Franklin Countys First News

Author to offer workshop at Rangeley Logging Museum Knit and Crafts Show July 16

Dorothea Robinson of Rangeley (right), concentrates as April Grant of Salem, gives her pointers on her knitting at the 2010 Rangeley Logging Museum Knit and Crafts Show. Other textile artists work at their tables: Nini Christensen of Rangeley (far left). This year’s show is July 16. (Photo by Peggy Yocom)

RANGELEY - On Saturday July 16, Robin Hansen and the women of the Rangeley region will show their knit and craft talents at the 15th Knit and Crafts Show and Sale at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum from 9 am to 3 pm at the Museum building on Route 16, one mile east of Rangeley. Admission is free. Celebrating the creativity of Maine fiber artists, the show introduces visitors to the history of knitting in the logging woods and invites people to bring their current projects and enjoy the company of other crafters.

For an hour at 11 am and again at 1 pm, Robin Orm Hansen of Bath, author of the new children’s book, Ice Harbor Mittens, will read her book to visitors, show slides from the book, and sign copies that will be available for sale at the Museum by the Ecopelagicon. Ice Harbor Mittens, about a young fisherman who discovers the life-saving magic in his “compass” mittens, is Hansen’s ninth book. A specialist in traditional knitting of Maine and the Maritimes, she has also written Fox and Geese and Fences: A Collection of Traditional Maine Mittens and Favorite Mittens: Best Traditional Mitten Patterns. She will bring kits for making compass mittens and help visitors with their own projects throughout the day.

Quilter April Grant, knitters Daria Babbitt and Rhonda Coffren, and rug hooker and braider Arbeth “Petie” Coffren will also attend. Along with several friends from the Salem area, they will offer free demonstrations and lessons to Museum visitors. People with questions about or problems with a knitting or crafts project are welcome to bring their work. Also on sale will be sweaters knitted by Gladys Yocom Metka for the Guidepost Magazine project “Knit For Kids” that sends sweaters to children in need in the USA and throughout the world. Ecopelagicon, the Rangeley nature store, will also bring books about knitting, crafts, and textile arts.

On display is the Museum's exhibit on knitting in the timberwoods of Maine: “Hand in Hand: Logging and Knitting in Maine,” with gloves worn by local loggers as well as a pair of gray woolen double-thumb mittens from New Brunswick. Worn by woodsmen, these unique mittens made by thrifty women could be turned over and used on the other side once the palm-side had been worn out. Many of the Museum's photography exhibits also show the sweaters and mittens made by women, and sometimes mended by men, that were used in the logging camps.

The Rangeley region also has a colorful knitting story to tell. Many of its native daughters, such as Lucille Haley Richard, Virginia Haley White, and Bertha Lamb Haines, began knitting as girls, and some cared for and dressed the dolls their mothers made for them. Once Rangeley’s hills were dotted with sheep from the 12 to 15 local sheep farms. The exhibit “Knit by Heart: The Art of Lucille Richard (1926-2006)” honors this knitter who also founded this Museum event.

The Museum invites knitters and crafters who would like to include their handiwork in the show and sale to call Peggy Yocom at 864-3421. The Logging Museum opens every Saturday and Sunday in July and August from 11 am to 2 pm, and by appointment (call Pres. Ron Haines, 864-5551). The 31st Annual Logging Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 29th and 30th.

Do you have knitted goods; patched clothing; or needles, thread, or wax used in the logging camps? Photographs of knitting or woolen goods in the camps? Memories of knitting in the camps? The Logging Museum would love to hear from you (call Peggy at 864-3421).

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