Does this blustery weather make you want to curl up on the couch with a blanket, hot chocolate, a cat and a new knitting project? Tis the season for creating chunky, cable-knit infinity scarves, cozy fisherman-style sweaters, soft merino wristwarmers, hats, legwarmers, socks and so much more.
Whether you’re stitching away for your own winter wardrobe or getting a headstart on your handmade holiday gifts, if you have an appreciation for quality fibers, you won’t want to miss Vogue Knitting LIVE at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.
Vogue Knitting, the preeminent publication for handknit couture, started Vogue Knitting LIVE in 2011 as a kind of “knitting con” for needlework enthusiasts. With three national events yearly on the East Coast, West Coast and in the Midwest, the event draws a following of knitters and crocheters who travel across the U.S. to to each show so that they can see the latest trends in knitwear, patterns and fiber art.
“It was our editor-in-chief, Trisha Malcom’s, idea to bring the magazine to life,” explained Beth Ritter, marketing manager for Vogue Knitting.
The event features classes taught by world-famous knitting experts from around the globe, needlecraft vendors from across the country (including 25 local yarn shops from around the Puget Sound), runway shows featuring the latest looks in knitwear, needlecraft and fiber vendors from across the country, and a variety of unique activities for fiends of knitting and crocheting at the Vogue Knitting Marketplace.
“We bring the magazine to our readers,” Ritter said. For example, at the classes, readers will have the chance to meet world-renowned knitting designers such as Nicky Epstein, who has authored dozens of books on needlework artistry.
“You can meet that person, tell them how much you love their designs and learn from them,” Ritter said.
Activities at the Marketplace range from panels and Q&A sessions, to a fitting station (“So when you knit a sweater, you can have your personal measurements,” Ritter explained), to a fiber gallery full of yarn used as an art medium, to yoga for knitters (especially geared for people who experience tension in their wrists and hands).
The 25 local yarn shops featured among the vendors represent the Puget Sound, from Bellingham to Des Moines. Eastside shops participating include Issaquah’s The Nifty Knitter and Kirkland’s Serial Knitters Yarn Shop.
Vogue Knitting LIVE is not just for the stitching experts; knitters and crocheters of all levels are sure to find patterns and seminars for their abilities. A beginner lounge, sponsored by Cascade Yarns —a Seattle area-based yarn distribution company popular with shops across the nation — will help to get newcomers hooked on knitting and crocheting.
“This could be your first foray into knitting in the beginner lounge … or you could be a well-seasoned knitter,” Ritter said.
As for the age-old stereotype — that knitting is only for old ladies sitting in a rocking chair surrounded by cats — Ritter said that a visit to Vogue Knitting LIVE should dispell any such outdated beliefs. Whether attending the couture shows or perusing the colorful, sparkling yarns designed in Spain and Italy, attendees will see that needlework is a very creative and artistic form of expression, and that knitwear is nothing if not fashionable. Ritter pointed to the the marketplace’s fiber gallery in particular, in which one artist designs glass to look like knitted yarn.
“Here are these artists taking fiber and looking at it in a different way,” Ritter said.
Vogue Knitting LIVE runs from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 and from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5. To purchase tickets, visit www.vogueknittinglive.com/seattle/begin. All-day admission to the Marketplace costs $20 and each class is $99. A variety of packages combining classes, lectures and three-day Marketplace tickets can be found on the website.
Eastside Scene readers will receive 50 percent off admission to the marketplace when they use the promo code EASTSIDE50, and can receive 50 percent off of remaining classes with the promo code EASTSIDE.