Monday, August 24, 2009

First, a word about our sponsors...

This was the Woodstock of knitting.

It may be hard for non-fiber addicts to understand, but it was massive (see the Tsock Tsarina's blog for a great representation of the nutter hilarity that imbued the long weekend). We took over the Oregon Convention Center and multiple hotels. We had the Grand Dames of knitting - major celebs, each one - teaching us classes. We had a museum of sock history stretching back 2000 years. We had a marketplace filled with hundreds - yes, hundreds - of vendors, many of them independent business owners. Oh, the handpaints! Four days of shared knowledge. Thousands of attendees. Literally tons of yarn. *swoon*

Ok, here's what's cool about the Luminary Panel. These are not women famous for looking hot, or mouthing someone else's lines. These are women who rescued creative, intelligent designs and skilled handwork. For millenia, people had to make their own clothes. Most were too short on time and resources to do much beyond the basics. Generally, only nobility and the very wealthy had decorative garments, but everyone knew how to produce the basics. After the industrial revolution, everything changed. Machines did it all. In the ever-increasingly technological age, people lost the ability to make something with their hands.

Our heroines - Barbara Walker, Elizabeth Zimmermann, etc - they brought back the ancient techniques, improved them, and turned them into therapy, into intellectual challenges, into personal expression. And they did this in a time when women were not supposed to run their own businesses, and they did it with a wicked sense of humor (Yes, Lucy Neatby is carrying a chicken purse).

Thanks, gals. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, brain, and fingers.

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