Hi everyone! I am back from Vogue Knitting Live NYC, and it was a blast! It's taken me a few days to write because between the wicked polar vortex we just had in Chicago, and recovering from a couple of finger injuries (much better now!) I was having a really, really hard time typing, or doing much else but shiver and catch up on much needed rest. I am pleased to report it is up to a balmy 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and the furnace is catching back up. (It was 45F my last night in NYC, this was rough!)
Me taking in Times Square
Enough about how cold I was! NYC! What a great show! The energy was amazing, and I met, saw, and hugged so many wonderful people. I wish I had asked to take more selfies* so I could share all the love, but it was there.
Susie and Nancy (Chiagu)
I think something that really contributed to that good vibe I was feeling was the important conversation that has been going on over on Instagram. I'm not going to catch you up on that, but if you are part of the knitting community, and don't know, head over to Instagram and I am sure you will see it. To sum it up very briefly, people of color have been stepping up to say they have not felt represented in the knitting world, and that needs to change. Inclusion matters, and people want to be seen, they want to feel included, they want to belong. For some knitters this conversation has shattered their peaceful knitting world, but I hope everyone comes to understand that what might have been a safe haven for them, was not for other people, and we should all feel like we belong in this community, and be able to find refuge. As a first-generation Colombian-American, I feel where they (we) are coming from.
And I think it is working! From my vantage point at my booth, I watched the shoppers come and go, and although I did not count or take a survey, I am pretty sure it was a more diverse crowd than I saw last year in NYC, and much more diverse than I have seen at other comparable shows. I feel like people who might have avoided coming because they did not feel included decided to not avoid it anymore as a result of people stepping up and speaking their truths. Maybe I am being optimistic, but I hope this is a good trend in our community that continues.
And, thanks to this important conversation about race in knitting, I have been exposed to knitters on Instagram that I had not seen before, and I met many of them in person last weekend, and that was absolutely delightful for me! My world is richer with a more diverse community of knitting friends in it.
The show itself was so much fun. I didn't leave my booth too much because so many people came to me, but I did make sure to get out a bit. So much good stuff! Yarn, bags, tool, the pins! And the compliments I received for my jewelry made me so happy. And, thank you for the compliments on how well I clean up! That was awesome! (You see a lot of me at my workbench on Instagram, but at the shows I dress up and slap on some lipstick.) And last but not least, a big shout-out to my awesome sister-in-law, Scotte. Thank you for your help, and for sharing this experience with me. It meant the world to me.
*A few selfies:
If you want to follow my adventures in jewelry making, please follow me on Instagram at malojos jewelry.