August 14, 2009

Dear Tina

You're out walking on the beach this morning taking pictures of the gross ocean stuff you love so much, and while you're not here I've finished a little present for you. Surprise, surprise, it's a pair of socks.


I chose the beautiful ST-1 colourway that you made for us, the one that has all my favourite colours and yours, and over the course of the Summit, I've been knitting them for you. You and I know now that there are a multitude of people on earth who will get this, that a pair of socks is more than a pair of socks, that a simple project like this can hold so much more than the yarn that it contains, but even beyond the fact that I knit them, these socks are special.


I wound the yarn before I got on the plane, and began them in the cab with Denny and Rachel H, as we all got ready for the big adventure. I knit them on the plane and then in the car coming to your house.


I took their picture when we looked at the big reader board with "Sock Summit" on it,


and I took the to that really scary "pre-con" meeting where there were all the heads of the Convention Centre departments, cookies and me, you, Rachel and Debbi.


I knit on them as we looked at the empty marketplace floor and imagined it filled up.


I took them with me to meet all the teachers at the teacher dinner.


I knit on it while we were at the opening ceremonies, that day that we were so tired that we couldn't even see straight. (Oh, wait... I guess that doesn't really narrow it down.)


I even got its picture with you (which I think means you have one of it with me.)


I knit on it while our friends were transformed from the remarkable women they already were into some sort of knitterly-organizational special forces unit that wore headsets and used walkie-talkies and broke our hearts with awesomeness every time we turned around.


I knit on the sock during my classes, filled with wonderful students so charming and eager to learn... I don't have pictures of that, so you'll just have to know that those stitches are in there.

The sock met people too. Betsy McCarthy held it. (Did you get to spend much time with her? She's wonderful.) So did Amy Singer.



I took it to the Luminary panel, and while we stood there and listened to all of those incredible women speak, I knit the better part of the foot. Right there, with you on one side of me and Meg Swansen on the other.


Then (and I know you'll love this as much as I did) then that lovely lady, Barbara Walker, put some stitches in for you, and she did it while telling me what a wonderful time the whole summit had been for her. (I somehow managed to stay conscious the entire conversation, which was a miracle, considering that the voice in my head was screaming OH MY GOD BARBARA WALKER IS TALKING TO ME along with BARBARA WALKER IS KNITTING ON TINA'S SOCK!) She's a very graceful lady. (That was about 9 seconds before she hugged Rachel H and just about made her head explode.)


Then we gathered our forces, you and I and (after that brief period where your car wouldn't start and we wondered if we would ever be able to leave the convention centre) and we retreated to...well, a retreat. Where all the incredible friends we've never been able to gather, did gather, and we all sat in the sun for one glorious day and knit together, just like we'd always wanted to. That morning the first sock was finished, and I started the second one. I had help knitting it.

Abby Franquemont put in some stitches for you.


Sivia Harding put in some stitches for you.


That powerhouse of good humour and sense, Amy Detjen, put in some stitches for you too.


Deb Robson knit on it for a little.


Meg Swansen added a few rounds.


Cat Bordhi put her stitches in (even though the sock was on DPNs.)


Denny smiled and added all that I wanted and more, just like she always does.


Anne Hanson knit for a bit.


Nancy Bush contributed...


and Stephen Houghton made sure he got his in there too.


Anna Zilboorg knit for a good long time while we talked about life, the universe and everything.


Lucy Neatby knit, and even put a trademark hole... you can see it on the leg.



Finally, Judith MacKenzie McCuin placed some loving stitches for you too.


After we kissed friends and ST-2's goodbye, saw them all off to their planes, trains and automobiles... I took the socks back up again, and knit all the way to where we are now, at the beach, where I've finished them for you, while we've walked and recovered and communed with the sea and the blue heron we think of as "ours".

I know these socks are as cool as I can make them, that they hold all the intentions and respect that so many people hold for you.. and that you'll be impressed with all the mojo that's within them. Know this too.. that they aren't even a fraction of what I wish I could give you, just to come up even with what you've given me. This journey we've taken together has been one of the most incredible things of my life. Empowering, strengthening, mighty, fierce, humbling... and not one minute of it would be here without the fact that you, my friend, are all of those things.

I hope you like them. I sure like you.

Posted by Stephanie at August 14, 2009 1:09 PM