Poor Jess. She was still on her “home time” (2 hours ahead) and I kept her up late talking about yarn and life and me me me. For a shy person I can sure talk about myself too much. Sheesh. She still got up before me and I expected to hear her getting ready for her 9AM class, but instead she left the room. Gulp. Was I so annoying that she had to leave? Did I snore all night? I worry about this stuff. But no, apparently she was up early due to that time difference thing and, polite as she is, she actually did some work (that’s a four letter word, yo!) in the lobby before coming back to get ready for class so as not to disturb me. Too sweet. I was up by then working on my homework for my Saturday afternoon Cookie A. class and it was still only about 7:30 AM. I thought I’d find the time to sleep in once or twice while away, but apparently I’ve got my internal alarm clock set to Knittymunchkin time and it doesn’t reset no matter how many miles away I get.
Jess and I met Troy in the lobby and it was just a mere half hour before Jess’ first class. We’d talked about walking to Voodoo Doughnuts which we thought had to be fairly close due to the frequent passing by of that most glorious of pink boxes containing warm frosted doughnutty deliciousness (or so we presumed, but we’d be schooled later). But with Jess’ class imminent, we just decided to go to Burgerville again. As if it wasn’t enough to have an eco-conscious burger joint nearby, it had to be one that served breakfast too. I have to say, I’m impressed with the place!
Jess headed for class and Troy and I headed for the marketplace. “Let’s just look around” turned into “Whoopee! Let’s go nuts and buy some YARN!” At least for me. We were very curious about the big fuss over Goth Socks. Word on the street was that her stuff was one of the major draws for the massive line snaking around the convention center the night before. Turns out, I think those rumors were right. We headed to her booth first and I asked her about her stock. Apparently they sold out between the night before and this morning. As in everything that she brought was gone except for two measly little hanks of self-striping sock yarn. Wowzers. I ended up buying a super cute project bag there with bees on it (Oh how I ♥ bumblebees!) mainly because, after engaging her in conversation and then planning on walking away empty-handed, I felt kinda bad about wasting her time and figured the least I could do would be to buy something. I am such a sucker. But hey, I’ll use it. It’s already holding my little sock yarn scraps and all my tools to make The Beekeeper’s Quilt. So appropriate :) I heard a lot of talk about The Sanguine Gryphon and The Plucky Knitter being big draws too, and if you gauged that by the sheer amount of people pressed into each booth, not to mention the rapidly disappearing stock, then I’d say it was true. It’s kind of fun wondering who or what the next best thing will be. Personally, I was really interested in Stricken Smitten and Sophie’s Toes and expect to hear more of a fuss about these dyers soon.
My first class of the summit was today at 11AM. It was a one-hour lecture about dyeing yarn with Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Tina Newton (also one of the co-creators of Sock Summit along with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee a.k.a Yarn Harlot). It was entertaining and enlightening, though without prior dyeing experience, I don’t think I came away with much useful information. I did feel inspired but also a little dejected. That part of me that thought it might be a wonderful idea to start dyeing yarn and maybe someday doing something with the yarn I dye, like, oh maybe getting paid for it, has apparently been high on yarn fumes all this time. Dyeing is hard work. And it’s time consuming, and you have to love it. Not to mention, you have to be good at it or people won’t buy it. It’s o.k. to have dreams, but I suppose they have to be achievable. Maybe we’ll just sleep on this one for a while.
After the lecture I didn’t have enough time to go back to the hotel so I went on a huge shopping binge in the marketplace. With no witnesses to stay my hand I powered my way through the booths in a shocking flurry of cash and credit. And I won’t lie. It felt good. It takes a lot of energy to blow through so much money at once, so I needed to refuel before my 1:30 PM class and bought a sandwich at the little lunch counter inside the convention center. It took forever so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are in dire need like I was. Sandwich finally in hand, I headed for my next 3 hour class: Judy’s Magic Heels.
This class was a revelation. Seriously, I shit you not. A flap heel without picking up any stitches or working any short rows. Sheer genius! Well sheer magic, really. Judy was an excellent teacher. Friendly, knowledgeable, approachable and patient. I highly recommend her class should you ever have the chance at another Sock Summit. I, for one, will be most definitely trying these heels on the next pair of socks I start.
Troy met me in the conference room as class ended. He’d had a class himself during the same time frame, in a room just adjacent. We went back to the marketplace and texted Jess back and forth until we caught up with her. We all had tickets to the Sock Hop which would be later in the evening, and decided that maybe we needed to have a little dinner first and that perhaps it was time to explore a bit further afield. What would follow would be an epic struggle to find sustenance in a mysterious concrete labyrinth filled with sketchy-looking locals, firearms dealers, and forlorn shopfronts.
O.K. I’m kidding. Well, a little. I believe Jess actually referred to it as “The Death March”. We were most certainly not prepared for the trek we ended up having to take. Guess we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and got ourselves all turned around somehow. I don’t know about Jess but personally, as a woman, I get nervous walking around places I’m not familiar with. Especially as the more populated areas drop away and you find yourself in something industrial or when you see a sign that is clearly advertising pawn items and firearms. Not to mention, when you are clearly not dressed for hoofing it, are carrying a knitting bag the size of Texas, and look really scared. Which I was trying not to do. Thanks to Jess’ map function on her smartphone, we finally managed to get turned around and happened onto the restaurant she had enjoyed the night before we arrived: The Farm Cafe. It couldn’t have materialized at a better time. We were hot, tired, and ready to end our journey. I felt badly that Jess would be eating here a second time, but she seemed enthusiastic about the food and probably more than ready to eat too. We all had pretty much the same thing. Green Salad (two orders were enough to share between the three of us) and Goat Cheese Ravioli. It was well worth the journey and the wait. This was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had in my life. And from the “mmm’s” and general hush at the table, I think Troy and Jess concurred.
Perhaps it was the company, or all the energy I burned learning, knitting, shopping, and walking today, but I actually suggested ordering dessert. I never do this. But it felt good to linger in Troy and Jess’ company and having something sweet is almost always one of life’s biggest priorities (in my book). So we each ordered something different and then shared tastes around the table. Jess ordered the Sunken Chocolate Souffle, Troy ordered the Marscapone Cheesecake with Pecans and Dulce De Leche Sauce, and I ordered a seasonal Rhubarb Crisp. Heavenly. All of it! I savored each bite and the simple joy of being among friends sharing a meal and conversation.
Tonight’s final event was the Sock Hop. It was already in full swing when we dropped in after the much shorter walk (going the correct direction this time) back from the restaurant. None of us had costumes, though to give Troy and Jess credit, I believe they had each brought something. Yet again we realized we’d paid for hors d’ oeuvres included in the price of our tickets. But I don’t think a single one of us would take back our meal at The Farm Cafe to eat deli meats and crackers and cheese, no matter how nice those snacks probably were. After a few minutes we decided to ditch the party and go back to the lobby of our hotel for some knitting and drinks. None of us had spent much time knitting yet and it sounded much more appealing at the moment than checking out everyone else’s costumes at the hop, no matter how fun and nostalgic the music was.
We stayed up late, knitting, drinking and just hanging out. It was a wonderful end to a jam packed day!