I have to say that my attendance at VKL was more just making the most of an opportunity than fulfilling a long held knitting goal. In fact in some ways I was a bit worried that it would be a bit wasted on me, being the reluctant knitter I am. Instead it has really refreshed my thinking and inspired me to experiment and explore.

I’d originally planned on writing a couple of posts about VKL including the classes but on further reflection I’ve decided to list the classes here and actually talk about them in seperate posts as I apply the learning (I’ll come back and link the list of classes to those posts).

  • Seams like Surgery with John Brinegar
  • Lovely Lace Design Details with Louisa Harding
  • Lecture – My Digital Toolbox with Norah Gaughn
  • Good Measure with Deborah Newton
  • Different Yarn Dyeing Techniques for Different Results with Julie Asselin
  • Lecture – Sweater Nirvana with Amy Herzog
  • Fron Idea to Pattern with Veera Välimäki

Venue

The Marriott Marquis where VKL is held is right on Times Square – there are cheaper options close by, but for me travelling alone and to New York for the first time it was a great place to stay. I think top of the list is that when I arrived at 8 am (check in was 4 pm) to drop off my bags after travelling for 24 hours and walking in from -12 Celsius having left 34 C, they had a room for me straight away. Which was great because one thing I discovered is that central New York has lots of coffee shops but very few of them are the kind of hang out places we are used to in New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia – everyone is walking down the street with their takeout cup.

Like any knitting event, even if you are alone there are other knitters who will take you under their wing – although I am told my cute New Zealand accent gives me privilege in the States. Being in Times Square there are plenty of places to eat and you are in the heart of the theatre district if you want to catch a show – I didn’t in the end but I was told that being January it is a lot easier to get seats at even very popular productions.

The market place

A big part of VKL is the market place I am trying to think of some New Zealand venues which would give you a sense of the scale of the market place – all two floors of it. The Arena in Wellington, Sky City main exhibition centre, and the Christchurch Event Centre pre Earthquake would probably come closest. And then imagine our market vendors and multiple by about a factor of ten. And to some degree it is that kind of multiplication – what we have just more. I got some lovely yarn and saw some interesting work but if anything it was all a bit overwhelming. What was wonderful to see was the space allowed for art installations that used yarn, the highlighted vendor spaces of traders working in the fair trade, women’s empowerment space and the knitting heritage projects. These videos are pretty amateur and mainly focus on vendors Tash was interested in – I had no intention of uploading them when I took them but decided to do a bit of a Vimeo play.

First up is Neighbourhood Fibre Company

Noticeably bigger display spaces, use of signage and samples. You can spot Veera Välimäki at the very end of this one.
I think I was just testing out the idea with this one
I was trying to give a sense of what it felt like to walk through – this was a very quiet point in the market – it had just been wall to wall people on Saturday

The Tatter Textile Library

One on the fascinating displays came from the Barbara Walker Knitting Project by Tatter. They have invited knitters all over the world to particpate in developing a collection of swatches of all the patterns in her Stitch Treasury

A highlight for me was the Tatter Textile Library installation of swatches from Barbara Walker’s Treasury of knitting patterns.

Yarn Toss

And just to finish things off – the Yarn Toss after the panel of using colour
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