Travel Archives - Page 5 of 7 - Patty Lyons | Knitting Teacher

Stitches East – Amazing!

Next up in the live out of suitcase life of a traveling knitting teacher . . .



This was the view from my hotel room window.  Yes, I woke up that early.

I hope you enjoyed that picture . . . it’s the only one I took. I was too focused on teaching at my first STITCHES to remember to take out my camera.

The thing that is amazing about teaching at STITCHES is how many years folks have been coming. I had students in my classes that have been coming to the show for over 15 years (gulp, that’s a lot of pressure). The students are CRAZY good.  I taught some hard design classes, and the students were so on it. It was amazing. I was really excited that some of my students said they had already registered for my Craftsy classes (that’s pretty finger on the pulse, as they haven’t even been officially announced yet by Craftsy!)

. . . And then there are the teachers! It’s like old home week with all these amazing teachers who have been teaching together for years. There’s a real short hand between them. Luckily, everyone was very welcoming and I was so happy and proud to be a part of it.

There’s nothing I love more than hanging out with my fellow knitting teacher pals. They are (however) a terrible influence, and getting to bed on time was not easy. First there was my roomie, Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, who kept me up WAY too late talking politics. She may be a brilliant designer, but now she has seen me in the morning before I’ve had coffee, so now she must die.

Then there’s the intoxicating influence of the peer pressure duo of Brooke Nico and Carol Sulcoski. I can deny them nothing, they are the boss of me, and hanging out with them is like living in an after school special. I adore them.  They are brilliant, and wickedly funny.

It’s hard to explain how much fun it is to be with so many talented folks in one space – Melissa Leapman, Lily Chin, Fiona Ellis, Franklin Habit, Marly Bird on and on and on. They humble me, delight me, and make me laugh so hard I want to pee.

Is it February yet . . . is it time for the next one?  Can’t wait.

So looking forward to STITCHES WEST!

Vogue Knitting Live Chicago!

Okay, so admittedly, I’m the worst blogger ever. I’m trying to catch up because there’s been SOOOO much going on. I’ll start with a couple of weeks ago when I was lucky enough to get to go to my home town – Chicago.

Vogue Knitting Live Chicago


I don’t get to go home too often, so I was doubly excited to get to teach at the Amazing VK Live in my own home town.I headed out a few days early and was able to see my family and some friends (missed a few – Boo Maggie and Amy), and then it was time for the show.

If you’ve never been to the Palmer House in Chicago, it’s hard to describe the “they don’t make them like they used to” elegance of it all, but here’s a shot of the lobby to give you a sense.

IMG_1517(for all you eagle eye knitting fans . . . yes, that’s the one and only Brooke Nico running through the lobby. We were really hungry and heading out to dinner)

There was too much fun, fiber, and fashion to describe here, and I was terrible at taking pictures. A few incredible highlights included the market place, the cocktail party and the amazing gala dinner with the one and only Alice Starmore . . . yeah, we got to see the actual samples from her new Tudor Roses.  Made me feel a little swoony.

As much as I love all the other bits, for me, it’s all about the classes.  I taught three days of classes with over 130 AMAZING students. I’m so grateful for their patience and humor and brilliant ideas. We had days of fixing mistakes, blocking, gauge, stripes, and more.


Fixing Mistakes Class


Stripes Class

I had some really special students this year. I had a knitter who had stopped knitting a year ago after making a cowl, and came to get her knitting mojo going again, a great mother and daughter team in my Stripes class (what a supportive mom!), one of my students from Vogue Knitting Seattle who decided to come across the country to Chicago to hang with me again, and so many other really special knitters.

Here’s a brilliant little yarn management solutions from the Stripe class . . . yeah, those are socks



It’s always fun to look at the pictures my students take on my phone.  I gave my camera to one student during the blocking class and she took some great shots (and a TON of shots of me making the weirdest faces . . . I’m really facey when I teach). There were some good shots despite her wildly un-photogenic subject.

At the end of the camera after the shots of wet blocking, and steam blocking, after pics of the swatches, of pinning out sweater piece after pictures of me making crazy gestures with one big piece of hair sticking up . . . after all of those there was one more.

It was left as a secret message to me. It was so nice and it’s what all the teachers want to say to all of the students and to the organizers of VK Live.

It was a simple picture that made me smile and took the words right out of my mouth.


So New York, it’s your turn next. VK Live NY will be here in no time (Jan 17 – 19) and I’m launching two brand new classes: Knitting Bag of Tricks and Fix It! Knitwear Alterations and Repairs.  I’m particularly excited about the Fix It class, as it includes some of my very favorite knitting magic tricks.

Hope to see you all there!

New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka: Rhinebeck)

Sign New York Sheep and Wool Festival

(aka: Rhinebeck, Nirvana, Heaven or the Mother Ship Calling us Home)

This is by far my favorite time of year. I know, as knitters we all say that, but it’s true. A nip in the air, the colors changing, a fire in the fireplace, hot cider . . . and RHINEBECK.

Every year, my husband (known in our circles, as the worlds greatest husband), make the pilgrimage.  Before anyone asks, no, my husband doesn’t knit, nor does he spin, or weave. So why, might you ask, does he come with me every year? Aside from the fact that he loves seeing the animals, and he’s awesome, it’s also our wedding anniversary weekend. (hence the title: world’s greatest husband).

The morning has to begin with Sheep Dog Demos.  If I had the concentration, focus and dedication of this dog, I could rule the world.


The sheep know something is up. They won’t take their eye off the dog, who they suspect will eat them.

Sheep Dog 1

Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it . . . .

Sheep Dog 2

YES! Thank you!!!!

It’s always great to hang with my pals Michelle & Zontee and to see old friends (saw many – Amy Herzog, Amy Detjan, Francesca Russell, missed some – never saw Ysolda, Margaret Hubert or Carol Sulcoski – it’s a big fair).  When I got home and looked at my pictures I realized I didn’t take one single picture of a person, but here for your viewing pleasure, some adorable animals, pretty yarn and beautiful trees. Enjoy.


cute an 1
















Sheep 2











Amazing Leaping Llamas – an annual highlight!

See you next year!













Tales of a Traveling Teacher – Houston Knitting Guild

Houston Knitting Guild

I’ve been on the road a LOT lately, and I love teaching, and I love meeting new people, but there are no words to express how much I LOVED teaching for the awesome ladies of the Knit at Night Guild in Houston Texas.

I had a sense this might be a well run guild when Roddie (our fearless leader) and her husband picked me up at the airport with a bottle of water waiting. Okay, that may seem like a little thing, but when you fly a lot, you realize how crazy thirsty you always are when you get off the plane.  But wait (as the late night infomercials say), there’s more.  Sitting in the backseat was my goodie bag


Day one was Top Down Sweater Design.  After we go our measurements just right we spent the next six hours learning how to design an entire sweater from the top down, including a variety of neckline choices, waist shaping etc. Although there was one helpful question “when will we start loving the math?”, I think by the end of the day everyone was getting it.

For all you east coasters, I’ll be teaching the top down class again at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC – Jan 17 – 19.

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After some pretty great cocktails, dinner and good nights sleep (those ladies are fun but exhausting), it was time for day two and Slip Stitch Knitting and Knitting and Purling Backwards (don’t worry Texas, I’ll be back to teach those two classes in March in Dallas st DFW Fiber Fest in Dallas Fort Worth, TX, March 28 – 30:)

Some of the ladies had already done some amazing slip stitch work.

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Roddie had warned me Sunday was Football day, and she might have to disappear from time to time – BUSTED


I got home beat but happy.  I missed the Houston Guild as soon as I got home.  I can’t wait to go back!

Next stop – Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool . . . but that’s a tale for another day.

Knitting in the South – The Knit and Crochet Show

I’ve been buried under a pile of work lately and been a terrible blogger. However, when you’re buried in your work and you are a knitting teacher and knitwear designer, the mountain of yarn pressing down on your head is at least soft.

This time of year is an insanely busy one, with shows nearly every week and designs due just as often.  My month kicked off at The Knit and Crochet Show, always a fun event.

K & C show sign

The Knit and Crochet Show

This year’s show was in Charlotte North Carolina.  This to me, a Brooklyn girl, is south. After all, they served biscuits and gravy for breakfast, a sure sign. However, certain friends from the (their words) “actual south”, poo poo this notion.  I was recently told “it has North right in the name.”  To me it felt south. It was, after all, 88 degrees in October. Of course, when you are inside a convention hall for five days, you really don’t notice the weather.

After waking up in my dreamy balcony suite  – yeah I upgraded, a girl only lives once, and being greeted by this misty view, it was time to start the show


The week started out at PDD, otherwise known as Professional Development Day. It’s a day full of speakers talking about what it’s like to work in the industry. I gave a talk on using teaching and events to promote your work. My favorite by far was my insane pal Melissa Leapman who gave a talk about how to write a book proposal that included mock photos of her (god help us) cat book including sketches with cat heads.  Truly, disturbingly hilarious.


I had three days of fabulous students in amazing classes, and being a terrible blogger, I took no pictures.  One of my clever students took these on my last day of teaching.










By far the most silly fun I had all week was presenting at the TKGA fun night.  It was a lot of pressure being the “fun” in fun night (or as I called myself – the performing seal for a room full of knitters), but it was a ball. I asked the organizer what the fun / learning ration should be and she asked me to lean more towards the fun.  I did a ridiculous slide show called “I Accidentally Knit a Dress” all about gauge tragedies.

Here’s a glimpse into how silly it was, it included photos like these:

Cat too small

Xmas too small


However, while I distracted them with silly pictures, I did manage to sneak a little learnin in there.  Like shoving a pill inside peanut butter, I wanted to get some of my real gauge info into the presentation while they were laughing at the silliness.

My favorite part of the evening was when we did the “true confession / testify” section ala Oprah when I went into the audience and people stood and shared their gauge tragedy stories.  One woman actually was working on her sad gauge project.  She stood up and explained that she wanted to knit a pair of socks for her husband and she had never knit socks before.  She said, “they are coming out a little small”, the proceeded to hold up what looked like a perfectly knit doll sock.  Everyone gasped and I helpfully advised (like the knowledgeable, professional knitting teacher that I am), “There actually is a fix for that.  When you get home, find a smaller husband.”

Big laugh.

Peace out North Carolina!

Enjoy the veal, and don’t forget to tip your waiter!

Drop mic.

Next up in my knitting in the south – Houston Texas . . . more on that another day.

The TNNA you never knew (the needle arts association)

TNNA – that happened!


I have been traveling so much (I counted up 11 teaching trips between May – October!!!).  Yesterday I had a rare day off before my next trip to teach at the Knit and Crochet Show, and I was doing fun chores like going through receipts and filing expense reports (the life of a knitting teacher is so glamorous). I also finally sorted through some photos on the i phone – long overdue.

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Yarn Market News Conference 2013 Baltimore!

YMNYarn Market News Conference 2013

One of my favorite parts of my year as a knitting professional, is attending the Yarn Market News Conference.  Yarn Market News is our trade journal, and once a year, the magazine hosts a conference with speakers on everything from Visual Merchandising to Branding to Social Media.  This year’s conference was in Baltimore.  It’s also a chance to see old friends and network with other shop owners and managers.

I’ve always wanted to go to Baltimore, so I came a day early with David to take in the sights.  When we checked into the Four Seasons Hotel (FAB!), and looked out our window, this was the view that greeted us . . . Holy Moly how I love the Four Seasons!


Good Morning Baltimore

 Here’s my photo tour of our fab Baltimore days:


The adorable harbor

Charles St


The “other” Washington Monument, and our reflection from the sun (which we haven’t seen much of in NY)

Baltimore has great neighborhoods (Fells Point for Sunday brunch is the most adorable) and great areas to walk around (Federal Hill & Charles Street were great). High on my”don’t miss” recommendation for Baltimore is the American Visionary Art Museum.  It’s the only museum I’ve every seen entirely devoted to “outsider art”. Although there was no photography inside the museum, here’s a few shots from their sculpture garden.



Some of the exhibits were funny, some moving, and some quite heartbreaking. There was a remarkable exhibit called Art and Remembrance. It featured 36 hand embroidered pieces that told the artist’s story of survival from the Holocaust.

After a day of play, it was time to head back for the conference registration. When you check in, not only do you pick up your credentials and your agenda, but your GOODIE BAG!  This year’s Namaste Messanger bag, was particularly awesome.


In the meeting hall the next day we had speakers all day, and in most part the conference was like any other business convention.  The tables had the ordinary items, laptops, water, coffee, notepads . . . cable charts and knitting!

YMN table

At the end of a long day of learnin’, it was time to get dressed in our best knitted duds and do some networking. It’s always great to spend some time with some of my favorite ladies:

Trisha, Doreen, Carol

The dynamic trio: Doreen Connors, Trisha Malcolm, Carol Sulcoski


Me and the fabulous Brooke Nico

All and all, a great weekend of fiber, fun and most importantly, great business connections.  I was home for a whopping one day, unpacked bags, repacked and headed out on vacation to New Orleans.

Trying SOOOO hard to not get overwhelmed by the massive amounts of work I have to do between now and the end of May on all my new classes . . . lets see if I can enjoy my vacation.  We’ll see

Destruction and Rebirth

A lot has been going on in the last six weeks since out apartment has been taken OVER by our kitchen rehab. With the Living Room / Dining Room being the staging area, the kitchen torn to shreds, our guest bedroom / office being our kitchen. That means we have been living in our bedroom. It’s kind of like being back in a college dorm w/o the cheap white wine.

I got to escape the madness for a few days in mid March to go to Seattle on business. I got to meet up with the awesome ladies from Knot Another Hat. It was great to hang with them, and Seattle was beautiful, although we hardly got to leave the hotel.

Here we are in the hotel before dinner (Sarah, Nichole & Me)

After a short biz getaway, it was back to the construction zone. We’ve had more then a few glitches along the way, and a few things that have put us SEVERAL weeks, behind, but it’s looking pretty good so far.

The cabinets are really pretty

and include some fab features, like David’s spice rack:

and our two level silverware drawer:

Our favorite feature so far is the cork floor. It came out really nice.

As long as we were ordering the granite for our counter tops, we decided to demo the hearth and get a piece of granite for our new hearth stone. I can’t wait for Wednesday when the install happens.

I finished the Mini Cardi to wear to the YMN conference in Seattle. It only took me two days. It’s a really fast knit. I still haven’t chosen the buttons yet, but it’s cute without buttons.

I also cast on Hey Teach in the Recycled Cotton. It was a really fast knit (especially since I did the 8″ of stockinette on the Studio’s knitting machine.

I have a four day weekend and it was in the 70s today, so I decided it was time to clean up the garden. We are a bit behind this year in getting things together, but I thought I could get started.

I finished my swatch for the new Stripe Class I’m teaching and took it upstairs to the deck to dry. The sun was so hot up there, it was dry in a few minutes!

Things were starting to bud all over the place in our little garden

Last year’s e-bay purchase of a Weeping Cherry Tree, was looking pretty good. Last year it came in the mail as a stick, and this year:

and FINALLY our little Forsythia plant actually bloomed. We have picked up our free Forsythia clipping at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Forsythia Member Day for three years, and we finally got a non dud clipping!

Tomorrow, plant the Dahlias, the Cannas and finish Hey Teach. Hopefully I can get the earthboxes set up soon.

Harvest of Eggplant, Peppers and Yarn

Fall is harvest time at the Lyons / Frutkoff rooftop garden.

The eggplants and peppers did well, but the brussell sprouts are still kind of pathetic.

Fall is the world’s greatest season. Hot cider, pumpkins, the changing leaves, and the yarn. The last few weeks have been an insanely busy time at work, but David and I managed to escape to Connecticut a few weeks ago. We stayed in a really great old inn called the Wake Robin Inn.

It’s in that great area near the Conn/Mass/New York border. We stopped at Stockbridge on the way, and they were having an outdoor sculpture exhibit. This art piece had a sign that said “Please sit”, who am I to say no.

It also had my favorite door

I’ve been doing a lot of socks lately (they are great on road trips), but I also took my Mohair top along, so I could finish it off. I still have to add the white crochet trim, but at least I got one thing off my needles. Here it is blocking:

The next weekend was RHINEBECK!!!! Will and Michelle had never been, so I had my fingers crossed for decent weather. They were predicting snow and rain for Saturday, but when I woke up the sun was shinning, and although it did get overcast later, it was a pretty nice day.

We started out at the sock machine demo. SOOO cool. If someone made these machines for under $300 I would so get one. Check out Will’s face, he’s in love

After a brief wander, it was time for a snack. We decided to line up early for the famous Rhinebeck, Chicken Pot Pie. So delish. Since we were waiting online, we might as well pull out our knitting. Here’s Michelle working a gift for her mom (shush, don’t tell) in the LB Collection Organic Wool, and Will and I are rocking out some socks in our Sock-Ease.

Next we went to visit the stars of Rhinebeck, the animals. Look at the gorgeous color of this little darling.

This guy was David’s favorite of the whole fair. David said it was the portrait of pure contentment. His eyes were closed and he was chewing away on something that made him very happy!

Fab pumpkin carvings

Michelle had just finished her Owl Sweater in Alpine Wool, and she was TOTALLY the star of Rhinebeck. Every 10 minutes, someone was stopping her to tell her “great sweater”. I spotted someone wearing the same sweater and thought it would make a cute picture. I didn’t notice until after I took the pic that it was fab designer, Ysolda. How cute are they?
Speaking of cute . . .

Will said I suffered from “Bunny Turrets”. We would be walking around having a normal conversation, and I would burst out “BUNNY” everytime I spotted these guys

David and I made a weekend of it, and had dinner at the fabulous CIA and Terrapin (that has always been booked up in previous years)

Here’s our utterly bizarre little room.

And the view out our window

I didn’t buy much this year. I just picked up one little skein of Briar Rose Sock yarn, that somehow jumped in my bag when I wasn’t looking!

I did make some major progress on the stalled Flame Stitch Cardigan. I finished all the pieces and now it’s just time for the shawl collar. The pattern calls for it to be knit separately and sewn on later, but I hate sewing slightly more then picking up stitches . . . so I just decided to pick up stitches and go for it.

In other knitting chores, I’ve decided to make Wool-Ease Thick and Quick slipper socks for the entire Studio staff. All ELEVEN of us. Yikes. I want to get them all finished by the holidays. Think I’ll make it?

My Favorite Time of Year

I have a three day weekend, fall is in the air, there are still some veggie’s hanging on in our garden. Life is pretty good.

David and I said goodbye to summer in the perfect way . . . a Labor Day Weekend Trip to the fabulous Cape May, NJ. It’s a sleepy little Victorian town on the Jersey Shore. We sat on the beach,

we walked around the town and looked at all the wonderfully ornate houses (or horribly purple houses)

We went to the State Park and walked on the cute little nature trails

We even found a big band playing in a local park gazebo in the evening. Couldn’t be cuter!

I had plenty of knitting time, sitting on the porch, sipping wine in the afternoon. I finally finished the tank top that would not die. It’s my own fault, why I felt the need to reknit something from 2006 is beyond me. It does look better now.

(Not the greatest shot, but David wasn’t home, so I did the best I could!)
In more knitting do overs, I decided to redo my little tank top w/matching cowl from Melanie Falick’s Weekend Knitting. I had made it years ago out of some kind of junky acrylic “mohair”, so now that there is the soft, lofty and beautiful LB Collection Silk Mohair . . . do over!!

Speaking of LB Collection yarns, my mother in law did this great afghan out of the LB Collection Superwash Merino. Isn’t it pretty?

There is a crispness in the air that knitter’s love. It means fall, sweaters, hot cider, fireplaces, coziness. The fall veggie crop is hanging on. The squash is a no go. We can’t seem to grow squash and not have it be completely overtaken by powdery mildew. Ah well. However we do have . . .


Brussel Spouts
The return of fall has also meant the return of the Flame Stitch Cardigan. It went into hibernation for the summer, while I tried to get my summer tops done.