About Knitters' Day Out

a collage of pictures including a lot of people in different classrooms having fun while learning to knit


The goal of Knitters’ Day Out is to promote the enjoyment of knitting, excellence in knitting design and craftsmanship, and to provide educational opportunities for the knitting community.

The motto of KDO is "Knitting Friendships Together." We pay tribute to the fact that knitters are people who are passionate about their craft while welcoming all to join them. The KDO knitting community is composed of people who come together to build friendships regardless of race, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, or access needs.

Knitters’ Day Out strives to welcome, support, and recognize all members of the knitting community in our events. We recognize the creativity of our knitting community flourishes best in an environment where diversity of thought and inclusion of all are priorities.

Our Goal

Knitters’ Day Out, a non-profit event, is planned, organized and run by a dedicated committee of volunteers. 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 regional teachers for a weekend of instruction and friendship that celebrates both traditional and contemporary knitting techniques. This year has been challenging for KDO and all the members of our knitting community whether in our towns and cities in the United States or across the world. 

Knitters’ Day Out is committed to providing a welcoming environment that promotes racial diversity, equity, and inclusion. KDO is committed to encouraging Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) to join in our events as teachers, vendors, students, and committee members. Our plan to ensure that KDO is actively working to support these principles includes the following:

The KDO committee will continue to work toward protecting and supporting the most vulnerable in our community. Since its inception, we have supported this belief by asking our participants to donate handmade knit or crocheted items to Keeping Kids Warm. In 2018, we supported Knitted Knockers, an organization that provides knitted and crocheted breast prosthesis for women who have had mastectomies or other breast procedures. For KDO 2023, your knitted and crocheted items will be donated locally to an organization in need that supports some of the most at-risk children in our community.

The KDO Committee welcomes ideas about how we can encourage inclusivity and provide a welcoming environment at all our events. If you have ideas to share, please contact us.

“We live in sorry times but lo! The future brightens, and knitting is good.”

– Elizabeth Zimmerman


three knitted sample swatches in red yarn, blue yarn, and white yarn


It all began in 1985 when the Penn State Extension Service offered a pilot program sponsored by the Craft Yarn Council. Participants received free instruction in teaching knitting. Thus, the seed for Knitters' Day Out was planted. The first KDO was held at the Mechanicsburg Middle School in cooperation with the Mechanicsburg Recreation Board and Penn State Extension Services. In an effort to expand the event and offer sales of knitting products, the committee set off on their own, completely independent of any sponsors.

Over the years KDO has hosted many nationally known instructors, including Barbara Walker, Meg Swansen, Lily Chin, Nicky Epstein, Candace Eisner Strick, Anna Zilboorg, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Nancy Bush, Laura Nelkin, Gwen Bortner, Ann Weaver, Tanis Gray, and  Alasdair Post-Quinn. However, our success is primarily due to the many talented regional teachers who provide a solid foundation of knitting instruction.

The motto of KDO is "Knitting Friendships Together." We pay tribute to the fact that knitters are special people who are passionate about their craft while welcoming all to join them.


Mary Anketell
Linda Caton
Martha Fuller
Lori Lynn Lydell
Kathleen Swain
Cindy Wensel
Caitlin Wilson


Code of Conduct

pile of skeined yarn, each in different solid colors

KDO has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind. This applies equally to all KDO participants, teachers, vendors, volunteers, and committee members. This includes any comments or behaviors that are discriminatory or causes excessive discomfort to fellow participants.

We ask all participants in KDO events to refrain from making comments in any class, marketplace or other events that are disrespectful to KDO participants, teachers, vendors, volunteers and committee members, and that are disruptive to the event.

Please refrain from:

  • offering political views, promoting partisan affiliations, or expressing political opinions
  • using profanity, comments that promote drug/alcohol use, personal or racial attacks, pictures or videos containing nudity, and/or disclosing personal information about other people without their permission

Anyone who violates the KDO Code of Conduct after repeated warnings from KDO hosts will be removed from the event and no refund will be provided.

KDO participants are not permitted to record or distribute any live classes or other KDO events.

Come join us for KDO 2024 - September 27 & 28, 2024!

Central Penn College, 600 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093-0309 
graphic of a yarn ball surrounding by a drawing of a heart, words say Knitters' Day Out, Knitting Friendships