Swatch: Vogue Knitting 35th Anniversary

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My son is 30 years old, so it is easy for me to track how long I’ve been knitting–30 years. When I was learning to knit, I assumed Vogue Knitting magazine had been around as long as the sewing patterns (1899). As a beginning knitter I regarded Vogue Knitting as the hippest, most fashionable knitting resource. Like the sewing patterns, I found the patterns more challenging. Within a few years I stretched my skills to knit entrelac and intarsia patterns from Vogue Knitting.

A few years after that it was with a huge sigh of relief when a yarn store employee remarked that Vogue Knitting often printed patterns with errors. It gave me permission to question Vogue’s authority. All the same I give Vogue Knitting a straight needle salute for inspiring me over the last 30 years. I especially enjoy the knitting events, Vogue Knitting Live, they host in New York City and Seattle.

Check out the 35th Anniversary issue of the magazine on newsstands until 11/7 for US $7.99.

Postscript: Sometimes when I travel I find a favorite food. In New Zealand I always look for Arnott’s chocolate mint cookies. They are as close to the old Mystic Mint cookies that were available in USA until the recession of 2008 put so many cookie companies out of business. The other day I found these TimTam’s in mint! At first I was concerned I wouldn’t have the self control to keep from pigging out on them regularly. However, I can’t remember in what store I found them, so I look forward to my next visit to New Zealand to be able to eat my favorite store bought cookie.

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Hip and Chic Knitter Goes to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC

Times Square New York City

Times Square New York City

Vogue Knitting Live (VKL)  is a showcase of all things knitting–without the sheep. It is full of opportunities to learn and be inspired from the “yarn tasting” area to two ballrooms full of shopping temptation. I am in New York City to visit a friend and to check out Vogue Knitting Live NYC. Last year I went to VKL in Seattle. I took a class and checked out the marketplace on a Friday when I was in Seattle. My Icelandic knitting class was terrific; however, this time I did not see a compelling class, so I focused on the marketplace.

Converse makes knit sneakers! Inspiration is everywhere including other knitters' feet.

Converse makes knit sneakers! Inspiration is everywhere including other knitters’ feet.

I am not sure if it is the Saturday crowd or New York City but the energy level was way higher than Seattle! It was like a sale in the basement of Barneys. People were having fun shopping, trying on garments, watching fashion shows. Plus everywhere you go in the 3 floors of the Marriott Marquis Hotel there are women knitting and talking to each other.

Knitter tries on Heidi & Lana's sample shawl with cool buckle. Available in kit.

Knitter tries on Heidi & Lana’s sample shawl with cool buckle. Available in kit.

I promised myself that I was not going to buy yarn because I have a healthy stash at home and enough unfinished projects already. Besides there were plenty of other things to purchase like a t-shirt that says “Knitting is sexy” and patterns. Shout out to the Stella Lighting folks who are going to keep me from ruining my eyesight while stitching. My favorite logo was the Dancing Sheep. My favorite both decoration was Heidi & Lana.

Socks featured at Rowan fashion show.

Not many fashion shows feature socks! Rowan knits.

The scarf is made in Knit Collage’s Gypsy Garden, Mermaid Cafe. “In Gypsy Garden, wool, mohair and sparkling polyester fibers called Angelina are handspun together with tiny flower trims, sequins and bits of lace & ribbons.”

The scarf is made in Knit Collage’s Gypsy Garden, Mermaid Cafe. “In Gypsy Garden, wool, mohair and sparkling polyester fibers called Angelina are handspun together with tiny flower trims, sequins and bits of lace & ribbons.”

Saturday offers fashion shows and I took in several. The DMC and Rowan shows were interesting and each had one or two garments that I was interested in creating. The crowds grew as the day advanced. At 2:15 the Stephen & Steven Spectacular! hit the stage. It was the funk version of fashion show with dancers and models dressed and draped in color and texture. Steven Be has groupies and they were there in force and some of them even went on stage to join the fun. It was like watching a George Clinton concert.

Rowan Knits featured a variety of patterns including including garments using Istek Lopi.

Rowan Knits featured a variety of patterns including including garments using Istek Lopi.

Stephen & Steven Spectacular!

Uptown funk at Vogue Knitting Live!

I got so caught up in the excitement that I bought a skein of yarn at Steven’s booth along with Stephen West and Steven Be’s Mixed Tape pattern book.

You can catch the last day of Vogue Knitting Live in New York City Sunday January 18 from 10 – 4. Marketplace entrance fee is $20. Do not miss it If you like to knit!

Here are some of my favorite products…

The "ewe clip" holds one or more needles and keeps your work from sliding off. www.purlyewe.com

The “ewe clip” holds one or more needles and keeps your work from sliding off. http://www.purlyewe.com

This plastic ball protects your yarn on the go, or in my case from Lulu's sharp teeth.

This plastic ball protects your yarn on the go, or in my case from Lulu’s sharp teeth. theyarnit.com

 

Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle Inspires

Vogue Knitting Live is a terrific showcase and provides inspiration from workshops to art, to new fibers, and new designs.

Sweater designs displayed at entrance t Vogue Knitting Live

Sweater designs displayed at entrance t Vogue Knitting Live

My knitting enthusiasm seems to have disappeared with the rain in California. I have plenty of projects to work on, but I lack motivation. Then I read about Vogue Knitting Live in the Knitter’s Review blog. I found the basic information on the website. I had work and church commitments that limited my time so I signed up for one afternoon workshop and planned my trip to Seattle so I could spend the afternoon learning to speed steek and then shop for a few hours in the Expo.

Yarn tasting where knitters could try out different fibers.

Yarn tasting where knitters could try out different fibers.

Steeking is a technique used in Nordic knitting where you knit in the round and then crochet a safety edge and then take scissors and CUT an opening in the yarn. When I was in Norway last summer I bought the yarn to make a Norwegian style sweater and thought this class would be both challenging and practical.  I arrived in the nick of time to take my class from Ragga Eiricksdottir from Iceland. She did a great job explaining the properties of Lopi, the technique of steeking plus passing along tips. As we knit she shared some of her current projects, information on her wool cooperative in Iceland. She also explained how they bring the sheep down from the mountains at the end of summer and sort them by their ear tags to their proper owner to over winter.

Rigga and her friend like to find Icelandic sweaters in thrift stores and rework them in cool ways.

Ragga and her friend like to find Icelandic sweaters in thrift stores and rework them in cool ways.

I would LOVE to participate in sheep sorting in 2015. I added it to my travel wish list.

The expo included the usual booths with yarn shops and specialty items. It also offered “yarn tasting” with dozens of different fibers to touch and try out. Plus there was an outside aisle featuring many yarn artists.

Octopussy

Octopussy

I spun the “wheel of fortune” and kept landing on “spin again”. After about 7 spins I finally won a bag of yarn and a pattern book. Yeah!

I enjoyed so much about my trip to Seattle that even if Vogue Knitting Live had been a bust my trip would have been worthwhile. The one frustration was how far the event was from downtown Seattle, thus requiring me to rent a car. The Meydenbauer Center is in the suburbs surrounded by a sterile neighborhood.

Did my knitting mojo come back? Not exactly. I do not know whether it is my preoccupation with cycling that has dampened my enthusiasm, or just a slump. I am trying some advice I read to knit every day for 10 minutes regardless of how you feel. I am trying this and one benefit is that you steadily make progress.

I recommend checking out one of the Vogue Knitting Live events already scheduled: in Chicago in October and New York City in January, 2015.