January 30, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live - Part 1

View from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

I am destined to blog about knitting events that occurred a while ago. My reason for not blogging about VKL until now? Snow. And more snow. And they're calling for more snow this week. So before I fly to sunny Charlotte Amalie, let me tell you about my weekend in New York City.

Saturday morning started with the "Luxury Yarn Workshop" taught by Margaret Radcliffe. Using our homework swatches knitted out of various non-wool fibers as guinea pigs, we tugged every which way to understand stretch, memory, and biasing. We then learnt techniques to stabilize the knitted fabric and the borders, what sweater constructions work best with non-wool fibers, and how to try all these nifty things on a swatch. Margaret Radcliffe was a great instructor -- well-organized, patient, and enthusiastic.

(Begin rant: I'd like more of my fellow knitting students to realize that teachers (yes, even knitting teachers) have material that they need to cover in the class which means sticking to a syllabus and schedule is important. Interrupting the teacher by asking questions not directly related to the class or having side conversations is not helpful. End rant)

At lunch time I met up with other KR members (or as Mary said, "the KR ladies who lunch"): it was nice to catch up, the next KR retreat seems so far away! We exchanged class info, market purchases, and project specs. After lunch, some headed back to classes, some ventured to the marketplace.

My favorite booths at the marketplace were:

- Kinokuniya: if you're ever near the New York Public Library and Bryant Park, you need to stop by this Japanese bookstore and browse the knitting/sewing books on the lower floor. The selection can be overwhelming so it was nice to have a small but carefully-chosen selection at their booth.

- Bijou Basin Ranch: I had already purchased some of their yarns (Bijou Bliss and Lhasa wilderness) but Kris and Jane were taunting us with a skein of Gobi at the retreat so I had to remedy that, not to mention that there were some great coupons on the Bijou Basin website. I even got a free Gobi cowl pattern and a cool mug with my purchases. If I had more time, I would have enjoyed their lovely set up where you could sit down and swatch their yarns.

- Knitty City: not only did I stop by the booth but I also went to the actual store on Saturday afternoon. Though I wasn't able to meet Felicia Lo of SweetGeorgia Yarns fame, I stocked up on her yarns at Knitty City. Pearl remembers me even though I only stop by her store once in a while when we visit NYC, she has an amazing visual memory!

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