Farmgirl Roadtrip: New York City and A Knitter’s Paradise

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Knitting to me is more than a “hobby”. It’s a lifestyle. I have knitted and crocheted for decades, teaching classes in the art for over ten years. I love all things “crafty”, but knitting’s more than your average craft. It’s a passion. Recently, I visited a place that is truly a “Knitter’s Heaven”! Head with me to the Big Apple…

Oh the potential of yarn!

Oh the potential of yarn!

I’ve taught knitting to everyone from age six to sixty-plus. I love that it’s universal – spanning age, location, taste, and time. One can make a quick project or work on something for years, keep it simple or make something fancy. Knitting keeps the hands busy and the mind relaxed. Knitting is “Zen” – it’s been proven that knitting is meditative, aids in keeping the mind sharp, reduces anxiety, and helps with circulation and arthritis. I always say it is my “yoga”.

From chihuahua sweaters...

From dog sweaters…

...kids clothes...

…kids clothes…

to felted hats...

…felted hats…

 

 

 

…”people” sweaters…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to dishcloths! I love to knit it all!

to dishcloths! I love to knit it all!

My best friend started as one of my knitting students, and for the past several years has told me about “Vogue Knitting Live”, a huge event, occurring in nearby New York City in January. This was the first year I was able to go, and I couldn’t wait! We met very early on Saturday morning, and Andrea, Loretta, and I headed for the train out of Brewster, NY. Waiting for the metro to arrive, we chatted with some other ladies; we knew by their hand knit scarves, gloves and bags they must be headed the same place.

When you're in Grand Central Station, look up!

When you’re in Grand Central Station, look up!

I haven’t been to Grand Central Station in many years, but the experience is the same: it looks just out of a movie with bustling people from different walks of life all hurrying about. The building is bursting with amazing architecture. The high ceilings are works of art, the brass work framing everything, including the old radiators in the floor, is beautiful, the old clock…it is like a museum in itself!

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We then walked the few blocks down to the Marriott Hotel where the convention was taking place.

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Once through the doors, Vogue Knitting Live was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Several floors were dedicated to the event. While there were classes, we were there for one day, and only going to see the Marketplace (which you don’t even have to be a knitter to enjoy)!

We saw more yarn, needles, and project ideas than one could imagine! Hundreds of booths were filled to the top – brimming with creativity galore! From the latest trends to the most classic styles, there was something for everyone. I loved seeing all ages – from young hipsters to grandmothers in classic cardigans and pearls – all coming together with a single love – knitting. We met women (and men)  from all over  the world. Hello to the ladies from Delaware we ate lunch with!

We marveled at life-size 3D storybook characters created by Lion Brand Yarn – all knitted! This wasn’t just knitting – this was art. The creations were phenomenal!

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Yes, this is made from yarn!

Yes, this is made from yarn!

The artists work was unbelievable!

The knitted artwork was unbelievable!

One artist I met and adore is London Kaye. She herself is beautiful and graceful,  but her creations from yarn are AMAZING! She is a yarn-bombing street and commercial artist, who is just brilliant! Check out her work here.

Artist London Kaye and her amazing creations!

Artist London Kaye and her amazing creations!

We watched live runway fashion shows, checked out new trends, and, of course, bought yarn.

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Andrea fell in love with a dress she saw, and while she was trying it on, I found a yarn I had. to. have. There was a sample scarf nearby that was stunning! This yarn is different colors, textures and fibers all on one skein (that makes one scarf). It was also the most expensive skein of yarn I’ve ever purchased – my splurge. They only had one left , and a quick worry passed as I noticed one end looked a bit frayed.

Worry was right! At the winding station, my yarn tangled. The more we tried to fix it, the worst it got. The line behind me was growing longer by the minute, as I grew more nervous.  I have patience to fix almost any knitting project. I can repair or back-track anything, but when it comes to untangling a big ball of snarled yarn I can’t cope! There are those whose “zen” is untangling yarn, and can sit for hours fixing a web of messy snarls. I’d rather have my teeth drilled. I started to sweat. I started to panic. I might have been about to cry. Realizing we were not going anywhere with this yarn, we carefully stepped aside to try to wind it by hand – with the snarled skein wrapped about Andrea’s outstretched arms. Just as I was about to give up, a gentle voice behind me said, “Let me help”. A stranger swooped in…a “yarn angel” . She started winding and untangling.

My "yarn angel", Marisol

My “yarn angel”, Marisol

This sweet lady not only got the yarn past the worst snarls, but proceeded to wind the whole thing, taking close to an hour! Marisol, who learned to knit as a child in the Dominican Republic when Home Economics was required, picked up knitting and crocheting for the school credit because she didn’t like to cook! Years later, she still knits (as does her grown son who learned by watching his mom), and is in a knitting group that meets in Staten Island, where she often helps others with tangled yarn. “It’s relaxing”, she says. Marisol, THANK YOU for your random act of kindness! Marisol reminded me of the kindness of strangers, inspiring me to pass kindness on. Whenever I wear my scarf made from that yarn, I will think of you!

After a very long, very fun day, we ate the best Greek food I’ve ever had at Uncle Nick’s in Hell’s Kitchen, and headed for the train ride home, bags of goodies in tow. Vogue Knitting Live will be in Las Vegas this March. I can’t wait to go to New York’s event again. Check their website to find all about Vogue Knitting Live.

My biggest problem now is deciding what to finish and what to start! It is a knitter’s dilemma – so much yarn, so little time!

What’s on your needles?

 

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 15 Comments

  1. marge hofknecht says:

    Oh, Nicole, I’m so glad that you were able to attend Vogue Knitting Live. I crochet primarily but I’ve been knitting dishcloths out of cotton yarn and it’s so true about how relaxing knitting is. I think going to large group activities that involve a favorite craft or hobby is so refreshing. It often gets the creative juices going and new ideas are born! Thank you for sharing your memories with all the “yarnies” there in New York via your photos and your post. Have a blessed and “yarny” day!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marge, so nice to hear from you…I hope you got my card I sent you a few weeks ago. I loved the cookie recipe you sent. Knitting dishcloths is a favorite project of mine. It’s a good way to make something useful, to try new stitches and patterns, and to have a quick project for a nice sense of accomplishment. I love it – “yarnies”! Hope you have a “yarny” day too! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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  3. Marilyn says:

    Thank you for this interesting post. Knitting is a fun thing to do. I learned how to knit the basics when I was in school.
    Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, I am so glad you enjoyed the post! I wish they still taught things like knitting in school. I taught my daughter to knit, and this summer we will sew together some more as well. The basics is all you need to get started. :) Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Joan says:

    Love knitting items but I am totally not a knitter. I grew up in a household of knitters but never caught on. I do crochet pretty well, sew and most anything else with my hands, SO I admire y’all talent and loved seeing your outing. God bless

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joan! Sounds like you are plenty talented yourself! My mom grew up with my grandmother who could do fiber work, but it never interested her. She could sew though. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Diane Loehr says:

    Hi Nicole – That sounds like a really GREAT event and one that I will have to look into with my friends for next January. I have never heard of it before. Sounds like you had a great time and bought a lot of cool yarns, etc. If it was during the week I would have put you on the visitor’s list at my building on 34th & 7th. My bosses office faces the Empire State Building and the views are awesome as we are on the 38th floor. If we go next year hopefully we can meet. I wish I could knit like you, especially an easy dog sweater for my dog Lily. I go to GC every day and it always amazes me how excited and amazed people are when they enter the main section. It is really very nice! Have a great day and thanks for the new event on my calendar! Diane

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Diane, Oh it was fun! Let’s keep in touch and hopefully meet up next time! Also, keep me posted. Maybe we can meet at the FDR house knitting event or Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

      • Diane Loehr says:

        Hi Nicole – The knit-in at FDR house is being held on May 7th (Sunday). Cut and paste this location and look for events. It is their 10th Anniversary and just nice getting together with all the ladies. You need to send in your registration so they will know how many people are attending. Hope to see you there! Diane http://www.townofhydeparkny-historicalsociety.org

        • Nicole Christensen says:

          Hi Diane, thank you! I will keep it in mind and hopefully we will meet this year! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Krista says:

    How fascinating! This is the first time I have heard of Vogue Knitting Live. It sounds like such a fun event. As of right now I don’t know how to knit, but I hope to learn in the near future. I do crochet and love it very much, so I have an appreciation for all the hard work that went into the event. I completely agree with having a difficult time deciding on what to start and what to finish when it comes to projects. I have about 6 different things stared right now and never know which to finish first. And by the time I finish one I have already started 3 more!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Krista! It was such a fun event. We must have walked 18 miles that day! A great Girls Day! The event had something for everyone, including those that crochet, or haven’t tried any fiber art. Like you, I have several projects going at the same time…knitting, sewing, and crochet projects are waiting to be finished! Oh look…there’s another cute project I should start…lol! Thanks for reading and commenting, Krista. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Denise Ross says:

    Fantastic post Nicole. I checked out London Kaye’s webpage and gosh she is so talented. I loved how you create so many different things when you knit. It’s such an incredible blessing to be filled up and passionate about a hobby. It keeps us living fully I find. Mine is art, with my particular medium of choice of acrylic on canvas. I even did a commission for a lovely friend of mine and she still loves it.
    Goodness that day looks so fun and entertaining and inspiring. If I ever make it over to the states I’ll have to check out if there is one on when I’m there. It would sure be a highlight.
    Have a glorious weekend

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Denise! Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed this post! Isn’t it awesome when you find a creative outlet that makes you happy? It definitely was a great day and I can’t wait to go back. When you walk in, there is a giant board with a map of the world. Everyone “pins” where they are from. You could pin your home! 😉
      Thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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