New indie finds at Vogue Knitting Live NYC

My lone, but lovely, purchase at this year's Vogue Knitting Live in NYC.

My lone, but lovely, purchase at this year’s Vogue Knitting Live in NYC.

At this year’s Vogue Knitting Live in New York City, which took place over the weekend, I spent a lot less time in the marketplace than I have in the past. This was partially because I’ve made a few (ahem) purchases since Rhinebeck and I’m running out of room to put everything, and also because there were a lot of excellent classes. I ended up purchasing a class package for the first time, and took Deborah Jarchow’s Beginning Weaving for Knitters on Friday and Amy Herzog’s two-part Sweater Design Intensive on Saturday.

I learned a lot in all the sessions; the weaving class was very hands on, and I got to try out three different rigid heddle looms — I really liked the Ashford, but the Cricket was nice, too — and create a small sample of woven fabric (which I’m not posting a picture of because I overlooked the fact that I was supposed to bring my own yarn…). I do want to get some more experience before fully taking up another fiber craft, but my mom has been interested in weaving, so it might be something we can explore together. While I thought Amy’s class would incorporate her Custom Fit software more, I learned a ton about sweater construction, the qualities of different fibers and gauge, and enjoyed seeing her model her different designs to provide insight into construction and fit.

Aside from spending a lovely time with my knitting friends, I did browse the marketplace during the Friday night preview, and will of course share my finds.

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At the beginning, I had the nice surprise of running into Bronwyn, AKA Casapinka, who came up from Maryland for the day. Bronwyn was wearing her new design, the Black to the Fuchsia shawl, knit with a Miss Babs gradient set and a single solid skein.

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Appropriately enough, I came across the booth of Seven Sisters Yarn, a new company based in Maine and run by Karen Grover, the founder and former co-owner of String Theory. Karen specializes in gradients, including sets of mini skeins that shift from one color to another, and sets with several shades of one color that range from light to dark. Definitely a possibility for a Black to the Fuchsia…

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A must-visit booth this year was White Barn Farm, which had yarn in the Ulster County Handspinners Guild booth at Rhinebeck last year. My fellow Yarn Hoars had discovered Paula and her Cormo/alpaca/silk blend named, appropriately, Heaven, and had nearly bought her out of it. Paula, a former city girl, now raises sheep up in New Paltz, New York, and while she didn’t have an overwhelming amount of stock, as there’s only so much wool her sheep can provide, what she did have was gorgeous. Aside from the Heaven DK — which I purchased to try out, either on a hat or cowl — Paula also had yarn that was milled to look like handspun. The NY-area Hoars have been talking about taking a field trip to visit Paula, and if we go, I will definitely blog about it.

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One of my favorite finds this year had to be Crave Yarn. Crave has been around for three years, run by Amor (which is an appropriate name because I love her yarn) and based in Santa Fe, one of my favorite cities. I was especially drawn to her greens, which takes a really special dyer, because greens are never at the top of my list. As far as colors that do rank high on the Lisa Color Scale, she also had beautiful grays and berry colors, as well as oranges, blues and mustards… Let’s just say that I would definitely have a hard time narrowing down my favorites. She also had some luxurious bases, including a baby alpaca 1 yak/Mulberry silk fingering blend called Thoreau (which now I’m kicking myself for not buying because it would make a great Shallows). I also liked how the booth was arranged, with complementary colors next to each other — I could totally see the One single-ply Merino fingering in a Color Affection.

All in all, I think this year’s VKL may have been my favorite one yet. It was a perfectly balanced weekend filled with learning, having a fun time with friends I see far less often than I should, and making some great discoveries. If only I had more storage space (or knit faster).

1. I thought it was yak, but Amor hadn’t added an entry for the new base on Ravelry yet when I wrote this post, so I confused it with her other base, Song. Sorry for the mix-up.

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