Many knitters began counting down to this year's Hill Country Yarn Crawl as soon as the last installment closed. Now they can start their planning in earnest, as passports for the 2013 Crawl are now on sale at local yarn stores and online.
Over seven years, the Crawl has evolved and grown. While the spirit of the event, venturing across the heart of Texas to favorite local yarn stores and socializing with fellow fiber lovers, remains intact, several changes have been made in the format of this annual extravaganza. Just like Austin itself, the knitting community has grown, with more knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, needlepointers, and more stores to serve them. Logistics have become more complex as yarn stores hope to keep the event fun for all.
From the participating businesses to the goodies and transportation, knitters will want to know everything before planning their fiber pilgrimage. For details about this year's Crawl, view the list. Share your thoughts on the changes in the event's Ravelry group.
Rather than cramming the tour of stores into the four days of Columbus Day weekend, which also collides with the all-important UT-OU football game, this year's Crawl will be spread over the course of ten days and two weekends, from Friday, October 11th to Sunday, October 20th.
Ten Dollar Passport
Half the price of passports in past Crawls, this year's passport will be just that: a booklet to be stamped at each of the stores. Reusable bags and canvas totes with the Crawl logo for hauling purchases across the Hill Country will no longer be a part of the passport package. However, branded merchandise, including various kinds of bags, can be purchased separately from Cafe Press.
Organized buses offering Crawlers a chauffeured ride across the hill country caused headaches when the smaller shops were inundated with a coach-full of shoppers all at once. Following complaints about the lunch offered and the limited time in each store, the stores will not be running the buses. However, Crawlers are welcome to organize their own car pool or rental situation on a smaller scale.
Discounts and Patterns Instead of Gifts
In previous years, stores received unique gifts at each store, such as a skein of yarn, small project kit, or notion. But as the number of participants has risen, the cost and organization of these gifts has become impractical for these small businesses. Rather than restrict the number of Crawlers, instead the stores will be giving out two patterns and offering 25% off of certain yarns to passport-holders.
Still Great Prizes
One thing that hasn't changed is that at each store Crawlers will be entered to win prizes. And those who have their passports stamped at all eleven locations will have a chance to win the grand prize worth $500. Prizes have been donated by a variety of vendors, including Berroco, Classic Elite Yarns, and Prism.