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Knitter's Day Out Background & History

Knitters' Day Out developed out of a pilot program sponsored by the Yarn Council that was offered by the Penn State Extension Service in 1985. Each class member received 25 hours of free instruction in knitting and in return 50 hours of teaching time as a Master Knitting Volunteer was given by each member. The conception of Knitters' Day Out was achieved when several members of the Masters program sat with Marg Malehorn, the extension agent for the Cumberland County and discussed how they could bring a day of classes at a low cost for new knitters. They decided to use an unpaid volunteer staff to teach classes, offer a catered lunch and several door prizes.

The first Knitters' Day Out was held at the Mechanicsburg Middle School in cooperation with the Mechanicsburg Recreation Board and the Penn State Extension Service. The day was a great success with new knitters increasing their knowledge and skills, and the committee meeting a lot of wonderful knitters. After two years on this path, the committee set off on its own completely independent of any sponsoring agents. Now it was possible to have a Knitters' Market. Knitters' Day Out moved on to Cumberland Valley High School for several years with an increase in attendance. Then it moved to the East Pennsboro High School, the Farm Show Building in Harrisburg, and currently is housed in the Cumberland-Perry Vocational School in Mechanicsburg.

Over the years we have hosted noted guest speakers and teachers from the knitting industry. Authors and designers like Janet Johnson Stephens, Beth Brown Reinsel, Anna Zilboorg, Shirley MacNulty, Anne McDonald, Joyce Edwards, Meg Swansen. In 1998, we were honored to have both Bea Ellis, Norweign knitting expert, and Sandy Terp, an inspired lace knitter, as our guest teachers.

Knitters' Day Out has a worthwhile project called Caps for Kids that enables us to donate hundreds of caps to children in the south central Pennsylvania area. We also accept mittens, scarves, and sweaters for low income children.

Knitters' Day Out is a day to spend with other knitters, sharing, learning, and knitting friendships together.