VK Live Pt.2

After a little bit of a slow start on Saturday morning, wherein I walked the dog and packed up Wool Dispensary orders (happily because of this), shuffling around my apartment in a planning haze. You know when you have all these things swirling around your head about what is going to happen but you can not for the life of you seem to get them in any coherent order. That was Saturday morning. I blame yarn fumes.

I wanted to make it down to the Palmer House in time to get a copy of Finishing School signed by Debbie Newton. She was at the Vogue Knitting booth from 1 to 1:30 pm. That was forefront in my mind. Next was meeting up with friends around four and possibly catching the 'When your passion becomes your career panel' at three. In between, well that was up to me.

I made it out of my house by sheer force of will. The market was swamped. Because I was in a booth all Friday night, I didn't realize how many people were there. Saturday was unlimited exploration. The aisles were a little cramped especially when you put lots of bags of purchased yarn into the equation. Maybe a squirreling station next year? But I did make it to get my book signed. Since I purchased my copy there, I also received a free copy of Stitchionary 2: Cables. Woot!

After the last great reorganization of my studio wherein I discovered SABLE and beyond I wanted to be cautious and thoughtful about my yarn purchases. As much as I could have gone hog wild, my pocket book and storage containers appreciated the restraint. I am fortunate to have 3 amazing LYSs within easy distance of me and working in the yarn industry for a number of years has given me a solid grasp of yarns and what I like. I am spoiled in that way. So I bypassed quite a few booths (sorry to say that but it's true). I wanted to find yarns not as readily available to me. 

I had seen Studio Donegal at Stitches Midwest but had already blown my budget on other goodies (can anyone say bundle of Rittenhouse) so I sadly passed them by then. Luckily, they were there in conjunction with Leilani Fiber Arts and Melissa Leapman. As I stroked the soft tweed and dreamed of hills of Ireland an image of the Rocky Coast Cardigan jumped into my head. A sweater-quantity was destined to come home with me but in what color? Sometimes you just need the advice of friends. 

When the Lovely Bitches with Lovely Stitches got there it was unanimously agreed that Oatmeal be the color of my cardigan. And so it was done. 5 skeins of soft heather oatmeal tweed are now mine. 

Looking at the White Whale booklet by Ann Weaver? That was Sunday. As I worked in the Nina booth I couldn't help but notice all the gorgeous sweaters running past. And I caved. Not to mention I am slowly working my way through Moby Dick and am a sucker for good illustration. The patterns are exquisite and it will take a lot of will power not to start something new before the holidays. 

Sunday started off with a brisk walk in the early morning with Gudrun Johnson down to Eleven City Diner for a quick breakfast before my lecture and her Knitterati appearance. I first met her at TNNA and was so pleased when she emailed and we had time to get together for brunch. I wish I could have shown her (and everyone who came to town) around my city. In another life, I was a concierge. It's such a pleasure to introduce people to the city I know and love. Vogue Knitting Live was such an insular event there was little time left for anything besides what was going on in the hotel. If I didn't live in another part of Chicago it's very possible that I wouldn't have left that hotel for three days straight. 

After the market closed at six, I stayed to help pack up yarn and displays, hauled everything down to the U-haul and back into the shop. While I am sure Hilary and Nina made an even later night of it, I made my way home around eleven. But not without one last thing. My very last splurge in the market place. I received three yarn bowls in one year from family and friends. I, in no way need another yarn bowl. But who can have too many mugs? Pawley Studios had a beautiful selection of yarn bowls and mugs. I couldn't resist this:

I mean really? Could you?


Post VK Live pt.1

Can you get a hangover from yarn? After spending all weekend at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago for Vogue Knitting Live, I can answer 'Yes'. Today I woke up with a serious yarn hangover. My Friday started out with stepping foot into one of the most beautifully ornate hotel lobbies. This is the third iteration of the hotel built by Potter Palmer and his estate. When you walk up the stairs to the foyer you get a little bit of Old Chicago grandeur.
Looking over the lobby
Grand Ceiling

It really was the perfect place for this event. Instead of a sterile convention center, a posh hotel smack downtown adds a little enchantment. After a quick check-in and a couple of maze-like hallways, the room where Steeks to the Rescue, my first class, was found. Steeking is a way of setting up your knitting to be cut. Why would you want to cut into your knitting? The biggest is making a traditional fair isle cardigan without having to purl your work. Others include inserting a placket to make a smaller piece bigger, taking out a section if your garment is too big, adding pockets or a neckline. Chris Bylsma was a fantastic teacher giving me the confidence to make quick work of a steek. Now I can tackle the fair isle sweater of my dreams.

A Steeked neckline
Downtown Chicago for all its options does not yield a high percentage of amazing fast lunch options. But, there are a few hidden gems; Oasis Cafe being one of them. Located in the back of one of the diamond storefronts on Wabash. After a quick lunch of falafel and a cup of coffee from Intelligentsia, I sat in the lobby knitting, well, really more people-watching. The market did not open until 3 pm, so I had nothing better to do than make new friends and bump into old ones. For the rest of the evening I worked with Lana and Kathy at the Hemp for Knitting. You could not meet two nicer people if you tried. After smiling for so many hours it was a gin & tonic at the hotel bar (hello $14 cocktail). Antonio from Malabrigo met up with me and we had dinner at Lockwood where we talked architecture, cuisine in Lima and color theory. By the time I got to my friend's birthday and we closed down Blind Robin bar I didn't think I could be more tired. Time for the marketplace on Saturday and part two of VK Live.