Monday, July 04, 2011

VK Live Blog Tour & Giveaway: Day 1

Happy 4th of July to all my American readers!

Today I am the first stop on a blog tour designed to introduce you to some of my fellow teachers who will be appearing at VK Live this September, in Los Angeles.

I am honored to be in the fine company of so many wonderful fiber folks. And having experienced how much fun the very first VK Live in New York was,

well, it's not an exaggeration to say that I cannot wait for the fun to start. Last year I got to stalk Melissa Morgan-Oakes; grab Franklin Habit's butt (WARNING: Do not try this. You will be sorry -- very sorry!); have dinner with Brooke Nico, the Koigu mom & daughter team, Kathy Merrick AND the Buffalo Gold duo.

I got to meet some of the best, most enthusiastic students one could ever hope to have in a class. I got see a little bit of New York (including a visit to Purl Soho) and a jam-packed marketplace. And I even got to meet some of my knitting heroes, like Meg Swansen!!! (I try not to overuse the exclamation points, but meeting Meg Swansen deserves three, in my book.)

So if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, or you can drive there or can trade in airplane miles to fly there, make your plans soon.

I have been asked specifically to tell you all a little bit about the classes that I will be teaching at VK Live in L.A. The class I will teach multiple times is called "Yarn Substitution Made Easy," and is rapidly becoming my most popular class. If you have struggled with how to substitute yarns in patterns, or if you have a stash and you need help in figuring out how to pick the right pattern to showcase the yarns you have, then this is the class for you. We talk all about weights and categories of yarn, gauge and how it relates to weights of yarn, fiber characteristics, tips for getting quantity right, and we also walk through a substitution or two of a real-world pattern, so you can see how everything fits together. This class is selling out fast, so grab a spot while you can.

The second class I'm teaching is called "Secrets of the Schematics." I recently wrote an article for Vogue Knitting on this topic, and I had trouble keeping to my word limit. There is just so much you can learn about a pattern by studying its schematic. We will take some examples of schematics, and I'll explain what everything means and why those numbers are so important. We'll talk about fit and how you can use the schematic to help you make your garments fit better. By the time we're done, you will never start knitting a sweater again without spending some time studying the schematic. And you will end up with garments that fit you better, and are more enjoyable to knit.

The last class I'm teaching is about a topic I absolutely love: self-striping and self-patterning yarns. I think that self-stripers and self-patterners are some of the most interesting and hypnotic yarns out there. But if you don't fully understand how they work, they can also be frustrating to work with. In this class, we will cover exactly how self-stripers and self-patternings are created, and how this affects the way they will knit up. We'll talk about tips for working with them and common pitfalls -- and how to avoid those pitfalls. You will end up with a great understanding of these yarns and why they work the way they do, and you will be empowered to use up all the fun Noro and Poems and Kaffe Fassett Colourscapes and WEBS Cold Spring and Opal and Regia in your stash.

It's kind of funny that I have ended up teaching knitting classes because I come from a long line of teachers -- my dad was a science teacher for 30+ years, my brother teaches junior high, my aunt is a third-grade teacher and I have lots of cousins who teach, too. When I was a kid, I actually wanted to be a teacher, and do you know what people told me? (I still can't believe they used to say this.) "You're too smart to be a teacher." Can you imagine?

So maybe it's fitting that I ended up a teacher in the end, and honestly, I really love teaching in a way I never imagined I would. I love seeing the light in someone's eyes when they get something. I love helping knitters understand their craft better so they can get better results and have more fun. I love that my students end up my friends on Facebook and Ravelry, and I can see all the cool things they work on. And I'm really grateful to the folks at Vogue (especially Trisha Malcolm) who gave me the chance to teach in New York, and again, in Los Angeles.

Before I get all weepy and maudlin, though, I have two announcements that will interest you. The first is that thanks to the kindness of Rabbitch, I will have Black Bunny Fibers yarns to sell at the Rabbitworks Fibre Studio booth at VK Live. So even if you can't take a class, you can come and see some of my lovely yarns (nd Rabbitch's, too) in person and scoop them up before they are all gone.

The second is that the folks at VK Live have very generously offered to give one of you readers a free class at the show! To win, just leave a comment here and make sure there is contact info available either in your comment or via your Blogger profile. I will use a random number generator to pick a lucky winner. Leave your comment by midnight, Wednesday, July 6th. I'll pick the winner the next day. Please note that I moderate comments due to spammers, so there may be a time lag between the time you leave your comment and the time it appears on the blog-- if you leave a second comment, I'll delete it since it's one comment/entry per person.

And for your blog-reading pleasure, here's the list of other fabulous fiber folks participating in the blog tour this week:

5 July -- -- Knitgrrl (Shannon Okey)
6 July -- - Lorna's Laces blog (Beth Casey)
7 July -- -- Knittyblog (Amy Singer )
8 July -- -- Indigirl (Amy Swenson)
9 July -- -- Bricoleur Knits (Cirilia Rose)

Hope I see you in L.A.!


Clea Stagnitti said...

It sounds incredible! Especially the schematics class. I'll have to go find that article.

Michael said...

I live near LA. I'd love a free class!

Lorna's Laces said...

Nice kick off Carol. The bar is set high!

Clumsy Knitter said...

This is so awesome! I've been debating about going but a free class would definitely push me over the edge! :-)

anne marie in philly said...

I NEVER would have thought of pinching franklin's butt (at least not out loud, anyway). ;-)

pick me; you know where I live.

Unknown said...

It sounds like a lot of fun!

Elizabeth said...

I was so sad to miss the show last year--hope to be around this time!

Ardosa said...

Getting a free course would give me reason to make sure I GO to VK knitting!
Of course wining fiber is always amazing because it gives me the chance to try something new!
Thanks for the chance to win!

bougiebohemian said...

Would love to win a class!

Diana H said...

The chance to meet you, and my other knitting heroes, is a good thing, to use the technical term. Oh, and spending money at the market, that's a good thing, too. Getting books, getting books signed... yarn... classes... I'm SO jazzed!

Camille said...

My mom and I are driving to LA from Vegas for VK Live for my birthday weekend! Woot! I'd love to win a class, thanks! You should be able to find me through my blog

Sophia said...

What a great giveaway. VKL sounds like fun!

Heather said...

I would love to take a class at VK Live, since I am close to LA! *fingers crossed*

email is: hsailormoon @ gmail . com
(no spaces)

Steph said...

too late to enter but look forward to seeing your yarn in person!