Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

There was so much going on at Vogue Knitting Live last weekend that it's hard to even know where to start!  I popped in on Saturday for a couple of hours & found that that was not even enough time to make a full round of the marketplace!  Of course that might have been because it was packed to the gills but also because taking everything in for the first time was overwhelming.  There were fashion shows, artists, knitting celebs, a yarn tasting station, free massages & of course, plenty of beautiful yarn to ogle.  Luckily I had bought the two-day pass because I would have been severely disappointed if I'd tried to pack everything into Saturday.

First of all, I must say that what made VKL worth attending was the activities: the lectures, panels, fashion shows, everything I mentioned above.  The full price was $15.00/day so to go just for the marketplace would have been a waste of money.  However since I got a discounted two-day pass, I feel like I got a screaming deal!  I spent all day Sunday listening to great panels, learning about local yarn producers, knitting donations for the WorldVision Knit for Kids program &, yes, indulging in a few impulse purchases.  But more about that later!

When I arrived on Saturday, the Koigu fashion show was in full swing.  I started taking photos then looked to my left & there were Andrea & Joe of KnitCrate!  We had a great time chatting about all the amazing fiber stuff happening in upstate NY.  They really made the most of their time in Seattle, the full run-down of their trip is here.

Next I visited the yarn-tasting station & tried out some really yummy yarns by Prism.  Knitting on a swatch that tons of others have knitted on is an interesting exercise because it really puts your gauge into perspective.  Looking at a swatch after I'd added a few rows made me realize that I am probably a tighter knitter than I'd realized.  Perhaps it's time to switch back to knitting Continental!

The Skacel fashion show was the last thing I saw on Saturday, moderated by Cirilia Rose.  Aside from her myriad accomplishments (Creative Director at Skacel, designer, soon-to-be-author), she impresses me with her boundless energy & the enjoyment she projects around everything she does.  In short, this chick always looks like she's having fun.  Now, as someone who is always busy, I'm sure that she gets tired & stressed.  But her public persona is impressively enthusiastic.  That's something that I aim to project in my job as well.

I spent all of Sunday at VKL & heard some terrific presentations & panels.  The first presentation was by Kerry Graber of Jorstad Creek.  She is dedicated to sourcing fiber from local sheep, raised on environmentally friendly farms.  She also uses environmentally friendly dye processes.  Hearing all of this (plus seeing some of the beautiful yarn, fiber & garment samples that were passed around) was inspirational enough to send me straight to her booth to pick up 3 oz of undyed Gotland wool roving.  It's got some vegetable matter in it (& a cat butt behind it in this picture) but that's to be expected with minimal processing.  The VM I mean, not necessarily the cat butt.

I also attended two panels about launching a knitting business, both of which served to reinforce the fact that I have no desire to monetize my knitting.  Much of what was said struck a very similar chord to the experiences I've had building my career as a freelancer.  I'm kind of like a business in & of myself, as I need to determine my audience then reach out to them & build demand for my services via marketing, networking, relationship-building & proving myself.  The same skills are needed when establishing & building a knitting business, whether as a designer, yarn producer, yarn store owner, teacher, or some combination thereof.  So, naturally, the hours are similar as well.  

Patty Lyons of Lion Brand Yarn, a former Broadway stage manager (a job strikingly similar to what I do in film & video) summed it up best when she quoted a former colleague who once asked her, "Remember when we used to like theatre?"  As someone who built a career out of a former passion, I can relate to that question & have no desire to feel that way about knitting.  So I'll continue to spend money on yarn rather than trying to earn money from it.

At the end of the day, I came across the Stash booth, the store in Corvallis, OR that I visited last summer when Brenda Dayne taught there.  They had some really cute handmade ceramic buttons that I couldn't resist.

I also picked up (from another booth) Drafting, The Long & Short of It by Abby Franquemont on DVD.  I have her incredible book Respect the Spindle (required reading by the woman who taught me to spin) so I have no doubt that this DVD will teach me tons about drafting & spinning on my wheel.  I'm definitely ready to step up my spinning a bit & this is exactly what I was looking for to start doing so.

Now it's time to switch my focus to the next adventure: Dan & I are about to head to Jamaica for the wedding of one of my best friends.  After a grey Seattle winter (& in the middle of a grey Seattle spring), some sun, sand & knitting on the beach are just what the doctor ordered!


juniperjune said...

sounds awesome! i went to vogue knitting LA last year and didn't go to any of the events, just the marketplace-- i seem to remember the events costing more money, but maybe that was just the classes? i'll make sure to look into it more closely next time they're in town. and those buttons are amazing!

V! said...

There were classes that cost more money but I didn't go to any of them. Honestly, I feel like I absorbed so much just from the panels & lectures that I think my brain would have burst from classes!

Anonymous said...

Wow, V...just Wow! I didn't make it to Vogue but obviously I need to make time if they come back to, I mean, Bellevue in the future.
Thanks for the write-up.

Jen said...

What a great place Seattle is ! Lucky you that you got to go !

Cirilia said...

Thank you so much for the kind words! I DEFINITELY have my fair share of stress but I do try to always remember what I love about yarn and knitting, and that keeps me sane. It isn't too hard to connect with the good...only takes a row or two ;)