I’m just back from VKL and am brimming with ideas and inspiration. There were so many highlights!
My classes were fantastic. John Brinegar’s Seams Like Surgery reminded me that I am one of those weird knitters that loves a bit of seaming. Although I had taught myself mattress stitch from books it was great to be shown the correct way to do it in meticulous detail. And to be reminded, “You are in charge of your knitting!”. Love it!
In part 1 of Josh Bennett’s 3 part Design Workshop we talked about current fashions and style forecasting, design inspiration and Josh’s design tips for gauge, structure, and fit then we sketched and presented ideas for our own designs. In the next class we learnt how to do the basic calculations for a set in sleeve jumper. This was a revelation to me – there are rules! It’s just maths! (sort of).
In the final session we took one of our design ideas to develop into a pattern. This was where the rubber hits the road and the number of design decisions to be made suddenly come into focus. It was really fascinating to go through the whole process from start to finish and gave me some confidence that I would be able to do it on my own.
Again there was a theme of focussing on absolute attention to detail to make your knitting or design really great. Josh’s comment, “Why bother designing something you can buy at the GAP?” has stuck in my mind. I am now thinking beyond comfort and easy knitting to being more adventurous. I love the idea of making a lasting piece of art rather than just a garment to throw on to keep me warm (although that is a nice result too).
On Sunday morning I joined British garment and yarn designer Louisa Harding for “Tell a Story with your Photography”. This was a lovely icing on the cake to the three days of classes. The recurring theme of attention to detail surfaced again. Her photos are gorgeous and learning about the tiny details that go into every image makes me appreciate the end result even more.
I also spent some time at the Wooly Monmouth stall meeting lots of lovely knitters. One woman told me she had knit three Radiance shawls and even wanted to take my picture. I felt quite a celebrity. I also met Kirsten Kapur which was a bonus as I have long admired her designs, photography and stories on her blog.
And last but not least I caught up with my dear friend Pauline and we enjoyed a delicious dinner (ok two dinners for me) at Kodama Sushi around the corner from the hotel. I’ve been there a few times now and always seem to be seated next to aspiring actors discussing their latest Broadway auditions or shows. Its very fun and the food is incredible.
Three days went by way too quickly but I missed my family and was very happy (and lucky) to be on one of the few flights to Heathrow that didn’t get cancelled due to snow on Sunday evening.
If you have popped over here from the Knitting Pipeline podcast and blog, welcome! (I had a lovely mention from Paula in episode 117. If you haven’t listened to her podcast before go and download it immediately ’cause you’re missing out!)