For those not in the online knitting world, the Sock Summit recently concluded in Portland, OR. I read a couple of knitting blogs, so I followed along, a bit, and wished I was more local, or more passionate?, so I could attend as well. I was intensely jealous of my sister that LIVES IN PORTLAND, and knits, because she had at least the option of attending (although she also has a new baby, so her goal was mostly to go to the marketplace, which would have been enough for me, as well).
It did make me think back to my days as a Stampin' Up demonstrator. They hold a yearly convention for their demonstrators, and the first two times I went, it was for ALL their demonstrators, so ~7000 of us descended on the Las Vegas Convention Center, then the Orlando Convention Center the next year. I'm sure they didn't know what to make of us. It was equal parts business convention, crafting, and fan-dom. When you have that many women (mostly) there for something that they are both trying to make some money at and also just plain enjoying, it really becomes a very big enthusiastic party. And the company encouraged, or at least didn't discourage, a bit of cult of personality around the founder/owner.
Descriptions of the Sock Summit seemed similar. Many people, passionate about their craft, meeting their idols, learning something as well... Well, it was probably rather overwhelming. But it was probably a lot of fun. There's nothing like being with thousands of other people who share a passion with you. You stop feeling so much like you have to explain what you love to do.
There's a wool convention in New York State this fall. It's just after my birthday, and I've already told John that I'd REALLY like to attend. Haven't quite figured out how it's going to happen, but I'd love to have a little bit of that camaraderie again. Gets you all fired up, you know. I could use a little passion and energy these days.