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INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA AND FIONA FROM KNIT SOCIAL

Many of you have probably heard of Knit Social, a company that has been hosting knitting and fiber events and retreats in Canada since 2011. We spoke to Amanda and Fiona, the neighbors turned business partners who created Knit Social. They share with us how the idea for Knit Social was born, about the events they host, and so much more.


The founders of Knit Social, Amanda and Fiona, stand in front of a Knit City banner
Fiona and Amanda from Knit Social

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what Knit Social is all about.

We are Amanda and Fiona, and we have been producing events for the knitting and fibre craft community since 2011 through our company, Knit Social.


We originally started with very small local retreats and local community events such as yarn swaps and indie dyer market nights. Knit Social is really all about sharing a common love of fibre arts, not just knitting! But knitting is where our love for these crafts first started.



How did you get the idea to create Knit Social?

We first met as neighbours in 2009 and established Knit Social in 2011. We bonded over a shared passion for textile art and were inspired to create Knit Social when we realized that this passion existed in many others as well, both within our local community here in Vancouver, BC, and beyond.


We wanted to create a space to bring everyone together, and our mission became to cultivate connections, encourage collaboration, and share a love for all things fibre through our events. The fact that we were able to build the company from its small roots to what it is today is really a testament to the bonding strength of crafts and creating community around it.



Knit City festivals are currently held biannually in four major Canadian cities. Do you plan on adding more locations in the future or increasing their frequency?

We are really happy with our current show schedule, but we remain open to adding more Canadian cities in the future.



How many vendors come to the festivals, and are they mainly Canadian makers, or do you have some international sellers as well?

We have anywhere from 60 to 100 vendors in our Marketplace, depending on the city and the space restrictions of our venue. Our vendors are mostly Canadian, but we welcome international vendors as well. We have had vendors from many parts of the US, the UK, Italy, and Peru.



In addition to festivals, you also host retreats. How many retreats have you hosted?

Quite a few! We love to host retreats and have completed 20 at this point.



What has been your favorite retreat that you’ve hosted?

They are all our favourites! It is always a special experience to spend the weekend with a group of like-minded fibre enthusiasts, and each gathering we host has a unique and incomparable chemistry and magic to it.


We also have a special place in our heart for our very first retreat in 2011, where we did all of the cooking and cleaning as well as hosting! Let's just say we've learned a lot since then.



From what I’ve seen on social media, your retreats look like a blast! Can you describe a typical retreat you host?

Thank you! No two retreats are the same, but they all share some characteristics. A typical retreat is usually three nights and four days. We will bring in instructors and run hands-on workshops throughout the weekend, as well as host fun and interactive social evening events and sometimes off-site excursions.


We are very hands-on and love to connect with our guests and facilitate connections and friendship within the group. And good food is a very important part of the weekend! So much is shared over delicious food—laughter, stories, and, of course, knitting tips. It’s a lovely bonding experience. We also like to host a small Marketplace so our guests can shop, squish yarn, and plan future projects.



You also offer consultations for people looking to host their own events. Can you tell us a bit about your consultation services?

Yes. We recently began to offer consulting sessions for those who want to create their own knitting events. We have been in this industry since 2012 and have learned a lot! We understand the intricate details of event planning as well [as] how to strengthen community bonds, attract diverse talent, and create a supportive environment that keeps enthusiasts coming back.



Are there any upcoming events or retreats that our readers should know about?

We have a lot coming up in 2024! We are co-hosting a Winter in the Rockies retreat, February 1–4, with the Grocery Girls. April 1–10, we are heading to Ireland for a sold-out knitting tour, and May 17–19, we are hosting the inaugural Knit City Toronto. The very first Knit City Calgary will take place August 16–18, and then we will head back to Poets Cove on Pender Island for our 21st retreat, October 24-27.


Details about that will be revealed soon! All of these events and more can be found on our recently updated website, www.knitsocial.ca.



Make sure to follow Knit Social on Instagram to stay up-to-date on all of their events, and follow Knit City Canada for more information about the fiber festivals they host. Thank you to Amanda and Fiona for chatting with us. We look forward to seeing what’s next in 2024 and beyond!

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