Perfect stitches

Chris Stahl
With great concentration, Chris Stahl of New York City learns how to knit at the exhibition. Maybe he will enter a piece in next year's competition. Photos by Tara Kenny

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - November 16, 2006

Lynn Benson, owner of the Heath Hen Quilt Shop and Lisa Rusche, owner of the Clark House Inn, decided to show off Island talent by running different hand-craft festivals. Earlier this year the two women ran a quilting exhibition and also one for needlepoint. This past weekend Island knitters took the spotlight.

More than a dozen knitters brought almost 50 pieces their work to the Clark House to be judged. The top prize was a gift certificate to either the Heath Hen Quilt Shop or the Clark House. Raffle prizes included three baskets filled with books, yarn, and needles from Stitchery Magazine, a popular catalogue featuring supplies for the hand-crafter. The baskets were valued at $150 each and were donated by Donna Saiia, senior buyer for the magazine.

Jessica Oas
Jessica Oas from Westminster Fibers taught a class in intarsia last Saturday afternoon. Westminster Fibers distributes the popular Rowan line of books and yarn.

The festival also included a Yarn Tasting Party featuring Rowan yarns, and a master class on the intarsia technique taught by Jessica Oas. Ms. Oas is a representative of Westminster Fibers. For those non-knitters out there, intarsia is a technique for adding a new yarn, usually a different color, into the work, using the new yarn to create a pattern, and picking up the former yarn again. The trick is to do it without leaving any holes in the row. Mastering intarsia elevates knitters from a beginner to an advanced level, allowing them to try more complicated patterns.

According to Ms. Benson the festival was, "Very, very, very successful." So much so that Ms. Oas has booked her room at the Clark House for Nov. 10, 2007, the date of next year's festival. She will be teaching knitting with beads. Ms. Benson said she passed on helpful tips from the judges to the knitters and this feedback will help the knitters when then enter other contests such as the Agricultural Fair.

Start your projects now for these future exhibitions: April 14, 2007, quilting, April 28, 2007, needlepoint and cross stitch, and Nov. 10, 2007, knitting and crochet. For more information call Ms. Benson at 508-693-6730 or Ms. Rusche at 508-693-6550.