Young Knitters Discover a Decades-Old Wool Festival
The festival takes place Sept. 30–Oct. 4. It’s the largest-ever gathering of local knitters and is being held in cooperation with the YCWA and the Yarmouth County Historical Society. The annual festival showcases the most beautiful and unusual knitted pieces that the YCWA has selected since 1976.
“You’d be surprised by what you find in the festival every year,” says Nancy Fenske, YCWA’s board member and a longtime member of the YCWA. “The festival has really become an outdoor museum.”
The YCWA has been collecting and exhibiting knitwork since 1975. The festival has grown since its founding because of the community’s interest in it and because of the continued interest of the YCWA in knitting and the community’s strong interest in the event. The YCWA has expanded the traditional two-block distance between the block and next block of knitting by increasing the distance between blocks while keeping the blocks in the same order. The blocks are spaced farther apart for the first, third, and seventh nights and are closer together from the fourth night to the ninth day.
The festival includes several blocks. Each block represents a type of knitting: knitting by hand, knitting machine knitting, knitting that uses needles, and knitting in mittens, hats, and other accessories. Some of the styles are new for the festival — the knit-in-mitten block is new this year — and some of the styles have been here for years.
“You can see some of the patterns they used to make the mittens, hats and other knitted articles before the knitting was computerized,” Fenske says.
Festival goers can see demonstrations of how to use a knitting machine and a hand/machine stitch, how to make a hat with a knitting machine, and how to make a