A visit to the Vineyard

Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard
It was a holiday, it was an excursion, it was two friends sharing news, ideas, and solitude. I have known Julie for a couple of years now. We met through blogging and Ravelry. We are lucky, in that we can sit comfortably in each other's company, and, over the Fourth of July holiday, that we did. Julie invited me out to visit Martha's Vineyard, so I packed my back and a number of projects, and headed in-town to South Station where I caught the bus which took me to the Steamship Authority Ferry at Wood's Hole. Since getting rid of my car three years ago, I have relied more on public transportation and Zipcar, and it makes so much sense. I love having someone else do the driving, more knitting time for me.

Julie and her husband Geoff squired me around to see the sites on Thursday. As we drove, I watched out the window and felt like I was back in the Maine I remembered from childhood., woods, fields, long views of the coast, and so much blue sky. My overall impression of the island, which I had not visited before, was that there is so much land that has been left untouched. Cookie cutter housing developments and sprawling shopping plazas are not welcome here. The array of shops and dining experiences are many; the presence of history and nature are pervasive. I marveled as we drove past acres of woods and farmland, historic buildings and the views of the ocean. There was so much to see that I need to go back again to take in more.

We shopped at a number of stores. I wanted to share with you some of the highlights, some of the spots I would urge you to seek out should you get to the island for a visit. Here is just one shop we went to.

Allen Farm
Allen Farm, image imported from http://allenfarm.com/
Over four days, we did some sight seeing, some shopping and some knitting. One of our day trips was to a quaint little shop at Allen Farm,  421 South Road, Chilmark. This farm, which has been in the Allen family since 1762, is settled upon acres and acres of open space. They raise animals, sell meats and organic eggs, and fiber and yarn from their sheep. When we visited, they were out of yarn but promised that they would have some in stock soon. There were fleeces available, but I did not look into those, not yet a spinner.... but I do hope to add information about the fleeces and the details on the Allen Farm yard in the near future.

Edited to add... I have been told that the Allen Farm yarn is sold in 4 oz/ 200 yards skeins in a worsted weight. There is an array of four colors that are natural.... cream, oatmeal, light brown and dark brown. I suggest you note the woven fabric on which the leather clam shells and acorns are displayed. The woven goods were made using Allen Farm fiber on a loom in one of the buildings nearby. The shop also offers woven tea towels, placemats and table runners, hand knitted baby things, Cherrila Brown's fabulous baby quilts and throws and shawlettes from Bonnie George.

Another interesting fact is this, Allen Farms is a destination for large functions, especially weddings. If you Google Allen Farm, you will discover that it is an idyllic spot for a wedding ceremony. There are a number of links leading to many photos of events.  I would suggest you check those out for more views of this place.

Here are some images from our visit to the little shop in the converted chicken coop.

If you need some unique gifts or presents for you, this is the place to look.
Beautiful woolen blankets, woven in Scotland.
This throw is likely to become an heirloom if you bring it home with you. Lightweight and luxurious.
Woven beaded animals, my favorites were these flying pigs.
A lovely array of gifts and trinkets. The glassware on the upper shelf was a beautiful shade of pale green.
Notes cards and embroidered button earrings and bracelets.
These gorgeous pouches are made of leather, in shapes of acorns or clam shells.
These pouches could hold change, keys or just be a stunning conversation piece.
Hand stitched felt ornaments.
Another angle of the green glassware with hummingbird feeders above.
This unique cabinet displayed beautiful earrings and bracelets.
Woven bracelets.
Colorful embroidered belts.
The entry hall displays shelves of woven accent pillows, assorted cooking supplies, and scented home goods.
This colorful apron has a velvet bird embellishment.
Bright shells from local beaches are artfully arranged by Ellen Reynolds in this heart shaped mirror.
This tiny and charming store has a lovely assortment of hand knitted sweaters from Ireland. There are also woven garments for men, women and children. They had a tray of supple leather gloves in a soft buttery color, woven scarves from Scandinavian along with books and summer clothing in brightly colored cottons. I wish now that I had taken a photo of a stunning cashmere cardigan wrap that had been reduced in price by 30%, it was the most luxurious knitted thing I have ever worn.


Lisa said…
What a beautiful place! I'm so happy that you were able to enjoy the holiday weekend in such a special place.
Cleo said…
Wow! That sounds like a wonderful place to take a vacation to.
Ann Shirley said…
Sounds like you had a nice time at Martha's Vineyard! These crafts are really neat! I especially love the beaded animals --- very creative! My husband and I just made a down payment on a Martha's Vineyard rental house and are hoping to go down in a few weeks. I'd love to stop at some craft stores during our stay and purchase some of the amazing hand-made goods.

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