January 25, 2014

It's Another Vogue Knitting Live Debrief


By now I think you know I always go to Vogue Knitting Live NYC.  This year was no exception.  However, unlike at Rhinebeck I had a slightly different experience this year, so here's the debrief

You can't see it very well but there are tacks on Australia, Africa, and South America.  Someone in my class was from Vienna.  It's amazing how far people will travel to these things.
In General
The one thing that was consistent from last year was the overall feel of the event.  It was the same big, diverse, more fashion oriented but otherwise Rhinebeck-esq event it was last year.  I have no problem with this, so this was fine.  However, there were a couple of minor changes that I didn't like that made my experience a little less enjoyable than last year.  Next year I really  need to get the guide on Friday like someone in my knitting group did.  If I had I would have showed up earlier on Saturday.  I'll get to these in the relevant sections.

Like last year, I met up with my knitting group on Saturday and then went back on Sunday on my own.  Unlike last year I took a class instead of a lecture and didn't get to see as much of the free stuff.

The Lecture Class
At one point late last year a coupon came out for half-off Sunday classes at this event (the benefit of attending more than one year in a row is I get all the emails about the events).  Since that subsequently made attending a Sunday class close to the same price as the lecture package, I decided to go for it.  Sunday's my better day to do stuff like this anyway.  So I signed up for Designing with Cables taught by Carla Scott.

How can I say this nicely...the class sucked.  Ok, that wasn't nice.  But while the instructor was very friendly and seemed knowledgeable, she got distracted easily and let random questions completely derail the class.  Subsequently, very little got taught.  We covered gauge a bit and started talking about schematics, and then the class got so derailed nothing else on actually designing with cables were ever covered.  Even the random chatter faded out to the instructor chatting with a few of the students, and most of the class left thirty minutes early, including me.

This is not the way to run a class.  I get that instructor wanted the students to feel free to ask questions and she wanted to cover topics some of the students wanted to hear about, even if they didn't have much to do with the course.  But you can't let that prevent covering what the class was supposed to cover.  Actually, I'm not so sure where the class was going.  All I know is the few things that were actually officially taught I knew, and we never got to anything beyond that.  Conversations about, say, copyright and where we live and what x designer did are all great, except when that's all that happens.  I paid $42 dollars to learn nothing (well, ok, that was with the entry fee).  I could have paid $85, so I'm glad at least I didn't do that.

If I didn't know better, this would turn me off from taking another class here.  Luckily, I know enough people who have taken classes at this event and loved them, so it just means I'm going to be a lot more picky if I end up taking a class next year.

Fashion Shows and the Panels
Here's the other thing that sucked this year.  There were no fashion shows on Sunday.  You see, on Saturday I'm busy hanging out with my knitting group, and so I don't get to see any of the shows and panels.  I come back on Sunday mainly to do that.  Except most of everything was on Saturday this year, and that was different than last year so I wasn't planning on it.

This is what I meant about picking up the guide early (or even better if they could mail that schedule with the IDs to us who pre-order, that would be awesome, but I know that's a bit much to ask for).  If I had known that all the fashion shows would be on Saturday, I may have come in early to see a couple of them.  But since I didn't know this until after I had come in to meet my knitting group, I was out of luck. 

So I saw no fashion shows.

What I did do on Sunday after my class, well other than cruse the Marketplace again, was see a panel and a free lecture (again, a lot of them were Saturday, but at least there were Sunday ones).  The panel was one of those general interest, hear people in the industry talk about their experiences, ones, but I like those.  This one was the one titled 'Men at Work', and featured all male yarn industry professionals (well, except one of them was a former Project Runway contestant instead of in the knitting/yarn industry...an odd choice, but that shows popular or something so I get the rational behind it).  It was good in the same way most of these types of panels are: voyeuristic and funny.

The free lecture I went to was on the Trends in Knitting, and while the lecture was fine, all the trends were more about what was trending in fashion and they all were ugly as sin.  However, I already knew that big, bulky sweaters and clothing that looks like it's falling apart was coming back (and skinny pants are still here.  I'm still waiting for that trend to go away so I can finally buy pants that don't make me look like crap).  One thing the city is good for is seeing the new fashion trends before many others notice because people start wearing them here sooner. But I was expecting something more geared to the knitting world in general, but it was fun in the way that the fashion shows are fun: you point and laugh at the stupidity of it.

Also, I had a short but interesting conversation with a older woman that got the lecturer to admit that most of this was looking at the teen and young adult trends.  I pointed out to her that just because one was in that age group didn't mean they liked such things, and vice versa (you know...being that I'm in that age group and tend to hate most of the trends).  We got into a conversation about how if we were going to spend all that time knitting something it better look good a year from now, and that if one looked at pattern trends on sites such as Ravelry instead of liked pictures on sites such as Pinterest, such high-fashion trends didn't show up and it was more classic, timeless stuff.

I was bad this year and bought five skeins of yarn:

Ok, three are the same yarn.  I've been thinking about getting this colorway (Stargazing) of Madelinetosh for awhile now to do a sweater, and getting it here was an excuse to buy yarn from my old LYS (who was back again and still remembered me).

The other two are impulse buys.  The gray skein is Squishy Lace from Dragonfly Fibers.  It is very soft and squishy and Dragonfly Fibers had a lot of yarn I loved but I picked this one for some unknown reason.  I have never used Laceweight before, and I'm not really a shawl person.  Oh well, first time for everything.

The other one is sock yarn from Neighborhood Fibers, and I got it because it's such an interesting color.  Since I don't tend to get much outside of the blue/black/gray that I love, I got it.  I was looking for a color to go with some black sock yarn to maybe try some more colorwork, and this should work.  We'll see.

I also bought another Sock Rocket, so now I'm only missing one in the standard sock sizes.

Oh, and the third thing that sucked is that Soak wasn't there!  I'm all but out of the Soak I bought last year, and how perfect it was that it ran out right when VKL was going on again so I could by more and...they didn't have it.  Probably because Eucalan was one of the sponsors of the event.  I looked at the Eucalan and wasn't thrilled with the flower scent it came in (of course this is a personal preference; I'm sure some people love it and I can't speak to how it works).  I like some of Soak's scents better (I really love their Aquae scent, and Unleashed is nice as well), so now I have to go order it online today because I am officially out of it.

Overall, I did enjoy my time at Vogue Knitting Live.  One positive thing was the yarn selection this year was great...I was so tempted to buy more yarn than I did.  I'm just a little disappointed that it was worse than last year in the other aspects of the event...you know, the ones that make it VKL 

Well...to be fair, there was a lot of random items like this:

They were amusing and very VKL.  But other than that, I mean.

Well, there's always next year.

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