Mission Statement

Knitters' Day Out is a non-profit, volunteer run organization. Our goal is to make high quality knitting instruction affordable and accessible to keep knitting traditions alive and flourishing. We enlist nationally-recognized knitting instructors and talented local teachers for a weekend of instruction and friendship that celebrates both traditional and contemporary knitting techniques.

Our History

In 1985 the Penn State Extension Service offered a pilot program sponsored by the Craft Yarn Council. Each class member received 25 hours of free instruction in teaching knitting. As a Master Knitting Volunteer, we each returned 50 hours of teaching time. Thus the seed for Knitters' Day Out was planted.

Several of the Masters program members sat down with Marg Malehorn, the Cumberland County Extension Agent, and discussed how we could offer a day of classes at a low cost for new knitters. The first KDO was held at the Mechanicsburg Middle School in cooperation with the Mechanicsburg Recreation Board and Penn State Extension Services.

The day was a success and we learned a lot. We also met a lot of wonderful knitters and our committee and teaching staff increased. One disadvantage of working with Penn State was their policy of no sales at the knitting shop displays. This proved to be very frustrating to attendees, so after two years we set off on our own, completely independent of any sponsoring agent.

KDO moved on to Cumberland Valley HS for several years. This new location allowed us to increase our attendance and have a Knitter's Market. Due to changing needs, we moved to East Pennsboro HS; the Farm Show complex; then again to the Cumberland-Perry Vo-Tech School, which was home for several years. Due to construction at the Vo-Tech, we have found a new site, the Central PA College in Summerdale, PA.

Over the years we have hosted many nationally known instructors, including Leslye Solomon, Shirley MacNulty, Anne McDonald, Meg Swansen, Bea Ellis, Sandy Terp, Ann Bourgeois, Cheryl Potter, Ann Feitelson, Candace Eisner Strick, Charlotte Steinmetz, Dorothy Ratigan, Gloria Tracy, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Anna Zilboorg, Nicky Epstein, Lily Chin, and Barbara Walker. However, our success is still due to the many talented regional teachers who provide a solid foundation of knitting instruction. We greatly appreciate their time and talent.

It gives us great personal satisfaction to see KDO continue each year. Several of the original members have moved away, but a nucleus remains. The Committee needs new members to continue this great event. The motto of KDO is "Knitting Friendships Together". That is the greatest reward from knitters we have met and friendships that have formed over the years. We pay tribute to the fact that knitters are special people.