The weekend before last, I had an unusual experience: I got to be present for the birth of a new knitting event, complete with its very own brand new traditions.
Knit Fit! is the brainchild of Sasa and Hanna, two knitting pals who teamed up to make their own knitting event. With the support of friends, neighbors and relatives who volunteered, and the staff of the Ballard Community Center who managed the venue, these two made a terrific splash in the suddenly-competitive world of knitting retreats.
It's always tough to know what the personality of an event will be when you've never attended it before, and even more so when it's never been held before. But I was delighted to find that Knit Fit! already knows exactly what it is, and what it wants to be when it grows up. Fresh, modern and whimsical, the whole vibe of Knit Fit! was inclusive and instructive as well.
The Knit Fit! crew did a fantastic job of creating buzz to get lots of enthusiastic participants, while keeping the scale intimate and approachable. They recruited an interesting mix of teachers, who presented a great variety of subjects, from Stranded Colowork (me) to self-publishing your own knitting patterns (Lee Meredith), to Monster-Making (Rebecca Danger).
A well-organized marketplace included everything from dreamy cashmere to porcelain yarn bowls, and everything a knitter could want in between.
My favorite part of the event was the keynote address, given by Sylvia Olsen. As a knitting native of the Pacific Northwest, I have always felt I should know more about the only indigenous knitting tradition of my home turf; Cowichan Sweaters. Lucky for me, Sylvia gave us an engaging talk, with gorgeous example sweaters, and further reading, to boot:
Sylvia's master thesis is a treasure for all knitters, preserving the story and heritage of the Coast Salish Cowichan knitters. Every American knitter should know this story, regardless of where you live. It's our very own native tradition, and a pretty special one, at that.
The Knit Fit! event left us feeling that not a single detail had been overlooked: From the little table outside the market place with a pencil and a sign stating "Leave your cup here for when you come back, and be sure to write your name on it", to the plethora of delicious snacks and treats they had available at all times. Every time I had a question, a volunteer was right there to help. Clearly the organizers of Knit Fit! have strong feelings about what makes a knitting event fun to attend, and they definitely applied their knowledge. Kudos to Knit Fit! Be sure not to miss it next year.