Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Knitographer Interviews... Yarning Together


Photo courtesy of Yarning Together
A Kiwi craft group is looking to set a fibre-craft world record at an agricultural show next year - I chat with Christine from Yarning Together about the attempt.

What is the inspiration behind this world record attempt - how did it all begin and when is it taking place?
 
We are inspired by the revival of knitting and crochet and the eclectic and fun new life these crafts have gained - celebrating our agricultural and survivalist heritage, the productivity of making your own things while bringing us together, but also the use of knitting and crochet as political tools - for example in knitted graffiti and World Wide Knit in Public Day. 

We also support a celebration of wool (merino, alpaca etc) as a great natural, sustainable product. One of our founding members attended a Lamb Festival in Roscommon, Ireland where the then Guinness World Record for knitting was broken. It was a true community event supported by the Irish Government as part of their Year of Craft festivities and also celebrated the important role of wool, yarn and knitting, in society. On her return she published a travel article (Next Magazine, May '13) about the experience and the Irish Craft Trails. Given New Zealand's wool heritage (almost lost to synthetics), it seems appropriate to celebrate wool and yarn here and raise its profile for New Zealanders and tourists alike.
 
The event will be held within the 2014 Kumeu Agricultural and Horticultural Show on8 & 9 March. It's one of the biggest A&H shows in the Southern Hemisphere. The 'Kumeu Show' usually includes sheep shearing, livestock competitions etc so this event fits in perfectly.
 
Are you going for an official record attempt? Will there be someone there to record the numbers?
 
We are going for an official world record attempt, with details all recorded. We'll be asking people to register for logistical ease, and will provide a form for doing so, but people are welcome to express an interest in the meantime, via our Facebook page, Yarning Together, or to contact us directly at Yarningtogether2014@gmail.com.
 
 
What is the current record?
 
Although there's a world record set for knitting together (3083 people), there's no official world record for knitting and crochet, so we will be setting the standard with our approach. That means whatever our achievement, it will set a new world record.

Who can take part? Knitters? Crocheters? Spinners?
 
All knitters/crocheters whatever skill levels, gender or age are welcome. A registration fee will cover entry to the Kumeu Show as well as participation in our event. There will be displays, stalls, demonstrations, fun activities and the actual world wide knitting attempt. The main focus will be on Sunday's World Record attempt but there will be activities going on the entire weekend.
Furthermore spinners and other textile artists are invited to demonstrate or sell their wares. Stall holder costs will be additional to the registration fee but as about 30,000 people go through the Kumeu Show there's a huge potential audience.

Sounds like it's going to be a fantastic day - I might head along myself! If you're interested, make sure you check out the Facebook page for updates!

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