BY HAND

What would favorite literary characters knit, crochet or sew?

Posted Sept. 26, 2011, at 1:34 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 26, 2011, at 1:52 p.m.

What would Jane Eyre crochet? Probably very little before she returned to the ruined Thornfield Hall and married Mr. Rochester. But after that, I’m certain she would crochet the Parisian Mitts at stitchnationyarn.com. She would choose black silk yarn, very respectable, and she would make the mitts for Mr. Rochester’s ward, Adele, who was sent away to school after the big fire. Adele, as you will recall, had been born in Paris to a French mother. The child adored fashion. Jane, who had been deprived of such frivolous adornment while she was a resident of the grim Lowood School, would have deemed it a kindness to allow Adele an occasional “cadeau,” or gift at Christmastime or on the child’s birthday.

What would Miss Marple knit? Quite likely she would make a pair of warm wool socks, a portable project she carried in a roomy handbag and worked on as she contemplated clues pertaining to the murder at the vicarage or the body in the library. She would use a yarn in a sensible color, navy blue or a tweed in tones of tan, but here and there she would put in purl stitches that stood out against the stockinette stitches, like Braille. The stitches would contain a secret message — perhaps the name of the person she suspected of doing the dreadful deed. She might choose the Slip Stitch Heel Basic Socks pattern by Wendy D. Johnson posted at ravelry.com. Or for those rare times when there were no bodies buried in the garden, she might try her hand at the TTL Mystery Socks 2010 by Kristen Kapur, also posted at Ravelry.

What would the Bennett sisters Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia quilt? If they knew what was good for them they’d take their needles and scissors and stitch the Jane Austen quilt, a pattern at freequiltpatterns.info/QuiltCategories/FreeVintageQuiltPatterns.htm.

Jane and Elizabeth would get right down to business cutting dozens of triangular-shaped pieces. They would talk quietly and be cooperative. Mrs. Bennett would decide which central motif to use and explain that she chose it to reflect her good taste and to set the tone for others in the neighborhood who might attempt a similar project.

Kitty and Lydia would prattle about handsome officers in red coats and accomplish little. Neither their mother nor their sisters would reprimand them because heaven knows if you have to sew miles of tiny stitches with nothing but needle and thread you have to have something agreeable to talk about while you are doing it. Mary would do her stint, but would insist on reading Fordyce’s “Sermons to Young Women” aloud while her mother and sisters sewed — in case the Rev. Mr. Collins called.

Mr. Bennett would settle into his library reveling in peace and quiet while the attention of the women in his household was focused on quilting. In the afternoon, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley would call, and that would be it for the quilting project that day. Jane would be all aflutter every time Mr. Bingley glanced at her, Elizabeth would do a slow burn whenever Mr. Darcy’s icy demeanor came into play and Lydia and Kitty would be unable to contain their inclination to giggle. Mary would offer to sing, but Mrs. Bennett would deftly change the subject.

Snippets

Michele Goldman, owner of Fiberphilia in Orono, announced recently that she has purchased Yarn, Glass and More in Presque Isle. The shop now will be known as Fiberphilia North and will move from Aroostook Centre Mall to 733 Main St. Sylvia Buob, owner of Garden Gate Fabrics Quilt Shop, will join Goldman at the new location. A grand reopening will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Shop hours will be the same as Fiberphilia in Orono — 10 a.m.-5 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday. Goldman will split her time between the two shops and teach classes at the two locations.

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The Winterport Clippers Quilters Group will sponsor a Fall Quilt Show 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Frankfort Congregational Church, Route 1A.

Many beautiful quilts, new and old, will be on display. Handcrafted items will be available for purchase. Many door prizes and refreshments will be available.

Admission is by $3 donation at the door.

The Winterport Clippers make quilts for veterans and other worthy projects. For more information, call Nancy Ronco at 223-5950.

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Westport Island artist Diane Langley will teach a four-week Introduction to Rug Hooking class 1-3 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26, at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham.

The class will introduce students to the basics of using of color, tools, wool strips, backing materials and finishing techniques.

Third-generation rug hooker Diane Langley maintains a working studio and gallery on Westport Island. During October, however, she is the artist-in-residence in The Red Studio at Maine Fiberarts, where her work will be on display.

The fee for the class is $145 and includes instruction and a kit with hand-drawn pattern, linen backing, hook, information sheet and 100-percent wool fabrics. Students should bring a sturdy 14-inch hoop and sharp scissors for cutting wool fabric to the first class.

The class coincides with a show of hooked work in Maine Fiberarts’ gallery and includes the work of Maine artists Paul Hollingsworth, Diane Langley, Roslyn Logsdon, Arlene Morris and Elizabeth Stoyko. The exhibition will remain on view through Nov. 30. For more information or to register for the workshop, call Maine Fiberarts at 721-0678 or email fiberarts@gwi.net, visit mainefiberarts.org or call Diane Langley at 882-7926. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

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Fine crafts by Maine artisans will be on sale in the Finer Things Invitational Craft Show and Sale Sept. 30 through Oct. 23, at the Penobscot Marine Museum Admission Center, 40 E. Main St., Searsport. A preview and opening reception will take place 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, with many of the artists in attendance.

The show and sale will feature the works of Maine artisans who are masters of their crafts, including pottery, jewelry, furniture, quilts, flutes, baskets, book arts, spinning, weaving, felting and more. Featured craftspeople include Laurie Adams, Deborah Bergman, Stephanie Crossman, Janelle Delicata, Sister Bette Edl, Asha Fenn, Faith Garrold, Ken Green, Jeff Jelenty, Karen Jelenty, Marcia Markwardt, Chris McLarty, Cathy Melio, Colleen O’Donnell, Maureen O’Keefe, Laura Lee Perkins, Willy Reddick, Betty Schopmeyer and Geoffrey Warner.

The museum and the craft show are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 548-2529 or visit penobscotmarinemuseum.org.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153, or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com.

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