Searsport Shores Ocean Campground on Route 1 hosts the annual Fiber College of Maine Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 5 through 8, with 50-plus classes and 18 free demonstrations.

The largest fiber education gathering on the East Coast, Fiber College will be offering classes in everything from spinning to weaving, quilting to embroidery and wood carving to fly tying.  Instructors and students come from as far afield as Bali and New Brunswick and as close as Belfast and Montville. Pre-registration for classes is suggested but on-site registrations can be  accommodated if there are slots available in the classes.

The fourth annual KnitMaine-ia fashion show will begin Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, which include a wine and cheese reception with live music following the show; and drawings for door prizes from various local shops. All monetary proceeds will benefit New Hope for Women.

Saturday night, the Searsport Historical Society will provide a chowder supper to attendees followed by a beach bonfire and music performed by Mark Aubertin of Monroe.  Prior to dinner, fiber book authors Gale Zucker, Judith Durant, Mary Lou Eagan, Katharine Cobey, Kristen TenDyke and Daina Taimina will be signing their books and showing some of the knit/crochet wear that fill the pages.

On the grounds all four days will be activities that do not require class registration. Dyer and designer Ellen Mason will mentor a dye tent where participants can either bring their own yarn, cloth, fiber to dye with inexpensive color shots or purchase material on site by the pound. Shot Glass Dye Jobs were developed by Mason, so first-time dyers and experienced artists alike will have success with single color and multiple color projects. She will be available for consultation on successful color combinations, techniques and application methods.

Professional photographer Zucker will offer low-cost individual sessions to those with a camera and an animal to photograph. Whether the camera is an iPhone or a high-end digital device, she will share tips and techniques for capturing the perfect picture.

In another tent, free demonstrations are scheduled every hour and will include topics such as Journey Baskets, Japanese Silk Stenciling, Fly Tying and the Revival of the Navajo Churro Sheep.

The Shopper’s Boulevard will highlight small fiber working artists and offer supplies and goods generally not found in traditional storefronts. Most of the artists make space in their booths for demonstration material and the opportunity to try new techniques and tools with plenty of help is readily accessible.  Woodworkers Bill Forbes, Gary Kitchen and Tom Cote will have their lathes and woodworking tools for ongoing demonstrations of carving, fiber tool production and bowl turning.

Fiber College is an accessible event with handicapped parking and shuttle service when necessary. Attendees are asked to leave all animals at home, unless they are needed for a Zucker photo session. For more information and a complete schedule, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or