Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vinalhaven and the reversible cable scarf

A friend of my daughter is going to Norway for her junior year of high school. She will be living on the island of Stord (Old Norse for ground or earth), on the southwest coast, population 17,000 (our town in Maine is population 1,200 - the Colosseum sat 50,000 and the Globe Theater sat 3,000 just for comparison). My daughter asked me to knit something for her friend. I decided to knit her a reversible cable scarf (I have a week), and found two patterns online: Silver's Place which is the one pictured above, and a lovely variation which I will try next, at Ruthie Knits. The blue yarn, scrumptious to knit, glossy, soft and thick, is from Jil Eaton. The frog stapler which found its way into the photo is from a local bookshop, Left Bank Books.
Last weekend my daughter and her friend and I decided to go to the island of Vinalhaven to visit my mother. We arrived at the ferry terminal in Rockland and had some time to kill so we went to a used bookstore Rock City Books and Coffee, which sells the best coffee beans in the world. I found a knitting book, published 1990, which had interesting wild mock Tudor patterns (see fuzzy photo above) titled A Passion for Color by Sarah Burnett. I opened the book and read, "Many years ago I bought some Diaghilev ballet costumes at an auction," and was hooked. Sarah Burnett lives in Dorset and has a company called the Natural Dye Company.

The ferry ride is one hour and fifteen minutes. Here is Vinalhaven (named for an early settler named Vinal) harbor. It is a working island (notice the lobster boats) with about 1200 year-round inhabitants. It was first settled by Europeans in 1766 and in the 1800's was famous for its granite. Granite from Vinalhaven quarries was used in building the Brooklyn Bridge.
We've had lots of fog this year.
Here's Sandburg's famous poem:
The fog comes in
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Vinalhaven has a wonderful yarn shop, Island Home, which carries yarn spun from Vinalhaven sheep. I was dying to have some more of this yarn, but the shop is open from 10am - 1pm on Saturdays, and we missed it. So I took this photo through the window.
Vinalhaven is stark. I love this house. It's a Cape, short for Cape Cod: "the first Cape Cod style homes were built by English colonists who came to America in the late 17th century. They modeled their homes after the half-timbered houses of England, but adapted the style to the stormy New England weather," according to But very little ever goes out of style in Maine and this house was probably built in the early 1800's.
This is downtown Vinalhaven.
The woman who lives in the house below made this scarecrow.
I love her garden. She plants by the moon in the spring so that it will be at its peak for her birthday and she never weeds it.

We toured an inn, the Payne Homestead. It was was built in 1873 by granite (remember the granite?) magnate, Moses Webster.

Below is my mother's adorable cottage garden.

She has some wonderful daylillies. Their Latin name is Hemerocallis. They were brought to Europe from their native China and were first described by Linneaus in 1753. The name Hemerocallis translates from Greek into Hemera meaning "a day" and Kallos meaning "beauty".
My mother has made this hydrangea blue by putting iron in the soil.
I am almost done with the scarf.
- Kathy

1 comment:

Herb Farm said...

The yarns at Island Home on Vinalhaven are wonderful! Love the colors.