Posts Tagged ‘Nantucket’

Another Epic Rally

August 4, 2018

Turns out that Chris and Karen’s overnight visit to Nantucket, followed by a 12-hour journey home to Northern Virginia, was just the first travel rally of our vacation. [Note: neither Patrick nor I participated in either rally. We’re supporters only.]

Months ago, Hannah and her squad of four NYC Sister-Friends had synced their work schedules and planned a vacation — no small feat in and of itself. Hannah arrived mid-day Friday after a brief detour at home. The foursome would arrive by air later that night.

However, true to its name, the “Little Grey Lady of the Sea” put a damper on those plans. Low, thick fog blanketed the island, and all flights were cancelled. After they turned down the airline’s offered rescheduled flight on Monday evening and discovered that there were no rental cars in all of New York City available for a one-way trip to Cape Cod, and after dozens of texts, a plan emerged.

New York’s Port Authority bus terminal isn’t a particularly lovely place at any time of day, but I imagine that it’s less so than usual at 3:00AM on a Saturday morning, which is when their bus to Boston departed.

About four hours later, the sun was shining — even if they weren’t — when they arrived in Boston and made their way to our house about 10 miles away.

Squad-bus

Kevin had left the key under the mat and a welcome note including details on where to nap and how to turn on the coffee maker. They collapsed and napped a bit until Hannah — who’d taken a 7:30 fast ferry from the island and driven 1.5 hours home — arrived. They piled in, and she reversed the journey.

And so it was, that 24 hours after they’d left work, they arrived. While the previous night’s fog had lifted, the afternoon was cloudy and cool. So they had the beach to themselves.

Squad-beach  Mhd-grace

Back home, they shared stories of their adventures around the table and around the fire. As Patrick and I had noted the night before when their rally plan was hatched, this will make for a great memory.

Barn-dinner.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Hazy Summer Days & an Epic Rally

July 22, 2018

I’m not naive enough to believe that vacations are long, lazy days that stretch on forever, but I must admit that I thought I’d be able to write a blog post or two during our vacation week. I chalk up my failure to achieve that “goal” to my brain being in decompression mode combined with a desire to cut down my time on the laptop.

Anyway, here we are — in the hazy, humid days of late July on our favorite island. Nantucket is known, in part, as the “Little Grey Lady of the Sea” for the cool fog that rolls over this “Faraway Isle” as the afternoon temperature drops. Afternoon is often when the waves pick up along the south shore beaches, bringing out wetsuit-clad surfers who wait for something to ride.

cisco-haze

Brother Chris, Sister Karen, and two of their three children arrived Tuesday for a quick visit, a bit of a detour on their way back to the Washington DC area after a week on Cape Cod. In our 24 hours together, we packed in plenty of fun — tumbling and diving in the waves (not a camera-friendly spot), rousing games of corn hole in the back yard — where Aidan made the game more complicated by acting as a human pendulum crossing each tosser’s path.

Hills-cornhole

As Patrick and Karen grilled supper, the competitors recuperated on the big couch. An evening walk into town for ice cream cones and bookstore browsing (and buying) topped off the day.

hills-ack.jpg

The ferry departs near a shop called Hill’s of Nantucket, so of course, a photo was in order — even if one of the subjects had his eyes closed.

Hills-nantucket2

Given the 11-hour drive home that awaited their arrival on the mainland, they looked remarkably cheery as they departed, didn’t they?

Ferry

Given the length and complexity of their travels, it was truly an epic rally. Next year, we’ll need to plan a little better. Until then, back in the quiet of the barn, there’s Sock #2 to finish.

Sock-barn

 

 

 

 

Island knitting

July 2, 2017

One of the benefits of being a freelancer is that I can work anywhere there’s an Internet connection and phone service. I’m still developing the discipline to focus on work as needed and then shift to other priorities, like last week’s anniversary trip to New Hampshire, time with family and friends, or this weekend’s trip to our quirky old house on my favorite island.

angels-roost-barn

As soon as I board the ferry and feel the sea — waves and air — my entire being eases even if I’ve got deadlines looming. On my usual early morning run, I loop through streets and lanes that are mostly quiet except for the people whose work keeps the island running.

flags-path

[Speaking of people who “get the job done,” an aside: Just in time for Canada Day and the 4th of July weekend, my brother Luke dropped a bit of his usual brilliance on his blog with a perspective on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s just-released video from “The Hamilton Mixtape.”]

morning-cemetery

Lest you think I spend my time here working and running past cemeteries, let me introduce you to my local yarn store. Just around the corner from our house, in a former and much-loved bakery, stands Flock: A Nantucket Knit Shop.

Flock has everything you could want in a knitting shop, whether you’re a novice looking for a first project or an experienced knitter in search of a new pattern, kit, or just the right yarn for your next project.

flock-madeline-tosh

There are samples scattered about the shop, always good for turning that “I want to knit something” into “Ooooh, I want to make that!”

flock-nantucket-knit

What puts Flock into the category of great yarn store, in my mind, is the helpful, generous staff. When I visited yesterday, Sheila was in the sunny side room, helping a preteen knitter making a Seagull from one of the shop’s kits. You can see a couple of seagulls in the photo above — adorable!

nantucket-knit-shop-flock

She paused to give me a range of suggestions for a baby-to-be project, seamlessly figuring out my skill and comfort level without ever asking. Moments after I’d made my decision (more on that in my next post), a half dozen shoppers blew into the store, chatting loudly excitedly and tossing out questions. Sheila was calm, cool, and collected as she guided them to patterns and yarns. Although I slipped out before the group left, I’m quite confident they departed with just what they wanted and Sheila returned to Charlotte and her seagull-to-be.

If you’re on Nantucket, be sure to visit Flock. If you’re not lucky enough to get to the island, follow them on Instagram for knitterly inspiration.

 

This Little Piggy

July 11, 2014

One of the joyous surprises of the summer has been reconnecting with my friend Vicky, who was two years behind me in college and part of my lifeline when my father died suddenly halfway through my senior year. She lives only a few miles away, but our lives haven’t intersected over the years — until now.

We gathered for lunch in June with two other dear friends, one of whom is nearby sister-friend Kristen, someone whom I can call and share anything at all — venting about children, spouses, parents, whatever — and another, Rachel, who lives hundreds of miles away. Turns out that both of these “distant” friends are knitters. Why am I surprised?!

Not only is Vicky a knitter, but so are her twin daughters, who also have many other creative talents — remarkable young women in their own right.

Vicky’s latest creation is an adorable, whimsical, beautiful pig — named Piggy (OK, not so creative but it’s accurate).

knitted stuffed pig with tutu

The pattern and yarn (I believe) was from Sheila, the owner of Flock, a marvelous yarn store on Nantucket.  The details are fabulous, and Piggy’s personality shines through. The tutu is priceless, and I love the eyes (blanket stitch on edge and French knot pupil), nose, and smirking smile. And the tail…well, how would you describe it?!

knitted stuffed pig backside

Island Knitting

July 9, 2014

Nearly 30 years ago, my in-laws had the imagination, chutzpah, and foresight to buy an abandoned barn on nearly an acre of land on a lovely island off the coast of Massachusetts. Over the years, they added on rooms in a not quite random, but definitely quirky, fashion: bunk beds built into hallway walls, 4 squeaky beds tucked under the attic eaves. No insulation, no TV, and definitely no air conditioning.

Despite the thin walls, unending number of Daddy Long Leg spiders, and dampness that comes from part of the house being below grade, it’s one of my favorite places on earth. The sea air is wondrous, and the night sky is bright with starlight, except when the fog rolls in and obscures the view.

Berry Hill fingerless mitt

I’m working on my first pair of fingerless mitts: Berry Hill by Liz Thompson. And last week, during a wonderful stretch of days with my sweet Patrick, I popped into the local hospital thrift store and discovered a bag of yarn that was calling out to me. Four skeins plus a bit more for $8.00 — how could I not?

thrift_store_yarn

 

 

 

When in Doubt, Read the Pattern

August 29, 2013

My Mom is full of old sayings, many of which are prefaced by “As my mother would say….” One of her favorites is “when in doubt, read the directions.” So true, so true.

I figured out why Square 2 of the Albers cowl was turning out to be significantly bigger than Square 1.  It wasn’t an inexplicable change in tension (I’m pretty steady in the tension department). Nor was it because the yarn used for the outer border of #1 was different than all the other yarns.

Nope. I’d just misread the pattern and had knit many more rows than I should have.

I also figured out that ripping out is much less distressing when done while drinking beer on the ferry to a beautiful island.

RippingFerry

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