Down Day

I think I’ve been pretty open about my feelings about the rain. I don’t like it. I get that it has to rain and I understand how good it is for the flowers and preventing forest fires and that other places have lots of drought and I should be grateful for my rain, and on that level.. I am. It’s just that on a purely personal level…I HATE IT. I don’t like the way it lands all over you, I don’t like the way it lands on my glasses so that I can’t see, I don’t like the way it gets into your shoes and makes your socks wet, and this time of year it’s worse, because I’m mostly wearing Birks, and I don’t like the way that rain makes the bowl shaped footbeds your own personal puddles that can be with you everywhere you go. I have a friend that says she thinks I was a cat in a previous life, and I’d buy it. The only way I can get down with rain is as an observer. Warm in dry in a cozy house, knitting or reading or (ironically) in a warm bath. (Apparently I only like to be wet on my own terms. I like swimming too.)

Second that with the fact that I hate the dentist (not personal, he’s a lovely man, I just have a thing about teeth) and a rainy day where I have to go to the dentist is just about my personal prescription for a foul mood, and that’s what today is. A very rainy day where I have to go to the dentist.

Now, normally, confronted with a day like this, I hunker down and knit, but with the Sock Summit so close (I can feel its hot breath on the back of my neck that’s how close it is) I’m going to have to find comfort with my laptop, a pile of spreadsheets and the further development of a serious crush on the lady who makes our database run. (She’s clever as a clutch of racoons.) It’s still a very low knitting time for me, which is (also) ironic, considering that it’s a knitting convention that’s killing my knitting time.

The most bizarre part of this whole thing (not that there haven’t been massive, enormous shares of bizarre already) is that even though I’m only knitting at a medicinal level (which is to say “just enough to keep me from eating every spreadsheet in this place and washing it down with a box of staples”) is that it doesn’t feel like I’m not knitting much.

I chalk this up to being immersed in the details of a very, very knitterly four days coming up. I might not be knitting, but I’m talking about knitters, arranging knitters, getting chairs for knitters, emailing knitting teachers, looking at knitting handouts and talking about what knitters will do and how they do it for about 14 hours a day, which appears to be an odd but excellent stand in. There is… despite the appalling lack of knitting… lots of knitting in my life right now. What little bits have gotten done? I’m still plugging along on the blanket – which is not big enough to matter, so I’m not showing you…. and eeking out, ever so slowly, a pair of socks – mostly while I fly from here to Portland and back again.


Beaded Bells from Dye Dreams.


I believe (and I’m really sure that Tina has this plan too…) that following the Summit, she and I are both going to have a serious rest and do nothing but sleep, eat…

and knit. I can’t wait. I’m living for it. I have projects picked out. I have yarn mentally piled up. I have plans for knitting that far surpass the few days of rest we have planned. In my mind, I am going to knit whole sweaters – and spin whole big bags of fibre, and churn out socks and lace scarves and finish the blanket. In my mind, those few days are going to be a miracle that balances out all of this non-knitting time. All of this stressed out time. All of this time that I look at yarn lovingly and from afar, and think fond thoughts about it and what it will be like.

Neither Tina nor I are talking about the truth, which is that right now, probably the only thing either of us is going to be capable of is lying somewhere quiet with big, big glasses of cold beer, staring off at the horizon and thinking about what just happened, whatever just happened. Still. Maybe we could do that with yarn.

136 thoughts on “Down Day

  1. It will be fabulous to sit and ponder in peace, probably whether you have yarn or not. And the socks with beads are to die for! Such a lovely green.

  2. As a Texan enjoying a brief respite from 100+ degree temps, I am enjoying the strange liquid that has fallen from the skies the past few days and will just pretend I didn’t read that… 😉
    And I’m knitting in my head too. If I didn’t have to eat, sleep, or work, I imagine I could get so much knitting done…

  3. Oh, I’m sorry, I absolutely cannot be sympathetic over…rain. I absolutely refuse to look up how many sunny days we’ve had in the past few months. I just don’t want to be faced with the harsh reality of the numbers.
    –amy in southern New England, where the natives are growing webs between our fingers and toes…

  4. Wow, my cat can totally commiserate with your day. He is at the vet having teeth cleaned and pulled 🙁 Then he goes home to a new apartment. Hence my sorrow – all my knitting is packed up and can’t be picked up til everything else is unpacked. I hope things get better – just think of the joy you are bringing to all those sock knitters.

  5. I feel the same way! Nothing worse then wet feet in sandles or flip flops! YUCK!!!

  6. Isn’t it amazing how delusional we can become in the middle of a big project? I can’t even begin to tell you all the projects that I have planned after I finish my doctoral comps. Now we both know that isn’t going to happen, but it sure is fun to plan isn’t it?

  7. You can always lay back with your cold drinks and just cuddle your yarn if you are too overwhelmed to knit for a few hours.

  8. I love your similes. “Clever as a clutch of raccoons…” That’ll keep me smiling the rest of the evening.

  9. Ah! Send me the soft patter of rain..bouncing on the flowers..I could knit the time away..especially since we have had 100+ heat for some time. I even enjo the snow..knitting to my hearts content.

  10. Sounds fabulous…so fabulous. I am having a big, cold glass of beer later in your honour. I will raise a glass to the east and say a prayer.

  11. I walked in the Toronto rain to Romni, which was overwhelming; all I could do was wander around until some SeaWool by Fleece Artists caught my eye sufficiently that I could stop looking at everything but seeing nothing. I then walked up to Lettuce Knit, steaming gently along the way, where I indulged in a lot of Hand Maiden’s Mini Maiden. All Canadian yarn seems the perfect tourist shopping to take back to the U.S.
    So while no knitting has occurred on this trip (I brought some, but I also brought along the quilt I’m sewing the binding on — and that’s not done either), I do feel virtuous for supporting the Canadian yarn industry, for walking a long way for that yarn, and doing so in the rain.

  12. I’m sure this won’t interest you in the slightest–that I find it interesting is strange enough–but the correct collective nouns for a group of raccoons are ‘gaze’, ‘mask’ and ‘nursery’.
    (This concludes my daily foisting of useless, random knowledge on people without their permission.)

  13. Sounds like a generally down day. I get to take a project on the plane tomorrow!

  14. Hey… It’s wierd. I walked in the rain the other night. It was cool (ha!) and not all that bad. I had to… TOO much knitting makes one’s butt gi-normous…..

  15. For a change in perspective, you should visit the south in the fall. When it rains there it seems that steam fairly raises from it. People come out of their airconditioned houses and cars, throw on their shorts and flipflops to splash around and make love and celebrate the end of the oppressive heat.
    oh, maybe I need to go.

  16. Having been on the “running” end of a Science Fiction convention (a big one, 600 – 1000 attendance) I can tell you that all you might have energy for is laying around, drinking beer. Maybe a vanilla sock. And the occasional flinch when you realize how close you were to total chaos, even though the attendants** will never know and will talk about how much fun they had and how they can’t wait to do it again next year.
    And you’ll want to cry thinking about “next year”. Don’t worry, somewhere around Christmas, you’ll realize that it *was* fun, and you’d like to do it again because you have it down now and it’ll be easier.
    And it will be.
    Third year is the charm, though. You’ll be prepared for most disasters (which will have happened year 1 and 2) and will have all the knowledge to do it and then it’ll be a total blast and you’ll even get to enjoy it. Now is the time to train your replacement, while it’s still fun. Then you can be an attendant and have fun too.
    (**Except for the ones who will complain that it’s not how they would have done it and how awful it was that you didn’t do this other thing and what a horrible person you are. You’re less likely to get this with knitters than you are with SF fans, however. At least I like to believe that. BTW, these are the people to get to volunteer. If they’re going to b*tch, they can help.)

  17. The rain sounds like a nice change. Here in central California we are coming out of a heat wave (high 90’s to low 100’s here). It is only in the low 80’s today. It doesn’t matter. I am staying inside with the air conditioning until October when it finally cools down. The dog gets to come in when I get home. (poor thing)

  18. I have a thing about teeth, too. I’m terrified of them chipping, cracking, breaking, clicking together too hard. When I see one of my neices or nephews with a loose tooth and they waggle it at me, I almost have to lie face down on the floor until the willies go away. Good for you for going to the dentist, though (I need to get my butt in there…it’s been a few years). The socks are lovely, and I can’t wait to read your words post-summit. I’m imagining a little Stella Artois will be figuring prominently in your semi-near future….:)

  19. The socks are beautiful. The dentist is a horrible, terrifying place to have to go and only Prince Valium can convince me that I must go without kicking and screaming bloody murder.
    It’s 5:00pm and nearly dark out right now. Rain is pounding outside and I am in the midst of a big snit over it. Stupid rain. Stupid grey and rainy summer. I’m getting moldy up here.
    Maybe once Sock Summit is done you can sit with giant beers and just pet some yarn in your lap and rest your head on a bag of fibre.

  20. Sometimes my days are so busy that I can’t even think about taking a break. When the stress is over, and I’m too tired to knit, I’ve found that petting a hank of cashmere helps a lot.

  21. I’ve been liking the rain, but mostly because I don’t have to weed the gardens and can sit here and knit. But my hair doesn’t like the rain. Or I don’t like my hair when it rains. Fuzzball hair. Ugh. Keep thinking about that yarn and those projects. Hang in there!

  22. As I sit here with my bottle of Dos Equis and a bowl of nuts, smugly contemplating my recently acquired skein of mult-colored Cascade wool destined to become a pair of legwarmers for my little niece, I say to you….take a deep breath. It will all work out and you will be so happy that you did it. But I know you already know that.

  23. 1. My advice re the post Summit rest days — write down your plans (patterns, yarns, etc) NOW or you may find that exhaustion has wiped them out (this has happened to me in similar situations in the past and generates a special kind of depression — all that time and no idea what to do with it).
    2. Rain — don’t talk to me about rain — I am sitting in London drying off after getting soaked twice today, within the space of 2 hours — we had 2 weeks’ summer in June but apparently that is it for the year. I am thinking longingly of deserts ….

  24. I know just the feeling! Well several, actually. I mean dentists? Who does like them? (Altho’ I don’t mind rain if it’s 80 degrees or warmer.) But your post Sock Summit fantasies? I feel that way EVERY June! (I am a teacher, could you tell?)

  25. any chance some of that downtime after SS09 could be in Aurora? I’m itching to make some veggie quesadillas…

  26. I had a friend named Lisa in High School. It was a small school and mostly the town kids walked. Lisa wouldn’t walk to school in the rain. Ever. At lunch someone would say “where’s Lise? Oh it’s raining, nevermind.” The thing I love is that even years (and years) later when I wake up to the rain, I think “It’s raining, can’t go to school!” I’ve lost touch with her but it’s a funny, nice little way I think of her every now and again..when it rains.

  27. Pretty beads! What kind are they and what size? They look very similar in color and finish to some I found for a cotton lace sweater I desperately want to keep working on. Do you bead as you go or do you pre-string?

  28. >>”just enough to keep me from eating every spreadsheet in this place and washing it down with a box of staples”<<
    Excuse me, I can’t read the rest of this blog entry because by tomorrow I will still be laughing my ASS off. 😉
    Know that the rest of us who are attending Sock Summit, despite the fact that we will never truly know what it is like to be you(se) who are organizing it, probably have some parallel amount of pre-SS plans (doing lots to get ready) and post-SS plans (relaxing afterwards with whatever we want). Also, if you have to actually pay for your own beer during SS that is a crime. Knitters can unite in beer support!

  29. Awww, you know, I find it soul soothing to at least have beautiful yarn to LOOK at in my can’t knit stages… Maybe cold beer and a nice stack or two of some gorgeous hand dyed sock yarn will do the trick?

  30. Here’s hoping for the next sock summit you can afford conference organisers!! Right now I am guessing that thought makes you want to reach for a beer immediately – sorry!

  31. I have been hearing similar laments from my daughter who is studying for the bar exam in New York. She is daydreaming about what she will do when it is over (it definitely involves more knitting than the 15 minutes she gets during her lunch break). All the hard work you are doing will be such a joy to the attendees of the Sock Summit. Thanks for thinking of it and then going on to DO IT!

  32. It’s raining in New England, too, and I also had a dentist’s appointment. I cancelled mine. There is only so much a human can take. Fortunately, the dentist was able to reschedule me…January 2010. Then I’ll see how I feel about dentist appointments and snow.

  33. “the only thing either of us is going to be capable of is lying somewhere quiet ON BIG PILES OF YARN with big, big glasses of cold beer, staring off at the horizon and thinking about what just happened, whatever just happened.” Done.

  34. My Labrador Retriever refused to go for his walk this morning, and he loves water. He took a look at the weather as I was holding the door open, and apparently decided it was better to lie down, flop on his side and play dead than go out there in that flood. What I really don’t like about rain in southern Ontario is the humidity that goes with it. Everything is damp and sticky.
    Your socks are gorgeous, and I love the beads. I’ve never done knitting with beads, so I would really like to know: how do you get the beads onto the yarn? And how do the socks feel when worn?

  35. This is a little bit eerie because we just came home from the farmer’s market (where it was POURING) and on the way home I was whining about how much I hate wet Birks…and then I read this post.

  36. Having lived in a temperate rain forest for 3 years I don’t really mind the rain. But people here (in FL) get so weird when it rains that it makes the experience unpleasant. Especially while driving in it…just because it’s drizzling a little bit does not mean that you have to go 25 mph slower than the speed limit! Plus it’s a good excuse to sit inside and knit, I don’t feel as guilty when it’s cloudy and gray.

  37. I completely understand your hatred of the rain. I also try to focus on the postive things that rain does but I just can’t get over it personally.
    Keep dreaming of yarn and sleep and beer and quiet time after the Sock Summit. You, Tina and everyone else involved are doing such a fantastic job. You all are AMAZING on a million different levels. Thank you for being who you are, and doing what you do.

  38. I am totally down with your sentiments regarding dentists. I hate to go and it is NEVER good new.
    As for when it is all over the tall cold beers can be had with yarn. Just make a cushy little prop behind you and enjoy. You will have deserved every moment of it.
    Hope to see you there. I couldn’t get in for classes but will be there for the market and hopefully the Luminary Panel….Does that require tickets?

  39. Will you be resting in the vicinity of Port Ludlow? Sure is nice here “up north”…

  40. This won’t help at the moment because you are dealing with Sock Summit, but there are reasons to like rain (and it’s a good thing I do, living in Oregon): it gives you an excuse to sit inside and knit or read; if it’s cold and rainy, why then you need to go to Huber’s and warm up with a Spanish Coffee.

  41. “I have projects picked out. I have yarn mentally piled up.” Right. Like that won’t change a gazillion times during the Summit (so jealous).
    I’m with you on the rain thing. I don’t know if Canadians are like Californians, but there is also the *danger* factor of rain – people here act like it’s the armageddon, and since *everybody* drives… Scary.

  42. Pretty sock. Nice beads. Lovely color. And, to quote the inestimable Bob Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing, cus every little thing will be all right.”

  43. Shingles, ‘one hand two foot’, and living in Los Angeles during a heat wave: they make knitting less fun than it should be. But I have two pairs of socks past the halfway point on both second socks. (What, you only work on one pair at a time?)

  44. I love the socks. The rain isn’t getting me down, and that surprises me. I’m very excited about SS09, but very nervous, too. Flying all the way cross-country by myself, without Mr. Glitterbug and leaving him and the kittehs for five days? I know it’ll be grand and I’ll have a blast, but right now I’m worrying.

  45. I’m trying to have some compassion for your stress. I appreciate the effort you’re going through to give us all a good time at the Summit, but…
    Can you leave out the parts about hating the rain? The water cops came to my house this week, to tell me that the neighbors have turned me in for overwatering one day two weeks ago, when I was out of town. Really, complaining about an ordinary rainy day when a whole region is being eaten up with drought is a little like complaining about indigestion to a famine victim.

  46. Well, at least when you travel back out to western Oregon and Portland, which is most of the year a very rainy place, you could be very hot and dry, where temps are going to be hot hot the next few days. I agree about the dentist, though, I also went to the dentist today… and thought about knitting the entire time.

  47. Hey, Rams? Wanna join me? Let’s form ST-3 and help Steph.
    That way, of course, we could then justify our own little knitting vacation.

  48. Think of it this way, Steph: You are not-knitting, or, rather, you are meta-knitting, so that others may knit better. Your sacrifice of time will help me, and my friends Sheron and Leeanne and Mary, Grok The Sock in a way we wouldn’t be capable of without you. Breathe. Know that your efforts are expanding the knit-o-verse. It’s what I do when I find myself lamenting that I’m writing or blogging about gardening when I could be … well… gardening.

  49. I swear. The climate is changing.
    And knitting time? What’s that? I’ve been dyeing yarn like mad for a couple of months now getting ready for the sock summit…and while I love every minute of it and am super excited, I do miss knitting. I’m really looking forward to sitting on that plane to Portland!

  50. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion about your Post-Summit collapse, er, BREAK:
    Cold beer is good in almost every situation. Cold beer is elevated to near-perfect status when consumed in a warm, pleasantly-scented bath…even more so if one has a knitting book full of beautifully-photographed projects to ogle dreamily while sipping and soaking.

  51. I like my dentist. She’s a knitter so we always talk about knitting when I go. Maybe you could find a dentist who knits?

  52. Yep, all of that yarn and knitting washed down with a nice beverage should help you overcome the inevitable post-partum depression that will follow such an event!

  53. Agreed, Stephanie.
    But what concerns me is – after Sock Summit comes winter.
    Rain doesn’t seem so bad after all does it?

  54. Hope the dentist appointment went quickly and uneventfully. Wow, with Sock Summit so close I guess it’s time to check my classes and see if I have any homework to do ahead of time. I’ve had nightmares about showing up without needles, the necessary sock in progress, etc. and being kicked out. I’m also worried about the out-of-town guest attending the summit being appalled by the living conditions at our home, etc., etc. So much stress for just attending it… I can’t even begin to imagine the stress of planning it. Stay calm!

  55. It rained here today. I also had a dentist appt today. If I were going to the sock summit, I’d be another you. (Well, o.k. not so much. But I can dream.)

  56. I really like the rain ’cause it’s so restful and cool and even getting drenched can be fun if it’s just for a bit. Sorry, I’m just different. But I really agree with you about the dentist. Yuck.

  57. I will take your rain, I love the rain. You can have my sunshine……all 365 days of it.

  58. Did you know your horrible airport story is part of an article on Cracked today? It’s one of “7 true stories that prove the airlines hate you”.
    (When I say the title and started reading, I was reminded of your altercation, and then, there it was!) Your fame is spreading! ;>

  59. YOU KNOW YOU KNIT TOO MUCH…when the sight of a spider, mouse, or bee in the house has no affect on you but you FREAK out so vehemently when a moth gets in that the whole family drops what they are doing and comes running only to find you swatting madly at the poor thing trying to get it out the back door and cursing madly as three more fly in.

  60. I was thinking about the hugeenormousgigantic job you two cooked up for yourselves, and then I looked at the sidebar on the right of your page…your books. And, then I remembered when there weren’t any books listed over there. I think you are destined to cook up big projects. Horizontal beers, here you come.

  61. we’ve had buckets of rain and a COLD july. grandgirl said everyone in her swimming class was so cold today that their teeth were chattering. luckily, i’ve mostly been able to stay in and knit, so my only gripe is that it’s been too windy/cold to leave windows open much of the last week.
    i hope this sock summit is such a fantastic success that you decide to have another one next year — somewhere in the midwest. indianapolis is very knitter-friendly (hint, hint, hint)!
    stay warm, stay dry and remember how grateful summit attendees are/will be for this phenomenal event. i am insanely jealous of two friends who got into classes, but also insanely happy for them.

  62. I have mixed feelings about rain. Here in California, we desperately need as much as we can get. HOWEVER, my roof is temporarily missing from my living room (it’s a long, sad story about wanting to paint the house and noticing signs of dry rot in the eaves…), so I DON’T want unseasonable rain. (In most of California, the rainy season is mostly December through March, with a few scattered showers the ret of the year.)
    In general, I don’t mind rain nearly as much as I did before I converted from glasses to contacts. I REALLY don’t mind it on days when I can stay inside and knit while watching and listening to the storms outside. Too often, rainy days are the ones when I have to do serious work outside (clean gutters before they pour water into the house, shovel mud off the driveway, or just drag 5 bags of groceries through a blowing downpour).
    I hope the summit is hugely successful so that you’ll decide that it’s worth the work to do annually (maybe I can go next time!). I am SO jealous of everyone who gets to meet Barbara Walker.
    I think it may be time to have a glass of wine to console myself and congratulate those who get to experience the sock summit…

  63. You deserve all the yarn you want for making this thing happen for the rest of us. Maybe you could have a lovely skein of silk to pet while you drink that cold beer?

  64. You both deserve whatever amazing, relaxing, stunning reward you can give yourselves. I don’t know what that would be – no doubt cashmere or quivit would be involved and a great location and serious cold beer – but I suspect you will make it happen (should be a piece of cake after making Sock Summit take place). All you will have to do then is enjoy it.
    Knit on!

  65. Remember the cowl that you designed a while back? Do you have plans to offer that pattern to the public?

  66. The timing on your trips to Portland wasn’t well planned. The Oregon Brewfest (4 days of the finest micro brews in the country) is this weekend, where the sun is shining and it’s warm. Come on down!!
    P.S The attendees of your amazing Summit appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice. We would be happy to buy you a brew…

  67. You could at least fondle the yarn in one hand whilst holding your beer with the other. I think that you could handle. Cripes woman, “washing it down with a box of staples.” When will I learn not to read your blog while consuming a beverage.

  68. Face it, there is only one yarn you need for the post-convention crash. It has to be irresistably soft — maybe the perfect blend of cashmere, alpaca, quiviut, angora, silk, gossamer, and angel’s down? It needs to be in an exceptional shade of green, something one could lose onself in, like the world’s finest emeralds or jades. It must give off the headiest, most soothing yet exhilarating yarn fumes known to knitter-kind, with soft after-notes of lavender and eucalyptus.
    It must also come with at least a half-case of your favorite microbrew, a purr-rr-rring cat, and a cabana boy (or your husband, your choice).
    Take twice a day, or as needed, for at least three weeks after the convention. If your condition does not improve, see your physician.

  69. Hang in there. You’ve got so many people pulling for you, it’d be a mighty large crash if you let go and everyone went flying backward. ;o)
    And maybe it’s the talk of rain and hating it, but that photo of the socks makes me think of reptiles . . . they look like they could be lizard socks, what with the ridges and green colorway and iridescent lizard-eyes beads . . . ‘twould be fitting, as there are plenty of lizards just don’t particularly care for rain . . .

  70. Please send interior Alaska some of your rain. This ongoing smoke is enough to drive a person out.

  71. But rain is so fun, I love to go out and play in it until I’m sopping through & through, then go jump in a nice hot shower or bath, and finish it off with a nice hot, alcoholically enhanced beverage.
    Oh, and sitting out in a hot tub in the rain is great fun, or opening the windows and listening to it in the trees while you knit with a nice hot cup of tea by your side.
    One of my favorite things is the smell in the forest right after it rains because the air seems cleaner and you can smell the earthiness of the topsoil.
    Thank you so so so much for giving up your knitting time to plan S.S. it’s going to be fleeces of fun.

  72. I hear you! I’m not PLANNING the Sock Summit, just planning what to bring, and between the dyeing and the drying and the skeining and reskeining, the labeling and the packing and the dealing with day-to-day business-y things, I haven’t knit a single stitch in a week!
    Well, not manually. I have been using the knitting machine… but that falls under the “preparing for SS” and isn’t as theraputic, and is three hundred thousand times louder than knitting with 2 needles. And you can’t do it in a comfy chair while watching TV.

  73. I’m not planning anything–I’m just writing and editing–and I still know how you feel. Suddenly my summer–which used to be devoted to knitting–has now been taken up with everything BUT knitting.
    I miss knitting. If nothing else, it cleared away the yarn.

  74. I booked my hotel room for the Summit today, and let me tell you, you are making a lot of people VERY excited and VERY happy. When it’s all over, you will have made knitting history!
    Also- if you don’t like rain, why the hell are you having the Summit in the PNW? I live in Tacoma, and let me tell you, if I didn’t love rain so much I’d be pretty miserable most of the year 😀

  75. I’m so jealous of everyone who is going to the summit. You’ll soon forget the rainy days but I have a feeling you’ll never forget this huge accomplishment!

  76. Now you see why the cobbler’s children were reputed to have no shoes.
    And to Denise at 5:20 p.m., how could you pack up ALL your knitting?? The mere thought gives me cold chills!

  77. Oh, if only it would rain here in Southern California!! We’re on water rationing, and I don’t think it’s rained for more than a minute or two in months. I love rainy days, even though the people here can’t seem to decide if you should go 20mph on the freeway or 90.

  78. I usually don’t mind the rain. Summer always seems so frantic and goes by so quickly even though I try so hard to make it last and appreciate every day, that a rainy day tends to make me slow down a bit and chill out. Like you, our summers are so short and winter is so long that we have a tendency to try and get the most out of being able to be outside without 4 or 5 layers on. A rainy day usually means I get to shift gears and not worry about the state of my yard and garden for a while. In the summer I usually don’t cook anything very elaborate, we eat lots of salads and things that are cooked on the grill, so a rainy day might mean a well thought out meal. If I haven’t had much of a chance to do something fun then a rainy day could be the perfect opportunity to do something fiber related. I love to sit on my porch on a rainy day in the summer and knit or spin while I listen to the rain hitting the roof and watch the hummingbirds haunt their feeder. I love how when it rains all day, the drops make a soft patter on the roof. It’s soothing, calming, and very different from a quick rain storm. It’s like an all day snow storm in the winter. As long as everyone is safe and at home, then you just kind of hang out and slow down. I love that. The problem with this summer is that we’ve had so much rain that even the ducks are sick of it! I have so many slugs and they are so large that I’m starting to get worried that if I tick them off, they’ll carry away my house! Yes, I know that my slugs are much smaller than the Banana slugs in the Pacific North West (I’m in the Northeast), but I’m telling you I have never seen so many slugs and snail around my house, and for around here they are HUGE! I actually measured a couple of the biggest ones and they are 3 inches long and as thick as my little finger! Yuck! We are inundated with snails too. It’s been perfect weather for them, cold and wet, so they are thriving. The worst part is that it’s been so cool that it feels like I’m still waiting for summer to start! Sigh! Here’s hoping that August will be really hot and summery. At least then we can dry out a little.

  79. Just want you to know how totally appreciative I am of all the work you’re doing for the Sock Summit. I got in through the lottery, and I’m so excited I could just die! Thank you for sacrificing so much of your knitting time and sanity to this wonderful event!!

  80. As a cyclist, there’s nothing like a few really ICY days to make you feel darn grateful for rainy days, when the roads have FRICTION again.

  81. I’ve watched my husband in the consumer show business for 30 plus years – a zombiesque brain dead post show period is always the case with him (although he’s not a knitter!)
    BTW I told him of your show and its reception in the knitting community and he is very impressed!

  82. I usually don’t mind the rain, but a couple of years ago my experience with it was more than just disconcerting! My college age son and I brought both our cars in for an oil change and decided to walk three blocks to the Bagel Shop for a snack while we waited. I suggested bringing an umbrella but son discouraged it saying “You won’t shrink!” (My words coming back to bite my own butt! LOL!) So off we walk on a sunny day only to reach the shop as the skies open up. We waited an hour for the storm to stop and finally HAD to go pick up our cars. We got drenched and as I was lamenting my soggy hair and dripping mascara, my son reassured me it was nothing compared to the wet T-shirt contest look I was now sporting!!! Needless to say, I walked the rest of the way with my arms crossed like a pouty little child! ROFL!!!

  83. Try Keens. I used to be an exclusive Birk wearer in the summer but Keens are now my favorite. They do much better in the wet. I also had to go to the dentist yesterday as well. Not my favorite, but not bad all the same. I’ve been seeing the same dentist for 19 years, it’s not all been bad:)

  84. I, too, have a thing about rain. Specifically, I hate how it hits my face. I don’t like getting my face wet, especially when I’m wearing my glasses, unless I’m swimming. THEN it’s okay. I also hate the dentist, and I went to the dentist yesterday for a root canal. 🙁

  85. well, look at it this way- at least you get two thing you hate over with on the same day, instead of spacing them out. It’s pouring here (AGAIN) and we expect about 2-3 inches, on top of the 5″ we already have for this month (Maine). The mosquitos are horrific

  86. On the serious side, have everybody involved in the planning carry a little notebook pad with them during the conference and take notes of any ideas for improvements for the next one. You often forget those little bits of wisdom at the end of a ccnference because you will be mentally and physically exhausted. This comes of having planned and executed a number of conferences. I am betting that your down time will be spent processing and recovering and not knitting unless you set a sepecific time that nothing else is going to happen but knitting. The second time around will be lots easy.

  87. Rain and I are on speaking terms. I love the sound, the smell, the cleansed Earth look and feel after a rain. I hate it on my glasses, frizzing out my hair, and making my socks wet. I hate driving in it. But like you, if I’m in the comfort of the indoors, can see the green leaves flickering with the weight of the drops hitting them, can smell the vibrant tang of it, I am content with it. I don’t even mind being in it, if I’m in it to play. But like you, it’s on my terms.
    Sock Summit craziness: I have participated on the service providing end of a pretty large golf tournament (500 golfers plus their wives/sig others) and I can say that you will be too exhausted to do anything but lay immobile afterwards. Lucky for you, you actually like knitting while I am not particularly fond of golf and only gave my work my all because I was coming away with a huge paycheck at the end of it. You get to meet tons of knitters. You get to fondle more yarn than I’ve ever even seen in one place. You get to be in the presence of greatness with those teachers (and you’re on the same level with them in my eyes regarding the greatness). I’m a tad envious of you, actually.
    Regardless of the effort throwing such a big gathering entails, I hope you have a fantastic time, and maybe next year, if you do it again, I’ll be able to make it.

  88. Oh my dear, it sounds like you’ve got a wicked case of SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. You’ve been to sunnier climes. You’ve soaked up more yummy sunshine than you have been accustomed. Now your poor being is crying for those “Sun Nutrients” that you are not getting in rainy Canada, (not that it’s not a lovely place, and never sees the hair curling triple digit temps that we see here in the Southwest, and that my epidermis yearns for that complexion loving humidity).
    May I suggest a boost to your B-vitamins, your calcium, magnesium and D vitamins. You will be right as reign in no time. There there, just breathe and knit, or spin.

  89. Sooo with you on the rain. We’ve had a lot of it in NYC and then up in Maine for the past two months. With an eleven-month old who only wants to walk but can’t on her own yet and a four-and-three-quarters year old, there’s been some stir-crazy (and not enough knitting). It will be great, and I wish I could be there.

  90. Sorry about the rain and dentist.
    You know that old video footage you always see of Beatles concerts that show all the girls screaming and passing out in the crowd? Yeah. Totally feeling like that right now. Please don’t let the other knitters trample me.

  91. Maybe you can think of the hundreds/thousands of knitting nuts like me who can hardly wait til the Sock Summit. We are all so eternally grateful for all the hard work you guys are doing. I’m positive that it’s going to be the best knitting event of the century and inspire millions of knitters everywhere. It will change the face of knitting events on the planet and show muggles that yes, we are serious about pointy sticks and yarn. So a big thank you for all of your hard work and I can’t wait to be there!

  92. May you and Tina have as much uninterrupted downtime as you desire, for having glimpsed just a fraction of what needs to be done for Sock Summit I truly am in awe at the job you two are doing. What about that cabin in the woods you hiked 14 miles from for beer and wipe?

  93. Just reading about your plans for knitting made me happy. I love doing that too, when life wedges itself between me and my knitting projects. Might I recommend the Girasole, by Jared Flood? I can’t tell you how much I’m loving it. I think I dreamt about it last night.

  94. In your days of rest, you might not knit at all. Your tired body and brain will sit down and stare off into space with a cold beer and pet a pile of yarn at your side. Anything more than petting the yarn might be too much effort for your beleagured body and brain.

  95. having worked in the convention bidness sometime back, I can tell you that the planning for your 2010 event will begin before the 2009 event ends. Fortunately, you get the opportunity to carbon copy the successful parts and work on the parts that turned out to be problem children … Just pray that you don’t ever have to change venues …

  96. But the potential for what might happen are very entertaining…even if not really based on true reality. Sort of like playing the lottery…the fantasizing before the drawing is the best part (not actually having won a jackpot!). =D

  97. You’ve been giving up a lot of what you want to do in order to make an awful lot of other people happy. I just wanted to stop and say, thank you for that. May it come back to you as blessings many times over.

  98. Big glasses of cold beer, huh? We were in Toronto recently on a very short trip, but noticed the number of pubs and coffee places. (Does it have more Starbucks per capita than anywhere else, or is that a mis-impression?) Why does this sound like someone on this page that we all know?

  99. If it helps at all, I am one knitter who is currently exhausted by life in general and is looking forward to the Sock Summit like crazy. I won’t even care that I didn’t get any of the workshops I was hoping for – I’m just going to sit somewhere and knit. I’ll be the one with the big smile of contentment on my face…

  100. That’s our Harlot, Queen of De Nile!
    I’m prioritizing my knitting. I have enough socks already completed to choose my footwear wardrobe from for the Summit. I have three pairs otn, and I probably WILL bring all three along in the carryon even though I’m not going to have enough free time to actually complete all three, but ya know….
    I’ve checked the homework and materials lists. I’ve decided on the tentative “must buy” list (as opposed to the will-buy-once-overcome-by-yarn-pheromones list). I have my one quart plastic bags for the toiletries. I have the short stack of books to be signed. I have the sock scarf completed and all necessary receipts and itineraries printed out and tucked into the pocket on said scarf. What am I forgetting?
    Oh! Clothing!

  101. Right after Sock Summit is over will be able to time to start thinking about Christmas knitting, won’t it?
    and I mean, just to ‘think’ about it.

  102. I’m picturing you SS organizers, post-SS, lounging in a bathtub full of yarn (you fully clothed or not) because you’re too tired to knit any of it.

  103. May we former “cats” stick together. We camped on vacation, in 30 degree far. weather, in the RAIN! At least I know, and DeWayne knows, I CAN build a fire in a downpour WITHOUT gas or lighter fluid.
    Good luck with Sock Summit.

  104. I LOVE the rain; but here the showers only last (at most) an hour or two and then we’re right back into full sunlight. I’ve always found it best just to remove those pesky shoes and walk through the puddles.
    All the best for SS09. It’s been such a long haul for you and I’m exhausted just reading about your trials and tribulations. Keep your eye on the prize of knitting time.

  105. Y’all can send us some of your rain anytime. I grew up in the Northeast and hated the stuff, but after a couple of decades in California I’ve really learned to enjoy it. (Besides, I hate hot weather, and here, when it rains it’s always cool.)

  106. I love the rain, but feel the way you do about too much sun or heat, so I do sympathize.
    Frankly, as the working (for pay) parent of a toddler I also am envious of being able to lie still with cold glasses of beer. Very, very envious. Some day. Some day.

  107. Oh, I love the rain! Rain means clouds which means no sun. I have allergies to the sun. Rain is good, sun is bad…very very bad!

  108. Rain and Birks are a perilous combo–not only the puddles but the super-slick surface (not to mention the gross rain/sweat soup).

  109. The afternoon after the dinky-by-comparison conference that I orchestrate is done, I go home, drop my bags by the door and collapse on the couch. I wake up about 4 hours later, with a puddle of drool under my face and discover that I’m still dog-tired.
    I suggest using the yarn for the sweaters to cushion your fall.

  110. “Eeking out” a pair of socks? Why am I seeing you flinching and squeaking every time you come to another bead?
    Another vote for prolonged periods of unconsciousness post-SS from me. As another veteran of producing large-scale events, my experience has been a total collapse is fully warranted. Don’t budge until the cat needs feeding, and even then, if you plan ahead and put out plenty of kibble, you can stay horizontal for at least 12 hours. May take a few more days for the mental faculties to return to full function, though a cold beer may help a lot!
    Wish I could be there, but couldn’t see doing it 2 days after returning from 3 weeks in Europe – and without a chance to do laundry, you probably wouldn’t have let me in anyway!

  111. Console your under-knit psyche with the thought that, not only are you putting on a grand event for lots of people, you are also providing a cache of amazement for those of us who can’t attend. I just love wowwing my nonknitter friends with tales of a Sock Summit in far off Oregon. They can hardly fathom a knitters’ conference, let alone one peopled entirely by sock devotees. It’s tangible proof that knitters are a force they’ve underestimated.

  112. OMG-I only saw the top half of that picture and I thought you had knitted a pickle!
    That is a gorgeous sock and, pickles aside, dark green is my favo(u)rite colo(u)r
    I love rain and thunder storms and electrical storms. I love rain until it has lasted more than two weeks. Then I am depressed.

  113. I think I was a cat in a former life, too! As a small child, I used to say that the best part of going swimming was getting dry when you got out 🙂

  114. Your books and your beautiful socks both make me wish I had time to learn to knit well. I design crochet and edit a crochet magazine. I have reviewed a couple of your books in the magazine. Anyway, I love, love, love the green socks with beads! Beautiful. D

  115. I just love the socky-goodness. I also “love” the irony of having so much knitting in your life and yet having no time to knit. You’ll have a great time and cherish every second of the SS09.

  116. Stephanie, I read your blog all the time and I have never found an objectionable thing, rather it is delightful. Thank you so much for providing the morning reading! And I am American, btw, and have never found anything to be as this person percieves. I have never commented or looked at the cooments – so I just wanted to show my support.

  117. Hang in there! There’s a pot of fibery gold at the end of the rainbow, and we’re all rooting for you, you rock-star type person!
    What about putting one of those prosh little 25g balls of cashmere in a pocket and just petting it every once in a while, like your own personal tribble or something?
    Wishing you knitty relief,
    Miss K

  118. Those are the prettiest socks! I wish I had the patience to make pretty beaded socks. Instead I will just envy the recipient of yours!

  119. Very happy to find and read your blog. You are a beautiful person and a wonderful knitter. Can’t imagine what that mean American women has against you but you are wise to ignore her. Everyone else loves you, in varying ways and degrees, but without exception.
    The one time I was in Winnepeg, during the flood 12 Mays ago, there was a nice bakery chain that sold amazing muffins so I bought a six-pack to take home. At customs I felt I had better declare them but which box to check on the form? Raw agricultural product seemed the closest. The officer and I had a nice chuckle over that.
    On rainy days I tend to cook yam sausage patties in butter with an egg and that usually gets me going in the morning.

  120. One can only feel profound pity for someone who is so full of virulence. Although she boasts of being a Christian, she obviously has no insight whatsoever into the life and work and character of Christ. The woman sounds insanely jealous of you, your family, and all your well-deserved success. YOU, Stephanie, are and are going to remain sane and wonderful. Try not to let it get you down too badly. Your correspondent needs all our prayers and sympathy. Cheers, Hazel.

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