Members of the Boulder Mountain Fiber Arts group were a bit disappointed with the cool and damp weather on June 10 when they arrived at the Barriere Bandshell to get ready for their first participation in the World Wide Knit In Public Day (WWKIP). However, in no time they were cheerfully and enthusiastically setting gazebos up and getting ready to knit and visit with each other.
WWKIP Day was started in 2005 by Danielle Landes, as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each others company. This event is unique, in that it is the largest knitter run event in the world. The idea was to bring knitters out of their homes into the fresh air to share new ideas about their common activity, visit, and know that not only Grannies knit but that any age group can enjoy it.
Virginia Jalava says when she moved to Barriere, she joined the Fiber Arts Group to continue what she had enjoyed in her former hometown. There she had been part of the WWKIP Day, which prompted her to interest Barriere knitters in participating.
“There was enough interest to get organized for this years event. All participants in the event work together, the volunteers work together; there is not one person leading – instead everybody shares the work.”
Area resident Mariel Dewey, now 86-years-old, was the initiator of the Boulder Mountain Fiber Arts Group, as she lives on Boulder Mountain Road. Dewey says the group expanded over the years to the point where now members come together in smaller groups, meeting on different days, and in different homes. For this occasion though, it was a joint effort. In spite of the cool and damp weather, women were busy knitting and chatting, sharing their ideas and experiences, and obviously enjoying themselves.
Members of the public dropped in to the event to see what it was all about. What they found was not only ladies using fiber such as wool to knit with, but a live demonstration about where that wool comes from.
Melanie Stutt, from 4 Bar S Ranch, was on hand with three sheep to demonstrate sheep shearing, and to explain how the raw wool clipped from the sheep is worked into yarn. Even in modern times, yarn it is still produced in much the same way as it was in much in earlier days. Stutt provided the shearing demonstration using two older lambs and their mom. All those who were watching were duly impressed with how well she handled the ‘woollies’, as they seemed not too happy about the whole process of shearing. Stutt however, gave the three little opportunity to put up a fuss.
Fiber Arts Group members said, “We’re doing this for the first time. We’re very pleased with the turnout, and that everyone enjoyed themselves in spite of the weather. Thanks to everyone who helped make the WWKIP Day a success, and we’re already looking forward to doing it again next year.”