At 31 years old, I’m a little ashamed to say that I don’t travel often. I spent more time on airplanes as a 5 year old Army brat than I have in the past 10 years. I’m slowly working on changing that. Thankfully, this past January, I had the opportunity to go to New York and fangirl over the entire city and all of the makers and designers in it. And fan girl I did!
When the universe gives you a gift, you don’t question it. You just say Thank you. This happened to me one day in mid-December when one of my favorite yarn companies sent me an email, inviting me to an exclusive gathering of creative influencers and designers. I mulled over the message for a while, figured I had nothing to lose, and asked my mom if she wanted to come with me to New York after New Year’s. She’s basically my best friend and business wingwoman. Since we have family in New York that we wanted to see, we booked a full week in the Big Apple and made all of the arrangements. During the weeks leading up to our trip, we also found out about a Blogger Sip & Stitch event and it turns our Vogue Knitting Live was the very same weekend. What are the odds?
I arrived in NYC and immediately took an awkward bathroom selfie, because we all do it for the ‘Gram. In all seriousness, I was ELATED to be in New York. I hadn’t visited with family there since high school. I’m a city girl at heart, so I was in my element. I did, though, have to check my Midwestern habits when I complimented a random woman’s hair and she totally ignored me.
After visiting my mother’s childhood home and seeing my lovely grandparents, we freshened up and ventured to the Flatiron Room for the Lion Brand Blogger Sip & Stitch. Let me give you the rundown of internet royalty in this room. Our hosts were: Alexandra of @twoofwands, Ashleigh of @sewrella, Stephanie of @allaboutami, Chi Wei of @1dogwoof, Michelle of @stitchandhustle, Jess of @mamainastitch, Jess of @makeanddocrew, and Tamara of @mooglyblog. Ok. Let that sink in for a moment. The room was buzzing. 3 long lunchroom style tables were packed with knitters and crocheters, many of which I recognized from Instagram and Pinterest. Everyone was drinking and laughing and making together. My heart was so full.
After collecting myself, I tentatively walked up Alexandra to say hi and was greeted with the warmest hug. And so the night went. We had great food, took tons of photos, and crafted together. Aside from being amazing designers and instructors, each women in that room was just an amazing person. There was no ego, no cliques, no competition. We were just 40 or so creative people doing what we loved in a basement bar. It was the perfect end to my first night in NYC.
The catalyst for the NYC trip was Thursday night’s event: the first ever U.S. Flock Party, hosted by Love Knitting/ Love Crochet. This turned out to be a darling cocktail party where we learned more about The Flock, a designer ambassador program for the LoveCrafts family.
One thing is for sure – our hosts knew exactly how to make us feel special! There was a buffet full of delicious dishes and treats (#willpower) and cocktail tables covered in Love Knitting brand yarns (#nowillpower). I had a chance to play with favorites like Paintbox Yarns and oogle their new collections, Willow & Lark and The Yarn Collective.
Willow & Lark Ramble was my favorite. It’s a lovely superwash wool that comes in 30 of the most gorgeous shades. I swiped Rhubarb Pink (top), Horizon Orange (middle), and Straw (bottom) for a fun future project. I was also introduced to Willow & Lark Woodland, a Merino/ alpaca blend that has a rustic tweed pattern to it. The colors Cirrus and Rolled Oats found their way into my bag. There were plenty of other goodies there to sample, but I left a few for the other guests, I promise.
The entire event was a well curated guestlist of makers, designers, and influencers from all corners of the knit and crochet community. Every design style was represented and I got to meet even more new people (including Kristy Glass and her pink sequin pants!). Our hosts Kate and Jenni told us all about the new U.S. based initiatives the company has planned for 2018 and how we can support each other’s growth. Look out for some amazing collaborations planned with Love Knitting/ Love crochet in the coming months!
If there’s not a photo op, did the event even happen? Love Knitting even set up a mini photo booth with British-themed props for us all to take fun pictures. Katie and I snapped this fun pic, posing as Sherlock Holmes and her sassy grandma!
Vogue Knitting Live
If you’re new to the crochet and knitting world, you might be unaware of the wonder that is Vogue Knitting Live. Let me enlighten you. Imagine for a moment that there is a place meant only for yarn enthusiasts, where yarn companies and indie dyers make their wares available for you, where you can meet your favorite designers and take classes from experts in the industry, watch a runway show of classic and new handmade looks, and relax and mingle with other yarn lovers. That place is Vogue Knitting Live. This yarn convention takes place multiple times a year in different places around the country. Needless to say, it is a very big deal.
The event started on Friday, but mom and I decided we would spend all of Saturday there. The day started early with a Storm the Train event hosted by our own ray of sunshine, Kristy Glass. Dozens of Kristy’s fans boarded the 1 train at Times Square, rode it to the end of the track, then back again. We spent the whole time knitting, laughing, and meeting one another. There were a couple non-knitters on the train – don’t worry, we were nice to them.
After the train and a quick bite of breakfast, mom and I headed into the Marketplace of Vogue Knitting Live. The Marketplace is two floors of yarn shopping nirvana. So many of my favorite craft companies were there, including Knit Picks, We Are Knitters, and Knit Collage. I also got to drool over gorgeous indie dyed skeins from Alex Creates, Shirsty Cat, and Hedgehog Fibers. I was excited to see new brands there, holding their own alongside veteran yarn companies. I was most impressed with Clintonhill Cashmere Company. Beyond the fact that I’m a sucker for cashmere, I was inspired by the story Rebecca, owner and designer, told of the boutique yarn company that had only been in production for 5 months. Rebecca doesn’t have any plans to offer crochet designs for now, but a bit of gentle coaxing might change her mind.
Mom and I strolled around some more, meeting new friends and taking in all of the sights. I ended up buying so much yarn that I had to get another suitcase to take it home in. I’m ready to admit that I have a serious addiction to yarn, but there’s no better place to indulge than Vogue Knitting Live. This is my second trip to the convention (the first was also with mom in Chicago 2 years ago) and I had a blast.
When I think back on that week, I’m amazed that I was able to experience so many of the things and people that make me happy all in one place. It’s humbling to consider that, as a self-employed crochet designer, I get to craft the life I want to live. I don’t take it for granted and I’m so excited for things to come. Get ready for all new patterns, features, and collaborations.
I have to give a huge shout out to my mom, Gwen. She was the real MVP that week. She let me drag her around freezing cold NYC for 7 days while she was under the weather. As always, thanks mom.