Learning at Vogue Knitting Live . . . Day Three


Lion had a very attractive booth, featuring some luxury yarns. 


     I actually slept past 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning (late for me), so I woke refreshed and ready for a 9:00 class with Louisa Harding, entitled “Tell a Story with your Photography.”  Harding focused much of her talk not on the technical aspects of photography but, rather, on using one's creative vision to shape the look not only of a particular group of garments but also the style and feel of completed photographs.  She discussed how her the pre-Raphaelites were the inspiration for her Dream Catcher book, and showed us how the hair styles, model stances, background scenes, and other aspects reflected this artistic focus or lens, as did the romantic designs themselves.  Harding next discussed the use of light diffusers and online apps to help create better photos.  

Louisa Harding discusses how a class member's tear sheets
signify his design style.

The next part of the three-hour session was more personalized, as Harding had each of the participants share tear sheets we’d brought, and then she discussed with us how our choices reflect what could develop into our own particular design style or market niche.  For instance, one participant, who was wearing a very intricately designed cabled sweater, chose magazine layouts that focused on the technical aspects of knitted pieces, featuring images with minimalistic, almost industrial backgrounds.  This woman’s preference, Harding discussed, reflected her focus on the knitwear itself, its technical and precise aspects—for this budding designer romantic scenes selling lifestyles rather than the garments probably would be of little appeal.  

When looking at my choices—the website of Churchmouse Yarns & Teas and Purl Soho, ones with whimsical photography featuring animals, antiques, and food along with knitwear and focusing on other small details, Harding suggested that I point my design efforts toward contriving “really great accessories,” rather than larger garments.  Listening to Harding “read” each of the class members, was akin to hearing a gifted psychic (if such a person exists) give insight into another individual’s future. The experience was illuminating and great fun.  (Now, if only I could find time to work toward my creative aspirations.)

A preview of spring garments was on display at VKL.  

       After one final trip through both floors of the marketplace, I grabbed a very salty and dry pretzel from a street vendor and then my companion, Tonya, and I walked up to a subway stop and headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  A visit there seemed a fitting finale to the weekend’s indulgence in color and design.  We only had a little over two hours to visit the museum—not nearly enough time to see very much, as a person could spend months exploring the Met’s massive galleries.  We visited a Matisse exhibit first.  I marveled at the vibrant colors of the paintings and at how artwork, despite the crowds and time pressures, is able to speak so strongly to my soul.  The muted afternoon light coming through the glass roofs in other areas of the museum lent a dreamlike quality to the place, and I paused a moment to bask in my enjoyment of my final afternoon in Manhattan.  

This is a statue of Diana.  My friend Tonya is barely visible in the right
bottom corner. 

We walked over 20 blocks along Central Park before finally hailing a cab and heading back to the Marriott.  We then walked to La Masseria, a place that lived up to its rave reviews.  The menu featured fantastic homemade Italian food—I had fresh mozzarella and prosciutto as an appetizer, sea bass and mussels as an entrée, and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert.  (I normally don’t eat this much—but it was restaurant week, a time when restaurants offer reduced prices, and this place offered a special prix fix menu.)  Tonya had pasta Bolognese and Tartufo, which we split along with my cake.  I hadn’t had Tartufo (a favorite chocolaty cherry dessert in 25 years), so I gleefully devoured every bit.  In fact, due to our lack of food all day and hours of physical exhaustion, Tonya and I ate every piece of bread in the basket and every last morsel of food, leaving our plates looking as if my dogs Stella and Maggie had licked them clean.  Hunger and exhaustion certainly do add to culinary appreciation. 

       We were back at the hotel in time for me to catch the last 40 minutes of Downton Abbey.  A perfect end to my day in NYC.

I had to take a picture of this painting at the Met, as the Lady on the right has a connection to Downton Abbey (or at least to the real Carnarvon family whose family home is Highclere Castle.)  The painting shows Mary Capel (1630–1715), Later Duchess of Beaufort, and Her Sister Elizabeth (1633–1678), Countess of Carnarvon and is by Sir Peter Lely.


  1. What an amazing weekend Liz! You must have had an absolute ball! Looks such fun and I'm sure will be a fund of inspiration for a long time. Come the summer you'll be able to step into the home of the ladies in the painting! E x


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