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KnitOut Benefit Returns For 5th Year

Sandi Gill, left, and Sue Suzenski at their knitting booth last week inside the Sanatoga Fire Company garage.

Sandi Gill, left, and Sue Suzenski at their knitting booth last week inside the Sanatoga Fire Company garage.

POTTSTOWN PA – Knitting vendors Sandi Gill and Sue Suzenski have been making the rounds at local craft shows in recent weeks, selling a variety of hand-made scarves, shawls and throws as colorful holiday gifts. But they’re looking beyond Christmas – actually, beyond the New Year – to the fifth anniversary of an event they hope will be just as celebrated.

Careful not to miss a stitch.

Careful not to miss a stitch.

Both women are among volunteers involved in staging the Pottstown KnitOut and Crochet Too, scheduled for Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brookside Country Club, 850 N. Adams St. Launched in 2004, the annual one-day gathering of those who knit and crochet for pleasure or their living is a fund-raiser that benefits the American Cancer Society’s local Relay For Life campaign.

A maximum of 200 knitters will pay $35 each to find comfortable seating, good conversation, and maybe a new stitch or two inside the country club’s main building. In preceeding years, Suzenski says, organizers have raised more than $42,000 to help battle the nation’s most deadly disease. “It’s a lot of fun, it’s friendly, and it’s for a great cause,” she adds.

The cause serves to inspire some of their knitting and that of their colleagues in the Brookside Knits Club. Goods being offered by Gill and Suzenski during a Nov. 22 (2008) craft fair at the Sanatoga Fire Company were made by members of the group, and proceeds from that and similar shows also are donated to the Pottstown Area Relay For Life. The group uses such shows to demonstrate its members’ skills, to attract new members, and to publicize the KnitOut.

For Suzenski, right, and Gill, good conversation make knitting time fly by.

For Suzenski, right, and Gill, good conversation make knitting time fly by.

Often considered a quiet and sedentary way to pass the time, the crowd that comes together at the KnitOut is anything but, according to Gill.

If past years are any indication, she notes, the place will be buzzing with talk about matters large and small, while fingers fly with knitting needles and yarn. There’s competition, too; a fashion show in which contestants can display their latest projects. Several vendors who cater to knitters’ needs will set up displays, and a massage therapist will be on hand to render comfort to tired joints.

Every participant will be entered for chances to win more than 70 prizes to be awarded throughout the day. A book swap allows hobbyists who have books about knitting they no longer want to trade for others they haven’t yet read. And 24 different, hour-long classes covering a variety of knitting and crocheting topics and techniques have been scheduled. The most popular fill quickly, says Gill, so early registration is a necessity.

A KnitOut poster hangs from their display.

A KnitOut poster hangs from their display.

Previous KnitOuts “have drawn people from all over the Philadelphia area, Jersey and Delaware,” Suzenski says. The $35 admission fee includes lunch, participation in one class, prize drawings and, of course, a donation to the American Cancer Society. Those attending must bring their knitting needles or crochet hooks for use during the day, projects to work on, and if desired items for the fashion show or supplies for swapping.

For more information on the event, visit the KnitOut website. To sign up, send an e-mail to KnitOut organizers to request a registration form, or call 610-469-3195.

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