Knitters’ Day Out 2010

kdomirror.jpgOn the last Saturday of September, I (along with several friends from my local knitting group) attended Knitters’ Day Out, which I describe to non-knitters as “a knitting con.” It was held about an hour and a half from my house, so my friend Gina (who’d stayed over the night before) and two other friends left my place at about 6:15 a.m. in order to get there in plenty of time to check in at registration and do a lap in the yarn market before classes started. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Central Pennsylvania College, where the event is held, is their version of motivational posters: the bathroom mirrors are inscribed to phrases urging students to “look professional” and “make a good first impression.”


kdobearlin.jpgThe market took up the entire first floor of one building, and I had several opportunities to walk through it. I paid a visit to the Bearlin Acres booth and had a lovely chat with the owner, who remembered the squirrel and oak mittens I made two years ago from yarn I’d won as a door prize from her. As usual, she had some amazing yarn on hand in beautiful colors. I managed to resist the urge to buy any (since I have plenty of stash yarn at home), but did buy two handfuls of roving from her, to try a needle felting project for the first time.


kdosteamvalley.jpgUnlike many people, I don’t go to KDO to shop. Most of the yarn sold there is available through other outlets (e.g., brick and mortar stores, online vendors), so there’s no urgency for me to buy it there. The stuff that does tempt me, however, is fiber that is hard to find elsewhere, such as this stuff from Steam Valley Fiber Farm. My photos don’t do justice to the color or texture of these yarns. I thought about picking up a skein or two, but decided not to because (1) I didn’t know what I’d do with it, and (2) I’ve resolved not to buy yarn unless I know what I’m going to do with it. (I learned my lesson after buying numerous single skeins at sales and watching them sit in my stash for years before I had no idea what to do with them.)


kdofreeyarn.jpgThat’s not to say I didn’t come home with yarn. I did. But they didn’t cost me a cent, because I was lucky enough to win a door prize: a $25 gift card from one of the vendors, the Colonial Yarn Shop. It turned out to be the exact amount needed to buy these two skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky yarn, which I’ll make into a scarf for Sylvia (who’s been asking for a scarf).


The main reason I go to KDO, though, is for the classes. This year I signed up for two three-hour classes: a morning one with Annie Modesitt, on knitting her Cocoon Circular Sweater; and an afternoon one with Kathy Zimmerman, on slip-stitch knitting. Both classes were great*, and Modesitt was hilariously irreverent. (I wonder how many of her students file complaints afterward.) I especially appreciated Modesitt’s opening speech, in which she said that when she’s talking everyone else should shut up. (And she pretty much used those exact words.) So often in these classes there are people who insist on chatting their way through the instructor’s discussions (making it difficult for everyone else to hear), so it’s refreshing when a teacher says she’s not going to put up with this sort of thing.**

Now to dig through my stash to see if I have the yarn I need to knit one of those cocoon sweaters…


*I have to admit I was a bit annoyed when Zimmerman opened her class by asking all two dozen or so students to introduce themselves, talk about how long they’ve been knitting, and describe what sorts of things they like to knit. Honestly, I don’t care about the other people in my class. I don’t mean that callously. It’s just that when I’m in a class that meets once for three hours, I want to learn about knitting, not listen to twenty or thirty minutes of introductions.

** I should also point out that Modesitt was a terrific teacher–definitely Someone Who Knows Her Shit.

6 Responses to “Knitters’ Day Out 2010”

  1. evelinon 21 Oct 2010 at 12:19 pm

    As a teacher … I do the introductions thing. But honestly, I don’t even care as a teacher. And I have them for a whole semester.

  2. Marshaon 22 Oct 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t mind introductions in long-term classes. But when we’re getting together ONCE, for only three hours? I’d rather spend my time on the material than on hearing the names and knitting histories of people I’m not going to see again and with whom I’m not going to interact in class.

  3. Deborahon 29 Oct 2010 at 5:54 pm

    You Knitter’s Day Out experience sounds like it was awesome as always. After taking my very first workshop at Rhinebeck this year, I can’t wait for the opportunity to take more. I had so much fun. Congrats on your “free” yarn purchases! Those are the best. BTW, I love the Cocoon sweater.

  4. Marshaon 30 Oct 2010 at 9:31 pm

    @Deborah: Have you made the Cocoon sweater? I’d like to make one, but I don’t have appropriate yarn for it, and I don’t really want to buy more yarn until I knit down my stash.

  5. Deborahon 03 Nov 2010 at 7:01 am

    @Marsha: No I haven’t knitted it. It looks like something I might take on one day. I’m right there with ya on working down the stash. I’ve got a few sweater projects lined up for my own.

  6. Deborahon 03 Nov 2010 at 7:01 am

    @Marsha: No I haven’t knitted it. It looks like something I might take on one day. I’m right there with ya on working down the stash. I’ve got a few sweater projects lined up for my own.