Fiber College of Maine features classes, demonstrations, fashion show

Photo courtesy of Maine Fiber College
Author and knitter Katharine Cobey of Cushing chats with sheep at the Fiber College of Maine event in Searsport in 2012. Cobey will conduct workshops at the 2013 event set for Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 5 through Sept. 8, at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground.

Fiber College of Maine, fast becoming a fall tradition on the Penobscot Bay coast of Maine, will convene Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 5 through Sept. 8, at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground, 216 West Main St., Searsport. The event will offer more than 50 classes and 18 free demonstrations.

Organizers of the event said instructors and students come from as far afield as Bali and New Brunswick and as nearby as Belfast and Montville.

Classes on Thursday will include Bead Up Your Knitting with Judith Durant and Crochet for Curious Beginners with Daina Taimina, author of “Crocheting Adventure: Hyberbolic Planes.”

Friday classes will include Hat Basics with Kimberli MacKay, Aran Knitting, Session 1, with Kris Bridges and Anna Kessler, and Natural Dye Intensive with Jackie Ottino Graf.

Saturday classes will include Lace Knitting with Mary Lou Egan, author of “Wear With All: Knits for your LIfe,” A Different Slant: Starting to knit Diagonally with Katharine Cobey, author of “Diagonal Knitting” and Spinning Wild Yarns with Josette McWilliams.

Sunday classes will include Introduction to Chain Maille with Stephen Schureurs, Love Stuffed Crochet Heart with Kristen TenDyke, author of “Finish-Free Knits” and Shifu, Spinning with Paper with Sarah Haskell.

This is just a very small example of the classes offered.

Advance registration for classes is suggested but on-site registrations can be accommodated if space is still available. To register online, go to

The Searsport Historical Society will provide a chowder supper to attendees Saturday evening, followed by a beach bonfire and music performed by Mark Aubertin of Monroe.

Before dinner, authors Gale Zucker, Judith Durant, Mary Lou Eagan, Katharine Cobey, Kristen TenDyke and Daina Taimina will sign their books and show some of the knit and crochet wear that fill the pages of their books.

The event also will offer activities that do not require class registration, for example, dye expert and designer Ellen Mason will serve as mentor in the dye tent. Mason will be available for consultation on successful color combinations, techniques and application methods. In another tent, free demonstrations are scheduled every hour Friday through Sunday and include topics such as Journey Baskets, Japanese Silk Stenciling, Fly Tying and the Revival of the Navajo Churro Sheep. Information about the demonstration schedule is available at

The Shopper’s Boulevard will highlight small fiber working artists and offer supplies and goods not found usually  in stores.

Wood workers Bill Forbes, Gary Kitchen and Tom Cote will have their lathes and woodworking tools set up for on-going demonstrations of carving, fiber tool production and bowl turning. Information about vendors is at

The FiberMaine-ia Fashion show to benefit New Hope for Women will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday and will be followed by a cocktail reception and gallery opening of Fiber College instructors’ works in the Art Studio. One hundred percent of proceeds from the show will benefit New Hope for Women.

Fiber College is accessible, with handicapped parking and shuttle service when necessary. For information, contact Astrig Tanguay 548-6059, or visit



Celebrate Grandparents Day by bringing the grandchildren to an art workshop 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland. During the Wild Weavings Workshop, Sandi Cirillo will lead children ages 8 to 12 and their adults in gathering natural materials and making weavings to take home. Meet at Wildlands South Gate on Route 1 and be prepared to walk a short way in the woods. Register in advance at 469-6929 or Rain date is Sept 15. Cirillo is a retired art educator and fiber artist living in Searsport. E-mail her at