Minnesota Knitter’s Guild Yarnover

Yarnover is a historic tradition for the Minnesota Knitter’s Guild. What began as a one-day event in 1986 has grown into a weekend long fiber festival that draws industry professionals from all over the country. Shelley Hermanson, Director of Yarnover, took sometime out of her busy schedule to talk to me about this amazing event. Read about it below.


Gus: Tell me about the history of Yarnover.

Shelley: The first Minnesota Knitter’s Guild Yarnover was a daylong event held in 1986 at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, MN. Classes were taught primarily by local instructors, and the total class attendance was approximately 175 people. A celebrity keynote address and a vendor market rounded out the daylong event. More than 30 years later, Yarnover has many of the same features but has grown significantly: what was once a daylong event has grown into a weekend celebration of knitting.

 Melissa Leapman's "Colorful Cables" class from Yarnover 2016. Photo by Kate Westlund.

Melissa Leapman’s “Colorful Cables” class from Yarnover 2016. Photo by Kate Westlund.

Gus: Pretend you talking to someone who has never been to your fiber festival, what would you highlight as your “WOW” attractions?

Shelley: Each year, Yarnover kicks off with a “Meet the Teachers Dinner” on Friday evening. The dinner is a don’t-miss! The 2017 keynote address will be delivered by, none other than, June Hemmons Hiatt of Principles of Knitting fame and around 170 people are registered to attend.

Saturday is marked by dozens of classes by nationally renowned teachers and a sizeable marketplace. The marketplace is free and open to the public, and is always one of the highlights of the weekend. This year it will take place on Saturday, April 22nd. With more than 40 vendors, it’s prudent to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of bags.

Indie-dyed yarn on display at the Yarnover 2016 Marketplace. Photo by Kate Westlund.

Indie-dyed yarn on display at the Yarnover 2016 Marketplace. Photo by Kate Westlund.

Two shoppers at the Yarnover 2016 marketplace. Photo by Kate Westlund.

Two shoppers at the Yarnover 2016 marketplace. Photo by Kate Westlund.

This is the first year the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild monthly meeting will take place on a Sunday instead of a Tuesday, allowing attendees who travelled the opportunity to attend a monthly meeting, and making Yarnover a true weekend-long event. This year, the Shibaguyz will be the featured guest speakers for the regular Guild meeting on Sunday, April 23.

Newcomers are often impressed with the notable teacher list. Past teachers include Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Nancy Bush, Melissa Leapman, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Lucy Neatby, Patty Lyons, and Franklin Habit. This year, 15 internationally known teachers will teach 26 diverse classes, from designing an Icelandic sweater yoke to advanced double knitting to beginning brioche. Over 300 attendees are signed up for classes — including people travelling from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, California, Texas, and Canada — and even more people are expected to attend the marketplace.

Class attendees intently work on swatches for a class taught by Sarah Peasley at Yarnover 2016. Photo by Kate Westlund.

Class attendees intently work on swatches for a class taught by Sarah Peasley at Yarnover 2016. Photo by Kate Westlund.

We are proud of our long-standing event, and we hope to continue to improve it and to make it one of the most popular knitting events in the Midwest. Do keep up with all the Yarnover happenings on knitters.org.

This festival is only a week away! You can buy your tickets to the market place and grab a spot in the classes at: https://www.knitters.org/whats-yarnover.

MINNESOTA KNITTERS’ GUILD

Presents the 31st Annual Minnesota Knit Together Yarnover
April 21–23, 2017
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Dr N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

Yours in yarn,
-Gus C. Baxter


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