Monday, August 27, 2012

Author Of Maine Mitten Folklore and Pattern Books Robin Hansen To Demonstrate Knitting At Fryeburg Fair

The Fiber Center at Fryeburg Fair is pleased to have Maine author, knitter and folklorist Robin Hansen appearing to demonstrate mitten knitting using patterns included in her many books on Wednesday October 3rd from 11am to 4pm. Hansen is participating in support of The Maine Mitten Project, a new Fiber Center community project to benefit Maine’s Homeless children, families, and adults. The Maine Mitten Project intends to link community with the Traditional Fiber Arts for a good cause. Hand made mittens hats and scarves created by anyone wishing to participate will be collected throughout the next year and donated to Maine’s homeless shelters. At this time Preble Street in Portland and York County Shelter in Alfred and Shaw House in Bangor have been named as recipients but others are being approached to participate.
Hansen with degrees in Folklore and Folk Life will have copies of her fifth mitten book released last November titled Ultimate Mittens: 28 Classic Patterns to keep You Warm.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Fiber Center Organizing The Community to Create for Maine's Homeless

Homelessness always conjures up the images of adult men with substance abuse and mental illness issues. However true that may be, homelessness around the Nation as well as Maine’s, also includes veterans and families; women with children often leaving abusive situations or those in the lower socio economic sectors who may have lost their job in these difficult economic times. Let’s also not omit the sad reality of youths that have no place to call home for a variety of reasons. The troubled, runaways, sometimes unwanted young, trying to escape abuse and troubling situations or those simply finding themselves alone and in need of help, comprise a category of homelessness that is hard to even imagine.

 In the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, youths under the age of 18 represented 21.8% of the Nations homeless while persons in families represented 35.2% of the Nations homeless.

The Maine Mitten Project is a community effort being presented by The Fiber Center at Fryeburg Fair to help keep Maine’s homeless children and adults a little warmer and to let them know someone cares about them. 

Anyone who knits, crochets, felts or wants to learn how, can make mittens, hats or scarves for children and adults to donate for a great cause. The hand-mades will be collected throughout the year and exhibited at the Fiber Center during fair week in 2013. At the end of the 2013 exhibit, items will be delivered to Homeless Shelters for distribution to Mainer’s most in need. 

The greatest numbers of homeless people are from urban areas so we are approaching shelters in Maine’s largest population areas to be the recipients of our handmade donations.  So far we have partnered with Preble Street in Portland for Cumberland County, and The York County Shelter in Alfred, for Southern Maine areas. As we identify other organizations we will be posting them to this site.

Flyers with free patterns will be available at the Fiber Center during Fryeburg fair week from Sunday September 30th  - Saturday October 6th from 9am to 9pm and Sunday October 7th from 9am -6pm. Free knitting classes are also being offered Sunday September 30th  - Thursday October 3rd from 7:30 – 9pm. Bring a skein of worsted weight yarn and size 8 knitting needles.

 The Fiber Center is dedicated to educating and exposing the public to the Traditional Fiber Arts through demonstrations and exhibits at the fair each year. In an effort to bring the Traditional Arts and the community closer together and to expand fiber education beyond fair week, we have begun organizing an annual community fiber art project. These projects not only bring attention to the Traditional Arts by involving the community in a group effort, they also encourage people to learn a new craft by offering workshops and classes throughout the year at local libraries, schools and local art venues. Best of all, this new project will help keep Maine's homeless a little warmer!

It is our hope that you will be inspired to create for this project whether it's because you love the Traditional Arts, want to learn them, or are a kind soul who wants to help those in need.

We look forward to your kind support.....