While knitting students, aspiring designers, and all yarn enthusiasts in between were digesting all of their newly-acquired knowledge from the breadth of classes offered at Vogue Knitting LIVE this weekend, the Marketplace offered a great outlet for purchasing new yarns and notions and practicing all of those lessons. Split between two floors because of space constraints at the hotel, shoppers were offered both tried-and-true and brand-new wares on the third and fourth floor of the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.
The bustling energy began to percolate on Friday afternoon when the Marketplace opened, and reached its peak on Saturday afternoon between class sessions, when students used their two hours between classes to see all the knitting world had to offer in terms of new yarns, notions, and especially patterns. Lanaknits, a local purveyor of hemp-based yarn, for example offered an entire wall of pattern support for their yarn in items from baby to adult.
Many local yarn shops were represented in the Marketplace, giving both out-of-towners and local Chicagoans in other areas of the city a taste of what they offer. Nina in Chicago, Knitche in Downers Grove, Mia Bella in Highland Park, Wool and Company in Saint Charles, Windy Knitty in Chicago, and Three Bags Full in Northbrook were all represented, and each booth had something unique to offer. For instance, novelist Allie Pleiter was giving away free copies of her newest book, The Firefighter's Match, while across the aisle, Knitche was offering a peek into their ShiBui trunk show.
Universal Yarn, one of the sponsors of Vogue Knitting LIVE this year, was represented by both a booth and a giveaway, offering a free ball of yarn with the purchase of the book, 50 Knitted Gifts for Year-Round Gift Giving. Another sponsor, Malabrigo Yarns, offered free hat patterns including an easy stockinette stitch pattern, an intermediate colorwork pattern involving two skeins of contrasting colors, and a hat and fingerless mitt set.
There were several hand-spinners and hand-dyers making their debut at the Chicago show this year, including the Carolina Fiber Company by Renee Jones and De Origen Chile. Both booths offered a new look at hand-spun chunky art yarns to offer a new facet of knitting to people who never have tried knitting on extra-large needles. The Neighborhood Fiber Company and Grinning Gargoyle Fine Yarns, two independent dyers in the United States, continued to attract new customers as staples in the Marketplace at Vogue Knitting LIVE.
While knitting needles were offered at a smaller number of booths than in shows past, notions were aplenty at Della Q and BagSmith, where customers could purchase project bags to hold their newly-acquired yarn. Bead Biz, Miriam Carter Feltmaker, and Two Grey Dogs designs offered jewelry, notions, and beads to extend the knitter's love of yarn past just the actual craft of knitting.
The Marketplace offered patrons of Vogue Knitting LIVE a chance to shop both local and find national and international brands of their favorite fibers, and it also gave customers the chance to speak with the dyers and designers themselves. Full bags of merchandise were walking out of the Marketplace in the hands of very content, happy knitters who used their new knowledge to guide their purchases, and some shoppers who just could not help themselves. No matter their motivation, customers at the Marketplace had mementos of their trip to Chicago's fiber expo, and many of them could not even wait until the end of the show to cast on and get started.
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