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NYM Cultural Center to host fiber arts classes Sept. 22-23

The Cultural Center in New York Mills offers three fiber arts classes in one September weekend as part of the Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail Grand Opening Weekend, set for Sept. 22.23.

For just $5, crocheters can learn to make their own shopping tote from "plarn" (plastic yarn). Held on Friday, Sept. 22 from noon to 2 p.m., the class is facilitated by local artist Pam Robinson. Robinson is a Center volunteer and a member of the weekly fiber arts group, Sit-n-Stitch. Participants learn to make plarn from plastic grocery bags and start crocheting their tote during the two-hour class. Each participant is asked to bring a plastic bag full of bags to make plarn, and either a size I, K, or J hook. A crochet hook may be borrowed for the duration of the class. Students should already be proficient at single, half-double, and double crochet stitches.

Two additional classes will be offered on Saturday, Sept. 23. First is a knitting class for beginners which utilizes the nifty knitting loom. Taught by local Sit-n-Stitcher Shelley Johnson, the class costs $10 ($9 for members). Johnson has been creating nifty-knitted hats, slippers, and scarves on nifty-knitter looms for over a decade. Participants utilize the Center's looms and yarn. In three hours, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students complete a winter hat for a child. It is a nice way to try out this fun technique before investing in your own set of looms.

The second Saturday class, entitled "Working Off the Grid," is a wire felting class held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and costs $40 ($36 for members). Instructor Kristi Kuder, from Minneapolis, is a fiber artist who applies textile processes to wire and wire mesh in response to her interest in humanity's biased, vague and conflicting facets. Her final pieces are textural, transparent and light. Course participants work with deconstructed aluminum wire mesh and felt the fibers to create beautiful, airy bowls or wall hangings. Students should bring leather work gloves and eyebrow tweezers. All other materials are provided.

These classes are part of the Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail Grand Opening Weekend, which is set for Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day; activities will stretch from Little Falls up to Brainerd, and over to New York Mills. The trail is presented by Midwest Fiber Arts Trails, which promotes the exploration the Midwest's rich textile community through the promotion of fiber arts activities and cultural tourism.

Pre-registration is requested for all classes. To reserve your spot and pay class fees, please stop by or call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339. For more information, visit the Center's website at