Knit and Crafts Show, 1996-2014

Annual Knit and Crafts Show and Sale

Our Knit and Crafts Show and Sale was founded by Mrs. Lucille Haley Richard (1927-2006), native of Rangeley, Maine, and ran for 18 years.  It was Mrs. Richard’s intent, through the Knit Show, to include women’s lives and creative histories into the history of logging in western Maine. I developed an exhibit on knitting by women and men in the logging camps which was a part of the Museum until June 2015. Long recognized as a very fine knitter, Mrs. Richard was especially fond of making sweaters for babies and young children.

After Mrs. Richard passed away, I carried on the Knit Show each July, through 2014. Then, on 21 October 2014, I resigned from the Museum because of new policies that I could not accept. Thanks to all the knitters who supported the Logging Museum, Mrs. Richard, and me, especially our longtime crafters: Daria Babbit, Nini Christensen, Colleen Coffren, Rhonda Coffren, April Grant, and Margaret Yezil.

Here’s an example of what our Knit and Crafts Show and Sales were like:

Press Release from June 27, 2013–

Logging Museum and RFA Team Up for 13 July All-Day Fun: Crafts, Stories, and Bluegrass Bands 

On Saturday July 13th, knitters and craftspeople of the Rangeley region along with the Western Maine Storytellers Guild will display their talents at the 17th Knit and Crafts Show and Sale at the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum from 9am to 3pm at the Museum, 221 Stratton Road, Rt. 16, one mile east of Rangeley. At 1:00pm, the Bluegrass concert begins.

Celebrating the creativity of Maine fiber artists, the knit show also introduces visitors to the history of knitting in the logging woods. Admission is free to the events in the Museum, and people are invited to bring their current projects and enjoy the company of other crafters. Entrance to the outdoor Bluegrass concert is $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12; tickets available at the Chamber of Commerce and onsite. 

Quilter April Grant and knitter Daria Babbitt will also attend. Along with friends from the Salem area, they will offer free demonstrations and lessons to Museum visitors. Margaret Yezil and Sonja Hofer of Oquossoc will bring their varied crafts and jewelry. 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. Knitter Nini Christensen of Ecopelagicon, the Rangeley nature store, will bring books about knitting, crafts, and textile arts ( http://ecopelgicon.com ). People with questions about knitting or crafts are welcome to bring their work.

            Five storytellers, a musician, and a poet from the Western Maine Storytelling Guild will perform from 11:30am to 1:00pm: Judy Loeven, Debby Bliss, Jane Woodman, Phyllis Blackstone, Debby Bliss, and Roshan Luick. Come and get a preview of the storytelling to come at the 2nd annual Western Maine Storytelling Festival, 19-21 July, in Farmington, featuring Susan Poulin, Joseph Bruchac, and loggers Lance and Wayne White of Carthage and Joe Haley and Scott Millbury of Rangeley. Visit http://westernmainestorytelling.org

            When the storytellers finish at 1pm, the Bluegrass concert begins. Foot-stomping music from the Sandy River Ramblers and the Maranacook String Band will continue until 4pm. Tickets for the concert are available at the Chamber of Commerce and at the concert, itself. For more details, visit http://rangeleyarts.org/bluegrass-concert and contact Millie Hoekstra, 864-2963, millie@youthunlimited.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, myocom@gmu.edu

The Logging Museum opens Wednesday through Sunday 11-5 and by appointment (call 864-3939). The 33rd Annual Logging Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 26th and 27th. Visit the Museum on facebook and at http://rlrlm.org

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, 864-3421).

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