I have always had a soft spot for the city of Chicago. Many years ago, Mr. Go-Knit-In-Your-Hat and I took a trip there, saw the sights and had a wonderful time. Almost four years ago, I went to visit Franklin and meet some of the wonderful women I'd met on a Ravelry forum I was involved with. And I just returned from yet another amazing stay in the Windy City, this time to participate in Vogue Knitting Live.
The moment I checked in, I knew I was going to spend the weekend surrounded by knitters, and so it was. I immediately ran into the lovely Brooke Nico
(shown mugging here with Lily Chin and Erin Slonaker of Yarn Market News). Knitters armed with yarn were everywhere, perched on couches in the spectacular lobby of the hotel (the Palmer House is full of history, and jam-packed with amazing architectural and decorative details).
Armed with my new I-phone, I was able to take plenty of photos. The first 24 hours that I was in the hotel, I found myself snapping photos of all sorts of weird things: a snippet of wallpaper, the moldings on a ceiling, even the design on the bolsters on my bed. It's that kind of a place, where everything is beautiful and interesting to look at.
Thursday evening was the teacher's meeting, which is such a blast. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to meet up with many of the same teachers and VK staff members at various events, and we've become friends. So it was a total pleasure to see folks like these
and this studly fellow
as well as many others who were, well, let's just say a bit more camera-shy.
All too soon, it was time for bed and then the first day of classes rolled around. I taught a class on knitting mittens, and it was full of enthusiastic and delightful folks.
I then got a phone call from my pal Julie Turjoman (author of Brave New Knits) and that fast, had a lunch date. We went to the second-floor restaurant at the Art Institute. The food was delicious, the company superb, and the views of Chicago's downtown were spectacular.
I got to spend a bit of time at the marketplace, so of course I had to stop by and see Ron and Theresa of The Buffalo Wool Company;
the gorgeous Marly Bird of Bijou Basin;
and Denise of Lost City Knits.
Earlier in the day, I had seen a man wearing a kilt, and intrigued, I kinneared him. Later I realized that he was Denise's husband! And so he let me take a nice close-up photo of him in his kilt to replace the blurry, long-distance photo I had taken that day (like a big pervert, I was, taking I-phone photos of men in kilts I do not know. See what you have done to me, Dr. Mel?!?)
In a wonderful twist of fate, I ran into Philly pal Allison at the marketplace. Here we are standing in front of some of the Buffalo Wool yarn that I dyed:
Because I was trying to be good and not end up in the hospital again, I left the marketplace a little early, went up to my room and spent an hour or so just sitting with my feet propped up. I was a little nervous about traveling so soon after my hospitalization, and didn't want to take any chances.
Friday night was a cocktail party for teachers, sponsors and students, and it was held in the Red Lacquer Room, a ballroom that was, like the Palmer House lobby, full of amazing decorative details.
This is a feeble attempt to capture some of them. By this time, Taiu and Kersti of Koigu fame had arrived, so I got to spend some time catching up with them. I got to see some of my all-time favorite knitting people, like Fiona Ellis and Catherine Lowe, say hi to some new favorites like Ysolda Teague, and met some new lovelies, too. We had so much fun, but I was good and went to bed at a reasonable hour so I could be fresh for class the next morning.
Saturday I had another amazing batch of students, and then ended up hanging out with Kersti for part of the afternoon.
I participated on a panel to discuss "when your passion becomes your profession," which was a complete blast because the people on it were so fun, caught a little bit of the Vogue fashion show, which showed some beautiful items from the upcoming Holiday Vogue (outstanding), and then (after another brief rest) it was the Banquet. Guest speaker was author and knitter Debbie Macomber (which, in case you have ever wondered, is pronounced like "cucumber"). Rumor has it that there was a certain table that got quite rowdy, and believe it or not, IT WASN'T MY TABLE! (ahem, Josh "Knituation" Bennett, cough cough).
Since this blog post is running long already, I'll stop here, and pick up with Sunday's show report tomorrow or the next day....