Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vogue Knitting LIVE! NYC 2013 Recap Part 2: Knit-ucation

One of the hallmarks of any Vogue Knitting LIVE! event is the array of classes and lectures on offer. I was able to attend two lectures and a class this year, and plan to do the same thing again next year.

The first lecture I attended was Nicki Epstein's "Knitting on Top of the World." It was based off of her book of the same name, and highlighted the garments and knitting traditions from around the world that inspired them. Nicki Epstein's goal was to take this traditions and modernize them in such a way that they are accessible for the 21st Century knitter. 
Nicki Epstein talking about the Shetland Lace coat. 
I own the book and highly recommend it because it provides a window into other knitting traditions that could be unfamiliar to most and a wealth of information about those traditions in addition to the knitting patterns. 
What was really interesting to hear about was that a woman named Mary Taylor has taken upon herself to knit through the whole book. She also blogged about it here

The second lecture was "Manipulating Stitch Patterns" by Ysolda Teague. One day, I want to live inside her head (as well as Cookie A's) and understand how their brains work because both of them have brilliant technical minds when it comes to math, knitting and design. 
Ysolda really knows how to use technology to help demonstrate knitting concepts.
Here, she used the iPad to shift between different manipulated stitch patterns and images on her laptop. 
It was a little bit over my head when it came to seeing how Ysolda used a knitting design program to represent the pattern in chart form (I can read charts, but when it comes to manipulation, I also need the written format) but interesting to see the evolution of a pattern.

What helped was the fact that she provided swatches to concretely demonstrate how a stitch pattern can be changed to suit a designer's vision. It is not as hard as one thinks! If anything, it requires patience and practice. 

On Sunday, I trekked back into Manhattan to take Ragga Eiriksdottir's class "The Little Lopayesa." I loved this class; if you ever have the opportunity to take this or any other of Ragga's classes, definitely go for it. Over the course of the class, we knitted a mini-lopeyasa, which is a traditional Icelandic sweater. 
Lopi yarn. 
Learning how to do the German Twisted Cast-On. 
"Under both, through the hole, over the right, back through the triangle..."
Little Lopayesas. Mine is in the middle. 
In addition, we went over Icelandic knitting traditions and how it has evolved to today. We also got to see complete Lopayesa sweaters and got to try some on. Now I definitely want to knit my own Lopayesa sweater - I am thinking Idunn, Ragga's pattern featured in Knitty Winter 2012. 
Ragga modeling Idunn for the class. 
If you can't make it to a class in person, Ragga recently launched a class on Craftsy, "Top Down Icelandic Sweaters." When I get the chance, I plan to take it myself. She is an amazing teacher. 
Sneak peek of a collaboration between Ragga and Dragonfly Fibers...
more details to come!
Vogue Knitting LIVE! wasn't complete without meeting other knitters. Several of us (Kim from Craft Stash, Shari of TV Knitting and Sarah of Knit York City) ended up at the Ysolda lecture, and we caught up later at a mini-meetup. On Sunday, I hung out with some listeners of the podcast and the wonderful Jen of the Commuter Knitter podcast. 
Kim, Steph (from Brooklyn Fiber Arts Guild) and me. 
Now, if only I had the schedule for 2014…time to start wishing and planning for next year! 


  1. Sounds great! I was thinking of signing up for Ragga's Craftsy class - good to hear she's such a good teacher.

  2. You do a great job recapping your experience there! It's maybe even convinced me to look at the possibility of going next year. We will see. Love the hair!

  3. I met Ragga in Iceland back in 2011. She is absolutely lovely! I'm thinking about taking her craftsy class.
    Knit, Nicole, Knit!


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