A Beanie Affair to remember

It helps people create and be inspired. - Allison Nye

CASTLEMAINE'S renowned beanie and textile festival, the Beanie Affair, will open on Friday morning with an official celebration to take place on Saturday.

The textile event will be at the Market Building in Castlemaine for the third year in a row.

The event is expected to attract many knitting enthusiasts to showcase more than 2000 beanies.

Event co-ordinator Allison Nye started the Beanie Affair four years ago.

"We started with a very small beanie festival," she said.

"The local member, (politician) Maree Edwards opened it for us and she insisted it go to the next level.

"She was really impressed even though it was only a tiny festival.

"We had to then get grants and funding for the event.

"Then we booked this venue.

"This will be the fourth year of the festival."

Ms Nye said last year's event attracted nearly 10,000 people.

"We never know how many beanies will be contributed or how many people will attend," she said.

"Some people drop beanies off to me the day of the event.

"We also feature hand-spun yarn, because there is no outlet for hand-spun yarn.

"It's actually a textile event. It brings all the textile people together.

"It is an outlet for them to sell their goods and to meet other artists and be inspired.

"It helps people create and be inspired."

Ms Nye said the event highlighted and promoted wool products. 

"We will have demonstrations and workshops," she said. 

"And everything will be for sale.

"We just don't have enough places to meet so we decided to create this in central Victoria."

Ms Edwards will open the event on Saturday morning.

"The Beanie Affair started out of a chance encounter I had with the Country Women's Association three years ago," she said.

"They discussed with me their idea.

"They wanted to make it a much larger event.

"I just thought it was a fantastic event.

"I was able to put them into contact with certain bodies to get them grants.

"It has turned into a fantastic event.

"It is the biggest fundraiser for the CWA.

"I have quite a collection of beanies, so I will probably be adding to my collection over the weekend."

Knitting workshop lounges will be set up at various venues in Castlemaine to coincide with the event.

The event will run until Sunday. 

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