Yarn Tasting: Make a Memorable Knitting Night

Sometimes I’m a little slow to jump on the bandwagon even when it’s a bandwagon I would love. Yarn tasting has been a “thing” for a few years now. Yet only recently did I get to experience the beautiful marriage of local yarns, gourmet food, adult beverages, and social knitting. I did it the easy way: Becky Kelly (founder of www.knitknosh.com) planned everything, including local hand-dyed yarns, and I just showed up with my knitting needles.

Some of my new friends from Knit Knosh. If I mixed up any of the credits below, remember that wine was part of this experience.

Some of my new friends from Knit Knosh. If I mixed up any of the credits below, remember that wine was part of this experience.

Why taste yarns like this? If you mostly knit alone, like I do, a social event with yarn can be a lot of fun (which is why so many yarn shops and guilds offer knitting nights). Food and wine, however, add an extra layer of indulgence and luxury. Becky decided to offer her first Knit Knosh because she wanted to fully embrace the knitting lifestyle in Colorado. She brought in as many local elements as she could, from the restaurant venue to the dyers and vendors.

If you want to design your own event, it can be as simple or complicated as you like. The key: appeal to all the senses.

MJ Yarns Silken DK

MJ Yarns Silken DK, hand dyed in Lafayette, Colorado

  • Start by selecting yarns. Several yarn companies sell yarn tasting kits; you could combine several such kits or commit to one company per event. Becky invited vendors for four locally produced yarns (some familiar to her and some new she wanted to try) and knitting accessories. We sampled several types of hand dyed yarn, along with a locally raised yak blend.
    • Add in the food. Becky opted for a menu outside her comfort zone, crafted and served at a nearby restaurant. New recipe night, comfort food potluck, take-out meals, an evening of chocolate are all fine–there are no rules.
    • Add in the beverages: wine, micro brews, flavored coffees, teas, Italian sodas, etc. They certainly don’t have to be alcoholic as long as participants can try something new.
    • Great music or a movie will bring in another sensory element. What’s on your knitting playlist?
Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness

Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness, produced in Elbert, Colorado

    • Encourage folks to share ideas as they knit. Sample skeins at Knit Knosh were about 20 yards each. We talked about things we could make, how we could add these samples to our existing stash, and so on. Once people start knitting, they get to experience yarns at a whole new level.
Skeindalous Anna Worsted

Skeindalous Anna Worsted, dyed in Denver, Colorado

  • Take photos during and after the event. Becky offered prizes for Instagram posts while we were all eating, knitting, and chatting. Then people added pictures of their finished items. Let Knit Knosh’s Instagram page encourage you.
Knerd String DK

Knerd String DK, hand dyed in Castle Rock, Colorado

Of course, you can also make life easier by finding and attending a nearby event. Yarn shops, dyers, and other yarnies in your region are most likely to know about yarn tastings. There may also be Knit Knoshes outside of Colorado within the next few years.

So grab your knitting needles and get ready for a wonderful experience.

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