Posted on January 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm
While I don’t have a lot of photographic evidence to pad out an overview of my little New York weekend at the Marriot Marquis, I should probably say a few things about having been to my first Vogue Knitting Live event, since I have always resisted the temptation, and wish to weigh in on the kind of party the talented types at VK throw for their knitters.
A few years ago (as you may have heard), the maiden voyage of VK Live was a bit of a clunker, shoe-horned into the gloomy digs of the Hilton in Times Square, with many kinks yet to be worked out. I resisted going last year because I had heard grumblings about the year before, but with each VK Live event last year, first in New York, then in Seattle and Chicago, I saw on Facebook and heard on the blogs and from friends who. were. actually. there. that they were getting better and better.
What really sold me on going to New York this year was the especially high concentration of excellent teachers, and a marketplace that may be unmatched in its concentration of marvel and beauty.
So Santa granted a special Christmas wish: a weekend to myself, without work or family obligations.
I went by myself, which is the first time in a long time I’d gone to a knitting event alone. I did meet up with a bunch of twitter friends, Lisa Roman of Roman Hills Yarns and Maria of Subway Knits among them, and a number of new to me people who were super sweet to let me hang out with them for a few hours at a time.
I had a great dinner with Team Dragonfly at a secret Thai place in Hell’s Kitchen that Jocelyn was excited to try, took Saturday morning to visit the MOMA and found this painting by Theo Van Doesburg (the namesake of my recent Knitscene sweater),
and met up with muggle friends who live in the village for dinner in their neighborhood. I took classes with extraordinary teachers Norah Gaughan, Lucy Neatby, and Trisha Malcolm,
bought beautiful yarn from Dragonfly Fibers and Hemp for Knitting, and played with the new Rowan yarns for spring, and chatted with Connie Chang Chinchio while she signed her book for several admirers. I watched Skacel Creative Director Cirilia Rose announce the final Fiber Factor winner, and coveted at the Yarn Pop booth.
I didn’t go to the Cocktail party or the Gala Dinner because I was there alone, after all (and who wants to go to a cocktail party solo?), but I grabbed breakfast with other singletons in the café line both mornings because knitters are friendly like that. I was impressed by all the highly skilled handknits walking around, and admired the Knitted Art Gallery, which featured some truly interesting and beautiful installations by the likes of Ashley Blalock and Ruth Marshall (I took no pictures here, just go look at their websites).
There was always about three or four exciting things going on, with the shopping and the teaching and the free lectures all at once. I found it hard to plan, because I am easily overwhelmed by the busy. And I do wish there was a better food situation, since I had to leave the hotel several times looking for snacks. The one food outlet in the lobby was overwhelmed by the people looking for the same thing I was. At one point on Saturday afternoon, I counted 43 people in line for coffee. Meanwhile, there was no line at the Deli across the street. Problem solved.
So better food access, and a clearer message about how to sign up for the free lectures ( I was chased out of the one I wanted to hear because I wasn’t on the list), those would be my only complaints, and small ones at that. Otherwise, it was a grand affair, full of inspiration and smarts. I feel buoyed by the talent abroad in the world, finding its niche in our little knitted kingdom. Thank you to the Vogue knitting folks and their event co-ordination team. Well done! Next year, I’m bringing my mom.