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Vogue Knitting LIVE lectures are packed with key lessons

Gale Zucker showed how manipulating backgrounds can change the way the human eye sees color.
Gale Zucker showed how manipulating backgrounds can change the way the human eye sees color.
The Fiber Friend 2013

The eighth floor of the New York Marriott Marquis is full of activity at all times, with a huge gift and snack shop, lobby-sized bar and lounge, and a meeting area or two for good measure. The Manhattan Ballroom, host to Vogue Knitting LIVE's lecture series this year, is just beyond the shoe shine stand on the north side of the building. Unlike the three-hour class sessions, visitors to the Manhattan Ballroom will be pleased by the one-hour length of each lecture, but the amount of information packed into that hour is just as valuable as a full class.

Photographer Gale Zucker, whose work can be seen on Berroco's website in addition to some major print publications including Shear Spirit and Craft Activism, lectured on 10 Tips and Tricks for Fabulous Photography. Later in the afternoon, Amy Herzog talked on the topic Knit to Flatter: Producing Garments You Love to Wear. These two lectures have something in common: they capture two of the elements of attendees' knitting that are not on the forefront of someone's mind, but they should be.

Zucker's talk started a few minutes late, as her schedule was tight and she had a class right up until her start time, but she was made up for it by going over her time (and not interrupting another lecturer's schedule) and keeping her audience so captivated, she was on tip number eight when her hour was up and only the very few people who had to go to another commitment got up to leave. Her examples of using backgrounds to tell a story, including showing a cat in a photo with yarn, was useful to everyone who has ever posted a photo of their finished knitting project on their Ravelry page.

As people in the Manhattan Ballroom were furiously taking notes on Friday, Zucker showed slides of her work that were almost too beautiful to look away from the pen and paper in their laps. "Pixels are free!" said Zucker, reminding people that it is okay to take as many pictures of the same thing as necessary to get the right shot.

Herzog spoke to a room full of women who, like most women, do not necessarily look at the fashion industry from the correct perspective. Referring to supermodels as something akin to "really attractive coat hangers," the audience's eyes were opened to the fact that the fashion industry makes clothes for what Herzog refers to as "Miss Average," and it is important to know how we each differ from that model.

In addition to slides, Herzog did something showing her confidence in her subject matter: she used her own body as an example throughout the lecture. By taking off her shoes, she showed her proportion of her torso to her legs, and by varying where her sweater sat on her body, she gave true examples of what body parts were accentuated by what shape of her sweater.

Both women gave their audience confidence in moving forward with their projects, whether it was photographing a finished garment or choosing the correct one in the first place. "None of us is perfect," said Herzog. "Well, actually all of us is perfect."

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