Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nothing Like the Stomach Bug

Well it seems that the inevitable has finally occurred! While everyone around me was getting sick with the stomach bug I somehow managed to ward it off....that is, until Tuesday! And what a day to succumb to the bug - Randy's birthday!

So while I spent two days very ill at home in the apartment poor Randy huddled over a microwave dinner to celebrate his birthday. I am sorry handsome! We will make it up.

It seems everyone has had the stomach bug lately - no fun!

Broke..But Recovering...Knitter

Monday, January 23, 2012

How the Broke Knitter Became the Knitter Who Was a Beggar

Remember that whole post I wrote about budgeting money for the Vogue Knitting Live marketplace and not impulse buying? Yeah, well that didn't really work out exactly as I had planned.

I felt that the lighting was much better than last year and I bought a great many purchases. I already finished the Noro Bonburi shawl I purchased from Black Sheep and Ewe - a WONDERFUL Canadian vendor whose staff members were wonderfully engaging and kind.

I was, however, a bit disappointed with the variety of vendors. Many of the vendors were repeats of last year who actually brought the same display and sale items. While it was great to pick up a few items that I had been regretting not purchasing last year I would have liked a bit more variety.

My favorite purchase was from Buffalo Gold - a beautiful lace fly-over top made from Koigu. Stay tuned for the knitting antics of this crazy project!

What were your thoughts on the marketplace? While I really enjoyed shopping and spending time with friends I wasn't as "wow-ed" by it as I had been hoping.

Until Next Time,
Broke Knitter

Friday, January 20, 2012

Adding to My Learning Library

As promised, today I will talk a bit about my classroom experiences. This year I REALLY enjoyed all of my classes. I think I did a good job with my choices.

1. Yarn 101 with Clara Parkes
I decided to take this class because I thought an exploration into fiber would be an interesting experience. And honestly, who better to learn about fiber (esp wool) from than Clara! Clara was wonderful! I really enjoyed how she broke it down to molecular and chemical levels. It made me really understand why certain fibers can act so different. My favorite part of the class was that she actually gave us small samples of each fiber to tape down so we could really feel and experience the differences.

My Entrelac Fingerless Gloves

2. Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale
The idea of taking this class made me very anxious leading up to the classroom. Entrelac always looked so intricate and complicated. Needless to say, I was worried the class would be too advanced. However, I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Entrelac is actually really easy once you figure out the pattern. I loved the swatch I made in class so much that I actually sewed it into a little fingerless glove and made a second!

3. Celtic Cables with Melissa Leapman
Going into the weekend, I was most excited about taking a second class with Melissa Leapman. Last winter I took Melissa's Celtic Cables class and fell even more in love with cables. Well, let's just say that this class did not disappoint! Melissa is such a down to earth and inspiring woman. I love when she talks about designing and breaking down a cable pattern. She makes it seem so easy!!!

4. I Need a Pick Me Up with John Brinegar
To be honest, I did not know what to expect from this class. Advertised as a class about correctly and neatly picking up stitches I figured I would really benefit from perfecting this technique. I HATE picking up stitches and I always screw it up. John Brinegar is definitely not what anyone would expect from a knitting teacher, but he is an AMAZING teacher! It was an 8am Monday morning class, so John brought the whole class coffee as a "pick-me-up" (haha great pun John!!). He is so encouraging and extremely patient. He kept saying throughout the class "It's just yarn ladies" every time someone was getting nervous or stressed out. As I worked on my second entrelac glove after class on Monday I kept reminding myself of John's mantra when picking up stitches became scary - "Are we drinking our wine? Our our shoulders relaxed?"

All in all the classes really re inspired me to get knitting. I must admit I did pick up a new project on Tuesday and finish the entire thing I was feeling so inspired. Thank you again to all the wonderful teachers who were so patient and helpful. Next year I think I am going to challenge myself a bit more in the classroom.

Next topic - MARKETPLACE!

Give me your thoughts on your classes!!

Broke Knitter

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2012 - The Aftermath

I cannot believe Vogue Knitting Live 2012 has already come and gone! And wow, what a whirlwind. I hope you haven't been too anxious to read my thoughts to the weekend. I have needed the past few days to unwind (haha...what a pun) and sleep after such a boisterous weekend.

Today I wanted to talk a bit about the "extra" events put on by Vogue knitting during the weekend.

Unfortunately, I did not have much time for the extra fashion shows, book signings, and demonstrations since I was in classes and lectures the majority of the weekend. However, I want to bring this point to light. I remember feeling bummed that I had missed many of these things last year but chalked it up to spending time with my little sister who had joined us for the NYC lifestyle but not the conference. This year, however, it was just myself, my mother and our friend, Diane. We were all very actively engaged in classes and we missed these shows. Why does VKL keep putting all these marketplace "extras" during the class time. Are these things designed purely for knitters just visiting the marketplace? I am not sure, but I am rather bummed that I experienced the same disappointment two years in a row.

The other two big extras for the weekend were Saturday night's Gala dinner and Sunday evening's cocktail reception. I had mixed opinions on these two events.

The food at Saturday night's Gala dinner was excellent. I greatly enjoyed the new format to the evening where you requested a certain member of the "Kniteratti" to sit with at their table. I sat with Barry Klein, of Trendsetter Yarns, and had a WONDERFUL time. Barry was so much fun and I really hope that perhaps I can join him one day for one of his infamous knitting cruises. However, I think this is where the good things ended. We were very fortunate to have Alice Starmore join us for a speech about her inspirations and past. Alice has the most beautiful and lovely voice it was wonderful to listen to, however she spoke for far too long. It's hard to listen to anyone speak for an hour! By the time her lecture was over I was ready to tuck in for the evening. I did stay for the fashion show though and was delighted to see so many of the great products. In my opinion, Alice should have had her own day-time lecture slot and Vogue should have stuck with just the fashion show for the evening's entertainment.

On Sunday night we were all bused downtown for a cocktail reception at Tribeca 360. I had differing thoughts on this event as well. I liked having the reception on the second night (rather than the first night as was last year's schedule). I think by the second night people are much more friendly and excited to talk to one another. I enjoyed mingling with new friends all evening. Tribeca 360 was BEAUTIFUL and the open bar and food was fantastic (I especially loved the mini-sliders!). However, having to be bused ALL THE WAY downtown and back was a bit exhausting. While the choice of venue was fabulous it was a very big pain to have to travel so much. I understand that the Hilton was engaged with a mega-wedding that evening but I would have appreciated a venue a bit closer to the Hilton.

Anyways, tomorrow I will return to tell you all about my fabulous classes. Please let me know your thoughts on the extras included at Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2012.

Until Next Time,
Buried under all my new projects,
Broke Knitter

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bags Upon Bags Upon Bags

Wow have I managed to cram a remarkable amount of knitting stash in my small one bedroom apartment here in New York City. To be honest, I do not know I have managed to do it. I think that if Randy were to find out that my closet is actually used to store yarn and knitting projects he would have a heart attack.

Anyways, now that I have organized my stash, finished my homework and even begun to organize my patterns and books I think I can say I am ready to Vogue Knitting Live! I now know what I have way too much of in my stash (cough cough Encore worsted weight) and some ideas for some new projects I would like to work on.

While I am trying to take a very reserved and organized approach to my buying this weekend I know that as soon as I enter the Marketplace preview all sense of sanity will fly out the window! Impulse buying here I probably come!

Until Next Time,
Broke Knitter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


As the weekend fast approaches I can barely contain my excitement! I finished up all my homework for my many classes over the weekend and last night I organized all my projects and materials into Ziploc bags for easy access. I am not making the same mistake I did last year and just throwing everything into a tote and hoping for the best!

Here are some of the classes I am taking:
1. Celtic Cables
2. Entrelac
3. Yarn 101
4. I Need a Pick Me Up

What classes are you taking?

Broke Knitter
(Although I do have some cash stored away to hit the marketplace with!)

Friday, January 6, 2012


Who is getting excited?! With just one week left to go until the doors open at Vogue Knitting Live this knitter's yarn balls are in knots with the excitement! I am really looking forward to this year's conference. I had such a great time last year learning from great instructors, perusing the marketplace, and, most importantly, spending time with my mother.

This year our good friend Diane joins us for the excitement and I cannot wait to be shacked up with the ladies in the hotel with all of our wares spread on the floor fighting over who bought the greatest new project.

I think I am most looking forward to my Celtic Cables class with Melissa Leapman. After taking colorful cables last year I fell in love with Melissa and her designs. As a cable enthusiast, there is not much better than taking a cables class with Melissa Leapman.

What are you most looking forward to next weekend? Please post your thoughts, tips and ideas!

Countdown in 7....

Broke Knitter