Art · Crocheting · Fiberart · Life · Travel

Weekend in Vegas Baby!

This past weekend I spent some quality time in Las Vegas. You laugh, but really I did. I attended the Vogue Knitting LIVE Las Vegas event. Vogue held this year’s event at the Red Rock Casino, Hotel and Spa Resort. And it was time well spent. I left for Vegas Thursday morning and landed after a nearly 3 hour flight. Grueling I tell ya. But waiting at the airport for my flight was rather fun. I was sniffed not once but 3x by TSA drug sniffing dogs (beautiful dogs!!), had a lady who was on her way to visit her grand-kids offer to switch plane tix with me so she could go to Vegas instead (yeah, no) and managed to drink my whole Starbucks almond milk white chocolate mocha. The hotel was great, friendly staff, very clean and I had a fabulous view of the canyon from my room.

I had scheduled several classes for the weekend and kicked them off Friday morning with a Fair Isle knitting course instructed by Joan McGowan-Michael. This class was very helpful in that I finally figured out how to keep from tangling up my yarns while switching between colours. And Joan was so supportive and encouraging to everyone that it just made the class so much better. I ended up working on the ear warmer the rest of the weekend when I had some free moments so that by the time I got home I just needed to weave in ends. I think I might keep it for myself, I like it that much! My afternoon class was a beginning brioche knitting class. I have to admit it was more difficult than I expected, but with persistence, excellent instruction and guidance, I was finally able to get my swatch to work and look correct. Luckily our instructor, Faina Goberstein, was also well versed in continental knitting so she was able to help those of us non-throwers learn too. There were several of us continental knitters in class so I didn’t feel alone. 😊 And I can’t say enough about the yarn donated by Universal Yarn which we used for her class, OMG, so soft and easy to work with. Thank you guys for such an awesome gift! You are bookmarked on my iPad now.

Saturday I spent the entire day with Rhonda Fargnoli in her two classes, Botanical Dyeing on Silk Using Flowers in the morning and IrRESISTible Dyeing: Exploring Shibori for the Fiber Artist! in the afternoon. I have to honestly say I had sooooo much fun in these classes. Probably more than I was supposed to! Rhonda showed us how to use simple ingredients like marigold flowers to dye silk scarves and come out with some amazing patterns and designs from simply adding dried flowers. Our small morning group also dyed silk with Saxon Blue and Cochineal to get some pretty blue-pink scarves. I used the full Cochineal bugs to crush into the fabric to get dark red spots. ❤️ It looks awesome. My afternoon in Shibori we used Indigo for dying silk and Saxon Blue for yarn. I had better luck with the silk as my yarn just would not hold onto the dye very well. I ended up with very light blue to pale purple colours in my yarn. I may have to try this again at home…..

After a fun two days, I took a trip through the VKLive Marketplace. Wow. There were so many kinds of yarns I had what a friend called “sensory overload” from looking at them all. If you can think it, it was probably there. There were also raffles to enter, a claw machine filled with yarn (I gave up after 3 tries) and a wheel of fortune where I actually won a small tote! There were so many booths filled with super amazing books, tools, yarns, patterns, finished items, and more. I stopped at Della Q and got a much needed circular needle case. I got the Ocean colour and it’s already beginning to get stuffed with my needles. I also stopped at LickinFlames and found not only a beautiful shawl pin but had a wonderful conversation about our dogs with the booth owners. (Dogs are wonderful ❤️🐶) I can’t wait to wear my new pin! And finally I had to grab some beautiful knitting needles from Mimi’s Needle Basket. I was very glad to grab these because I was able to use one of the sets in my last class Sunday morning since my similar size pair was otherwise occupied with the Fair Isle project! I had to visit this shop a few times because they had such cool stuff. I also dragged a new friend there who also bought needles.

Finally Sunday arrived. All packed up and checked out, I dropped my bag at the bell hop desk and headed to get my morning Starbucks fix. And then off to Cable Tips with Amy Detjen. I must say as a fiber artist who’s knitted only for about 5 yrs and never attempted a cable knit this was one scary class to walk into. But even though I thoroughly messed up much of my beginning (following instructions probably would have helped some….) and had to frog it, I tried again, and again, and again. And then about 4 stitches fell out all at once with 4 min left in class…. Argh. I grabbed up my needles, thanked Amy for her encouragement and headed to the airport shuttle. I had a flight to catch. Now, knowing me, I get a bit OCD about projects, and when they epic-ly fail like this I become more determined and persistent to get it right. So on my 3 hour flight home you can guess what I did. Frog, Knit, frog, Knit…. And I finally got the darn thing to work!!!!! I wanted to text Amy and yell, seeeee I did it! I can cable knit! But I was somewhere over New Mexico and squished up against a window next to two large men…. who I’m sure loved the fact that on a red-eye night flight I kept my light on and knitted away the whole time. Sorry guys, OCD knitting is important.

Overall I learned a great deal, met some amazing people and had a wonderful weekend away. As someone who mainly crochets, I found it interesting how many knitters insisted they couldn’t possibly learn to crochet. There were several who have never even touched a hook in their 10, 20 or 30+ years or so of knitting. I’m glad I went, obviously I’m not giving up my crochet but adding in knitting and botanical dying I think are positives. I look forward to see what I can dream up next. Maybe add in something else new too? 😉

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