It’s been nearly three years since I blogged. Don’t worry this won’t be the blog equivalent of Edith Bunker’s High School Reunion episode (for those of you who do not possess an uncanny memory for television from 1973 – I’m sorry, but you can click on the You Tube link). I won’t start by telling you what I did the day after my last blog post.
Here’s the thing about life’s twists and turns, you generally don’t see them coming. If you told me ten years ago that I would no longer be a Broadway Stage Manager, but a professional knitting teacher working for one of the largest yarn companies in the world – well – there are no words to describe the level of crazy that I would have found that little bit of fortune telling – yet here I am.
Last month was one of my favorite times of year as a knitting teacher, Vogue Knitting Live! It was my third year teaching and I have a ball every time.
VK Live is always kicked off by the teacher meeting. This can easily be mistaken by an observer as a highschool reunion. We were so rowdy the first year that Gabby (the unflappable Event Director) had to stand on the table to get our attention. This year we all behaved very well, and Gabby was able to speak to the group without resorting to climbing on furniture. A good start to the show.
It’s so great to see all my teacher pals, and to meet new ones each year. At the teacher cocktail party hosted by our fearless leader Trisha Malcolm, I was the recipient of this strange and delightful gift from my pal Franklin Habit. He said he saw her and thought of me . . . not sure how to interpret that.
I call her Fanny (but sometimes she also looks like a Sadie)
After a rather lively (read naughty) discussion with Carol Sulcoski and Fiona Ellis regarding what the space to the left of Fanny should hold, and a fabulous dinner with Brenda Dayne, Lily Chin and Merike Saarniit it was time to get some sleep before a full day of teaching!
After a snack with Franklin (the perfect was to start any day) I headed down to my classroom to be faced with a staggering 31 students for my first class, The Magic of Perfect Blocking. That would have been a frightening prospect had it not been for the fact that this group was awesome! Funny, fast, smart and sassy, just the way I like em!
In three classes I had over 80 amazing students. The VK students are so skilled they really keep you on your toes. This became particularly evident while I was teaching Demystifying Knitting Patterns at night. This class has (gasp) math in it, and teaching it at night meant I needed to crack out a bit of the stand up comedian to keep all the students engaged. At one point, around 7:15 pm, I looked at my power point and said “Now here I have a presenters note that says – Optional 10 min break if students look nauseous and or disorientated”. I then looked up at the room and declared “okay, let’s take a 10 min break”. Much to my joy and relief, after the break, all 20 students returned to the room! (phew)
The next day I got to play with my new teaching toy – the ipad as camera and monitor. I must say it worked like a dream. I was able to hold my hands in front of the ipad, and see my hands in the ipad screen, while they were projected on the big screen for the students. This was SOOOOO helpful for Knitting Technique which covers so much material, there would be no way to cover all that ground if the students couldn’t see my hands.
So in love with my new ipad toy!!!
As if all the classes weren’t enough . . . then there’s the market place. This year they added a totally cool feature that I was very sad to have missed out on – free yoga and hand massages – COME ON!
I did get to run into some of my students in the market place, which is always fun.
Me and Jennifer
I can’t believe I have to wait another seven weeks until VK Seattle. BOOOOO.
A big thank you to Trisha, Gabby, Renee, Carol, Beth, the entire amazing Soho team, and of course, to my students. Hope to see you in Seattle