9th annual Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival set for March 15-17

The 9th Annual Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival will occur from March 15-17 at Four Points by Sheraton in Mars, Pa.

The annual event includes classes, exhibits and demonstrations in knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning and basketry. The event occurs from 1:30-9 p.m., on Friday, March 15; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, March 16; and from 9 a.m. t0 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.

Although organizers said there’s a steady interest in knitting and crocheting, fiber arts continues to generate even more attention and invention from the creatively inclined. The festival offers attendees the opportunity to experience a range of techniques and applications – from the tiniest of installations to Yarn Bombing.

The festival attracts 2,500 from across the United States, but draws mainly from the Pittsburgh region.

“There are so many talented and creative teachers, it always amazes me how many beautiful new designs I see from people who have never been featured in a magazine or published a pattern,” said Barbara Grossman, festival founder and organizer.

On the larger scale, a highlight of this year’s festival is the “Knit the Bridge Lounge” supporting the efforts of  Knit the Bridge, Pittsburgh. Knit the Bridge is a grassroots, community-led arts project that seeks to create a large-scale, fiber arts installation on a bridge in downtown Pittsburgh. For more information, visit http://www.knitthebridge.wordpress.com.

On the other end of the spectrum is the minuscule and whimsical world of “Mochimochi Land.” The characters from this fictional place are original designs by Anna Hrachovec. The artist finds inspiration in characters from “Hello Kitty,” “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” and from illustrators like Dr Seuss and Mary Blair. Hrachovec’s knitted toys have been featured on “The Martha Stewart Show,” online and in print. To see the artist’s work, visit http://mochimochiland.com/about/

In addition, the event will feature charity knitting, fashion shows, giveaways, demonstration, a marketplace and exhibits. The three-day event will also feature classes in knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, needle and wet felting, jewelry, yarn and fiber dyeing. A complete list of classes for this year’s festival is available online at http://pghknitandcrochet.com/.

Attendees also can attend free festival classes. This year’s offering is the “Woven Prayer Flag.” The interactive global art project is inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, Shinto paper prayers and messages, and the Buddhist concept of impermanence. To learn more, visit the project blog: http://www.wovenvoices.blogspot.com or gallery: http://flickr.com/photos/wovenvoices.

In addition to “Woven Prayer Flag,” the festival will offer free “Teach Me 2 Knit” and “Teach Me 2 Crochet” classes. Visit http://pghknitandcrochet.com/ to sign up for a class or contact organizers. Classes are by reservation and availability.

For more information, to register for classes, or to ask about group or guild rates, visit www.pghknitandcrochet.com or call 412-963-7030.

© 2013 The Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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