Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Runway; Fun Day

I've had some excitement around here and it felt like it happened so fast I didn't have a chance to write about it. And then afterward I thought I'd better wait for the pictures because I remember the first rule of blogging: No pictures means it didn't happen.

Well, the week before the Vogue Knitting Live event in Chicago, I actually read through one of their marketing emails and saw that it was not too late to apply for the Readers on the Runway event. "What's that?" you ask? Well, it's a runway show of Vogue Knitting readers wearing garments or accessories that they have knit from Vogue Knitting patterns. Simple enough, right?

I wasn't planning to go to the event, but Chicago's just a hop, skip and a jump, really, so I applied on a whim. I submitted three articles I had made from the magazine's patterns and thought they might take two. Well, they responded that they would like me to bring all three and did I have any more? So I submitted one more item and they accepted that too. So I was set to walk the runway with no less than four of my knitted garments. Super exciting!

Yes, she's wearing my My Sister's Shawl
and she's keeping it too. :)
I notified my sister to see if she would like to go along and she jumped at it. She lives between me and Chicago so I made a weekend of it by staying at her place the night before.

We took the SouthShore Line train in leaving plenty of time to catch lunch in the city and explore the art installations we passed before we went to the show.

There are a lot of legs walking around Grant Park.
And some extra doors too.
Don't ask me what why we are looking over there.
When we got to the show (at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue), we had to hang out with Krysten Ritter who was featured on the latest cover:
In case you have to ask, she plays the badass super hero Jessica Jones (among other roles). And yes, she knits (and designs).

We also hung out with some bears Nicky Epstein made with all the sample swatches she had made and kept over the years!
We got our measurements taken by the author/designer Deborah Newton (herself), which is one thing I had on my must-do list. It's a little hard to measure yourself. :)

Then we just had time to catch the Vogue fashion show with 20 or so garments from the two most recent issues.
These were the samples from the designers that were actually photographed for the magazine.
And oh look! here's Krysten Ritter again and the model has on the very sweater Krysten wore on the cover:
We then had a chance to wander the marketplace. The only yarn I bought was a cowl kit from Handspun Hope. I had read about the project and was happy to support their mission to provide work opportunities and fair wages for women in Rwanda.
The yarn is either kept in its natural colour or dyed with local ingredients. One of the skeins I chose was dyed with avocado pit. Who knew 1. That avocados grew in Rwanda and 2. that you could dye with them? The result is a pinkish tan that I'll show you some other time.

As at any knitting event, it is normal to openly (and loudly) admire what people are wearing, ask them what pattern it is from, and what yarn they used. I got pictures of a couple that I really liked. Here's a cardigan done in mosaic knitting.
And this crocheted sweater caught my eye but I didn't have a chance to get a picture until I accosted her in the bathroom. (Awkward!)
I love how each of them used colour in their pieces.

Then it was time to get ready for the main event. (My main event, anyway!) And what was I going to be wearing? This:
of course. Ok, honestly, no I am not going to be wearing them all at the same time.

All of us models reported to the backstage area and were given a walking order. I was going to have to be quick about my changes to be ready for my next turn. But from what little I've seen of a real runway show (on TV), it looks like that's true of the pros as well.

We were given a brief explanation and backstage demonstration of how to walk and then, with Trish Malcolm, the editor of Vogue Knitting magazine announcing, we were off!

1. The show started with my lace coat:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
After I had finished my walk and exited the stage, I heard my name and I was called back. The designer, Brooke Nico, happened to be on the show floor and heard it being announced. She ran to the stage because she wanted to see it. So I came back out to show her and gave her a namaste bow for her beautiful design.
Brooke was a very lively woman and this interruption seemed to loosen up the crowd. I noticed they were a lot more responsive after that than they were even during the "real" runway show earlier.

2. The Top-Down Crew Neck Cardi from the Holiday 2016 edition:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
3. Cabled Shawl from Late Winter 2017.
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
This woman flew up for Tampa just for this show. (She flew from warm and sunny Florida to Chicago in early March, people - that's dedication.)

4. The ZigZag Skirt from the Winter 2011/12 issue.
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
Lest you have any doubts, this was a real walk/pose to the right/turn/pose to the left/walk to the end/pose for the Vogue photographer/turn/and walk out runway walk.
As we were walking, Trish Malcolm announced our names, the pattern, magazine issue, yarns used, etc.

5. Long-sleeved dress with cable details:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
This was a late entry, so I don't have the information and couldn't find the pattern in Ravelry. (I was too busy changing back stage to be able to hear what was being announced.) I believe she added some mods because they were talking about her adding the ribbing at the waist to achieve the shaping.

6. The Sleeveless V-neck Dress from the Spring/Summer 1997 issue:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
There were several entries that I did not get a picture of, but the final item was my Over Knee Socks from the Late Winter 2017 issue:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
Then it was a dash from the stage exit to the stage entrance to join the final walk:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
The white sweater and the blue or mauve wrap behind it are two of the items that I didn't get an individual picture of.
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
Then we waited back stage for the announcement of the winners. Oh yes, there are winners! I'll let you watch:
That was the designer, Brooke Nico, running up to give me a high five after the announcement:
Here is the group of all the reader runway models with Trish Malcolm (to my left):
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
And I got to meet the designer again and get a picture with her:
Photo: Vogue Knitting magazine
The day was a resounding triumph. Especially as we did have enough time to catch the 6:30 train and didn't have to wait for the next one at 9:15! Phew.
Now I get to decide which Vogue Knitting Live event I'd like to go to next to use my prize. San Francisco's in September; Minneapolis in November; and New York in January. Hmmmm....

And I had better start thinking about what to knit for the Reader Runway at the next one; I've used up all my "back stock"!

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