RANGELEY – On Saturday July 19, the women of the Rangeley region will show their knit, crochet, and craft talents for the 12th year running at the 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 also introduces visitors to the history of knitting in the logging woods of the Rangeley region.
The museum will honor Mrs. Lucille Haley Richard (1927-2006), founder of this event. Long recognized as a very fine knitter, Mrs. Richard was especially fond of making sweaters for babies and young children. An exhibit about her knitting, “Knit by Heart: The Art of Lucille Richard,” will appear at the show.
Ginger, Kyla, and Delia Hughes of Mooselookmeguntic and Dunstable, Mass., love the mittens of Daria Babbit of Salem on sale at the Rangeley Logging Museum’s 21 July 2007 Knit and Crafts Show. (Photo by Peggy Yocom)
Knit goods fashioned by the ladies of the Church of the Good Shepherd will be available. Other Rangeley area crafters such as Margaret Yezil will offer a variety of handmade items such as fanciful moose, Christmas items, and more. Daria Babbitt will return, along with several talented friends, from the Salem area. Also on display 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, Romania, Turkey, and throughout the world. For information, email mailto:email@example.comThe Ecopelagicon Nature Store of Rangeley will bring a table full of books about knitting, crafts, and textile arts.
With interest in knitting on the increase in Maine and throughout the country, the museum invites any knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, and other crafters who would like to include their handiwork in the day’s activities to call Peggy Yocom at 864-3421.
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. And, once Rangeley’s hills were dotted with sheep, since there were 12 to 15 sheep farms in the area.
The Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum invites the public to view its new exhibit “Maine Mountain Heritage” produced by Mountain Counties Heritage of Farmington, which will be at the museum through July 26. “Maine Mountain Heritage” exhibits 18 stories and associated images told by local organizations from across the Maine Mountain Heritage Area: Franklin, Oxford, Piscataquis, and Somerset counties and nearby towns. Story subjects include natural history (moose and riverways), community origins (early immigration and community life), and local economies (logging, slate mining, paper making, and nature-based tourism). A state-of-the-art interactive touch kiosk enables visitors to listen to these stories of western Maine.
The exhibit is a project of the Maine Mountain Heritage Network that finds creative ways to bring new revenues into the mountain region. Other Network projects focus on investment in downtowns, planning for sustainable and productive use of natural resources, and development of innovative business clusters in “signature” industries. The exhibit was designed by Insyt New Media, with funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation. For more information, visit www.mainemountains.org
Also on display will be the Logging Museum’s summer raffle items: 1st prize, two nights stay at the Rangeley Lake Resort; 2nd, a hand-crocheted afghan by Virginia Haley White of Rangeley; and 3rd, a cash prize of $100. Winning tickets with be drawn at the end of the Museum’s Logging Festival, July 26th at 4pm.
The Logging Museum opens every Saturday and Sunday in July and August from 11am to 2pm, and by appointment. Call the Richards at 864-5595. The Logging Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 25th and 26th.
Do you have knitted goods; patched clothing; or needles, thread, or wax used in the logging camps? Or, photographs of knitting or woolen goods in the camps? Or memories of knitting in the camps? The Logging Museum would love to hear from you. Call Peggy at 864-3421.
– By Peggy Yocom, Folklorist at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum