Thursday, November 07, 2013

VKLive: Chicago!

This weekend I had a whirlwind trip to Chicago for Vogue Knitting Live.

It was a fantastic weekend, filled with runway shows (the BEST reason to go to VKLive, I'm thinking), classes, lectures, museums, friends, and pints! (good lord, you can't forget about the pints!)

This was my first time at any VKLive event, and my first impressions were: glam! It was in the Palmer House Hilton, which is an amazingly beautiful space.

I was most excited to see the runway shows. There were six throughout the day on Saturday, and I was able to make it to most of them.

They were handing out little bags of mini skeins at the Malabrigo show. Very exciting!
It was an interesting experience to see the samples, some of which I was familiar with from photographs, in motion. Details in motion, drape, and dynamism made this my favourite part of the event.

There were classes and lectures galore. The package I purchased came with one class and one lecture; both of which I found educational and enjoyable.

The class I took was "Reading Between the Lines: What the Pattern Doesn't Tell You!" with Patty Lyons. She is a fantastic teacher! With a subject that might otherwise be tedious (there was math involved, people!) she kept it interesting, and answered questions very well.
The way she summed certain things up really struck me, and I had to jot down a few quotes:

"A pattern is instructions on how to make that thing. It's not a knitting how-to book."

"Patterns are written with an assumption of knowledge."

"We have to think of our knitting as a fabric, not just yarn."

And to top it off, she made a very good case for ALWAYS doing a swatch. It gives you ver important information on at least three points:
1) gauge (of course!)
2) colour (do you really like this colour of yarn for this project? Or does the varigation fight with the pattern?)
3) texture/content (same as point #2: Don't let your yarn fight your pattern!)

There was also a Marketplace. You may be shocked, but I didn't really do all that much shopping while there. I did promise a gift for a friend, so picked up this cute project bag from Yarn Pop by Top Shelf Totes.

To be honest, the Marketplace was much smaller than I had envisioned, and I'm pretty sure that's mainly because I'm coming off of a Rhinebeck high. The two events are quite different experiences.

I was impressed by a number of the yarn dyers that were there; in particular, I drooled over the colourful hanks of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Oh boy, did I ever. I can't believe I walked out of there without any.

There were a few art installations in the Marketplace as well. The only one I got a snap of was the sweet little minis you see below.

So far I've covered the runway shows, classes, and lectures. On to the friends and pints!

The effervescent Allyson Dykhuizen was the reason I came to VKLive Chicago int he first place. It was great to see her again, and meet lot of other designers from Holla Knits!
Katie, Me, Laura, and Lily
Laura, Allyson, Lily, and me!

You can read Allyson's post for a bit of a VKLive review as well. The bloggy people were Allyson, Katie, Laura, and Lily. We headed out to High Dive!, a bar with AMAZING Greek fries (holy crap, they were so good), and hung with (the un-blogged) Kirstin and Sarah.
Ghost and the Darkness at the Field Museum.

And while this may be turning into a monster post, I don't want to leave out the funtimes I had with my dude! We were able to visit the huuuuge Field Museum on Sunday. It was awesome. Taxidermy galore. (I tried to find a taxidermied lovebird. Because I'm great that way).

The city is just so damn handsome downtown that a walk around made me wish I lived closer so I could visit often. It also doesn't hurt that the beautiful autumn colours are still out, with loads of trees dancing around in golds and scarlets.

We also got to see the Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor. It makes me like him even more.

Have you ever been to VKLive? Any other knitting event, like Rhinebeck or Stitches? What did you think of it? How do they compare to each other?


Sarah Montie said...

Looks like you had a great time at VKL Chicago. I have been going to VKL NY since they started. NY is a 2 hour bus ride away for me but I treat myself to the weekend in the hotel and it is luxurious. It is an opportunity to take some classes with some amazing teachers (the first year I took a class from Jared Flood who I don't think teaches anymore and Meg Swanson who doesn't seem to come out to events as much). I'm lucky enough to be a long bus trip to Rhinebeck which is a great event because of the shopping and people. Don't make me choose between one or the other!

Hilary said...

I'm sooo jealous! :) You're hitting all the best knitting events! (Any chance you'll make it to the San Diego TNNA in January...???) Thanks for the awesome recap...looks like it was a blast. Wish I were there to hang out with you and Allyson!