It’s a week since VKLNY 2020 finished and I am now back in the UK, but I am still buzzing from the experience. VKL New York is a knitting festival that is a full-on whirlwind of meet ups, yarn fume and hugs. This was the 10th anniversary so expectations were high. Incredibly and despite my lack of voice (throat infection) throughout the visit, all the superlatives cannot fully describe the experience of being in this explosion of colour, personalities and yarn. Here are the some of my highlights of five days in New York…..
My first ticketed event was for the Myak annual get together, an event boldly promising a night to remember, on the night before VKL started. I was unsure what to expect but after meeting and travelling with Shameka Clarke and others, we arrived at what initially looked more like a residential street. Beyond the unassuming entrance door and upstairs via a lift, however, we entered a room filled with the biggest names in the knitterati world; everywhere you turned, there was another big name.
The VKL began on Friday night with the amazing Kaleidoscope Fashion Show which showcased the work of six incredible designers and their mentors. The highlight for me was seeing my friend, Suraya Hossain, an outstanding jewellery designer, showcase her earth garment in the show; it was haute couture at its best with its sparkles and sheer beauty.
I had a meet and greet at the Lady Dye Yarns booth on Saturday afternoon where my Nubian Queen pattern was being sold as a kit. We had an amazing moment with three of us wearing different versions of the Nubian Queen sweater.
VKL is not the same without all the friends you make and fifteen of us met to eat at Juniors to sample typical New York eating; Junior’s famous cheesecakes went down a storm.
Sunday’s meet and greet at the Knitty City booth was a wonderful experience. To cap it all, Laduma Ngxokolo, creator of MAXHOSA BY LADUMA came to the booth. It felt surreal to be talking to him about my Village Life and Nubian Queen sweaters.
All in all VKLNY2020 was a fantastic experience for friendship and business but it was relaxing to take a short overnight trip to visit Anne Choi at her Bedminster, New Jersey farm, Middlebrook Fiberworks.