May 2024

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Well I feel as though I must jump into the fray and post about my experience at Vogue Knitting Live last weekend.  It was a veritable fiber frenzy and has taken me a full week to recover from it.  Not at all in a bad way, I was just so tired after being emersed and fully focused in this knitting vortex for the entire weekend.  So I spent this  week recovering by reading all the knitterati blogs and comments on Ravelry.  On the whole, it seems that getting what I heard to be close to 3k knitters together with over 50 of the top world -class instructors, in the center of Manhattan, in the middle of winter, wasn’t a crazy idea after all. Some of my favorite reviews of the event are from Franklin Habit,  Beth Brown Reinsel, Clara ParkesCirilia Rose from Berocco, who used to work with my daughter Kt, at that store in NoHo, and of course Stephanie Pearl McPhee.

I had registered for the 5th Avenue Getaway Package back last September. That’s 6 classes + 2 Lectures + Purls & Prosecco Opening Cocktail Reception + NY, NY Gala & Mohair Design Awards Dinner + 2-day Marketplace tickets.  It took me such a long time to decide on what classes I wanted to take because the list of instructors and class offerings just made my head spin.  I knew I wanted it all, and had to get into as much as I could.  Albeit some of my choices were already sold out by the time I decided to go whole hog, but I was very happy with the classes I chose.  The anticipation leading up to this knitting getaway was enhanced by the fact it was a first ever venture for Vogue Knitting and I was going to be able to share it with two of my knitting pals from the Long Island Knit & Crochet Guild, Sara & Valarie.

We planned on catching an early, early LIRR train into NYC on Friday morning, and of course it was snowing to beat the band, but we did not care.  We were finally on our way to this much anticipated & talked about event.  The three of us, loaded down with our knitting bags, suitcases, boots, and all types of wooly apparel, squished into the seats of the train car, giddy like school girls. We were all going on about all things knitty, when a slightly grouchy (male) commuter in the seats next to us, remarked  “Ladies, this is a commuter train, and most of the people here use this time to sleep”!?!?!  Well, excuse us!!  We politely smiled and him an unable to contain ourselves continued our conversation.

When we arrived at the Hilton, we quickly registered, and we were off on our separate ways to our classes.  I have to say this, and many others have already said it, the volunteers at this event were fantastic.  They seemed to be everywhere helping & giving directions.

Both my Friday classes were with Fiona Ellis, Morphing Cables & Celtic Cables. Now, I really am sort of a cable addict, believing it to be a sure way to improve any pattern. Just throw some cable work into that collar, edge, or wherever…. but Fiona’s classes opened my eyes to the true power of the cable technique. Here are some pics of her samples she shared with the class……

In between classes we were among many who attended the lecture “This is your brain on knitting” with Stephanie Pearl McPhee, the one & only Yarn Harlot. What a feeling to be in a room filled to capacity knowing that every attendee is just as nuts about knitting, crocheting & fiber creating as you are! And Stephanie really understands the madness.

After filling my head with cable combinations all day with nary a minute to grab a bite to eat, we were off to change and get back for the Opening Night Purls & Prosecco Reception. Now there were so many famously knitty people there, that being that close to Meg Swanson, Debbie Bliss, Kristin Nicholas (ps- on a side note I have one son named Nicholas, and one daughter named Kristin-which really has nothing to do with Kristin Nicholas, I just think it is one of those weird karma things), Melissa Leapman, Nancy Bush, Jared Flood, Franklin Habit, the list goes on……was a tad overwhelming. Sadly we were all looking forward to having a glass of Prosecco, but there was none to be found, and upon inquiring for it at the bar we received the strangest looks form the bar keeps, Prosecco?,,, Proscuitto?,,,,Proscenium?,,, (clearly they had no idea of what we were asking) ….. No- we have none of those, alas.

After that we were off to bed, in the city that never sleeps, to dream of  what would await us in our Saturday classes.

Saturday morning came upon us very quickly, and Valarie & I took the opportunity to get the real first full meal we had since embarking on this journey.  We “dined” on scrambled eggs, french toast, all the fixings, coffee and a much needed cuppa tea for me, at the Cafe Metro on the corner of 54th & 7th, for what seemed to be a mere pittance as compared to the prices for food inside the Hilton. Now with our tummies full were we able to face the day.

That day I had two classes with the very serene Beth Brown Reinsel, Norwegian Purl & Twined Knitting. I can say she was very serene because our classes were held in one of the suites on the 5th floor of the hotel.  They had taken out all of the regular furniture and replaced it with tables, chairs, and some very dim table lamps. Clearly knitters did not plan this, but Beth was the veritable calm in face of adversity, and we all quickly adapted to the situation. We all took turns, one half of us at a time to gather around her while she demonstrated the techniques. I was truly amazed at the samples, and her knowledge, that she shared with the class and can’t wait to put her teachings into my future knitting projects.

I really am not one for woking with multiple colors, but after this class I feel that I owe it to myself as a knitter to expand my horizons, which is one of the main reasons that I wanted to participate in VK Live.

Now let it be known in between all the classes and stealing off for nibbles of food, we got to attend the Marketplace.  Hurried moments of pure bliss, surrounded by the likes of  Buffalo Gold, who were so nice to take a few minutes to talk to me about their Buffalo rovings and their test spinning process. Tess Yarns was just breath taking, Adirondack Yarns, Blue Moon Fibers, Leilani Arts, Woolstock,  Bijou Basin  Ranch, plus our friends from KNIT on Long Island,  and so many more. It was just so, just so, just pack me up and take me away, because if I stayed any longer I would be bankrupt.  The only thing that I fear I need to mention was that the lighting was very poor, which made it hard for the vendors to present their stocks, as well as hard for the buyers to choose.  Otherwise the variety and selection offered was outstanding. I ended up with Buffalo Gold rovings to spin, some Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama in a deep purple and Louisa Harding’s Kashmir Baby in pale teal, plus a bottle of some yummy smelling SOAK, that I plan to use to clean a fleece I have waiting to be spun.

Plus there were fashion shows and demonstrations all going on at the same time, it was mind blowing.  Mochimochi Land was awesome 🙂 and check out this huge knitted stockinette stitch whale!

Every where you looked you could find little bits of inspiration.

And yet this was only day two, capped off with the Gala Dinner & Mohair Awards. It was great to see that ballroom packed with people really enjoying the evening and the history behind Vogue Knitting Magazine. The Mohair Design Finalists were all so wonderful, I do not know how they were able to choose a winner.

We were just able to crawl our way back to our rooms, hoping that the knitting goddesses would bestow upon us enough strength to carry on into day three….

It was a cold, cold, cold Sunday morning, even for me and I grew up in this city.  My Sunday was spent in an all day class with Cat Bordhi, Engineering New Stitch Patterns.  By this class, I was just about fried mentally, but so glad I was able to participate. We were all given cards with various pattern stitches on them and told to use them to create our own combinations. At first I thought how could this be, but let myself think out of the box, and learned that nothing new will come from following the old straight and narrow ways of copying stitch patterns stitch for stitch.  We all had adventures learning to let go and play with our swatches to see where they could take us. Highlight of the class was when Cat taught us all the invisible cast on….. Wow, now how many ways can you think of to use this new technique?

Plus squeeezed in to the middle of  the day was “B is for Purl: A Brief History of Knitting Patterns” with the most squee Franklin Habit. Being a bit of an old soul, I really found his lecture most informative, well written, well presented and come on, just fun. The perfect way to break up a day of intense knitting challenges.

Plus he is just so dam cute  – here his is in his antique knitted night cap, an inspiration to all of us antique pattern collectors.

Well seems that I have packed this post with enough links to choke a stockinette stitch whale….

Guess you can venture that I had an awesome weekend and can’t wait to do it again!  It was as this last picture shows the raspberry on top of the mousse.

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