To good friends.

Almost two years ago, I made a new friend: Ewenique. We met when I, a total stranger, offered to drive her to Sock Summit 2009 in Portland while she was visiting Seattle from the UK. (Honestly, I could have been an axe murderer for all she knew!) We got along famously, and have been keeping in touch and sending presents back and forth and doing all the things that good friends do.

Well, Ewenique is back in the States, her visit once again happily coinciding with Sock Summit 2011. I actually had quite a few things stored up that I’d been meaning to send, not the least of which was a little housewarming gift I knit for her:

Girasole

That’s Girasole, a beautiful lace blanket/shawl designed by Jared Flood. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, an alpaca/wool blend in the color “Steel Cut Oats.” I’d started it some time ago, and when Ewenique told me they got a new house, of course I had to finish the blanket for the occasion (months late, as it worked out, but who’s counting?).

Ewenique and her husband only just arrived a couple of days ago. They came to our house last night for a BBQ, after which she stayed over so we could get a head start on our trip down to Sock Summit. (Given the jet lag, they held up quite well!) Ewe also gave me some lovely purple Old Maiden Aunt yarn, some buttons, and some yummy bikkies, which I believe I will devour in record time.

Today was a gorgeous day, so I trotted out the convertible and we made the trek down to Portland. Once there, we walked and stroked the yarn to our hearts’ content. I didn’t get very good pictures, so this will have to do.

(Edit: Ewenique posted her pictures, here. They’re much better than mine.)

Sock Summit 2011

I did catch Ewenique fondling her yarn when she thought I wasn’t looking. Naughty girl.

The weather was quite warm, and stayed that way all day, even after sunset. Naturally the convertible top stayed down and we basked the whole way home. The day could not have been more perfect.

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To new friends (and a massive knitting event)

Knitting, by way of Ravelry, has introduced me to so many wonderful people. Most of them I’ve never met in person, but there are two that I have recently met face-to-face and am glad to call friends. There’s KnittyBron, who, as it turns out, lives very close by (Hi, Bronwyn!), and just yesterday, Ewenique.
 
Ewenique was a total stranger to me until, oh, last week, when I found out she was flying to Seattle from the U.K. She wanted to go to a little show called the Sock Summit at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland while she was here. I don’t generally knit socks, so I didn’t give the conference much thought until, oh, last week, when I offered her a ride. You may not think there are many knitters around, but the show’s organizers managed to scrape up several thousand, I think, for several days of classes, demos, a Guiness World Record attempt, and lots and lots of yarn.
 
Did I mention lots and lots of yarn? Yes. There were 150 vendors at the Sock Summit marketplace. Since I hadn’t planned on actually going to the summit, I hadn’t signed up for any classes, but I did decide to go to the marketplace yesterday. Happily, my plans aligned with Ewenique’s, so I picked her up at her hotel in Seattle and drove the 3 hours south to Portland. It was a bit overwhelming, and I didn’t buy as much yarn as I thought I would, but a good time was had by all. I forgot to take pictures, so I’m hijacking Ewenique’s for illustrative purposes.
 
[There was a picture here, but now it’s gone. Imagine a big convention hall full of yarn. Now add more yarn. No, more than that. No, seriously, more yarn.]
 
After the marketplace closed, we went over to Red Robin for a big fat burger and fries (or chips, if you prefer). It was delish. Then we hopped in the car and felt our way over to Washington Park for a big Ravelry meet. I say "felt our way" because I just generally knew it was "over there" and hoped to end up at the right place. We did come in the north entrance, which apparently winds its way though the hilly park for a mile or two before ending at the World Forestry Center where the event was held. The south entrance, as it turned out, was right on a highway. Go fig.
 
The Ravelry meet was great. We didn’t stay long, as we had another three hours of driving to get back to Seattle that night. But the place was packed with knitters. They’d planned the event for 350 people, but well over that actually showed up. They had goody bags, but, sadly we arrived too late to get one. I’ve never seen so many handknits in one place! I did meet Casey and Frecklegirl, the founders of Ravelry, and Rainydaygoods, also of Ravelry fame. Knitters are so easy to talk to… just walk up and start chatting. We’ve already got something in common!
 
Rainydaygoods, Ewenique, and Frecklegirl
 
Casey and me (squee!)
 
I was so tired by the end of it, but it was a happy sort of tired. Still recuperating today. Thanks, Ewenique, for the company! Can’t wait till the next one!