RANGELEY – On Saturday, July 12, knitters and craftspeople of the Rangeley region along with the Western Maine Storytellers Guild will display their talents at the 18th Knit and Crafts Show and Sale at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Museum building, 221 Stratton Road, one mile east of Rangeley. Admission is free.
Celebrating the creativity of local Maine 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.
Quilter April Grant and knitter Daria Babbitt, with four friends from Salem, will offer their textile arts for sale and give free lessons to Museum visitors. Margaret Yezil of Oquossoc will bring her many crafts that feature natural materials from Maine. Knitter Nini Christensen will bring books from Ecopelagicon, the Rangeley nature store, about knitting, crafts, and textile arts (http://ecopelgicon.com). Janet and Jeep Wilcox will fill their table with Jeep’s knitting boxes and picture frames made of found wood from Rangeley’s forestlands. Barbara McEntee of Chesterville will offer wool and other fibers for sale from Wollmeise, Sunshine Yarns, Julie Spins, and more; she will also brings shawls and knitting bags. And Phyllis Blackstone of Farmington will showcase her Comfort Cards, handmade cards to send in times of need.
Poet and storyteller Jeep Wilcox, the Logging Museum’s newly appointed Poet Laureate, will tell stories beginning at 12:30 p.m. Then, storytellers Phyllis Blackstone and Judy Loeven from the Western Maine Storytelling Guild will perform from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Come and get a preview of the storytelling to come throughout the summer and at Farmington’s Franklin County Fair. For details, visit http://westernmainestorytelling.org
On display in 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)” tells this knitter’s story of growing up in Rangeley.
The Museum invites knitters and crafters who would like to include their handiwork in the show and sale to contact Peggy Yocom, 864-3421, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Logging Museum opens Wednesday through Sunday 11-5 and by appointment (call 864-3939). The 34th Annual Logging Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26. Visit the Museum on facebook and at http://rlrlm.org
by Peggy Yocom, Curator, Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum