This past weekend was the first-ever Vogue Knitting Live, held at the Hilton in midtown New York City, so of course since it was only a subway ride away I just had to go. It was smaller than I expected (I guess I had Stitches in mind) but it was also much better curated and had lots of interesting events/fashion shows/displays all around. Because I bought so much stuff (mom, you didn't read that part) I decided to first post about what I saw and did over the two days and then share the stash enhancement in another post . . .
One of the coolest sections of the market was a corner dedicated to knitted Art (yes, to me there's a difference between "art" and art with a capital A). My favorite piece was this humongous knitted whale from Hannah Haworth! The description said that it was inspired by the artist's meeting with a baby whale in real life and that's pretty cool. So is watching the whale get made in the progress updates on Hannah's blog. Be sure to click on over there to check it out!
I got to finally meet a few people whom I feel like I've known forever online but never actually met in real life before. I'm not great at being social, I'm terrible at smalltalk and tend to curse too much when I get nervous. . . and I always feel like everyone else is way more "squee!" than I am so I end up not interacting as much as I should at these events because I'm uncomfortable. This time I was determined to seek out people I admire and always wanted to meet, and also to promote my Chiagu designs!
One of the first people I met was Ysolda when she was signing her books. I didn't get to talk to her much because she was pretty swamped, and she definitely didn't recognize/know me at all, which is funny (but I guess not surprising) because we "talked" online years ago. I got the impression from her that she's a bit like me in the social aspect and not great at chit-chat, so the two of us together didn't have much conversation! I did, however, buy her second Little Knits book so I could have her sign it, and I got a skein of Tosh DK to make the beret from that book . . . but more on that later.
The person I was probably most excited to meet in-real-life was CookieA. I've known her for over five years online and have even done some sample knitting for her, so I definitely feel like I "know" her even though we never met until yesterday. We talked a lot about her socks and yarn and what's next for our lives. It's funny because she used to be a software developer and now makes her living off the knitting world, and for me it's the exact opposite! She's definitely much better at schmoozing than I am, hands-down. I bought her new sock book too so that she could sign it and am looking forward to making a challenging pair of socks sometime this year. Since I usually knit stockinette socks it will be a nice change.
The last designer I was super-excited to meet was Kathy Merrick (Ravelry link), the designer of the amazing Babette blanket. She was awesome and so down-to-earth. We took a picture together but neither one of us looks any good in it so I'm not posting it! You'll just have to believe me when I say I met her and all the others. She's working closely with Koigu for their new Koigu Magazine and she and I talked to Taiu for hours about Koigu, the general knitting industry, dying, etc. Koigu may be introducing another yarn base soon . . . but that's all I can say right now. That and I can say that if it turns out to be what we talked about, I'll definitely be buying a bunch of it myself!
Everywhere you looked in the market there were people wearing gorgeous handknits and examining and buying wonderful new products. I wore my new vest design on day one and people stopped me a lot to ask me about it, and on day two I wore the Vimioso Cowl and got a bunch of conversations started about that. It's really nice to see people's reactions to your designs in real life after only having online feedback for so long!
Even the event's decorations were really nice. There were blown-up Vogue Knitting covers on easels, and these yarn-covered mannequins lined the bridge between buildings:
I swear it seemed like everyone who came to the show (and that was over 3,000 people on Saturday alone!) took pictures of these things at one point or another! I bet every angle imaginable is posted online somewhere . . .
In my next post I'll show you the damage I did over two days of shopping the marketplace. For now suffice it to say that I'm not allowed to buy any new knitting stuff for a long LONG time. Seriously.