I can say with some certainty that if I didn’t attend Vogue Knitting Live in New York in Jan 2020 I wouldn’t be the knitrepreneur I am today.
I have evidence! Here are five specific experiences from VKL2020 that have had a lasting effect on my knitting, designing, yarn shopping and attitude to social media:
- Safiyyah Talley‘s class at Vogue knitting live”Design like a Boss” significantly changed my approach to design and helped me hone my design template. Safiyyah helped me to understand why a system/ structure was important and empowered me to own my own structure and process rather than be “free-spirited” and “ad hoc” which meant I often didn’t get the detail – or even any detail down!
- Laura Bryant‘s class helped me to de-categorise my sewing and knitting expertise and see them under one “garment construction and fit” category, from which I could draw both wisdom and inspiration for future designs and workshops. I don’t think Gumeracha would have existed without this shift in thinking.
- London Kaye helped me to understand that Instagram was story telling. Her workshop helped me take better photographs of my WIPs and FOs and tell a more compelling story on Insta. As someone who only created an account in 2018, this was a huge revelation. I was also very inspired by her bold vision and completely unique approach to crochet.
- The medknitation session ran by Suzan Colon was such a beautiful experience in and of itself. And it gave me new language and insights about how and why I was using knitting as a mindful action.
- The VLK marketplace was CRAZY: it spanned two floors of a Times Square hotel. Every 30 mins there would be someone throwing little yarn packages attached to parachutes from the balcony to a mad scrabble the floor below. But in the midst of that craziness I found Long Island Yarn Co. My conversation with Tabbethia about sustainable yarn production in her stall that day sparked a curiosity about Australian wool production: where is our raw wool scoured and milled? How far must it travel from farm to knitter’s hands? Where did all the mills and other infrastructure go? This is an ongoing exploration for me that may even require me to develop my own yarn, to follow a bale from start to finish. In the meantime, I am drawn to farm-to-yarn companies like Tarndie and Nomad Farms.
I don’t know precisely what I will gain from attending Vogue Knitting Live in 2023 (if I go!! I still have to do the maths….!). I certainly didn’t book my ticket to New York in 2020 with the to-do list above. I actually naively went hoping to talk my way into teaching a class? I still have hopes of teaching at a future VKL, but in the meantime I am content to attend as a learner, and be open to what the experience has to teach me.