RANGELEY — On Saturday, July 14, knitters and craftspeople of the Rangeley region along with the Western Maine Storytellers Guild will display their talents at the 16th Knit and Crafts Show and Sale at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 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.
Seven storytellers and a musician from the Western Maine Storytelling Guild will perform throughout the day: Judy Loeven, Debby Bliss, Myrna Vallette, Jane Woodman, Carole Lee, Phyllis Blackstone, Susan Pearson and Eddie Yuen.
Scheduled tellings are also planned for 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30 and 1 p.m. in 20-minute sets. Guild organizer Phyllis Blackstone will introduce the tellers and will also give listeners an up-close introduction to the July 20-22 Western Maine Storytelling Festival in Farmington and South Carthage featuring Michael Cooper of Chesterville, Judith Black of Marblehead, Mass., and group of western Maine emergency services personnel.
Quilter April Grant and knitters Daria Babbitt and Colleen Coffren will also attend. Along with friends from the Salem area, they will offer free demonstrations and lessons. 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 U.S. and throughout the world.
Knitter Nini Christiansen of the Ecopelagicon, the Rangeley nature store, will bring books about knitting, crafts and textile arts. Also on hand will be Stephanie Seavey-Schellhorn of SeaSchell Designs with her handcrafted jewelry. People with questions about a knitting or crafts project are welcome to bring their work.
Knit Show attendees will get a chance to tell their stories to Matt McCourt and his team of students with the Rangeley Sustainability Project. With detailed maps of western Maine on display, these University of Maine Farmington researchers will ask people to tell about how they take care of their home area and what places in the region are special to them.
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 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 Wednesday through Sunday 11-5 until Labor Day, and by appointment by calling president Ron Haines at 864-5551.
The 32nd annual Logging Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28. Visit the museum on facebook and at www.rlrlm.org.