If you were thinking Vogue Knitting LIVE was just a place for classes, a place to buy yarn, and some fashion shows, think again. The coordinators of the show, being held this weekend at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, offer everything knitters can possibly want plus several show tidbits that patrons may not even think to seek.
Inside the Marketplace, the Yarnspiration Lounge sponsored by Bernat Yarns offered an open table for people to learn how to knit and crochet for free. With many instructors on hand to handle any number of new knitters and crocheters, some lucky students were fortunate enough to be taught by Vicki Howell, the face of Bernat Yarns, herself. While some students were quicker studies than others, there were no failures at the booth, and everyone who sat down was able to at least learn something new.
On the same floor, the Windy City Knitting Guild, Madison Knitters Guild, and the Crochet Guild of America were on hand to answer questions about their mission and purpose. The Windy City Knitting Guild offered free winding of yarn purchases within the Marketplace, and also gave away free patterns to knit hats for charity. Next to the Guild area was the gift-wrapping station, sponsored by Eucalan, so customers could have their purchases wrapped professionally and neatly if they were intended for someone else.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Marketplace offered a fitting station with experts available at no cost to take measurements of customers who wanted to knit items which fit them properly. Throughout the entire three days, the Yarn Tasting Lounge was available to anyone who wanted to try out particular brands of yarn before purchasing. This also gave customers a chance to try out different needles, so they could get a feel for what was comfortable in their hands without the financial commitment.
The third floor demo area was home to some of the most innovative minds in the knitting industry demonstrating their strengths and sharing them with eager students. On Saturday afternoon, Anna Hrachovec, the mind behind Mochimochiland, shared her creative process and helped a group of students by offering tips on designing their own characters. "My advice to any knitter that wants to get into design is to just try," she told the class.
The knitted art gallery offered a new set of artists this year, including artist Ashley V. Blalock, who exhibited a red crochet installation comprised of several oversized panels. Next to the art gallery was a doll exhibit featuring designs from Nicky Epstein's books, Knits for Dolls and Crochet for Dolls. Epstein was also present to sign copies of her books at the Vogue Knitting booth for part of the time.
While there was a sponsored area called the Knitters' Lounge for knitters to relax, unwind, and knit, the hotel offered plenty of comfortable places throughout for knitters to just sit and enjoy the scenery. Comfy chairs were situated on all levels where classes were being held in addition to next to the Marketplace entrances, and the vast lobby at the Palmer House was filled with knitters during the duration of the show.
With all of the extras offered at Vogue Knitting LIVE, students received their money's worth in knowledge which stretched way beyond their class registration. By trying out different yarns, being inspired by artists, and getting the chance to have accurate measurements taken, knitters came into Vogue LIVE as enthusiasts and left as well-rounded, confident knitters who can see the world as their creative oyster.
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