From couch to runway… Well, let’s just say I have always been a private knitter. For years I’ve knitted right here in my house, wherever it might be, in the location that was designated by the family as Holly’s knitting spot, and pretty much under the same lamp that has traveled with us from one location to another. The lamp itself blinks due to age or an ill kept electrical connection and we need to turn over the cushion of the seat often to prevent the sag that ultimately is formed. I do not belong to a knitting group (currently, but that could change) as I’m too tired after life’s responsibilities to find and get to one and I do not take my knitting with me when I travel or to work. Teaching does not allow time for knitting (what the heck job does?) and I like travel time to be reflective in nature. These are the habits that I’ve developed and we all know that people are creatures of their own habits.
Joining Ravelry (about eight years, ago) was the first step in bringing my knitting into the public eye, not that I necessarily wanted to but I wondered how I might like that. Now, ’tis true I wear my hand knits (with regularity and pride) but somehow the act of wearing transforms that project into a garment, so in my eyes, that garment is no longer about knitting. So, at Ravelry I saw and read about people who shared in their enthusiasm of knitting and spoke a language that was familiar to me. However, as public as these sites are, the internet still holds a bit of mystique and the lack of face to face contact continued to allow me to knit on my couch in my home and under my lamp.
Then, there was the interview. Through Ravelry, Vogue Knitting became aware of my projects. Through WordPress VK became aware of my thoughts. And, with that came an invitation for an interview that would be published in my all time favorite knitting magazine, (I have yet to find another that holds a candle), Vogue Knitting. After its publication Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer 2014, pages 20 – 21! I thought I had reached (and achieved) an unfamiliar new level of public awareness that I was allowing my world of knitting to enter through. However, a magazine article about oneself is still not face to face contact, so the lone knitting continued.
Well, about a month ago, I saw a contest. A runway contest? A runway contest! Gee, I thought. I’ve always wanted to walk the runway. Hmmm.. the girl on the cover kind of looks like me with that red-haired pony tail (and similar fashion sense)! “Send in your photographs of hand knits made from Vogue Knitting”, it said. Are you kidding, I thought? For hand knitted projects? From Vogue Knitting? I have many photos due to Ravelry! With each set of phrases I was reading, it was as if the contest was written for me. Not only did I have hand knitted projects that are mostly from Vogue Knitting, they have all been photographed for the Ravelry site and I have always dreamed of walking the runway! For a few weeks, I thought of the possibility of entering. Location, NYC… ok! Long, 3 day weekend..ok! Wavering and thinking of all the reasons why not to enter, I sadly put the contest out of my mind. You know..the inevitable self doubt, life is too busy, it’s an expensive idea… Then, a few nights before the deadline, I thought how could I NOT enter… at least send in an entry and see what happens, I thought. By the time the deadline came, I entered five more of my projects, strategically choosing which to enter due to the year of the publication, due to the complexity, and fitting of the garment. I also entered projects that were designed by a wide range of designers and each, a different designer. Hint: I looked to see who was presenting thinking they would like to see some of their designs in action. I was being quite strategic and purposeful in my decision-making which let me know how badly I wanted in.
I learned shortly later that not only was I accepted to walk in the Readers’ Runway Fashion Show, but four of the six projects I submitted were chosen as entries. Both stunned and excited, I packed my bags (a week ahead) realizing that this not only a fun opportunity but also a turning point in my knitting life going into the public domain within the circle of knitters, face to face! And, not just face to face with your average joe knitters like me but with such well-known designers as Brandon Mably and Norah Gaughan who are well published and on the list of who’s who within the knitting community.
I was fortunate to have my daughter and her boyfriend there as my fan club and to take these pictures. These pictures show the garments (which, by the way are staples in my wardrobe and have been worn countless times) as well as the order in which I was asked to walk them down the runway. This is a lovely piece from VK Holiday 2011 designed by Mari Lynn Patrick. I altered the stripes so the tie would be blue rather than cream as I wanted the primary color to be blue. Yes, I found a need to change into these pink pants (from Lululemon) as I think the color of them is so beautiful and fun with the sweater. Oh and the sweater is what I call the amazing Hoodie Glam designed by Jeannie Chin, from 2012. I had about 60 seconds in which to make the change between all of these sweaters. I was more stressed about that than I was walking the runway.
Blurry, for sure but you can make out the British Flag that patterns this amazing cardigan jacket designed by Brandon Mably. I love this piece and I think it showed very nicely on the runway.
And, finally an iconic Calvin Klein suit from Fall 1987 that I continue to wear regularly (and yes, I re-worked elastic thread into the ribbing a few years back to renew it) was my final showing. Again, the quick change did not allow me to put on the tights I would normally wear with this suit. I was hoping the knitting would hold the eye away from the very white legs?!
Vogue Knitting staff awarded five of the thirty of us who walked the runway for our efforts of knitting prowess and enthusiasm. We were awarded with this beautiful keepsake, Vogue Knitting Classic Knitting that of course, makes for a wonderful addition to my ever-growing knitting library.
The audience then, was called upon to ‘vote’ for their top favorite utilizing a clapping barometer with the Vogue editors in the back. That victory went elsewhere.
While the fashion show was set up like a competition, I feel like the experience of meeting others face to face, sharing thoughts about our passion, and becoming inspired with new ideas was the goal for me.
Let the road of the unknown guide me in my future knitting endeavors.