New Friends, Novel Ideas, and No Tax!

Vogue Knitting Live ant the Minneapolis Convention Center

This past weekend, I was in Minneapolis to attend the last Vogue Knitting Live event of the year. I had a great time taking classes and visiting the vendors, but the highlight of the weekend was meeting new people – new friends.

All the Vogues

Although it was not my intention at the beginning of the year, I ended up visiting all the Vogue Knitting Live (VKL) events this year. (Vogue also hosts Destination Events, but I haven’t tried one of those yet). The first event was in January, in New York City. I attended it with two of my daughters and enjoyed it so much that I started making plans to go to others throughout the year.

One daughter and I went to the VKL in Chicago in March. I attended VKL San Francisco and VKL Minneapolis on my own. Now, I have plans to go to VKL New York in 2019 with three of my daughters.

Classes

I took three classes and attended three lectures. Some were better than others, but I learned something in each one. On Friday, I took a sweater class from Amy Herzog. Amy is a great teacher and I learned a lot about knitting sweaters. I finally feel confident to tackle the ones that I’ve been eyeing for awhile.
Amy recently published the Ultimate Sweater Book – I was able to purchase it and have her sign it during the break.

I took another sweater class – this one from Marie Greene. I’m in love with her Beekeeper pattern. My third class was with Josh Bennett, entitled Advanced Tips and Tricks, where I learned some new cast-ons and other techniques.

Turbulence Shawl by Josh Ryks-Robinsky

I enjoyed each of the lectures that I attended. Steven Berg challenged the audience members to get out of their knitting ruts, by trying something new.

Josh Ryks-Robinsky explained different shawl constructions, pointing out the advantages and problems of each. I loved the shawl he was wearing during the presentation.

Cecilia Campochiaro told us about her Sequence Knitting system. She has also recently published a book, although I did not have a chance to purchase it before the event.

Market – No Tax

One of the great things about shopping for yarn at VKL Minneapolis – or anywhere in the state – is that Minnesota does not charge sales tax on yarn. Although this may not seem like a big deal, when buying sweater quantities of yarn, it adds up. Since I am planning to knit a sweater in the near future, I was shopping for several skeins of matching yarn.

Auditioning Yarn for a Shawl
(I decided against it).

Minnesota does not charge sales tax on clothing – yarn is not taxed because of its relationship to clothing. According to the state’s Department of Revenue, “Sewing materials are not considered clothing. However, there is a separate exemption for sewing materials that become part of clothing. Sewing materials mean fabric, yarn…” (Quilt fabric is not exempt).

I don’t have a close local yarn shop, so most of my yarn purchases happen when I travel or attend knitting events. I was glad to be able to save a little money at this event.

New Friends

The most fun and interesting part of attending a knitting event, is meeting new people and making new friends. This is especially important when I travel alone.

One evening, I met a couple women from Iowa that were staying in the hotel for VKL. We had a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant and talked long after. I promised to visit them, if I’m ever in their area. I ran into them the next day at the marketplace, but they had plans that evening with a relative, so we couldn’t meet for dinner.

That evening, I went to the lobby again to see if I could find someone to eat with. I found a couple women visiting with designer, Marie Greene. I joined the group and, although Marie couldn’t join us, her friends invited me to join them for dinner. As we got in line to get a table, a woman from California walked up behind us. We invited her to join us, too. Knitters are so friendly – it’s always easy to find someone to join up with for dinner.

The Stockinette Zombies

After dinner, the others left, but I wanted to hang out in the hotel lobby and knit. There was a group in the corner that was knitting, so I asked if I could join them. They welcomed me and we began introductions.

Two of the women were Megan and Amy from the Stockinette Zombies – a video podcast about their knitting adventures. I had recently watched a few minutes of the podcast, but not enough that I recognized them immediately. When I realized who they were, I felt like I had stumbled upon celebrities.

As soon as I returned home, I looked up the podcast and began watching it. I’m tempted to go back and watch it from the beginning, but they are on Episode 260. Maybe I’ll go back a few episodes at a time.

The Zombies also told me about a knitting event that they hold in Rochester, Minnesota, every June. Although it sounds fun, this year’s event is already sold out. I’ve added my name to the wait list, so I’ll see if I get in.

I looked at their projects on Ravelry (JustRunKnit and JKnitMa) and I’m impressed by their work. I look forward to following their podcast and hope to meet them again at their event or a different one.

VKL Minneapolis
StevenBe’s Shawl Samples

Overall, I had a great time at this final VKL of the year. Although, I didn’t think I’d do this again next year, I’m now considering it. I’ve already registered for VKL New York and will be attending with three (!) of my daughters. Later in the year, there are events in Seattle, Washington, and Columbus, Ohio. they sound interesting, but I haven’t committed yet.

Have you been to a Vogue Knitting Live Event? What was your experience like?  Would you go again? Leave your comments below.

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