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What's new in various product categories; monthly update.

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Knit-Out & Crochet 2004

Huge crowds and publicity should result in higher yarn sales.

By Mary Colucci (October 18, 2004)

(Note: Mary Colucci is the Executive Director of the Craft Council of America, which sponsored the recent annual Knit-Out & Crochet events in New York, Washington, DC, Boston, and other cities throughout the U.S.)

Though the New York Knit-Out & Crochet was scheduled to begin at noon on Oct. 3, consumers started filling chairs and queuing up in Union Square Park in Manhattan at the Learn to Knit and Crochet tents at 11 a.m., and crowds did not thin out until 4:30.

Volunteer staff at the teaching tents estimated there were lines of approximately 50 people wrapping around the tents all afternoon, patiently waiting for their free knitting or crocheting lesson. CYCA yarn, needle, and publisher members reported that most of their free pattern handouts "thousands of pounds of paper" were gone by 2 p.m. Conservative estimates place the number of consumers who attended the event at 30,000.

There was lots to enjoy for everyone. For consumers who learned to knit and crochet at last year's event, we added Beyond the Basics, a tent that provided how-to instruction on intermediate techniques. The demo and authors' tables were six-eight people deep all afternoon and of special interest to current knitters and crocheters.

Of course, everyone loved the Doggie Couture show, as well as the kids and adult Nouveau Knit fashion shows. As a special treat, CYCA yarn members created a Doggie Couture 2004 online calendar, which will be posted at the Council's web site, www.knitandcrochet.com in mid-November. The dog attire which was previewed at Knit-Out is a must see for every well dressed dog. The fashions range from traditional to trendy. (It took a lot of dog cookies to get this group of models photographed!)

Many of the Knit-Out visitors had seen television clips about the event that aired on local ABC, NBC, Fox, WB, and NY 1 network and cable stations. On the morning of the event, ABC's weather reporter broadcast live for two hours from Union Square, interviewing editors from Interweave Press while tents were being set up. Designer extraordinaire Lily Chin also appeared on the Sunday Morning Today Show and mentioned Knit-Out. That publicity, along with the tremendous coverage in Woman's Day magazine and local newspapers and magazines, helped to make Knit-Out an overwhelming success.

CYCA estimates there were approximately 25 additional Knit-Outs scheduled by guilds and retailers around the country during September and October, the biggest being in Washington, DC and Boston. Having attended the DC Knit-Out, I can report that attendance was 6,000+, up 50% from last year. Visitors crowded tents on the National Mall and spilled out onto the grass enjoying all of the activities. It was a very exciting event organized by the Capital Crocheters & Knitters, an alliance of five area guilds, and is supported by CYCA. The Boston Knit-Out was supported by several TNNA Yarn Group members and area retailers. Information about the Boston event should be available shortly.

Note: To read previous category reports, click on the titles in the right-hand column.

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