Knitting |Sock Summit by Judy @ 2:25 PM

Someone at Sock Summit ’09 said to me I read your blog a lot. Which made me realize a couple of things. (1) Oh, yeah. I do have one of those blog thingies. Right. (2) Anyone who reads my blog a lot has been reading the same thing for a long time now. (3) (ok… three things. that still qualifies as a couple, more or less) I did sort of say I’d be back after Sock Summit. And — new realization here — sadly, Sock Summit is pretty much over.

Ahem. Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we, gentle reader?

sock hop socks
sock hop socks

Part of my prep for Sock Summit included knitting socks to wear to the Sock Hop. Even though, sadly enough, I didn’t actually make it to the Sock Hop, I did wear my socks at SS09. These were tons of fun to knit and embellish. They feature mind-hurting techniques like intarsia-in-the-round and other stuff that I made up as I went along (so you know I was enjoying myself!). The stripped foot was inspired by a picture of a 1950’s candy-striped refrigerated door. The rock ‘n’ roll lettering recalls retro color-block advertising and is bordered by a diner tile pattern. The sheep and musical notes are my version of a poodle skirt. And, yes, they are fraternal. The yarn is Blue Moon Sock Candy — a wonderful cotton yarn with just a bit of bounce added that saved me from having to wear wool socks in the summer. (The colors are Granny Apple, Chocolate, Butter Cream, Borage, Dusty Blue, Sunlight, Poppy.) The beads, silk ribbon, tiny buttons, and glitzy package wrapping string that I used for the embellishments came from my craft stash.

The week before Sock Summit it was over 100 F in Portland for days on end (that’s more than 38 C). I note this in passing only because I decided that I needed something new to wear to SS09, I didn’t have much time to knit it, and knitting wool at that temp seemed like crazy making stuff. But I had some linen in my stash — Louet Euroflax, to be exact. Although the end result is lovely, and gets softer and more drapey with every wash, it’s mostly like knitting with twine. Lovely twine, to be sure, but twine nonetheless. Here was one place that the heat actually served me well. Damp hands helped to soften the yarn. I know… ewwww… but I washed the finished Clapotis a couple of times. I put tassels on all four corners, just because I could, and scattered just a few beads in the tassel strands. I didn’t get a good picture of it, but Rachel and Angela — who insisted on being all fan girl — did. You can see I had bad hair that day. Yes. It’s true. I got to meet Barbara Walker. When I had Very. Bad. Hair.

voodoo to you too
voodoo to you too

I apologize in advance for the quality of the following pictures. For some reason I just could not remember to bring my camera with me anywhere I went. All of these were taken with my iPhone. It’s not the best camera in the world, but hopefully you will get the idea. As always, click on the pics to biggie-size and pop up the little slide show thingy.

My Sock Summit week started a little bit early. Lorilee Beltman from City Knitting was just one of the amazing array of teachers that Stephanie and Tina gathered together for SS09. Lorilee arrived in Portland a few days early and I offered to… show here a good time.

We started out at Voodoo Doughnuts. Lorilee tried the eponymous Voodoo Doughnut, and I indulged in my favorite bacon maple bar.

lots of cheese
lots of cheese

Fortified by Voodoo, we headed for Tillamook. Our first stop was the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where they are celebrating their 100th birthday. From one side of the observation floor, you can see big vats where the milk is cooked and curdled and the cheese is actually made. On the other side, we watched big blocks of aged cheese whirling around conveyor belts and such while people cut them into smaller blocks and weighed them and packaged them for sale.

There’s an ice cream counter on the observation floor. We may have stood in line and indulged in a cone. It was their 100th birthday, after all.

Lorilee and friend
Lorilee and friend

Our next stop was the Tillamook Air Museum, where Lorilee found a friend!

The museum is housed inside a blimp hanger that is the largest free-standing wooden structure in the world. It covers more than 7 acres and is more than 15 stories tall – all with no internal supports. The thing is freaking huge! Seriously. I have to admit I’m not all that into military aircraft. It was interesting seeing all of the old planes and really early helicopters that looked like death traps. But the real draw for me, personally, is the sheer size and scope of the building and the interesting story behind its construction. Well worth a visit if you are ever in the area!

munson creek falls
munson creek falls

From there, we made our way down a narrow, one-lane gravel road (with, fortunately, plenty of turnouts for passing) to Munson Creek State Park. Munson Creek Falls is the second highest falls in Oregon — only Multnomah Falls is higher — and the highest in the Coast Range. Munson Creek itself is an important spawning area for salmon. The park is situated in a canyon with tall stands of cedar and Sitka spruce all around and, of course, the usual temperate rain forest understory of ferns and moss and berry bushes. There’s a trail that leads, after about 1/4 mile, to the closest point one is allowed to the falls. The picture was taken from the end of the trail. At the trail head right next to the creek there is a cute little picnic area with a couple of tables. (No water or restrooms.)

Munson Creek is another well worth a visit but out of the way place. I had no trouble negotiating the road in my Prius. But there is not a lot of space at the end of the road turn-around. RVs and trailers would not fair well.

blue moon cafe (not related)
blue moon cafe (not related)

Leaving Munson Creek, we realized that it was getting on towards the middle of the afternoon. I had been a bad hostess and dragged Lorilee all over Tillamook without even offering to feed her. And we were both starving.

We drove back into Tillamook to find (a) a likely place to eat and (b) someplace that had decent coffee. And the first thing we saw was the Blue Moon Cafe. I’m sure there is no relation to that other blue moon, but it seemed auspicious. We ordered sandwiches that turned out to be hearty, fresh, and tasty. Thus fortified, we walked a block away to a coffee house. I sadly did not get the name of the place, but the coffee was great.

From Tillamook we drove up to Astoria, because it’s pretty and picturesque and everyone should drive across the Astoria-Megler Bridge (The. Tallest. Scariest. Bridge. Ever.) at least once. And then we followed the Columbia River back to Portland, crossing at the St. John’s Bridge and back to The Kennedy School, the start of our adventures.

Lorilee meets Terminator
Lorilee meets Terminator

Over dinner, Lorilee claimed to be a wine drinker and not to like that beer stuff (or words to that effect). I plied her with introduced her to Terminator Stout. She admitted that maybe this beer stuff was OK. She drank the entire glass.

And that is the tale of my pre-Sock Summit adventure. Next time – and it will be soon – I will tell you all about Sock Summit, where an amazing time was had by all.

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