Vogue Knitting LIVE! – Chicago, 2014

It’s here. I can feel it.

The Palmer House Hilton has hosted Vogue Knitting LIVE! in Chicago since the inaugural event in 2012, and it’s been fantastic each time I’ve attended. The Palmer House is only a short mile away from my work offices, so when I realized my hands were twitching slightly this afternoon, I was reminded that it must be due to registration for the event starting in just one short hour, with the first round of evening classes beginning at 6PM this evening.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a class – I’ve strictly been a shopper at the marketplace ever year. I’m telling myself next year will be different since I won’t be paying a small mortgage in tuition fees. Until then, I have two things to share with everyone has planned or capable of attending this year’s sure-to-be-fabulous event:

First, Vogue Knitting is still offering 1/2 off all of its remaining classes, lectures, and marketplace tickets:

 

There’s a good selection of classes left: for $110, you can attend the¬†marketplace each day (Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday), schedule one available class, and sit in one lecture. That’s an incredible deal if you’re local!

If you’re like me, and prefer to spend your available cash solely on fiber goodies, you can purchase a 1/2 price Saturday or Sunday market ticket for $10 per person (it includes free Friday night admission, too). ¬†If you feel as though eight hours couldn’t possibly be enough time create a suitable shopping experience, for only $12.50 you can purchase a ticket for all three marketplace days.

Secondly, if you want to either follow along with the experience or want to share what’s happening at the Palmer House this weekend on Twitter or Instagram, please be sure to use the hashtag #vklive.

BONUS: You can download the guide for this weekend by clicking here.

Mr. Joseph and I will probably be wandering around the marketplace sometime on Sunday morning. Don’t be afraid to say “Hello”!

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Chunky. Baby. Knits.

October is all about quick-to-complete projects for me. This could be for a lot of reasons, ranging from my ADHD to a general lack of knitting time in my schedule between work, school, and volunteering. Whatever the reason, I only tend to be knitting two different types of projects lately: baby knits and chunky knits (and I just now only realized the untapped potential of chunky baby knits *drool*).

About a year ago, Mr. Joseph happened to tag me in an Instagram post from Wool And The Gang. My immediate thought was something along these lines:

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The good news? Rather than being a really cool cover band featured at fiber and knitting events throughout the country, Wool And The Gang is a London firm specializing¬†in chunky knits with a twist: you can either buy their goods in a “Made By The Gang” version or – if you’re feeling adventurous or have the appropriate skill set – you can order a kit and¬†“Knit Your Own”.

L.O.V.E.

I decided I wanted to “Knit My Own” cowl and settled on a pattern called Snood Dogg. It was sent to me and arrived within a few days. When I opened the box (which was personalized with my name on it!), I was ecstatic with what I found inside:

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Two balls of wool come in a bag, complete with knitting instructions and finishing needles for sewing/weaving in ends. There’s also a fantastic set of wooden size US 19 knitting needles. I couldn’t stop taking photos:

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Crazy. Sexy. Wool.

Now, the needles are fantastic, the pattern is fun, and this yarn is pretty much like knitting away on some pencil roving (it’s going to finish up very quickly which is, of course, the point). The best part? Wool And The Gang is a little cheeky – it doesn’t take things too seriously, so there’s a whimsical air about the brand that really gets my knitting juices flowing. Plus, they dared me:

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I can. And I will.

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Baby Sweater Madness

For a long time, there were absolutely no babies within my knitting kingdom. Even after my nephew was born in 2009 there was only one mini-human around to knit for. This was upsetting for two reasons:

1) Any thing knit in miniature format Рa hat, fisherman sweater, lace cardigan, scarf, etc. Рis about 10,000 times more cute than anything knit in a conventional size.

2) Babies and toddlers can’t refuse to wear something or complain about the color, fit, fiber content, etc. They’re just happy to be warm (any adult non-knitter who receives a knitted gift should keep in mind to accept it as though they were a one-year-old – the world will be better off for it) and to have something new to drool on.

In the middle of this dry spell, Mr. Joseph and I started dating and when he and I eventually moved in together we would host the occasional party. Unfortunately, I gained a reputation for walking up too random pregnant friends of his (who were meeting me for the first time), manically offering them an opportunity to go through my yarn stash and baby knitting books and pick something out for me to make for their soon-to-be-born little one.

As expected, they would all kind of smile oddly at me, casually thumb through a book while I inevitably Рto their relief Рbecame engrossed in my alcohol and cupcakes hosting duties, completely forgetting to seal the knitting deal. Looking back, I can see why this none of them took me up on the offer, nor became a fast friend. C.R.E.E.P.

To my relief the dry baby spell was finally put to end in 2012, and since then, it’s like someone has torn down the baby dam; there are freakin’ babies everywhere – twelve to be exact – born all within the last two years. That’s a new baby every two months.

While it would be rude for me to ask people to please stop reproducing (especially with the extra cold¬†winters we’re having in the Midwest lately; I mean, people need to do something to entertain themselves), I do have to start prioritizing some of these kids. I have committed to every one getting at least a blanket, which as always been delivered, but lately a phenomena¬†I didn’t anticipate has occurred: once you make a non-knitting mom a baby blanket, she’s eventually¬†going to want something else.

This isn’t really a problem, per say, except when you’re dealing with a dozen different babies who you don’t feel like you can say no to – So, I’ve dubbed the Fall/Winter of 2014 “baby sweater madness”.

I’ve decided to start with the youngest sweaters first (these¬†babies are younger and smaller, generally meaning¬†the sweaters take a shorter amount of time to complete).¬†First up this year is a sweater for little John, whom I made this lovely¬†blanket for earlier this year. He’s getting¬†a varsity jacket inspired design by OGE Knitwear:

Here’s the completed back in Brooklyn Tweed Loft¬†Ember:

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After consulting with baby John’s father to confirm they were indeed Bears fans, I’ve decided the contrasting color will be Old World – a beautiful blue that I believe will be very favorably paired with this fantastic orange. Knitting is on pause until the new yarn arrives, but I’m told it’s on the way.

Next up we have Cole’s baby sweater (he received this blanket upon arriving in the world last year). He’ll be the envy of all one-year-olds in Chicago this season, rocking out in his Arlo cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed:

We’ve decided (mom and I) this little ginger boy has the genes to look great in teal. Initially, I was going to pick up some Shelter for this pattern and remain loyal to the Brooklyn Tweed design/knitting process, but then I remembered I had some fabulous green/teal Madelinetosh in my stash. Here’s a picture of an almost complete sleeve:

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I think it’s going to be absolutely perfect, and the vacancy in my yarn stash means I have an excuse to buy something a little extra at Vogue Knitting Live! next weekend, and while my credit card may have a problem with that, I certainly don’t.

Five days and counting, loves!

 

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