By Hand


Factoring an e-reader into learning more about needlework history

By Ardeana Hamlin on March 19, 2013, at 10:30 a.m.
Owning an e-reader had never made it to my meager list of “must-haves,” a list more likely to contain fabric, yarn and antique needlework tools than electronic gadgets. So recently when I had the opportunity to try out an e-reader thanks to the generosity of a friend, I wasn’t quite …
This small box was made from an old greeting card.

Turn old greeting cards into little boxes

By Ardeana Hamlin on March 12, 2013, at 10:54 a.m.
Several weeks ago, a reader from Etna called to ask if I had instructions for making boxes out of old greeting cards. She and a group of other women get together to make items to take to those who are dealing with illness or other life crises. She said her …

Guild logs 20 years of sewing for good causes

By Ardeana Hamlin on March 05, 2013, at 11:15 a.m.
Twenty years ago, a dozen women got together to form the Bangor Area Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. Since then, members have met to sew positioning pillows for residents of the Levinson Center in Bangor, wardrobes for premature infants, Christmas stockings and “bags of love” for foster children programs, …

Knit a zombie, crochet a motif

By Ardeana Hamlin on Feb. 26, 2013, at 1:04 p.m.
Here are reviews of several books crocheters and knitters might find either useful or amusing: “Connect the Shapes” by Edie Eckman puts 101 motif designs at crocheters’ fingertips. These motifs have little in common with the well-known granny square, although some of them are, indeed, square. The motifs in the …

New guild offers free knowledge in knitting, crocheting and other textile arts

By Ardeana Hamlin on Feb. 12, 2013, at 11:40 a.m.
Joyce O’Rourke, Jody Wheeler and Lourdes Tutaine-Garcia, who live in the Prospect, Sandy Point and Stockton Springs area, have a strong appreciation for handcrafted textiles. O’Rourke knits, crochets and quilts. Wheeler has a degree in textile design, spins and weaves. Tutaine-Garcia spins and dyes. The three women, all in their …
Nothing says love like a handmade Valentine.

Make a Valentine’s card for your sweetie

By Ardeana Hamlin on Feb. 04, 2013, at 10:44 a.m.
Valentine’s Day is when we set aside special time to let loved ones know how much they mean to us. In the days of yore, long before commercial valentine cards were available, lovers and sweethearts made valentines from whatever materials were at hand — paper, seashells, fabric, wood and other …
A tea wallet, closed.

How to make a tea wallet

By Ardeana Hamlin on Jan. 28, 2013, at 10:42 a.m.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about the shenanigans of my cat while I tried to sew tea wallets, but I neglected to say what a tea wallet is. That prompted several readers to call to inquire. A tea wallet is a tote for teabags. It has four pockets that will …

BDN’s By Hand column marks 10 years

By Ardeana Hamlin on Jan. 21, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 21, marked the 10th anniversary of the By Hand column. How did all that time go by so quickly? When I began this column on Jan. 21, 2003, knitting was being rediscovered by a new generation and interest in sewing, crocheting, embroidery and other needle arts was on …
By Hand
The seven Conley sisters get together each year for a weekend to craft. This year they decided to make afghans, one for each sister. Enjoying one another’s company in 2011 are sister (left side of table, front to back) Maureen, Mary, Margaret, Patti and (right side of table) Kathy, Tery and Dorothy.

Afghan project designed to knit seven sisters more closely together

By Ardeana Hamlin on Jan. 14, 2013, at 11:31 a.m.
The seven Conley sisters, who grew up in Portland as part of a family of 11 children whose parents were Mike and Mary Conley, have a special way to keep themselves threaded together. Each year for the past 10 or so years, the sisters — Mary Folsom of Hampden, Dorothy …
Sissy the cat tries a few shenanigans while her human attempts to sew a fine seam.

Cat finds some fun in sewing

By Ardeana Hamlin on Jan. 07, 2013, at 1:25 p.m.
After many weeks of never finding time to sew, I found an hour in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday. I set up my sewing machine on the kitchen table and commenced a tea wallet project for a friend who had requested a few. It wasn’t a lot …

Resolve to keep stitching

By Ardeana Hamlin on Dec. 31, 2012, at 6:42 p.m.
It’s the first day of the New Year, a time to anticipate another 364 days of stitching. If knitting, crocheting, sewing or quilting are on your list of things you want to learn, there’s no time like the present to jump right in there get started. Check with your local …
Ardeana Hamlin and her father Floyd Hamlin cut a Christmas tree in Mayfield in 1988.

Stealth turned hunt for Christmas tree into adventure

By Ardeana Hamlin on Dec. 24, 2012, at 11:01 a.m.
It was only a few days before Christmas in the late 1950s. My father, who worked in the woods every day and really had no excuse, had yet to bring home a Christmas tree. My sister and I were 11 and 12, still young enough to enjoy the spirit of …
These mittens knit of chunky wool yarn have been earmarked for use while shoveling snow.

Legacy of knitting mittens passed down through family

By Ardeana Hamlin on Dec. 17, 2012, at 4:59 p.m.
It’s mitten season. My vintage copy of Mittens and Gloves is open to the charts providing instruction for mittens knit of worsted weight yarn that fit children, teens, men and women. Piled in a basket near my favorite chair are yarns I pulled from my stash and deemed mitten-worthy — …
This Signature Quilt was made in 1849 in Bucksport and was hand-pieced in a variable star pattern. It is part of the collection the Penobscot Marine Museum will display in the "Keeping Warm" exhibit, which opens Dec. 15.

‘Keeping Warm’ at the Penobscot Marine Museum

By Ardeana Hamlin on Dec. 10, 2012, at 11:21 a.m.
SEARSPORT | The Penobscot Marine Museum will open its winter exhibition season with a party, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Its new exhibit, “Keeping Warm,” will showcase the museum’s collection of 19th century quilts, and 19th and early 20th century winter clothing, fiber art tools and crafts, toys, …
Ardeana Hamlin

Join Central Maine Power Co.’s mitten drive

By Ardeana Hamlin on Dec. 03, 2012, at 11:03 a.m.
Knitters and crocheters are on my top picks for being among the most generous people in Maine. Now they have another opportunity to stitch for the common good of children in Central Maine Power Co.’s southern and central Maine service area as part of the company’s mitten drive. “We love …
 "Night Travels: Installation by Susan Mills," will be on display Nov. 30 through Feb. 15 at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St., in Topsham.

‘Night Travels’ opens at Maine Fiberarts

By Ardeana Hamlin on Nov. 26, 2012, at 3:53 p.m.
Once again, Christine Macchi has shared information about upcoming events and exhibits at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham. In her words: “Tools to Equip the Shaman for Night Travels,” an installation of work by Bowdoin artist Susan Mills, is on view at Maine Fiberarts’ gallery, 13 Main St. in Topsham. The …

Look for babies items in crochet and witty knitting in new books

By Ardeana Hamlin on Nov. 19, 2012, at 10:21 a.m.
“Baby Crochet” by Sandy Powers and “Wearable Knit Wits” by Katie Boyette recently were released by Sellers Publishing, located in South Portland. Both books are lavishly illustrated, filled with detailed project instructions and photographs of specific techniques used in some of the designs. The cost of each book is $18.95. …
Ardeana Hamlin

Buying on sale can combat sewing pattern sticker shock

By Ardeana Hamlin on Nov. 12, 2012, at 8:19 p.m.
Recently, someone mentioned that she wanted to start sewing again after a hiatus of many years. She has a small granddaughter and is eager to stitch up a wardrobe of little cotton dresses for the baby girl to prance around in. But when she looks at the price of patterns …
This cross stitch on burlap was found in a thrift shop in Seward, Neb., 20 years ago.

Cross stitched burlap item remains a mystery

By Ardeana Hamlin on Nov. 05, 2012, at 11:15 a.m.
When I lived in Lincoln, Neb., in the 1990s, one of my favorite pursuits was haunting thrift shops in the city and in the small towns surrounding it. I never had any particular quest in mind, but my eye usually snagged and held to vintage needlework and supplies. No surprise …
This square in a silk quilt stitched in 1844 and being readied for display by staff at the Bangor Museum and Center for History is signed by Catherine Hardy, the wife of Bangor artist Jeremiah Hardy.

Museum staff sleuth for history of silk quilt deemed a treasure

By Ardeana Hamlin on Oct. 29, 2012, at 12:15 p.m.
BANGOR | A lot goes on behind the scenes leading up to an exhibit at the Bangor Museum and Center for History. Currently, museum staff armed with a magnifying glass are poring over the surface of an exquisite silk quilt stitched by the ladies of Bangor’s First Church and …