Reports on shows, trends, and more
Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
Changing the date boosted
by Heather Gooch (April 15, 2013)
We had not been to Tucson in two years, so we
Moving the Ninth Annual Festival from
Valentine's Day weekend to St. Patrick's Day weekend led to better
weather and more turnout this year.
From March 15-17, the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh North in
Mars, PA, was a mecca for all things fiber. At every corner, every
hall, there were knitters, crocheters, spinners, vendors, teachers
-- and about 3,000 smiling attendees.
Now in its ninth year, the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
has transformed from its humble beginnings as an elementary school
fundraiser to a destination event attracting visitors from
Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, and vendors from as far away
as Florida and Colorado.
"We were so pleased to be able to give our fans -- both old and new
-- many, many wonderful reasons to spend the weekend with us at the
Festival," notes Barb Grossman, who founded and continues to
coordinate the event.
Festival highlights included a lifetime achievement award presented
to national-level teacher and mentor Kathy Zimmerman, who also owns
Kathy’s Kreations in Ligonier, PA.
There was also a "Revolving Trunk Show" wherein designers and
manufacturers had their latest patterns on display, and where an
exclusive presentation highlighting each one changed on the hour.
Another highlight was a "PJ Party" reception with snacks, games,
prizes, and a special presentation by Steven Berg, owner of
Minneapolis’ Yarn Garage and StevenBe, of his recent fiber-centric
adventures in Europe and Africa.
While Grossman was initially unsure about pushing back the Festival,
which had previously always taken place over Valentine’s Day
weekend, to March, the outpouring of class signups confirmed to her
it was the right move. "My wedding anniversary is also in February,
so my husband was glad not to have to share me with the Festival
this year," she notes with a laugh.
In fact, the dates for the 2014 have already been set, along with a
very special announcement: From March 14-16, Festival-goers will
have the chance to meet with No. 1 New York Times best
selling author Debbie Macomber, the author of the Blossom Street
series, among many other books, and owner of A Good Yarn Shop in
Port Orchard, WA.
In the meantime, Grossman is keeping busy planning her next event,
the Bedford Springs (PA) Knittreat in November. Learn more at
Begun in 2005, the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival was
named a "Top 10 Best Bet in Pittsburgh" by Pittsburgh magazine this
past February. Learn more at
www.pghknitandcrochet.com, or follow its Twitter hashtag