Searsport fashion show will feature local handicrafts

Posted Sept. 02, 2011, at 1:09 p.m.

SEARSPORT, Maine — Area knitters will ply their needles for a good cause and a moment on the catwalk at the second annual KnitMaine-ia fashion show on Sept. 8.

During the popular event, which organizers expect to sell out, local models create outfits from a selection of knitted, crocheted and woven garments that have been supplied by craftspeople and then show them off to the crowd.

Proceeds from the fashion show again will be donated to New Hope for Women, the domestic violence nonprofit agency that serves Waldo, Knox and Lincoln counties.

“It’s fantastic for us to link with a community effort like this one,” said Richard Ailes, development director for New Hope for Women. “It not only provides financial support for New Hope for Women, which is always necessary, but it really gets the word out about domestic violence.”

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The fashion show, to be held Thursday in conjunction with the Women of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Belfast, is also the kickoff to Fiber College. The nonprofit event is the largest event of its type on the East Coast, according to organizers.

Knitter Sara Melanson of Liberty said she again will be supplying handiwork for the fashion show and also will donate something that will be sold to benefit New Hope for Women.

Last year, she enjoyed seeing models parade around the stage wearing her vests, sweaters, accessories and a skirt.

“It was really fun,” she said. “It’s just a really good source of inspiration and fun to connect with other knitters who are passionate about the craft.”

That spirit of sharing also infuses Fiber College, said Marie Marden, marketing director for the event and a fiber artist herself.

The nonprofit event, in its sixth year, will feature four days of classes; live animals such as goats, sheep, rabbits and alpacas; and demonstrations. More than 1,000 people attended last year and organizers are expecting even more this year.

“People get really excited about trying something new,” Marden said.

In addition to 30 vendors from all over New England, there will be about 50 classes offered in skills from knitting to spindling and from braiding to traditional Russian embroidery.

Fiber College will be held Thursday, Sept. 8, to Sunday, Sept. 11, at Searsport Shores Campground. The show will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at the studio at the campground. For information, visit www.fibercollege.org or call 548-6059.

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