderful things. I live right down the street from CPR- any chance you’ll be there collecting volunteers like last time?

  37. this idea is soooooo cool! Congratulations on coming up with it and making it happen. Yay for you!

  38. Can’t make it to Sock Summit, but would love to contribute to the Fleece to Foot charity prizes! Please let me know if I can help.

  39. Crazy. In a good, unable to see obstacles, way. And very entertaining. But crazy. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Knitters are truly the most brilliant people with ewesome ideas. Can’t wait. Keep those clever ideas coming.
    I’m so excited that even experiencing this vicariously will be fun. There really is no such thing as too much fun.

  41. I want to go……..
    And sheep wandering about a Convention Centre – perfectly fine idea.

  42. Simply green over here. With envy. Because I would have TOTALLY organized a team and spun my fingers to nubs for this one.
    Maybe next time. But you all have a blast and fix it so the rest of us can watch from wherever we are.

  43. Please, please, please tell me that with free wifi, you’re going to offer us a live stream of this event with suggested donations to the charity of choice?
    My family will think that I am even more insane than I already appear to be for wanting to spend time watching this. But I would do it anyhow.

  44. You’re hilarious. And that is a GREAT idea!! I always watch the sheep to shawl contest at the PA farm show every year. ‘course I watch it on TV, but that’s pretty fun too!

  45. Love this! So you totally want to bring the Sock Summit to Iowa — right????? I’m so jealous I can’t be there!

  46. I’m so bummed I’ll be on business travel that week. I’d love to see sheep shorn in the Oregon Convention Center. 🙁

  47. “Shorn sheep are released into the Convention Center”
    OMG!!! Laughed so hard I nearly choked!!!
    Love the idea – wish I could be there!! LOTS of pictures please?
    Lush xox

  48. too freaking funny.
    I once had to drive from Chicago to Los Angeles with 3 guinea pigs (don’t ask) and we took them into restaurants with us (to keep them from melting in the car while we ate.) Owners said, “Oh sorry, animals aren’t allowed.” We said, “Oh, these are guinea pigs!” Worked.

  49. I read this my husband and he said, “Sounds like they’re going to have a Wool Throwdown.” As long as no one is wrestling–the sheep or each other– I’m sure it’s going to be exciting!”

  50. Live sheep at the convention centre, go for it!
    Every time I send my kids to camp at the ROM, I am asked if they liked it, if the counsellers were good, etc, and if I have any ideas for other camps, and I always suggest a “sheep to shawl” sort of camp…. and they never go for it. I hope yours works out wonderfully!

  51. I know you and Tina didn’t come up with this just for me, but it kinda feels like you did! This is gonna be a whole lotta fun!

  52. I have to admit, I generally find your blog vastly entertaining, but this post…. this one had me repeatedly laughing out loud!!!

  53. Are the sheep bringing their blankies with them? Why are the sheep wearing blankies? (I’m a knitting city girl who doesn’t know sheep.)

  54. Like a lot of others here, I just read this out loud to my husband (we’re both Star Wars fans). Anyway, 2 years ago when I mentioned the Sock Summit to him, he just looked at me strangely. After reading this to him, he immediately said, “You should go!” I giggled and said, “Uh-huh.” “No, really, you should go!”
    So maybe not this year (we have a grandbaby on the way then), but I’m definitely looking into the Sock Summit next year!

  55. Please, please, please consider putting live cams in the convention center for the shearing and general mayhem! Oh I wish I could be there, but it simply isn’t possible. We need SS11 SHEEP CAM. p l e a s e. Oh, and we need remote cam/class available too. So we can all attend all of the classes we sign up for online. I’d pay and so would everyone else. oh pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease. With sheep on top?

  56. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! oh how i LOVE it! you are geniuses. i can’t even begin to imagine how much fun this will be. i know i cannot be there, but have you thought of some kind of live action streaming video or something so i and others who can’t be there, can kinda feel like we are there? in any case i can NOT wait to see how this plays out!
    ps: what a beautiful blue eyed sheep that is in your first pic!

  57. THAT is an awesome contest. And I love how you used your Jedi powers for good. You crack me up 😀

  58. I’ve been in a couple of sheep-to-shawl (woven) “competitions” at the Estes Park Wool Market in Colorado years ago. The only thing that got done ahead of the competition was the shearing and washing of the fleece. It was great fun! Hope Fleece to Foot is also.

  59. Being mothers and used to living moving creatures, I guess you have realised that these sheep move, pee and poo, and that these smells can get a little ‘agricultural’. I hope you have all these considerations worked out, well enough so that the p&p can fall to a lower level than the one the sheep are standing on. (From a blog follower who lives in the land of more than 40 million sheep and only 4 million people)
    The rest sounds like a blast.

  60. The Portland Spinnerati and PDX Knit Bloggers are already plotting. 😉 I’m sure there’ll be plenty who want to challenge the locals!
    P.S. I only hope we can all stop laughing enough to work on the socks if the sheep *do* get turned loose…

  61. I always figured sheep-to-shawl events did woven shawls instead of knitted because it couldn’t be done fast enough. Knitting and assembling a modular piece is a masterstroke. Brilliant! But still, an entire pair of socks??!

  62. I like watching the sheep shearing at the county fair – and your sheep are gorgeous compared to the ones at our event. Briliant idea!

  63. OOh, I wish I could be there. I’ll be starting my (hopefully) last year of teaching that week. Have you considered auctioning off the socks? Online silent auction or live web auction thingie? Otherwise, there may be bloodshed at the end of the day….

  64. Sounds wonderful – everyone knitter should see a shearing at the very least, it really is interesting. All the animals I have seen practically go to sleep while the shearer is at work!

  65. Oooooooohhhhh, a certain sheep named Dolores will be so pi-, er, ticked off! Not that she would consent to do any of the stuff Heel Flap and Gusset will be doing at SS11, but she DOES need to keep in the faces of. . .er, keep her face in front of her adoring fans. (Did you talk to Franklin about sending Dolores on a trip to Bora Bora during SS11?)

  66. OH! YES! way cool! ROFLMAO! Laughing so hard that I can’t type a suitable reply. I do sheep to shawl competitions every year. This is righteous! Just remember the pooper-scooper!

  67. okay, you’ve really gone too far this time. This is simply just NOT nice. I was going to make it to Sock Summit this year. Then life happened. I WAS able to get a spinning wheel, however, and I have become obsessed with sheep and their fleece to the point that I’m not sure I’ll ever knit with anything but handspun again. And now this? There better be video, or pictures at the very least!

  68. I bet the guys at OCC wouldn’t have been so calm if you had mentioned that CMVs are *mutant* sheep.

  69. It’s a great idea. I did a week long clas “sheep to shawl” at Campbell Folk School and it was the best.thing.ever. I am sure this will work fine and produce many happy results 🙂

  70. If I had the money to spare, I’d go to Sock Summit just to see that! I, who have knit exactly one pair of socks in my life, and gave them to my mother (who loves them!). I have to ask: Why are the sheep wearing little jackets?

  71. Hi-larious. Love it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to watch the mayhem at my lunch break from Nancy Bush’s class.

  72. Please, PLEASE take video of the competition. PLEASE! 🙂 and may the force continue to be with you, ObiWan.

  73. I’m so envious I cannot even tell you. My friend Aubrey of Goodies Unlimited will be there, so I’ll be there in that whole “six degrees of separation” thing. If you get her to play with raw fleece, though, I’d love pictures, since she’s not into that, so much. Have FUN with it/them!

  74. I hope the sheep are not hurt or scared in any way. They are shy creatures who might be upset with a change in scene. It’s too bad the shearing could not take place at their home instead of a strange (to them) venue. You could even take a video of it and allow the sock summit attendees to view it rather than frighten these poor wee sheep.

  75. This sounds like a lot of fun. However, in prepping the fleece it will need to be washed. Will there be wash facilities? How about drying? Ovens? Or dryers and mesh bags? How do they do this part when they do sheep to shawl? Just spin stinky wool?
    Just saying… So you can do something about it when there is still time…

  76. Yes, Obi-yarn and DyeMaum have come up with a new use of The Force. Good thing the training group has recently practiced spinning in the grease maneuvers. There may be challenges for the Senknit Assembly. “No training in grease have they” says Yodah.
    (Boy am I glad I only have one lecture that day and it’s first thing in the morning so I will hopefully get to see most of this as it develops.)

  77. I’ve done several fleece to shawl contests – spinning and weaving. They are good fun. The ones I have done in costume are the best. You guys will have a blast, an absolute blast! And, as a sheep raising knitter – it’s always good to remind the rest of the knitting flock where their yarn came from. It creates an appreciation of hte whole process/species working together thing

  78. Not even about the event, but the sheepdog. She looks more like a Nova Scotia Duck Toller than a Border Collie. Maybe it’s the pink nose. /dogthoughts

  79. Um….actually, there’ve been fleece-to-feet contests before, but with circular sock machines. They’re a blast!

  80. I read this and immediately had to share it with someone. My coworkers already know that I am a little crazy, so they just smiled and nodded with a glazed expression. Typical for non fiber people. But sharing was the fun part.

  81. That event will be so much fun! I remember we had a “Sheep to Shawl” event – whereby sheep fleeced; wool spun; yarn put onto small looms; shawl made !!!
    It was a FUN contest also – and it took all day!!!
    Enjoy your new part of SOck Summit.

  82. Oh, gods! Seconding (thirding, fifty-seconding, whatever) the requests for video or webcam or whatever of the event. This is going to be amazing. (And please get a shot of the convention center people’s faces when the Jedi mind thing wears off and they realize there are nekkid sheep running around the place.)

  83. that sounds absolutely awesome Steph! wish i could be there, i would certainly have signed up!
    don’t suppose you want to come down here to Aus and run it at, say, the bendigo sheep and wool show, with some top class merinos?

  84. How about a computer simulcast for all of us peons who can’t get there but would die for the opportunity???!!!

  85. WHAT a FABULOUS idea! I wish that I could be there – I would sign up!! Maybe next year I can make the trek from one coast to the other. Sending calming thoughts for the sheepies from New Jersey.

  86. That sounds like a rollicking good time! Probably best to keep the sheep off the carpet unless they’re housebroken. May the Force be with you…

  87. Please take pictures of the Muggles when they realise it’s lambs and not weird dogs in the convention center. I just took a lamb to a tv show for our sheep shearing festival and the looks I was getting were priceless!

  88. Heel Flap and Gusset will be perfect for Sock Summit. I have to wonder though, are those their birth names? their adopted names? maybe their baptismal into Sock Summit names? Gotta love it!

  89. In addition to your other skills, you really take a great photo of a sheep. Those helpful sheep are really looking us right in the eye. I LOVE them.

  90. Ahhhhh! Steph!! I am so happy to hear about this! You are working with a wonderful shepherd, and of course my favorite sheep! (I have 33 CVMs & a few Corriedales.)
    When friends of mine were young, they turned three sheep loose in a school. On the sides of the sheep were painted #1, #2 & #4. I guess the staff spent quite a bit of time looking for the missing #3 sheep. 😉 No, it’s not a suggestion. . .

  91. When we visited New Zealand a few years ago, we stayed at a B&B owned by a knitting store owner! She told wonderful stories about similar competitions they’d had where teams knitted entire sweaters and raced to finish first! I was amazed.
    Make sure those sheep in the Conv. Ctr. are wearing Pampers!

  92. This is unadulterated awesome! I was laughing so hard I had to share it with my husband, who looked at me really funny when I explained what a ‘sock summit’ was and that one day I desperately wanted to be able to go to one.
    He still thought live sheep in the convention center was gold though.

  93. That’s an awesome idea!!! And I love the concept of a modular sock. Live sheep for the win!

  94. And totally seconding Debra at June 20, 2011 6:33 PM’s idea of a webcam! If anything cried out to be broadcast live over the Internet, surely it’s this.

  95. And totally seconding Debra at June 20, 2011 6:33 PM’s idea of a webcam! If anything cried out to be broadcast live over the Internet, surely it’s this.

  96. Man oh man, do I hope Tina’s right about the completion time, because that’s about when I will have to leave to get to the train station for my trip home.
    Crap. Crap. Crap. Can I afford another night in Portland and are there seats on Amtrak on Monday?

  97. This is such an incredible idea! I just started spinning again, so I look forward to seeing how this goes. Wish I could go to Sock Summit… maybe next year!

  98. Any chance of a live streaming webcast or some other way to encourage donations from those of us who likely won’t be able to attend in person?
    Maybe each team could set up an online FirstGiving.com account. I would gladly give something, particularly if the right “cheerleaders” were involved!

  99. I wouldn’t normally post on your blog but I follow you religiously. I just got really tickled at the thought of a Wolf shearing your sheep!!

  100. Please document everything!!!! This sounds amazing. Can’t wait to view the results!

  101. I bow to the jedi knitting master….and once again wish I could go to the sock summit. Maybe next year.

  102. Just when I think you and Tina couldn’t possibly come up with anything cooler, you smack a sheep to shoe contest on us! Wich I could be there…

  103. Uh oh… What are the chances the Convention Center folk read your blog? …… Naaaaaah. You’re safe.

  104. The jedi mind tricks may have worked this time, but next time? I doubt it…

  105. Bonnie, scared? These sheep will be lucky to be only scared. Imagine being hauled up to whereever, dragged up on to a stage in front of a convention center full of screaming, laughing creatures you don’t understand (knitters) and being under bright lights in a cavernous, echoey place, picked up, flipped over, tossed on your back and shorn. These poor animals are going to be nothing short of TERRIFIED. I feel very very sorry for them. It’s kind of sad what expense humans put animals through for “entertainment.” Please ladies, this about those poor animals – do the shearing in a separate room on closed circuit tv or something reasonably humane. These are thinking, feeling, sensing creatures and this is inhumane!

  106. If this is a real convention center, they were probably thinking, “All they wanna do is shear a couple of sheep? No problem!”
    “Straitjackets” — they protect the fleeces!

  107. Once, when I was a freshman in college living in Portland, I saw a little S-10 pick up truck with a canopy on top driving along beside me across the bridge from Vancouver to Portland. I had to look again because I could tell something was off: THE ENTIRE BED OF THE TRUCK WAS JAM PACKED WITH SHEEP. Fortunatly, this was before I knit, so I didn’t have to fight the desire to overtake the truck, done a handknit ski-mask and shout, “Give me all your wool!”

  108. Even better, you should dye the sheep before shearing, jus tso the socks will be “colorful” when knit!

  109. Dearest and Most Powerful Harlot: All hail to the strength of the force in thee. Dare I even suggest it? How about live streaming webcams action of the Fleece to Foot event? If not free, for a nominal fee to go to Knitters Without Borders? So those unfortunates who cannot attend can pick their team and rally them on? Post team info if the team allows and make sure they have team jerseys! Yes, yes jerseys of their own design are allowed! All hail Stephanie! All aspire to the top of the Summit! And perhaps a very, very, Very lucky few observers might be randomly selected to win these socks. Or auction them off! For Knitters Without Borders – or the charity of each team’s choosing! Oh my, I feel spent now. I will go have a little lie down. All Hail the Heel Flap and Gusset. To the fainting couch. Rest, sweet rest…..

  110. That is seriously a great GREAT idea! Is that the ram in the photos? I’m looking at the ripples on the nose. My ram had those (and I thought he smelled good too – maybe I spend too much time around the sheep). May the fleece be with us.

  111. What ever happened to that blue sock you were bored with knitting? You spoke of it as if we already knew about it, but I couldn’t find anything before that except that you were bored with it.
    The yarn looks so beautiful in the photos, and I was wondering what it was.
    Don’t feel you need to fire off an email to answer this question. There are probably other people who are curious, so mentioning it in a future post is fine.
    BTW, I was so impressed the first time you sent me an email!
    Ten emails later, I feel like I’m being a pest by asking questions.

  112. Your comments about the sheep – kindly treated and regarded with love and affection – brought tears to my eyes. Here in Australia we are fighting for to ban the export of live animals for slaughter in countries with barbaric and cruel slaughter practices. If you love animals fibres, please help us by adding your voices to ours to persuade our politicians to end out this cruel trade. Without your help, we may well lose this fight. For the love of all animals, please help us.

  113. It looks to me like these sheep are pretty well handled and accustomed to chaos on occasion. Being taken to a building and shorn, then returned to the trailer and home is NOT going to terrorize them to death!
    Stress, yes. But who doesn’t stress at the thought of being shorn bald?
    Relax, folks…
    And for those wondering about sheep coats–
    There are two kinds of fleece–‘wild’, or natural uncoated fleeces, which comes complete with loads of dirt, stickers, dung and lanolin; and ‘coated’ fleece, which is oh, so very nice to work with in comparison, since it is protected from the weather, the weeds and hay, most of the dirt and dung….and is SO much easier to shear, sort, skirt and spin!
    So coated is imperative for this kind of thing, especially if it’s to be done ‘in the grease’, without washing the wool before carding/spinning.
    I WANNA GOOOOOO!!!!! I second all the requests for DVDs, webcams, YouTube….!!!
    Shear genius. Just baaasome.

  114. Oh, and as a Californian…I can correct you all! 🙂
    They aren’t CMV; they’re CVM–California Variegated Mutants! 🙂

  115. May the fleece be with you! YES! A new knitter saying! LOVE THIS. And LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of freshly-shorn sheep running around a convention center ANYWHERE. Fab, in general.

  116. I was feeling so disappointed because I am going to miss my LYS’s very first (and my very first) ever sheep shearing event. The LYS somehow managed to schedule it the same weekend as SS11. But now all is well. There will be sheep wandering freely through the convention center. Can’t wait!

  117. I know Jan and her sheep really well. She is the best Shephard ever. Her sheep are use to going here and there and being at shows. They are use to people coming and going and live the most perfect life for a sheep. Jan is very passionate about her fleece quailty and wants to provide spinners with the most incredible spin and knit. She uses about 5 coats per sheep per year, and she has about 50 sheep.
    If you want to see top quality sheep and fleeces come to Black Sheep Gathering and take a look! Or see them at Sock Summit. I’m lucky enough to be spinning and knitting some of her roving and it’s really heaven! Good Luck to all involved!

  118. I hope someone is filming all this because the chaos, camaraderie needs to be recorded for posterity. The first woman/man to wear the sock win?

  119. Bring the sheep, they will come.
    Are the sheep wearing little shawls to keep warm or clean? Inquiring minds want to know.
    You will film this event, you will film this event, you will film this event, you will……..

  120. You’re not a bit sheepish about all those terrible puns, are you? Have a wonderful time, and yes, we wants video! We are demanding fans, we are. “:)

  121. A wild, wacky wonderful woman you are! Wish I were going to Sock Summit with my friend Jill who turned me on to your supercool blog.

  122. I hate to be thick, but why are the sheep wearing coats? Does that protect their fleece while it’s growing?

  123. Surely I can’t be the only one to comment that when Amy wears her wool socks she’s a Wolf in sheep’s clothing! (Sorry.)

  124. A wolf to shear the sheep. Grandma what big shears you have. All the better to take your wool !

  125. It’s a natural!! If I’d known that there’d be spinning, I would have tried to get there. But I’m holding out desperate hope that there will be a Knot Hysteria this fall. I’ve timed my knee replacement so that I’d be able to go, please, when you can think about anything but Sock Summit, consider it?
    Also, you’ll be pleased to know that all will go well with the challenge, because McAfee says about
    “We have tested this site and didn’t find
    any significant problems.”
    So there you are. Just relax.

  126. What a FANTASTIC idea!!! I so wish I could make this trip (I live in Central Florida and knit mostly socks), but unfortunately it’s just not gonna happen. Would you ever consider adding in a web cam to watch this live?? I’d love to be a fly on the wall……….
    Plus you might want to consider coming out to Florida in the dead of a Canadian winter. There are many of us here that knit, plus we get a lot of snow birds.
    I bet you could pull it off, the force is strong within you……

  127. Fleece to Foot sounds just grand! My sister and I attended SS09, and truly loved every minute of the event, and were hoping to attend the next one. Not long after we returned home, she became ill, and sadly, she passed away April 2010. I know she’s looking down from her stash in the sky and will be cheering on each and every team..wishing I could attend. Enjoy it to the fullest!

  128. That idea is brilliant! Brilliant I say! What a marvelously creative team you guys are. The sheep are well loved and handled regularly. They are going to be fine. : )
    Webcams would be a wonderful addition, however, tech intense on the planning part. You sound like you have perhaps more than enough going on but in the future when you can plan more perhaps… I hate to volunteer anyone for anything that I wouldn’t do myself so I will keep my mouth shut. Thanks so much for all that you guys do. This is amazing. I can’t wait.
    ~Jenn Scott in Forest Grove

  129. You are uniformly charming! And funny. You make me laugh. I needed that today. Thank you! I’ve never actually knit a real pair of socks in my life – they terrify me – but you make me wish I could go to the Sock Summit just to watch!

  130. Can’t wait to see the modular sock pattern. Might fit right into my disjointed knitting schedule!

  131. OK, now, THIS event needs to be live-streamed across the internet! Please please please! 8 )

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