Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back from VK Live in NYC, Farewell to The Minimalist

I've been taking the last couple days to digest my latest adventure to the Big Apple - this time to teach at Vogue Knitting Live. It was a great trip - and a giant knitted whirlwind to say the least. It is still amazing to me that I only live a little over three hours from all the hustle and bustle of one of my favorite cities in the world. When I was just out of graduate school, I worked in the garment district (actually on the 34th floor of the Empire State Building) for a year or so. It was a great experience for a young person and one I am so thankful to have had. To see how the garment industry worked back then (when there were many American garment factories still making clothes) gave me great insight to all the processes and people it actually takes to get a shirt on a rack for sale in a store.

But I digress.... sorry. Somehow after my adventure working in NYC, I landed my dream job at a little old yarn company in Lowell, Massachusetts and began the career that I continue in some sort of fashion today. There have been various twists and turns but I am basically doing what I started out to do when I began studying textiles back in the late 70's. When I was asked to come and teach at the first VK LIVE back in August, I jumped at the chance. NYC in January with the possibility of snow, the opportunity to ride in cabs with crabby cabbies, eat real NY bagels purchased from honest to goodness real NY delis, and mingle with lots of knitters and teachers who are creative and passionate about sticks and strings. Sign me up!

One thing I have known from my earliest days mingling with everyone who has ever worked at Vogue Knitting is that they all know how to put out a beautiful magazine. I expected nothing less for their first VKLIVE event and I was not disappointed. Add to it the energy of NYC and bizarre combination of thousands of real knitters descending on the NY Hilton in the rush of midtown. I marveled every time I walked through the lobby, seeing knitters sitting on the floor, in the comfy chairs at the bar, at the restaurants, all casting on, clicking and talking with knitters they had never met before. The common thread of the yarn, the needles, the sharing of techniques and yarn scores, the sharing of technology (thank you Vickie for those iPad hints - now if I can just remember them), it was all almost too good to be true! So thank you all of you - who came to my classes, who organized the event, who shared a meal or a glass of wine.

I also got a sneak peek at advance copies of Vogue Knitting's Knitopedia which looks like a really fabulous knitting reference book. It's coming to a yarnstore near you soon. I've got an article on "living with sheep" that actually made it! I was sweating that one out.

There was a kind of funny dichotomy going on too - in the ballroom next to the "yarn market" there had to be over a thousand men in suits there to see the SF Giants' World Series Trophy. Man, was security tight over that thing. Wonder how much that cost to see? Way more security than that guarding all the cashmere and qiviut. Yarn and baseball - talk about two different worlds. Both full of a lot of passion, to say the least.

I didn't stay at the hotel. Instead I chose to stay with a very good friend in her loft on 21st Street in Chelsea. It was a bit of a schlep very early every morning but it was nice to be out of the fray and most of all to spend time with Sally who I don't get the opportunity to see too often anymore. On Monday morning before I left, I got to go to the new Eataly (5th Ave + 23rd St), Mario and Lidia's new store/market/restaurant. Brought home some wacky pasta shapes to try. Great store - check it out next time you are in NYC if you are into food. And then to do a quick run-through of ABC Carpet down at Union Square before boarding the bus at Port Authority to head back up north to the snow and ice and freezing temperatures.


I'm glad to be home but I must say, I so missed meeting some of the great teachers and knitting personalities that I have admired from afar over the years. That is my only regret. All that knitting talent in one place - overwhelmingly exciting to say the least. And not enough time to meet and greet all of them. Maybe next year!

On a food note, I just heard that Mark Bittman is retiring his "Minimalist" Food Column in the NYT. Oh, I shall miss that. Thanks Mark for 13 years of inspiration at my stove. Check out today's article - it has links to his 25 favorite recipes.

11 comments:

Janis said...

I am glad NY was good. I was so sad to see Bittman leaving too but he assures everyone (on Twitter) that he will be around doing lots more stuff.

Hey, Rich and I are thinking of going to a farm that will allow us to do pig to charcuterie. A 2 day instense workshop (if you know what I mean)

Kat said...

I can think of lots of knitters who would have liked going to that BBWA dinner. Don't think there are lots of baseball writers interested in qiviut though. As I was leaving the Hilton that night, I overheard a Dad say to his two sons, "They're 'knitters'. Not sure why they are all here though."

Virginia said...

I'm so sorry I missed you. Or if I didn't miss you,I'm so sorry I didn't recognize you.

I was working at an insanely busy booth on the second floor of the marketplace.

philogirl said...

The trophy and a knitting party in the same building, what could be better? I'm a SF Giants fan in northern CA. The trophy is doing the "Grand Tour". It is visiting many places in N. CA so the fans can see it and it is FREE. I plan to go in a couple of weeks. I will take my knitting and knit while I wait in line. :)

Turtle said...

how wonderful for you! Are you going to be attending VKLive in LA this coming Sept? I hope so, would love to meet you after having blog-stalked you for these past few years, lol.

Affiknitty said...

I wish I could have been in NYC too, but at least I saw the SF Giants trophy in my little town in N. California. It as free and I'm sure the line was shorter here than it was in NY! Baseball and knitting go great together!

Carol said...

Glad I got to have a couple hugs from you -- it was great, wasn't it?

And my husband and I are very sad at the end of The Minimalist. Lots of good stuff over the years in that column...

muhammadrazzaq said...

Looking back, I am certain that the Lord wanted me to look in the den window the hour before to see that there had not been any TV on. It was just a dark room!

Anonymous said...

I had a booth at Stitches West when we were in Portland. Nice conventione center, and I loved looking at everyone before the doors opened - Amway rally on the top floor, Star Trekkies on the middle and the knitters on the lower floor. Easy to spot who was who. Knitters all had bags.

Anonymous said...

How do I keep missing you -- I was even at Eataly that same Monday morning (short visit - too long a wait for the pizza tables). VK Live was amazing as you said with all that teaching and designer talent.

muhammadrazzaq said...

s West when we were in Portland. Nice conventione center, and I loved looking at everyone before the doors opened - Amway rally on the top floor, Star Trekkies on the middle and the knitters on the lower floor. Easy to spot who was who. Knitters all had bags.