Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vogue Knitting Live!

In October, the Kalamazoo Knitting Guild chartered a bus to go to Vogue Knitting Live, in Chicago. Jess, Denise, and I joined the knitters on the bus.

We started in the dark, around 7 am. The sun rose on a beautiful fall day.

At the rest stop in Indiana

Denise & Jess on the bus

We arrived in Chicago shortly before 9, and had a splendid day. We hadn't signed up for any classes, and wandered about throughout the day, wherever our fancy took us.

There was "down time," when we sat knitting and chatting. We watched a Vogue Knitting fashion show (not that I'm really a Vogue kind of girl).

We took our time wandering through the market. We admired and touched all sorts of yarn (and tried not to drool on it). We chatted with Vicki Howell (Knitty Gritty) and Ysolda Teague (she designed Elijah the Elephant). We saw knitting in the wild that we fell in love with, such as the Bermuda Scarf. (Well, at least I fell in love with it, and I have just the yarn for it, in my stash...)

We stopped at one booth, Black Wolf Ranch, and Jess asked me if I thought, with that name, that they might be predator-friendly. The owner popped up and confirmed that to be the case, much to Jess' delight. They had an alpaca hat that was just slightly felted - I've been pondering ever since how to recreate it. (I have alpaca in my stash that could be put to that use...)

At Green Mountain Spinnery's booth, I saw a terrific little hat, the Ascutney Mountain Hat. And somewhere - no idea which booth - we saw the Waves in the Square Shawl, by Sivia Harding. It has an unusual construction, being knit as a square, rather than a rectangle. It's really quite lovely, but requires 1100 yards of light fingering weight yarn - more than the couple skeins I usually think to buy.

We saw a beautiful shawl, Ann Weaver's Lamp Shawl, along with other designs from her White Whale books. We saw jewelry, cleverly made from old metal knitting needles.

The Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn booth had magic balls, which are large skeins (525 yards) of sock yarn. They include 15 different colors of sock yarn, tied together and wound into a cake. They would be fun to knit with - but then you would have to deal with all those ends...!

Jess made her yarn purchase at Black Wolf Ranch's booth. Denise bought a book - Knit Red - and some splendid red yarn, at the Jimmy Beans Wool booth. (A portion of the sales of the book Knit Red go towards educating women about heart disease.)

I almost bought a kit to make a linen stitch shawl. The yarn colors - pastels - were beautiful, and I think it would have been a joy to knit.

But then I saw this yarn:

This is the same Swans Island yarn I'd seen (and not bought) in Wisconsin. This time, I didn't hesitate, and now it's in my stash, waiting to become the Panoramic Stole.

I was keeping an eye out for a new yarn to use for my Elijah Elephants. I stumbled across this, and thought it should work well:

I bought just one skein, and now wonder if it is a one-of-a-kind, since I've not been able to track it down online since coming home.

There was a gallery section, with works from different fiber artists. My favorites were pieces by Chris Motley. Here are two of her sculptures:

Love this guy!

We took a lunch break and walked across town to Portillo's, for Chicago-style hot dogs. Conveniently, our path also took us near a Trader Joe's store (where we used careful judgment in our purchases, since we'd have to carry them back to the show).

In October, Poetry Magazine was celebrating its 100th anniversary, which apparently included these displays.

These 'grasses' lit up as it grew dark.
And there were poems being read!

We enjoyed reading bits of poetry as we walked:

We arrived home late that night, tired but content.

In retrospect, I wished I had made the commitment to register and take one of the classes offered, and I wished I'd had time to explore some of the other features (the demo area, the meet-up lounge, etc). But, even without that, I enjoyed the chance to hang out with my knitting friends, to see so many different yarns and patterns, and to fire up my imagination. And recounting it all here has rekindled that same excitement.

So much knitting, so little time!

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