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Vogue Knitting LIVE art gallery is a sight to behold

Anna Hrachovec's knitted monster truck awaits his turn to be the star of her workshop on knitted toys.
Anna Hrachovec's knitted monster truck awaits his turn to be the star of her workshop on knitted toys.
The Fiber Friend 2014

Many knitters ask themselves, "What do I do with this one ball of yarn?" If you are an artist in the knitted art gallery at Vogue Knitting LIVE, the possibilities are endles. The gallery is comprised of artists who make prints, knit costume-style accessories and garments, tiny and oversized animals, crochet installations, and so much more that the so-called average knitter can be inspired to do something other than knit with that one ball of fabulous yarn.

Some returning artists, such as Alyssa Ettingers and Carol MacDonald, continue to be popular at Vogue LIVE. The knitted art gallery was spread among the fifth and sixth floors of the New York Marriott Marquis this year, allowing more displays and more room for gallery watchers to move. Washington-based Kelly Fleek displayed her touring pieces, series of knitted hats, and also a new series of plaster masks with attached knitted hoods that were well-received.

Anna Hrachovec, who recently relocated to Chicago, continued to be a popular artist in the gallery. In addition to offering her books for sale at her table and showing off her newest, larger creatures, Hrachovec held a toy design workshop on Sunday on the sixth floor of the Marketplace. Attendees brought their own pens, pencils, paper, and previously-sketched ideas to gain some insight on how to get started making their own version of Hrachovec's popular members of Mochimochiland. There were also several hidden mochi snowmen in the Marketplace, where people who found the teeny creatures won a copy of Hrachovec's publication, "Huge & Huggable Mochimochi."

Artist Ashley Blalock, who displayed her specialty of red crochet installations, was seen throughout the weekend talking to fans of her work. As she also was at the Vogue Knitting LIVE show in Chicago, attendees were fascinated by the scale of her work. Attendee Renee, who came to the show in New York from Baltimore, commented on the installation by saying, "I never really thought of displaying one of my lace shawls on the wall, but why not? Her pieces would make any wall look better!"

Bonnie Burton's knitted garden astounded the passersby on the way to the Marketplace, with the amount of realistic detail that went into every component of the display. A birdbath, a bench, and the garden tools were a fantastic addition to the picture, which many people are used to seeing knitted flowers on their own.

Artist Nicole Gastonguay brought people back to their childhoods, using both knit and crochet as her craft. In addition to an overstuffed burger and fries and a plaid thermos, Gastonguay also had a Speak and Spell toy fashioned from yarn, and a giant roll of 35mm film on her table. Her works also include old-fashioned t.v. dinners, a boom box, and other household items we may or may not still have in our homes, but all had at one point over the last fifty years.

The layout of the knitted art gallery was very convenient for both the artists and onlookers this year, with plenty of space to move around and stop to talk with the artists. Passersby can now see that their single ball of yarn can turn into a hat or pair of fingerless mitts, but it can also turn into something creative and amazing in a completely different way as well.

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