Events

VK LIVE Chicago Wrap Up: Gnomes, Twigs, and Tiny Pumpkins

This past weekend was Vogue Knitting LIVE in Chicago—my eighth VK LIVE! It was a busy four days of teaching, chatting with knitters (lots of new people and familiar faces too!), doing sales in the marketplace, and transporting delicate twigs back and forth across the city.

As usual, I was too busy to remember to take enough photos, but here are a few highlights.

My tiny knitting class Thursday night all showed up in similar outfits, so we just had to take a class photo.

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One of my students showed up drunk, so he had to leave early.

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But seriously, it was a great group of knitters, and we had a blast knitting tiny gnomes and making weird gnome jokes throughout!

My Friday morning toy design class was so much fun too. Everyone took a turn sketching out their toy, and we all talked about how the design could be executed using various techniques. The toy concepts ranged from a cat pillow to a knitted Audrey II! The classroom wall was full of exciting ideas by the end.

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Friday night and for the rest of the weekend, I could be found hanging out with my artwork in the marketplace. Here’s how we ended up displaying the twig sculptures.

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My table (which I forgot to take a picture of, of course) was right next to this, so I got a kick out of hearing the attendees’ reactions to my twigs and their inhabitants—there were lots of squeals of “cute!,” and every once in a while someone would react with shock to the twiggin who’s getting eaten on my new piece.

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(I’ll show more photos of the biggest twig soon for those who didn’t see it in person!)

There were so many cool things to see in the marketplace (including lots of other amazing fiber art), but one highlight that I actually photographed was getting my portrait illustrated by Jana Kinsman!

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Jana was right across the room for me, doing everyone’s portrait for free! I love the concept of her Doodle Booth, and I love that the VK LIVE people thought to bring her in.

And lastly, the Great Tiny Pumpkin Hunt on Sunday was a success! Nine out of ten tiny pumpkins were found within the first two hours, and the last one came in at the end of the day, brought by the vendor whose booth it was at. Apparently people had been walking by the little pumpkin all day and just not seeing it! I tried to get every pumpkin finder’s picture, but somehow ended up with just seven.

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They all seemed pretty happy to keep their pumpkins and get a copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi.

Oh, and maybe 50 people told me that they saw the interview in the Tribune! And several even said that it was the way they found out about VK LIVE! That was awesome to hear.

Thank you to the VK LIVE team and all the knitters who came out for an excellent weekend of fun and inspiration!

See You at VK LIVE this Weekend

Vogue Knitting LIVE is this weekend in Chicago! I’m kicking off my VK LIVE weekend early by teaching a tiny toy kitting class tonight and a toy design class tomorrow morning. The marketplace opens tomorrow night, and for the rest of the weekend that’s where I can be found. These guys will be there too!

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This is a detail from the new Wooly Woods sculpture I’m unveiling this weekend. I worked on it all summer long, and I’m excited to finally show it to everyone! I’ll also be showing pieces from the original Wooly Woods exhibition in Berlin last year.

Plus! I’ll be signing books and offering my tiny kits at a special discount!

Plus! On Sunday we’ll have the tiny pumpkin hunt in the marketplace!

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Come early and keep your eyes peeled—the ten people who find pumpkins will win a free copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi!

I’m so looking forward to seeing some of your lovely faces this weekend!

Ten Tiny Pumpkins

Sometimes it’s fun to just settle in with some good podcasts and knit ten tiny pumpkins.

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These dudes are destined to be hunted at Vogue Knitting LIVE in Chicago next month! They’ll be hidden around the marketplace on Sunday, October 26th, and everyone who finds one will win a free copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi!

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Registration is open for VK LIVE, and I believe there are also still spots open in the classes I’m teaching there.

Want to knit tiny pumpkins of your own? The pattern is available as part of the Tiny Fall collection!

Ann Arbor Wrap Up

I don’t have a ton of photos to show for it, but my Wooly Woods crafting event in Ann Arbor earlier this month was so much fun!

Around 40 people of all ages came to the district library for fun with wrapping twigs with yarn. It’s such a simple project that I think it lets you get creative in unexpected ways—as soon as we got started I saw people making swings and I-cords and using the yarn in other ways that I wouldn’t have thought to do myself. Many of the participants were knitters and embellished with their own details or with the patterns that I brought to hand out, but many were new to yarn crafting entirely. (I was surprised at the number of people who were eager to learn to knit right on the spot!)

These two cuties showed up a bit late, but still managed to make some colorful sculptures to take home.

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I asked Erin the librarian if one really big branch could be supplied as a group project, and she came through with the perfect thing. Various people worked on it throughout the workshop, and we finished it just in time. It’s now hanging about the reference desk in the youth department.

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It’s hard to tell in this photo, but this branch is around six feet long!

One of the neat things about this workshop was the way that I picked up a couple of handy techniques when I was preparing for it. (Nothing like the challenge of teaching someone to get you to learn new stuff yourself!) First, it occurred to me that I should finally learn to make a proper yarn bobbin so that wrapping twigs didn’t also involve constantly chasing unraveling balls of yarn around the room.

Here’s the video I used to learn the technique:

These kinds of bobbins are also really handy for instarsia knitting.

I also thought pompoms would be a neat element to add to the wrapped twigs, but somehow I’d gone 33 years on this planet without ever making one myself! So I turned to Vickie Howell, who showed me the most basic way with this video:

I was impressed by the great results you can get just by using your hand. (A friend to help you tie a tight knot really does help too.) While I’m on the topic, I’ll mention that while I was researching pompom making I also stumbled across this technique for making mini pompoms using a fork.

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I foresee lots of tiny pompoms growing in my future Wooly Woods sculptures.

Thank you to the Ann Arbor District Library and to everyone who came out to the event!

Book Signing & Tiny Chicken Class Aug 10 in Chicago

I’m looking forward to my first Chicago Yarn Crawl coming up next month!

As part of the crawl’s events, I’m going to be at Sifu Design Studio signing books from 10am to 1 pm.

Then in the afternoon, I’ll be teaching a tiny chicken class!

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This pattern incorporates elements that I use in many of my designs (like I-cords and picking up stitches), so it’s a great starting point for those new to tiny knitting. You’ll be well on your way to having a mini flock by the end of class!

You can find all of the class details and sign up on the Sifu website.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the yarn crawlers next month!