Monday, January 31, 2011

Can I Get an Amen?!

When all the world seems like chaos and you just feel so tense you might crumble, there is nothing better than retreating to the solace knitting. Can I get an Amen?!

The last few days have been very challenging for me. Work has been not only overwhelming, but also very very frustrating. It feels wonderful at the end of the day to just sit back with my knitting. Everything just seems to melt away.

Today's subway ride was a mess. MTA has really been dropping the ball lately. I found myself completely zoned out, enjoying my Theta state and I, of course, missed my stop. Now for any of you who have experienced something similar, you know that this is the most awkward and embarrassing situations ever. Lesson of the day - Enjoy your knitting but listen to the subway announcements.

Until Next Time..
Broke, and Apparently Lost, Knitter

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Vogue Knitting Live Marketplace

Thank you trusty readers, for letting me string you along all week in the pursuit of the complete Vogue Knitting Live experience.

The Vogue Knitting Marketplace...also known as my Mecca. I was blown away by how many people were thronging the craziness of the marketplace. It must also be said that I showed some restraint. I did not completely burn holes in my pockets, although I did leave with several unique and exciting purchases (to see them, please visit my Ravelry page - YoungPadawan).

Anyways, here were my thoughts on the Vogue Knitting Live Marketplace. Please feel free to send your comments along.

1. The lighting was bad. I felt bad that some of the booths were so dark, it really did not show off so many of the unbelievable yarns in the booths. I.E. Decadent Fibers! Good job gals getting yourself some good lights!

2. Bijou Bison (I think that was the name) - Man can you wine and dine us! I LOVED the idea you had of a "wine tasting" party. They had a nice squishy comfy floor to walk on and admire their products. Then they had a few couches set up where you could relax and inside cute little martini glasses sat several of their fancy yarns. The idea was to come and relax, try out a new yarn and see if you like it. GENIUS!

3. I LOVED the Furnace Mountain Alpacas booth. I know this may seem weird, but they had the BEST photos of their alpacas. I fell in love with their product the moment I saw the cute photo of a baby alpaca after his first shearing. That cute little Q-Tip could you not love it?

4. Nicky Epstein  - Why oh why must you take all of my $. Nicky's booth was packed all weekend, and I really enjoyed actually getting to meet Ms. Epstein herself. She made a point to be present at her booth and I really appreciated it (not to mention it was a nice little marketing tool)...

Overall, I was very impressed with my first conference marketplace. Granted, I have nothing to compare it to, but we all have to start somewhere right? What did you guys like and dislike at the Marketplace? I am more than happy to hear what people bought...PLEASE SHARE!

Until Next Time..
Broke Obsessed Knitter

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live Take 3

I am sorry to be posting so late in the day, but today's SUPER EXCITING SNOW DAY has thrown me off my course. Anyways, I am here to finally report on things that you have so anxiously been awaiting. So, Vogue Knitting Live Take 3 = Meal Times and Events...

Friday night there was a cocktail reception. The Hilton has the most beautiful ball rooms. It was a great experience. It was nice that there were 3 separate bars. My mother and I wandered for a few trying to mingle with the knitting elite. It was super exciting to be waiting in line behind Debbie Macomber. So I introduced myself, and she was just so sweet! One thing that really fascinated me about the whole Vogue Knitting Live event was how the teachers/lecturers/kniteratti just wandered amongst us "normies." It was such a nice experience to realize how down to earth and passionate so many of these designers are. I really enjoyed it.

Saturday night's Gala dinner turned out to be an event. I sat down at the table and poured myself a glass of (thank god) white wine. Now, I was wearing a very cute outfit that I had planned on wearing to work on Monday morning. Well, I had barely placed my glass of wine on the table when the waiter came over and knocked it over ALLLLLLLLL over me. GREAT! To make matters worse, the waiter was rude and so to was the Hilton staff. The Vogue Knitting Live staff members were wonderful and very accommodating, but needless to say, I wrote the Hilton a rather heated complaint. I understand that accidents happen, trust me, it could happen to anyone, but the hotel was so rude to me when I asked for help getting my clothing laundered it just crushed my Saturday night spirit.

The rest of the meal on Saturday was wonderful and I enjoyed the Summer issue of Vogue Knitting preview. I ESPECIALLY cannot wait to see how the "touched up" photos of the models in bikinis look when the magazine comes out.

Anyone have any comments on the two events? Sorry I was kind of blunt, but Saturday's mishap really killed the mealtime experiences for me.

Until Next Time..
Broke Knitter

P.S. I PROMISE to talk tomorrow about what everyone wants to talk about - the rising credit card debt that is also known as the Marketplace

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Vogue Knitting Live Digression

Sorry for all those of you who popped in here to read about meals and evening events today...but I have to make a small digression. What is it with people on public transportation?!

Okay, so this isn't a total digression, it really made me think about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's lecture from last Friday. Why is it that people always act like we are crazy for being knitters, yet they ask 5,000 questions and ogle at you when they see you on the subway?!

This morning I sat down on the bus and proceeded to pull out my knitting. Commuting an hour and a half each way every day I have to do something to or else I would just go nuts. I don't understand the people that can just sit there and stare. I guess I'm too afraid to be alone with my crazy thoughts.

Anyways, so I sit down and the woman next to me starts talking about how beautiful it is, how she wishes she could learn and knit but she is always so busy. I don't know how I did it, but I indulged her and explained how simple it can be. I told her that we are all very busy but if I am going to have to ride the bus I might as well make it enjoyable. Well, apparently I opened a can of worms! WHY OH WHY WAS I NICE?

My biggest pet peeve on public transportation - people who have very private conversations publicly on public transportation. Well, here I am, stuck in this seat beside a crazy woman who begins to tell me that she doesn't have time because her nephew is in prison, her daughter is pregnant and living at home and her husband is a recovering addict. And she thinks I'm the crazy one because I made the cardinal error when knitting, I told a story about my cat.

Once you mention that you have a cat...It's all over. Well, this sad old cat lady needs to return to the small solace of her lonely home where she shares a jar of tuna fish with her beloved feline companion. Lol! Just kidding! Anyways, tomorrow I promise I will continue with Vogue Knitting Live.

Until Next Time...
Broke Sad Cat Lady Knitter

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live - Lectures

Okay, so the adrenaline is settling and my brain is now mush. I cannot believe how tired I am as I come off of the Vogue Knitting Live high. But never fear my knitting spirit cannot be broken!

The three day event here in NYC absolutely changed my perspective on the knitting community. I have always known that I am a lot younger than the "stereotypical knitter" but Vogue Knitting Live really made me realize that while we all struggle against that idea of the stereotypical knitter, there really is no "normal" knitter.

As promised, I will talk the next few days about the pieces I omitted in yesterday's post. Today - Lectures.
The lectures were a great piece ofthe three days of classes and shopping. I attended three lectures
1. "This is Your Brain on Knitting" with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
2. "To Write or Not to Write" with Debbie Macomber
3. "Color by Culture" with Cecilia Hamilton.

This is Your Brain on Knitting:
This was an UNBELIEVABLE lecture. Stephanie is a genius! This was probably the most interesting thing I attended all weekend. Stephanie is hilarious, yet extremely intelligent, and also a great speaker. As someone who knows very little about biology, and especially anything neurology related, I really enjoyed and followed along with her speech, which focused on how the brain and body respond to tasks/hobbies like knitting. I was fascinated by what she had to say and I am now prowling the Internet for studies related to what she spoke about. I have always found knitting to be a great stress relief and also a great example of tactile and visual-spacial learning, but now I am hungry for more information!

To Write or Not to Write
Okay, so honestly, who among us has not read "The Shop on Blossom Street" by Debbie Macomber. The Blossom Street series, along with Debbie's many other novels, make me so giddy when I think about them. They are such fabulous reads that so accurately reflect the world of knitters. No matter what we face in life we can turn to our knitting to help process, find meaning, and control in our chaotic world. I also love the relationships built in these stories - they are so like real life knitting communities. In every group of knitters you know that, had it not been for knitting, at least two people would rather die than associate with one another. But Debbie's lecture really spoke to me. I had no idea how much she struggled in her journey to become a writer. Diagnosed with dyslexia, she mentioned that she struggled to even complete high school. She spent years and years perfecting her craft only to be shot down more times than anyone should have to endure. Debbie inspired me to never give up on a dream, and that we shouldn't be embarrassed to pursue something even when it seems unattainable. Debbie Macomber truly is an inspiration and someone I am very proud to say I met and learned from.

Color By Culture
Apologies to Cecilia. For Cecilia's lecture, the hotel seemed to be having serious A/V problems. Unfortunately, for a lecture entitled "Color by Culture," the multimedia aspect (the photos, and COLORS) were a necessity. My mother and I stepped out after waiting about 10 minutes for the problem to be fixed with no success. I spoke with several women later in the day who said that unfortunately, the problem was never fixed, and that they were extremely disappointed with Cecilia's Q&A session.

So that is my wrap-up on the lecture series. I promise I will talk about the events, meals, and the marketplace this week. I am still so boggled by all the booths and vendors I still need some time to process it all. For anyone who has the chance, please learn more about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Debbie Macomber, they are both fascinating and dynamic people in the knitteratti!

Monday, January 24, 2011

How Vogue Knitting Live Changed my Life!

Hello Readers,
For all those of you who joined me and the approximately 3,000 others at Vogue Knitting Live here in NYC last weekend - FABULOUS! For those of you who didn't, you missed out!

Vogue Knitting Live's inaugural event was absolutely life changing. Yes, okay, it was my first ever knitting conference but hey, I was very excited. For an inaugural event, I thought it went pretty dang well.

Here are my quick thoughts on the conference.
1. The marketplace needs better lighting next year - some of the booths were so dark I am sure it altered their business.
2. There needs to be more lounge areas where we can congregate, make friends and knit.

I took several classes and was even able to mingle with some of the famed Knitteratti!

Jill Eaton's "Elf Cap Workshop" was adorable. I love the cute little hat it knits up to be. I found that by using a regular chunky weight yarn of my own held sinigle strand the hat was a much more "baby" like size. Some of my classmates who used the Jill Eaton MinnowMerino held double strand wound up with massive baby hats.

I also took "Colorful Cables" with Melissa Leapman. Oh Melissa Leapman, how I love you, let me count the ways! Melissa was not only fun and entertaining, she was also extremely instructional and more than willing to give personal attention to the more than 30 people in the class. She does the most amazing color work and I really enjoyed learning with her. Anyone who ever has the chance to speak with her is lucky! After class I spend several minutes speaking with her about how much I enjoyed her class. She was so sweet and really seems to enjoy the personal aspect of teaching. I felt like she really wanted me to succeed! She even went to far as to extend an invitation for lots of future conversations. YIPEE!

Class 3 - "Introduction to Lace Knitting" with Brooke Nico. Brooke was such an interesting person. I was so amazed by her history. She used to make stage clothes for punk rock bands. How cool is that?! Brooke fascinates me. She has only been knitting for 8 years and is already an unbelievable designer. Check out this edition of Debbie Bliss magazine - she has the most beautiful design on the cover!

Carol Sulcoski's "Yarn Substitution Made Simple" was a great lecture class. For anyone who ever struggles to substitute a yarn from what the pattern calls for, this is what you need. Carol was fabulous! She is really really funny and I loved her down to earth attitude. I wasn't afraid to talk about budgetary constraints for the first time all weekend (which we know for a lot of us is majorly important when picking a project).

Okay, so that is enough for now. I am sure I will be back tomorrow raving about more from the conference. Check back tomorrow to hear my thoughts on
1. Lectures
2. Meals and Events
and of course what everyone is really there for....
3. Marketplace

Until Next Time...
Now Even More Broke but Ecstatic
Broke Knitter

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mysterious Disappearance

So sorry I have been gone for so long! I don't know how the last 6 weeks have gotten away from me. I certainly apologize! Now I am going to have to fill you in on all the gossip and mayhem since last I posted.

Still broke....Still in NYC!
Of course, not much has changed on that front. Working a full time job after a promotion = lots and lots of extra work. But it's great to finally be moving my way up that ladder! I couldn't be happier at my job.

The big excitement now is, of course, the upcoming Vogue Knitting Live conference in about 10 days. I am SUPER PSYCHED! It's a Mom and Me Weekend. I feel very fortunate to be able to spend three full days in knitting bliss with my mother. It's a very special ritual and a right of passage in my family. I only wish my Grammy could have been here to share it with us. I know that she is proud of us both!

Any thoughts on the upcoming conference? Please post!

Until Next Time
Broke Knitter