BY HAND

Maine Fiberarts presentation on diagonal knitting

Posted June 20, 2011, at 12:21 p.m.

Maine Fiberarts always can be counted on to feature interesting programs about creating with wool. Christine Macchi, director of Maine Fiberarts, provided this information about another event to add to the calendar for June:

Maine Fiberarts in Topsham will present a lecture and slide show given by sculptural knitter and author Katharine Cobey, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Frontier Cafe and Cinema in the Fort Andross Building, 14 Maine St., Brunswick. The presentation will include a short film taken of a working 1950s Worumbo Mill. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and are available through Frontier Cafe by calling 725-5222. Proceeds will benefit Maine Fiberarts.

Nationally recognized for her contributions to the art and stewardship of American knitting, Cobey is lauded for her large-scale sculptural installations and innovative designs. Her work has been exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Textile Museum and the Farnsworth Art Museum. This past winter, Cobey showed work at the Maine Fiberarts Gallery and offered a gallery talk to a filled-to-capacity room. The talk was so successful that Frontier’s auditorium was booked to provide ample seating and image projection for her lecture.

Knowledgeable and interesting — especially on the theme of “craft” — Cobey will speak on the topic “Knitting Great Shapes,” a discussion about her discoveries around the use of diagonal knitting in creating wearable art and sculpture. Cobey will show slides of her work and will have a few finished items on hand. Copies of her new book, “Diagonal Knitting,” will be available for purchase.

A question-and-answer session will be conducted after Cobey’s presentation.

Cobey was named Maine’s Master Craft Artist for 2010 by a group of craft organization leaders. She maintains a studio in Cushing, which will be open for the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend Aug. 5-7.

Maine Fiberarts will precede the talk with a nine-minute film made from old footage discovered in the Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls by the daughter of the mill foreman, Faye Brown. The film portrays the process from woolen fleece to finished suit and was taken in the 1950s by a contestant for the TV series “Truth Or Consequences.” The film is a loving tribute to Faye’s father. For the presentation, Brown will display a woolen quilt, yardage and a man’s coat created at Worumbo.

For more information, visit www.mainefiberarts.org or call 721-0678.

Snippets

Knitters and crocheters seeking a way to use their skills to aid baby animals can knit nests for these organizations:

• The Wildlife Center of Virginia, P.O. Box 1557, Waynesboro, Va. 22980.

• Virginia Beach SPCA Wildlife Program, Attn: Barbara, 3040 Holland Road. Virginia Beach, Va. 23453. http://www.vbspcawildlife.com/node/105.

• Wild Baby Rescue, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Nests, 14 Grouse Mountain Road, Blairstown, N.J. 07825. http://www.wildbabyrescue.org/volunteers.html.

• Blank Park Zoo, Attn: Conservation Committee, 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50315 http://www.blankparkzoo.com/en/conservation/help_iowa_wildlife_rehabilitators/do_you_knit_or_crochet_/.

Several of the websites provide directions for knitting or crocheting nests, or visit www.bevscountrycottage.com/nest.html, where nest-making instructions also are posted.

Be sure to visit the websites and email the organization before you start “nesting.”

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