Knitfest tour plans unravel

By Sonia Isaacs

Plans to take Knitfest, the Hinterland based Yarn and Fibre Art Festival on a regional tour has been cast off with major funding for the project unable to be secured. Festival Director, Debs Swain, said while she was disappointed, the lack of large festival funding has meant Knitfest can not continue. Starting in Maleny’s main street in 2015, Knitfest evolved into a popular annual festival that attracted local and international attention, regularly drawing crowds of over 10,000 to the multi-day event.
While Knitfest organisers had always planned to step back from running the Maleny based festival this year, they had hoped to take the concept forward by facilitating an outback state tour, with plans to visit several regional towns.
Debs said after eight years she was now ready to hang up her knitting needles and retire.
She said while she would still be involved in community and fibre art projects, it was now time to say farewell to Knitfest.
“Before Knitfest we had no fibre arts industry on the Sunshine Coast, now it is one of the fourth largest creative industries here on the Coast,” she said.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity for knitters to springboard their hobby to a business and for the knitting community to come together and network.”
Debs said she sincerely wanted to thank all volunteers, stall holders and workshop presenters who had contributed their time, energy and effort over a number of years to deliver a truly phenomenal event.
“We’ve also benefitted immensely from the technical skill and mind blowing creativity of these master craftspeople, have helped Knitfest achieve a well- earned reputation for exceptional quality at an outstanding event,” she said.
While Debs is planning to pack up her Knitfest needles, she said she still hoped to facilitate future installations at festivals and events.
“I’ll still be involved in lots of community and fibre art projects especially Yarnbombing projects,” she said. “We love doing the bigger community projects these days. Knitfest as an identity will keep doing the volunteer work it has always been involved in; – after all, we are all yarn bombers at heart!”