Last April, Leann and I decided that we were headed to Sock Summit, a magical gathering of sock knitters that included an even more magical marketplace full of sock yarn. Our transportation of choice was the Coast Starlight, a train that a quick glance at the route map shows is only coastal before and after our time on it. But, taking the train to Portland seemed so old timey and stress-free, something we both longed to be, so we endured the 17.5 hour ride from the Bay Area to Portland. And we discovered that a Nalgene can fit a bottle of wine discreetly and that Dixie cups still exist. And we knit legwarmers!
|Check out my legwarmers and my clashing Jaywalkers!|
Upon pulling up into the Portland train station, we decided that a walk to our hotel was in order since sitting for 17.5 hours made us feel blobby. After checking in, we chowed down on Thai food, then made our way via public transportation to the Awesome 80's Sock Hop!
Leann and I have been friends since our angsty high school years, and we wondered what our teenaged selves would have thought of our current selves looking so ridiculous that cars stopped and laughed at us. Leann still remembered how to do wings and poofy bangs! My bangs went flat as soon as I stepped out of the hotel room despite asphyxiating myself with hairspray.
Any awkwardness we felt upon arriving at the Sock Hop was dissolved by 1 Manhattan, 1 greyhound, and the Village People's "YMCA". Now, how many of you can say that you danced the YMCA with the Yarn Harlot? She's in this shot, I swear! It felt too intrusive to kinnear her any closer. Paparazzi, I am not. The last song played was a practice run for the flash mob. So cool to see it all in person!
The next day, we hit the Sock Summit and shopped! I increased my sock yarn stash from 1 skein to 6 skeins, and I swear I'll post the sock yarn pr0n later. It's good stuff: Miss Babs, Sanguine Gryphon (best booth ever), and Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I also scored a set of Signature Needle Arts DPNs. Although 2 circular needles is my preferred sock knitting method, there are some patterns that are best knit with DPNs. Plus, I love knitting with my other pair of Signature straights, and I was dying for another pair. They do cell circular needles now, but not in the smaller sizes yet.
A highlight of these yarny gatherings is meeting other knit bloggers. I finally got to meet Michelle while she was working the Knitted Wit booth! She's just as lovely in person as she is online.
Portland is a good place for grub, both high end and cheap. On our last day, Leann and I heard about some food trucks that were near Powell's Books. These Bosnian pita's were delicious! I ordered a combo: 1/2 spinach pita, and 1/2 spicy beef. The spicy beef was by far my favorite one. Although they are called pitas, they reminded me more of Chinese scallion pancakes because they consisted of a filled, laminated dough that is then spiraled before being baked. I made my first attempt last night for dinner, but it was so-so. I need to find a better dough recipe (if anyone has made these, please do share a link to the recipe). Perhaps a yeasted dough would be better.
Above is a picture of the my new favorite schnitzel: duck. These are from Gruner, a German restaurant with a twist. There are other foods and drinks we ate and loved, like the avocado daiquiri from Mint, and the vanilla latte and country bread from Ken's Artisan Bakery.
Before we knew it, we were headed back on another 17.5 hour train ride. I started and finished the last 2 Hunger Game books, learned way too much about strangers (does that still make them strangers?), and knit on a sock. I think I am finally recovered.