The Minnesota Knitters' Guild was established in 1985 by a small group of women who were passionately dedicated to the art of knitting. Today, we have grown to over 600 members from all over the state... women and men who have joined in our mission to promote interest, appreciation, education and fellowship in the art of knitting. Members range in age from their early twenties to over eighty, and we embrace knitters of all levels of skill and many unique interests in knitting.
The Minnesota Knitters' Guild meets the third Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 PM at the Textile Center (3000 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN ). The annual $30 dues include a newsletter, access to the Textile Center's huge library of fiber books and patterns, and pre-registration to Yarnover, the Guild's day-long festival of classes and shopping at the fiber fair.
The Northern Lights Affiliate of the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild (MKG) was formed in 2004 to better serve knitters of Northeastern Minnesota. The Affiliate holds their meetings on the forth Wednesday of the month from 6 - 8 PM at the Portman Community Center (4601 McCullock St. Duluth, MN ). Meetings are modeled after those of the main guild. Following a short business meeting, a formal program is presented. The evening concludes with a door prize drawing. Visitors and prospective members are welcome to attend. Affiliate members pay dues to MKG and are entitled to the same benefits as others. Thirty percent of each affiliate member’s membership is returned to the affiliate to cover local operating expenses. There is no additional fee associated with belonging to the affiliate.
This is the Guild's day-long workshop and fiber fair, held every spring in the Twin Cities metro area. Each year, a nationally known knitter is our keynote speaker, joining other knitters and designers from all over the country to teach a wide variety of classes. Vendors from the five-state region bring their shops to the fiber fair, which is open to the public. Classes are open to the public as well, but MKG members benefit from early registration and first pick of almost two dozen choices.
Volunteer for the Guild
Every job within the Guild is carried out by dedicated volunteers, and that is one of the best benefits of becoming a member. MKG members have the opportunity to design programs for our monthly meetings, manage our library collection, edit the newsletter, manage service projects that benefit the community, develop public relations programs for our activities or guide our member services. It is a great way to meet new people and get together with fellow knitters. Join us and get to work right away, or just come to the meetings and take your time to decide if any of the jobs are for you.
Visitors are always welcome at our meetings. Come and bring your knitting!
History of the Guild
The Guild was founded in 1985 by a small group of women who were passionately dedicated to the art of knitting. They held monthly meetings at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University, but still informally known as St. Kate's) to promote interest, appreciation, education and fellowship in the art of knitting. The first meetings were very similar to those have today in 2010. There was a short business meeting followed by a knitting or fiber related program with lots of opportunities for fellowship in between. The MKG library was a suitcase full of books purchased with Guild money and hauled to every meeting by the MKG librarian.
As the years went by, the group grew; it was incorporated with the State of Minnesota in 1997.
In addition to the regular meetings, a day-long knitting workshop, Yarnover, was first planned and held for members and knitting enthusiasts in 1986. This yearly event was at first held at St. Kate's, eventually moved to Arlington Senior High School in 2003, and starting in 2008, came to its present location at Hopkins Senior High School. Yarnover began with local teachers offering classes; participants received a popular "goody bag" or knitting-related items, along with a thick syllabus of all class materials and instructions, so they could learn about more than just the class they were attending. Eventually the format evolved to include a keynote speech from a known knitting teacher. Now Yarnover is an event featuring many nationally known knitting instructors and designers; it attracts knitters from well beyond our Minnesota borders.
In 2001 the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild's meetings moved from St. Kate's to the newly opened Textile Center in Minneapolis. Membership in the Textile Center gave us a link to the greater fiber community, as well as a permanent place to house our library collection of knitting books and magazines. We are still meeting at the Textile Center today.
The first affiliate guild of the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild was formed in Northern Minnesota on February 25, 2004: The Northern Lights Affiliate. Its existence was largely due to the efforts of member Alice Adams, a Duluth resident who had tirelessly driven the 150 mile round trip to the Twin City's meetings, and then–Guild president Bob Gotwalt, who championed the idea of affiliate guilds. The first Northern Lights meeting of 25 enthusiastic members was in the basement of Chester Creek Café in Duluth, Minnesota, over a simple meal of hot soup and bread. The group grew quickly and moved their meeting site to the Portman Community Center, where they still meet today. Affiliate meetings are set up the same as the main guild meetings, with a short business meeting followed by a program. It is Northern Lights tradition to have a local yarn shop present one of the programs each year.
Our history is rich with enthusiasm and sharing of more than just knitting. Members can recall times when their only access to the Guild's library books and magazines was during monthly meetings, when we hoped it wouldn't rain on the summer picnic at Minnehaha Park (nowadays we hold it indoors),and how snowstorms — in back-to-back years! — didn’t keep members away from the annual holiday party or "spring" tea. We are a reflection of the energy and hard work of past members, and the ideas and enthusiasm of new and future members. And in the end we are the same now as when we started: a group of people whose love of knitting moves us to get together, share and learn.
Join the Guild today!
Get the most out of your love of knitting! Membership benefits include pre-registration for Yarnover, a subscription to our quarterly Cable Gram, organized public service projects and camaraderie with fellow knitters. Annual dues are $30.