Changes in knitting over the years
Camden — Coastal Quilters will meet Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Camden Lions Club on Lion’s Lane in Camden. This month’s program, “The Old & the New,” features Mim Bird, owner of Over the Rainbow Yarn, the newest yarn shop in the Midcoast area, located on 18 School St. in Rockland and described as a place “where your fiber dreams come true.”
A Maine native, born in Bangor but somewhat a nomad, Bird considers Rockland her hometown, ”the stable piece, the family seat, the homestead.” Her kin have been on these shores for more than 400 years. Bird says, “Sometimes I’m so nostalgic about my old hometown and and sometimes I’m bursting with pride for the new face of my old hometown.”
Despite the changes Bird sees in her hometown, including in herself, she honors and fosters the old school, traditional way. She opened her shop to foster a growing Midcoast fiber arts community. Bird is blending her love of community and her passion about fibers and fiber arts in general by curating a collection of quality yarn and tools to support all fiber artists from the most inexperienced beginner just making her first stitches, to the most accomplished knitter or crocheter working on her latest, most complicated creation.
Bird’s program will highlight her passion for fiber arts in general, specifically in knitting and the changes in knitting over the centuries. Bird jokes that “Even the way we talk about it has changed. I used to be a knitter, now I’m a fiber artist.” The first part of the program, Bird will present a fascinating look at the history of knitting, going back to ancient times in the Middle East.
The second part of her program will highlight techniques, the focus of Bird’s fascination, even more than the final product. Her mother taught her to knit when she was 7 years old and Bird promptly forgot how to do it. When her mother re-taught her at 13 years old, it stuck and it’s been a steady progression and growth of every aspect of knitting from the latest trends to new technique and the plethora of yarns and knitting materials and anything and everything related to yarns.
Bird will demonstrate basic knitting techniques including English, continental and Portuguese, Scandinavian and also a number of weaving techniques/equipment. She’ll also demonstrate some of the hottest trends, including arm knitting where your arms are used as knitting needles. Demonstrating this technique, within three minutes, Bird had a scarf-length section beginning to pile on the floor. “This large-format type of thing is the trend now. It’s all deconstruction,” she said.
And, what would a program on knitting be without samples of some of the newest, most luxurious, yummy yarns available? Bird will show samples from every type and price range to tease the knitting palate.
She’ll also discuss a community project implemented to give back to the community that supports her. Bird and her staff set up a program to help Area Interfaith Outreach, administrator of the local food bank. Cash can be donated in any amount into a donation jar that sits on a counter in the shop and non-perishable food into the box in the shop entry. All proceeds of it will go to AIO. In addition, every First Friday of every month from now until forever, Over The Rainbow Yarn will donate 5 percent of gross sales for the day directly to AIO.
For more information about Mim Bird or Somewhere over the Rainbow Yarn shop (including classes and special events), visit overtherainbowyarn.com or call 594-6060 or visit the shop.
The program will be followed by a refreshment break, a short business meeting and Show and Tell. Free and open to the public, all are welcome. For more information, call Stevie Kumble, 236-2352 or Prudy Netzorg, 354-0938.