LEWISTON – Lewiston Public Library will present “Knitting Out Loud,” an hourlong program of stories and readings, at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17, in Callahan Hall. Veteran knitter and raconteur Kathy Goldner will take listeners on an arm-chair journey through the world of knitting past and present, illustrating the voyage with photographs, knitted items and antiques from her personal collection of memorabilia.

“Stories teach us new things, show us who we are and bind us together,” says Goldner, whose presentation weaves lessons from grandmothers into tales recounting the courage of women and the importance of domesticity in American culture.

Her readings are drawn from books such as “Knitting Lessons,” “KnitKnit” and “Knitting for Peace.”

Goldner’s own knitting saga begins with her grandmother, a woman who shed her Victorian upbringing in pre-WWI Germany to become a physician and psychoanalyst, ultimately fleeing Hitler’s Germany to immigrate to the United States. She relates the stories of other avid knitters, including Debbie Stoller, author of “Stitch & Bitch,” revered as the manifesto of the newest generation of American knitters. Stoller’s Dutch grandmother began knitting socks at age 6 for her family of 15.

Goldner’s talk also will explore the history of knitting as well as the future of this craft and the unusual and inspiring items people are knitting today.

For 10 years Goldner, a resident of Stockton Springs, ran a literature enrichment program that brought great stories of Western literature, including “The Odyssey” and “Hamlet,” to elementary schoolchildren in the Mid-Coast area. When she began knitting after a 15-year hiatus, she discovered armloads of knitting books with wonderful knitting stories and wanted to listen to them while she knit.

It was this love of stories that prompted Goldner to start her own audiobook company, Knitting Out Loud. “I wanted to relieve knitters from having to choose between reading about knitting, or knitting,” she said. “Now they can listen while they knit!”

“Knitting and listening just go together,” said LPL reference librarian Ellen Gilliam, herself a knitter for 35 years. “With audio books, your hands are busy while you enjoy a book you’ve always wanted to read but probably wouldn’t have the time for otherwise.” Gilliam and will give a brief explanation Thursday night of how library-card holders can borrow knitting and craft books from across Maine via the statewide interlibrary loan service.

For more information, call the library’s reference desk at 513-3135.


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