November 14, 2012

VKL Chicago!!! - My Review

Let me tell you... Vogue Knitting LIVE Chicago was amazing!!!!

I don't even know where to start... I still can't believe I had the opportunity to go. I enjoyed every second of it from the moment I made my reservation, the waiting, when we got there, EVERY SECOND of it while we were there and later, thinking about it and reviewing all I learned there.

I did my reservation back in June or July... I am super lucky to count with the amazing and unconditional support of my Mom because I know this was something expensive that we couldn't have afford at this moment...
From the beginning, it was a little bit overwhelming trying to choose which classes I wanted to take as there was sooooo many!!! I remember calling my mom about the amount of classes I should take and she said: take as many as you can and want, you don't know when you'll have this opportunity again.

For my luck, one of my friends wanted to take a class that started on Friday morning so I chose to ride with her on Thursday evening up to Chicago which is about 4-5 hours from us.

The day came and we drove up to a place -which name I've totally forgotten- that was about an hour of Chicago. We slept there in a very nice room that was the perfect start of our trip.
We had a nice dinner and then watch some TV and went to bed... the next morning we left before sunrise and got to Chicago close to 7am.
We got to the Hotel in time and were able to make the registration... they had baskets of yarn everywhere, I thought it was a nice touch!
We stayed at the Palmer House that was without a doubt the most luxurious (and expensive) hotel I've ever stayed in... The event was there and they had special rates for it because other wise...
We started right away with our classes... my friend went to "knitting with wire" and I went to "Math for knitters demystified" with Kristen Rengren. The class was fun, lots of math (of course) lots of numbers and I was very excited to understand better the math aspect of designing... it was awesome.

Then I ran to a lecture with Lily Chin in "Design Inspiration"... it was really an inspiration, and she was wearing a dress that, really, it was worth for me to go to VKL just to see that dress...
The photos don't do justice, but it was a double-color tunisian crochet tunic with "phony" cables that was simply amazing... I wish I could design like her....
Do you know Lily Chin is the fastest crocheter in the world??? (a little bit full of herself I must say) but an incredible designer, no doubt!
She can see this... (sorry for the crooked photo) the isles of a movie theatre
And get the inspiration to put this on a sweater...
It was mind blowing to see her design process...

Later I ran for something to eat and had a "Drawing for sweater designers" class with Deborah Newton... also amazing!!!
The swatches that incorporated all the elements of the sweater she was designing... big swatches, always blocked... the drawings, the finished item. Fantastic.

A little trip to the market place...
Dinner with the ladies out in a restaurant...

Next morning, Saturday, Breakfast early, shopping out with the girls...
I got two pairs of colored jeans and a cashmere sweater at TJ Maxx!

And a little fashion show of the late issue of Vogue Knitting...
It was very hard to take photos there... but I loved this dress:

Lunch and right in time for another great lecture, this time with Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee "This is your brain on knitting".... W.O.W... SUPER interesting and fun!!!

Ran for my next class, "Pattern Writing Skills" with Kate Atherley... another great designer, tech editor, funny teacher... the class gave me lots of tips and knowledge about the basics of a pattern.
A little run to the Market place again... some shopping... :o)

4 of the ladies went back home that afternoon, so I had dinner with the other 2 and a husband that were still there with me... mmm! sushi for dinner.

Sunday morning... my last class.... "Custom Designing" with Josh Bennett... very funny, very illustrative, easy to create patterns... and every time you had a right answer he'd throw a ball of rowan yarn at you that you got to keep. I got 4!!

And finally, check out quickly and head back home to MG's arms...

Resuming, I realize that I know how to follow a pattern, but the writing involves a lot of things. That weekend I learned a lot about math, the drape of a fabric, swatches, blocking, sketching... designing in general.
I'm not totally sure I want to dive into being a designer for knitting and crochet, but I do know that whatever I design I want to do it the right way.
I can truly say that, even when this event didn't have any crochet classes, I learned so much and enjoyed so many things that it changed my knitting life... I think from now on it will be "before VKL... and after VKL"

See you soon!


  1. Wow, Shanti.. I bet you felt like a movie star staying in that hotel and meeting all those knitting "stars"! I'm glad your wonderful mom helped you with this dream. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. BTW - I had to try 3 different codes to leave my comment. I removed the code thing on my blog to make it easier for people to leave comments. I see a lot of other bloggers are removing it too. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. That looks like such a fun trip!


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