Crazy Monkey Creates

Just another weblog

Finally feel like blogging again… August 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 1:52 pm

It’s been a while, I know. I finally feel like sharing things again. Sock Summit (the first) almost wiped us out. I was unemployed for a while. I was underemployed for a while. Now I’m employed full-time and don’t feel like there’s any time for anything else.

But we get out occasionally, and I thought I’d share some photos with the internets, to clog up the tubes some. Pics after the jump.



Sock Summit October 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 10:57 am


I’ve been trying to find a nice way to describe sock summit for us, as vendors. The long and short of it is that it wasn’t all it was hyped for the vendors, and we came back with not only a net loss, but a loss in business because we had to push our lead time for our winders out so far. We stood on concrete floors for 4 days (Thursday to unpack, then Thursday night for students, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

We weren’t the only unhappy vendors there, and everyone (who wasn’t involved) who I’ve told about our experience has said things like “Oh, but you got exposure”… except we haven’t made a single sale since Sock Summit based on our going there.

It was a fun show, and we enjoyed going and exhibiting. We got to meet people we knew online (like I tried to get Amy from Knitty to buy some cotton, and we met Creative from Creatively Dyed, and I got to meet Syne Mitchell from Weavezine), and got to meet new people who are involved in yarn (like Mama Llama, as she was our next-door-neighbor), but all in all, it wasn’t worth us driving to Portland.

I understand all the students got loads of excitement and learning from it, but there just wasn’t enough time for them to shop (and to get to the far aisle of vendors near the sock museum where we were), and there were too many vendors for the numbers of students.

That said, we’d probably do it again, given the chance. Especially since some of our products are specifically marketed to indy dyers, specifically our winders and heavy duty swifts. If everyone had done just a little better, we’d have come home with more orders for winders, I’m sure of it.

One of the wholesale vendors said he usually sells completely out of his undyed yarn at the end of a show, because other vendors come up to him and buy the rest of a box of yarn to dye and re-sell. And he just didn’t this show. Even vendors he knew looked forward to shows like this said “maybe next time” and “I wish I could.”


SSO9 – The Booth August 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 8:52 am

After taking Wednesday off to drive around and enjoy Oregon, we started getting ready for Sock Summit in earnest. We got to the convention center around 9:30 for our 10am timeslot, but they let us in anyway, and we started getting everything set up. It seemed like every time I thought I had everything done for one set of shelves that we’d find another box with more yarn in it. It took us 3 hours to set up, finally finishing around 12:30, when we decided to take lunch and a nap before the Student Preview at 4. When the students were finally let in, they cheered and swarmed everywhere.

This is what our booth (#1212) looks like all set up and full of yarn.
Booth at SS09


To Portland! August 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 11:36 pm

We got into Portland around 1pm today, and checked into the RV park. The drive from the other side of Oregon was pretty, but adjusting to the 6000′ drop in altitude, the huge boost in humidity, and the 1 hour time difference between Pacific and Mountain has me exhausted. Tomorrow, we have the whole day free, and Thursday we have our move-in time slot and the early bird preview Marketplace to look forward to.


Made it to Oregon! August 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 11:50 pm

August 3

We left this morning at quarter to 8, and stopped at Shoshone Falls in Idaho (photos will be posted once I have the time to sit and think about how to develop them). We took photos and moved on, traveling until almost 9pm, where we stopped at the KOA in Pendleton, Oregon. Tomorrow will be our shortest travel day, hopefully getting us to Portland when the sun’s still up.

Wednesday is our ‘don’t have plans for this’ day … at least so far. We’ll see once we get there, I guess.


Going to Sock Summit… August 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — crazymonkeycreates @ 10:55 pm

It’s been rather quiet around here because it’s festival season, and we’re on our way to Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been preparing for probably the better part of 2 months, and it’s been hectic.

August 1

Packing day. We filled the car with 16 totes full of yarn and fiber, 9 fiber kits, the dog and cat carriers, and the dog and cats. We stayed at the Garden of the Gods campground, so that we could get an early start to Portland.

August 2

Day 1 of the trip to Sock Summit. Ben took some time before we left to install new marker lights on the trailer, and hook the trailer brakes back up (he had removed the brake wires when he flipped the axle on the trailer). We left Colorado Springs with one last check of things we needed to bring, and headed north on I-25. We met our friend Dave for lunch and made it into Wyoming around 4-ish. Wyoming was mostly uphill, which is not the nicest thing for gas mileage, but we made it to Lyman by just past sundown and checked into the KOA there. The cats were pleased to get out of their carriers, and the dog and I took a nice walk around the “kampground” while Ben set up the trailer for the night. Wyoming was as lovely as ever, with its buttes and interesting rock formations, and construction over what seemed like 1/4 of the trip on I-80.


“No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting” by Anne L. Macdonald May 1, 2009

Filed under: 2009,book review — crazymonkeycreates @ 1:26 pm

As a kid, I wasn’t much interested in History … at least, not in the way it was presented in the history classes I took. All the battles and names and dates with no way to relate them to human beings. I don’t have a head for that kind of history. I love the stories of history, and I remember having a teacher in High School who would tell stories (even though I don’t remember his name).

Those stories of history stuck with me much better than the dry name/date/battle lectures. When Ben & I went to the library earlier this week, I picked out some audiobooks, as they’re a way to get some imagination into our day, and I picked out “No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting” by Anne L. Macdonald. Not only is it full of the stories that I’ve always liked about history, but it’s the history of knitting, which is fascinating in its own right. We take for granted so much, even as knitters. Like patterns with gauge measurements, schematics, and even photographs. In the discussion about having to protect one’s clothing and furniture from one’s hair pomade, there comes this bit:

A “French Pattern,” however, called for the knitter to shape the crown and then “when your cap is large enough round . . . knit until the cap is three-fourths of a yard long: make the end like the beginning.” Lacking a clarifying sketch, one’s imagination soars in ruminating on an object with a cap at each end to double the wear. For the imaginative, old pattern books supply the stuff of conjecture, such as a “save-all bag . . . so called because it may be made with odds and ends of netting silk, or all of one color, at pleasure [which can be worked] until the bag is long enough. The bag looks well with a clasp, and a tassel at the bottom.” It must be taken on faith.

or this bit on knitting for the confederate soldiers:

Young girls who had never learned to knit stockings because advances in the textile industry had improved “store-bought” ones gamely grasped the fundamentals under their elders’ tutelage. One student remembered her mentor: “With what delight, after days of toil, she would triumphantly hold up for examination the rude, ill-shapen garment for evaluation . . . [my] ‘soldier’s sock.’ Many a merry laugh has been provoked as the grotesque thing was submitted for critical examination.”

Show me a knitter who can’t commiserate with that though, of being so proud of the misshapen thing that they spent so much time on that they want to show it off to their teacher, and getting giggles at the scarf shaped like brazil, or the blanket that’s twice as big on one end as the other.

I’m only up to chapter 7, but if you’re looking for something that ties american history up with a slipknot to start casting on and knitting, I’d recommend this book in a second. It’s made me ask a couple of times why we never heard things like the fact that George Washington refused a salary during the Revolutionary War, but insisted that Martha Washington be paid for her trips back and forth to the front (knitting and doing handwork all the while to clothe the troops)? Why didn’t we hear about the wives and girlfriends who marched along behind the troops as support?



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