Showing posts with label vogue knitting live. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vogue knitting live. Show all posts

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Subway Knits Episode 76: My Kind of People

A very belated episode, but lots of recaps to share! 

On the Needles: 
Baby blanket on hiatus, and as a result I had no knitting for Stitches WEST. 

Knitting Finds:
Quince and Co Color Comparer: on the lower left corner of each yarn photo when purchasing yarn, like Chickadee
Japanese nengajo (New Year) postcards with a special stamp celebrating the Lunar New Year
Sheep cafe in  South Korea, going along with the trends of the cat cafes started in Asia - NYC now has Meow Parlor

Vogue Knitting LIVE! NYC Recap 2015 (Previous recaps here)
I had a blast running around with my camera and interviewing some of my favorite designers and dyers over the course of the show: 

Trisha Malcolm, editor of Vogue Knitting
Susan Gibbs, author of Modern Country Knits and of Juniper Moon Farms

Stitches West Recap
Finally got a Jennie the Potter Mug! Mine is a dinosaur. 
Yarn on the House/YOTH: check out the Highlights post here (we have a giveaway for a yarn tote - winner announced in next episode!)
Pepperberry Knits: Highlights Post here

Events and Announcements
Long Island Fleece and Fiber is next weekend - if you are in the NYC area, come along on the bus out to Riverhead and the festival! There is a GREAT swag bag for attendees with sample yarn and a coupon from Hampton Artistic Yarns, wine tasting at Martha Clara Vineyards and more. 

We still have the 1000 member giveaway going. Only 50 more to go! 

Thanks for listening!
Watch here, and subscribe here and here.
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vogue Knitting LIVE! Highlights: Kismet Fiber Works

In this edition of "Highlights," we are taking a closer look at Kismet Fiber Works, whose booth I happened to stumble upon towards the end of Vogue Knitting LIVE. 
I took the opportunity to wander around and really enjoy what the marketplace has to offer, especially since the crowds lessened after the Steven&Stephen fashion show (more on that in the next episode). I was immediately drawn to the solid, saturated and soft colors that Kismet had on offer in their booth.

As you can see in the photo below, they offer luxurious bases (Sleek is 50/50 SW Merino/Silk, and Refuge is 50/50 Baby Camel/Silk); moreover, the yarn was at a great price point. 
While speaking to Stephanie and Angie, the brains beind Kismet Fiber Works, they discussed one of the best yarns in their line: Pamiri Yarn. The yarn is 100% Cashgora (a goat who is the result of a cross between cashmere and angora goats) and is sourced from a local women's spinning cooperative in Tajikistan: 

"The Tajik women who tend these goats are currently supported by a development project funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.  The goal of the project is to help the women earn income by creating a high quality export product produced in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable way.  With the help of the project, the women comb their goats in the spring, dehair and scour the fiber, and spin the cashgora into luxurious yarn."

The cooperative was formed in 2014, and Kismet Fiber Works aims to sell it to a wider audience. According to Kismet's website, a fair share of the price of the yarn goes directly to the women, which helps provide them an increasing level of financial security. 

Each of the skeins' tags has a picture of the spinner, which puts a face to the hands that spun the yarn from over thousands of miles away. The skeins vary from lace weight to fingering and the colors are the natural colors from the Cashgora goat. 
This was one of the best finds at Vogue Knitting LIVE!; you can definitely get a sense of the passion and enthusiasm that Stephanie and Angie had for the Pamiri Yarn.

If you missed out on this yarn at VKL or want to check it out for the first time, there are some skeins still available from these amazing handspinners! Check out the gallery for more amazing photos from Tajikistan and then see what is available here
PS. If you are on the lookout for a knitting retreat, they also run an event held in May called Camp ReKindle!
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Vogue Knitting LIVE Highlights: Pepperberry Knits

Things are a little slow going around here with regards to VKL recaps for a few reasons: I am getting over the flu, and there is just so much to cover, I am trying to give everything its due instead of just throwing everything into one recap. 

Especially when it comes to finding new dyers and companies to fall in love with, like Pepperberry Knits
Pepperberry Knits focuses on 100% cashmere yarn sourced in Mongolia and then spun and dyed at US mill in Idaho. I spoke with Heidi and her husband a bit about the process, and am completely fascinated, and definitely want to learn more about it. 
In addition to loose skeins of varying yarn weights, Pepperberry Knits offers various kits and accompanying patterns, which is a great way to knit with cashmere,  as I learned from Heidi. 

Cashmere is definitely a big and worthwhile investment, and kits for projcts such as double-layer mittens and cowls ensure that you are getting the maximum joy and mileage out of the skein. 

If anyone remembers the AMA I did in the last episode (before I even knew that Pepperberry Knits existed), I said that one of my dream projects is to knit one of Kate Davies' colorwork sweaters in 100% cashmere. Now I have my future source! It will happen. One day. 
The kits also come in amazing and well-thought out pre-packaged palettes - the natural, gray and purple one above was one of my favorites! I did find a kit for myself to make a cowl in a refreshing, green palette. The pattern is designed for the cowl to be knit in the round, which is going to be extremely soft and cushy up against my neck, and matches most of my winter coats. 
I was really excited to discover something new at this year's Vogue Knitting LIVE, and cannot wait to share more of what I discovered! Stay tuned - we also have something really epic happening in regards to the VKL recap. 

Did you go to Vogue Knitting Live? What did you discover? 
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Percolating Ideas and Stash Enhancements

Going to a knitting show is always quite overwhelming, which is why it is always a good idea to go to events such as Rhinebeck, Stitches, or VKL with some kind of plan in mind. 

Especially when it comes to enhancing your stash. 

I finally had a little bit of time to walk around the marketplace after a flurried, hectic morning/early afternoon on Saturday, and found some amazing and fun new things to discover. I also just kept going back to the booths on Sunday. 

One of my favorite vendors was a yarn shop based out in Virginia called The New River Fiber Company. If their booth was any indicator of what their brick & mortar shop is like, I would love to just hang out there all day. 

I picked up some new to me yarn: Kenzie New Zealand Merino. I did not have a specific pattern in mind, but I know what I will do with it - I am going to design a colorwork hat out of it. Originally, I purchased the mint and the teal green, but on Sunday, I felt that a gray would really make the hat pop more.
The skeins are nestling inside the new Splityarn project bag - I chatted with Caro a bit in the booth she shared with Indigo Dragonfly, and they were such nice people to chat with! I love the fabric she used for the project bags and the structure they had - sometimes my project bags tend to collapse after use for awhile. 
Whenever I go to a show, I unintentionally end up with some kind of color theme: this year's VKL theme was in the green-blue-gray range, and the project bag matched the Kenzie yarn perfectly.  One year at Rhinebeck I was all about the plum and then there was the blue & gray phase the second time I went to MS&W. 

I bet I am not the only one who has matched his/her yarn to the project bag. Now that I think about it, its' quite inspirational actually! I am getting a better visual in my head of the hat I want to design. 

Then there were the bright, happy colors of Dragonfly Fibers. They were one of the first indie dyers I fell in love with back in 2010 when I really started to get into knitting more - and their yarn never disappoints. The ladies behind Dragonfly Fibers are so friendly and lovely, and it's so much fun and wonderful to see them at shows. 
In fact, I was so excited to work with some chunky yarn and loved the colors from Starry Night that I immediately cast on for a Vermonter.

I'm calling this my '"Fake Seahawks" hat - if I had to pick a NFL team to support it would be them. I was knitting this when they accomplished their surprise last-minute win to clinch their seat in the Superbowl last night. The only difference is that their colors have green, not yellow. Close enough! 
I might go back and do one more repeat because I have a decent amount of yarn left over, and I am still waiting on my pompom maker to arrive. Pom poms are definitely a thing for me lately. I am not ready to call this hat done quite yet, but it was quite satisfying to have a wearable hat after 4 hours of knitting. Bonus: my arm didn't hurt either! 
I already have plans for Mushroom Hunting, and I think I will use Spanish Moss for another design that is in my head.
Now that I think about it, there are a lot of ideas that are  in my head, begging to come out. I only hope that when they do arrive in their knitted form, they are done justice. This is going to be very challenging, but so exciting! 
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Tips and Tricks: Navigating a Fiber-Filled Weekend with Vogue Knitting LIVE! New York City

Vogue Knitting LIVE! is this weekend, and this year is the event's 5th year anniversary. 
This will be my 4th year going, and it's hard to believe that 4 years ago, I first heard of VKL a little too late for 2011, and I had just started podcasting. In fact, my first interview for the podcast was with Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia in the lobby at the Hilton where VKL was in 2011. 

In 2012, VKL changed venues to the Marriot Marquis and the event has become bigger and better since then. I am definitely looking forward to what is going to happen this year in the Marketplace, and after taking a look at the Marketplace calendar and schedule, it looks to be jam-packed. 

If you are wondering what VKL was like in the past, check out my recaps here: 2014 (Photos, Podcast Recap), 2013 (Part 1, Part 2), 2012 (Photos, Podcast Recap).

Whether you are a first-time attendee or a seasoned veteran, here are my top ten tips and tricks I learned from attending past VKL events that I would like to share with you. They can also be applied to most fiber festivals and events as well! 
  1. Research, research. Some key questions to ask yourself: what vendors do I want to see? What vendors do I not have easy access to during the year or at fiber events that I also attend? Make a list of vendors and then categorize them - favorites/must see, new ones to check out, others to see later. It helps you prioritize in the market, and if there are some that you have seen at prior festivals or just know about them, then you can get a sense of what their booths will be like. Jill Draper, Dragonfly Fibers, Neighborhood Fiber Co. and Plucky Knitter (my personal favorites) are almost always packed and busy, so I know to go there first and check out what's happening. 
  2. Plot a course. After finding your must-see vendors, check out where they are on the map. Are they near? Which ones are close by so you can see them consecutively? The marketplace is on 2 floors, so its imperative to know where things are. 
  3. Or...just forget everything in 1 & 2 and wander around. When I first attended VKL in 2011, I had no idea what to expect. I wanted to also really see what was in the marketplace so I got there early and walked around the marketplace before it got really busy at lunch. 
  4. Speaking of lunch. 12-1 on Saturday and Sunday is the busiest time in the marketplace, since classes let out and it is the break before the afternoon sessions. Unless you have a morning class, use this time to take a breather, relax outside the marketplace in one of the areas set up for sitting down, or even check out the free events that are happening around the marketplace. 
  5. is on the brain. Speaking of food, come with snacks. VKL has set up a cafe on the 6th floor, and this is mostly due in part to the somewhat lacking food options around. There is a Starbucks on the main floor of the Marriot as well as in the area, a deli and restaurant on the 8th floor (I've eaten at the restaurant, it's quite nice!) but there are lines and it gets packed. I suggest either making reservations at the cafe, getting your lunch in the morning, bringing food, or hitting up wherever you plan to get food before classes let out at 12, or shortly after 1 when afternoon sessions start. Carry a water bottle so you can refill it (I have seen water fountains around the Marriot). 
  6. There are A LOT of things going on besides classes and shopping. A knit teepee, scavenger hunts, art installations, the Fit Station and free massages (sign up early for those!)? Definitely try and fit all of these into the shopping schedule, on top of the fashion shows and free panels & lectures. Use the marketplace guide to determine what fashion shows you want to see and get a seat early, especially for "hot-ticket" items like the Vogue and Stephen & Steven shows. 
  7. Pack light and wear comfy shoes. It's going to be a long day (or weekend). The marketplace runs from 10-6:30 on Saturday and there are classes all day long. There will be a lot of running around and circles walked, so you want to make sure you are comfy while doing it. Coat Check is $3.50 for those coming from outside the hotel, and it is totally worth it. Bring an eco-bag for your purchases, so that you can carry things more efficiently (I like the Whole Foods shopping bags). Bring only the essentials with you to the marketplace; a WIP is definitely an essential, so think about portability. 
  8. It's always more fun with friends. This year, Little Sister is coming along with me and while she is not a knitter, she is interested in learning how to knit. It will also be really interesting to see a non-knitter's perspective of the event! Overall, the fun of the event is really with the people you see. 
  9. Try something new. There is always a new booth to explore or a new technique to learn, be it a class you are taking, or seeing what is available in the marketplace. If I have the time, I definitely want to drop in the Learn to Crochet table and try to learn - pretty tricky since I am a lefty! Last year, I discovered a great booth with antique buttons and spent most of the yarn budget there. 
  10. Most of all, have fun and don't stress. Regardless of whether or not you are taking a ton of classes, or just there for the Marketplace, take stock of what you are able to do and what you want to see. Planning is key to prevent stress but above all that, have fun and enjoy the show. 

Hope to see you there! I will be running around with my camera, but feel free to tap me on the shoulder and say hi! I love to meet listeners and viewers. In case you miss me on the marketplace floor, there is also the Meet & Greet in the Chiagu/One Geek to Craft Them All Booth (#118) with Kristen of Yarngasm/Voolenvine from 12-1 this Saturday. 
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meet & Greet at Vogue Knitting LIVE!

I have some really exciting news to share with you today:
I will be doing a meet and greet with Kristin of Yarngasm/Voolenvine at the Chiagu & One Geek to Craft Them All booth at Vogue Knitting LIVE!


Meet the voices behind the Subway Knits and YarnGasm podcasts
Saturday, January 17,  Noon - 1pm
Booth 118 , 5th Floor

When you talk to knitters there are two topics that always pop up: a love of yarn and a love for knitting community. Podcasters Maria MN (Subway Knits) and Kristin Lehrer (YarnGasm) are no different. These two New Yorkers have built loyal followings by doing what they do best: Maria forms communities through teaching and Kristin hand dyes beautiful Voolenvine yarn.

Join us and get to know these talented ladies! Kristin will talk about her yarn and give out some mini skeins.  Maria will talk about her latest project: How to read Japanese knitting patterns.


I am really looking forward to meeting you all there! 
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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WIPs Wednesday: Epic Fail

This week, I experienced a big case of knitting fail. More epic than usual because it was about something so simple. 
I thought I was chugging along nicely with my Nevelson Pullover, just in time for Vogue Knitting Live. Then I noticed something. 
It was twisted. And no matter how much I turned the hem of the sweater around the cord of the circs, it wouldn't untwist. I had a Moebius hem. 

Rule #1 of circular knitting: "take care not to twist." Sigh. Off to the frog pond. 

As a little consolation, my Habitat is coming along nicely. No fails here. 
Yet. I still have a ways to go, and many cables to cross. 
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Vogue Knitting LIVE! 2014 Recap

Fall is upon us, and that means shows, events and a very packed knitting calendar! 

One of the events that became a must-go for me these past few years is Vogue Knitting LIVE! The past two years, I was able to get a press pass which let me go a little early and behind the scenes, and want to thank Beth and her team at VKL, as well as Trisha Malcolm for inviting me to the opening night cocktail hour. 

These photos are very (very!) late in coming (as I was working on my tenure binder in the months that followed, but it paid off - I found out officially last week that I am tenured!), but if you want to hear more about what I thought of VKL 2014, check out the podcast episode here

I didn't register for any classes for 2014, since my objective was to enjoy the marketplace and the people attending it. But first, brunch was in order on Saturday morning with my lovely NYC knitting gals: Dana, Kristin, Sarah and Kim. The knitting and spinning came with us, of course. 
Vicki Howell had a wonderful setup again on how to teach people to knit and crochet. One of these years I will learn to crochet. In addition, there was a yarn tasting featuring needles by Knitter's Pride and yarn from Zealana. I am almost done with my Olla Mitts in Zealana Air Chunky, just in time for Fall! 
If anything, one of the reasons I would love to learn how to crochet (besides making crocheted edgings on pillow cases and other decorative accents), is to make amigurumi like the ones featured below by Lily Sugar and Cream. The cake, desserts and the dolls are adorable! 
But at the end of the day, we all go to VKL and any other event for two primary reasons: the yarn, and the people. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation: which reason came first? I would have to say for myself, the people are now the first reason as to why I go to these events, but the yarn and all the other goodies are definitely a great bonus. 

Neighborhood Fiber Company was one of my favorite booths. The colors are a little blown out here, but you can definitely tell the sense of vibrancy in the yarn. One of these days, I will knit a sweater out of something from here. 

As you can tell, we were having alot of fun in the booth. Kim and Karida both had amazing sweaters; Kim in fact finished the sweater she is wearing in the photo below at brunch! 
Dana found amazing yarn in the booth, and I just had to capture the sense of joy and wonder that I think every knitter feels when they find The Skein(s) of Yarn. 
The samples of knitwear were gorgeous. It seemed as if the marketplace was bursting in color. 

Dragonfly Fibers is another one of my all-time favorite dyers; they came out with a new DK weight skein which I was lucky enough to review! My Travelling Woman is 4 years old now and STILL looks brand new. I wear that everyday during the winter. 
The art exhibits are also fun to check out. This year, there was a felted chess set. 
And of course, no one should miss out on Jill Draper Makes Stuff. 
At the end of the day, we were getting tired, so we had a chance to have a break while Clara Parkes read a selection from her memoir, The Yarn Whisperer. 
And because she told us to, we checked out Solitude Wool. 
The next Vogue Knitting LIVE! in NYC will be at the Marriot Marquis again from January 16-18, 2015 - hurray! Once again it is on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and that means a three-day weekend for me. This teacher gratefully thanks the organizers for doing it again on a three-day weekend, since that means I can fully enjoy the event to its fullest. 

Hope to see you there! Let me know in the comments below if you think you will be attending in 2015. 
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