If Friday was the day the stars descended upon the event, then Saturday was the day the stars came out for Vogue Knitting LIVE 2012, being held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. The class schedule was in full swing, the needles were flying, and students were learning from the experts until sundown.
Upon entry, a familiar face was knitting at the shoe-shine stand; it was blogger and designer Steve Malcolm. His 2013 calendar from It Takes Balls to Knit, his company blog, is currently available for order at his website, and proceeds from the calendar go toward prostate cancer research. Among other attributes, Malcolm was proof that everyone can knit, and that a handsome man in a business suit is not afraid to break the stereotype. Later in the day, Malcolm had the honor of meeting one of his knitting idols, Lily Chin, in an unscripted moment in a hallway.
Arriving at the Mezzanine level, people were greeted by two associates of World Vision, who were telling all knitters about the Knit for Kids event happening over the following two days. Before her book signing, best-selling author Debbie Macomber was sitting at a table with several knitters, making a hat for donation to the Knit for Kids arm of World Vision as the ambassador of this Charity of Choice and keynote speaker for Vogue Knitting LIVE. Already a vocal supporter who encourages charity knitting, Macomber was thrilled to be asked by the organization, as they support both families here in the United States and around the world. Prior to Vogue Knitting LIVE, Macomber was part of a donation to a community on the south side of Chicago (watch the video or upload it here)
At noon, June Hemmons Hiatt gave an hour-long lecture regarding her book, The Principles of Knitting. Vogue Knitting magazine editor Trisha Malcolm acted as her panel director, and members of the packed room were given a chance to purchase Hiatt’s book and have it autographed. The book itself, in two editions, was a labor of love. “I started it in 1982; it came out in 1990,” Hiatt told the crowd regarding the first edition of her book. Hiatt also had a sense of humor regarding her 736-page knitting bible, telling the crowd that in between the first and second publishers picking up her book, “I started renovating our hundred-year old house. I don’t take on small projects.”
Nicky Epstein was given time on the main stage for a fashion show, where she showed knitted projects from her books Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting in Circles, and Knitting Block by Block in addition to patterns that have appeared in Vogue Knitting magazine. Epstein also acted as emcee to the event, telling the audience the stories behind the pieces’ design elements and what inspired each design.
After holding his lecture on Fiber Fusion, designer and shop owner Steven Be could be found in his Marketplace booth, helping knitters of all levels with any question on any knitting-related topic under the sun. He approached a customer who was wearing the Tiffany Scarf, cocked his head to the side and said, “Linen stitch, and double-drops?” The customer nodded. “Fabulous,” he said.
Finally, at the Knitche booth, inspirational-romance novelist Allie Pleiter was giving away fifty free copies of her 18th publication, Homefront Hero. Pleiter, an avid knitter whose “home store” is Knitche, has heavily relied upon her knitting to inspire certain elements of her stories. This particular publication actually has knitting as a major point of both the plot and the main characters’ development.
As Day Two was full of action, skill-building, and stargazing, Day Three is anticipated to be more of the same, if not even more awe-inspiring. The final day of Vogue Knitting Live runs from 7a.m. registration to 6p.m. closing time for the Marketplace. Classes will run for the day and the Knit for Kids area will be open through the day as well. Grab your needles and head downtown.
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