Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back from Vogue Knitting Live in NY

Someone asked me in the comments yesterday about my trip to NYC to the Second VK Live held at the Hilton on 53rd and Sixth Ave. It's funny but it seems like a lifetime ago that I was there, so much has happened here on the lamb front. I didn't take too many photos, nor was I there very long but my time was fulfilling. To get to NYC, I took a bus from Northampton. It's an easy ride and doesn't take long to get to NYC. The best thing was I didn't have to drive and I knit the entire trip. Pure heaven. I never get 3 hours in a row to knit - never. I arrived in time to have dinner with a bunch of very good friends who I don't get the chance to see very often anymore. After a dinner of Indian food and lots of story-telling and catching up, I found my way to the Hilton. 

I taught 2 classes on Saturday - one on edgings and the second on embroidery on knits. The students were so eager and ready to learn. That's what happens when you get them when they are fresh! Here's a photo of all the samplers the students made in my embroidery class. Didn't they do a fabulous job?

The classrooms were much better this year - more spacious classes, decent light. It's a learning curve throwing one of these big conferences and the staff at Soho/VK really did throw one heck of a party. Thank you Soho, for inviting me to share my passions with so many other passionate knitters.

On Saturday evening, I attended the Banquet held in the Trianon Ballroom. The room was painted a lovely shade of turquoise and it was covered with all kinds of fancy white fluorishes on the walls and ceilings. Add to it tables crammed with excited knitters and it was such a fun time. There were about 30 tables and each table had a teacher sitting with them - a fun concept. The only thing is the tables were so huge and round that I could only speak with the knitters directly around me. I was sorry I couldn't chat with those across the table. There were goodie bags loaded with great stuff although I didn't get one because someone took mine (bummer - I wanted those Addi needles!). The highlight of the evening was an inspirational talk by Alice Starmore who came expressly for VK Live. How do you like that fuzzy photo below? It is from Alice's slide show taken on my iPhone but what I like about it is the colors and the feeling you get from the landscape and the model in the sweater.

Alice did a colorful slide presentation about her work and her life on the Isle of Lewis and Harris (the Outer Hebrides of Scotland) where she lives and designs. It was quite wonderful hearing her Scottish accent and seeing what inspires her. I didn't realize that besides knitwear design Alice also paints and weaves. I wasn't surprised to hear it but I was because I had never seen samples of her other work before. What a treat the talk was. Check out her amazing website here. She sells her gorgeous yarn, knitting packs, and books. Funny story too - my friend Linda and I were chatting after the event and Linda who is a pretty big deal in the yarn world decided we should say hi to Alice. We waited in a little line and then introduced ourselves. I told Alice that I took a class with her back in the 1980's - at a TKGA meeting. She said that yes, she remembered me and that the meeting was in New Orleans. What a memory! I asked her how the heck she could remember that and she said it was because I knit funny. And she is correct - I do knit funny (I knit the same way Annie Modesitt does). The class was on charting lace and as she watched me, she noticed that I was doing the opposite of what she would do - or something like that. I explained it was because I knit my purls backwards and that on the right side I had to do the opposite. I was shocked she remembered. Like really shocked. I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast!

Here's some good news..... Many of Alice Starmore's out-of-print titles are now back in print. If you are a knitter who missed the first wave of Alice books in the 1980's, I highly recommend anything she has written. My favorites are "Alice Starmore's Charts for Color Knitting" and "Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting" because they are what I called books for designers as opposed to pattern books. Check them out. And here's some other good gossip - Alice and her daughter Jade are leading a fabulous Vogue Knitting Trip through Scotland and Iceland. Check that out here

After Alice's fabulous speech, we were all treated to a fabulous fashion show LIVE from the pages of Vogue Knitting. Gorgeous sweaters on gorgeous tall leggy runway models. It was a great evening.

Early on Sunday morning I got back on the bus and headed back home to go back to our farm, join my family who I left in the depths of lambing. I was greeted by this little lamb who was feeling very poorly and getting warm at Julia's feet in the car.

Luckily the lamb (No. 55) made a complete recovery and is now running around the kitchen being terrorized by Kate the Border Collie puppy. We certainly are living in a funny farm. Looking forward to it warming up so the 3 bottle lambs in the kitchen now can go back to the barn. During lambing season, I have learned not to plan any social occasions at our farmhouse!


Sally said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post. It's sort of a KN's-life-encapsulated post. Little lamb and Kate in the kitchen: priceless. Keep on keepin' on KN!

Elaine said...

What a great story about VKLive. I relished every word and am really looking forward to it coming to Chicago in October! Will you be coming over for this one?
Kate and Lambkin 55 are too precious for words! Kate probably thinks she is a pup. I don't think you live on a Funny Farm--you all have an energized life!!
I'm sending the snow over--it's coming here today.

Lee said...

What a fun post! Thanks for the scoop on VKL and the farm. I can just see the lambs and the puppy in the kitchen.

MicheleinMainel said...

Thank you, Kristin, for taking the time from your whirlwind schedule to share both VKLive and the sheepy life with us! You have such a great perspective on both!

Anne said...

All together now: Look at that last photo and say awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!

Catarina said...

Thanks for the report on your VKLive; hearing all the stories and reading all the blog posts makes me long to have gone. As a former Pioneer Valley, Mass., resident, I'm curious to know whether you took a Peter Pan bus. Back when I was in college (Mount Holyoke), I got such a kick out of the existence of a bus line named Peter Pan and even more so that every bus bore the name of one of the book's characters. Did you happen to catch the names of your busses?

Happy knitting, designing, farming..::

Anonymous said...

the links i tried to follow came up as 'broken'.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Alice's website is

I fixed the link - sorry.

Anonymous said...

My thanks as well for sharing insights into your farm/family/designing/teaching busy life. Whenever I feel slightly overwhelmed - just adopted a new cat abandoned from a foreclosure situation, a Great Pyranees-Golden cross older stray from TX, and have a brand new seeing eye puppy to raise in addition to a full time job (work from home :-)
I think of you and what you are able to accomplish. You are an inspiration!!

Antika Mondal said...

Your site is so nice.Your information is very helpful.
More Information About Farming.

sheepyhollow said...

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in your kitchen! Sweet sheepie and puppy!

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