When one returns to Nantucket to stay, the natives refer to that person as a ‘wash-ashore’. I like that. I want to be a wash-ashore nantucketian. I want to discover the ways to live on that small island, 30 miles out to sea – water in all directions. I want to stitch my quilts, paint my mermaids, knit my sweaters and watch my dog chase the waves onto the beach. I want to experience the dim winter light, people hurrying home, snowflakes gathering on the shoulders of boiled woolen jackets – cobbled streets muffled, still. And the silence. I want to create Sailor’s Valentines and paddle around the harbor in a faded red dinghy. To make friends with the locals and be invited in, carrying a hot dish, covered in gingham.
When my sister and I walked through the old sections in town she pointed out the Sisters’ Houses as well as many of the other historic buildings. I could close my eyes and envision the people of another time, perhaps when whaling was the major industry and life was hard and often bitter. Behind closed lids I could see long skirts swirling down narrow alleys, widow walks being paced by anxious mothers, peddlers on the sidewalks, struggling with carts and livestock. I discovered that when the whaling industry went into decline, the islanders raised sheep for wool and meat. Nantucket is a place that I relate to on so many levels.
There was knitting on Nantucket. I bought some delicious Anzula sock yarn in the traditional Cape Cod ‘red’.There is a wonderful amount of cashmere mixed with this merino and the result is a light soft-as-a-feather sock.
Fall was waiting in New York for my return. Baking, quilt making and garden strolls were in order before hanging up the flip-flops and heading back to work.Baby quilts are in order – I have three that need my attention before too long. Sadly, none are for my family, but that does not diminish the joy of creating these small pieces.
I wanted to talk about bee skeps, but I’m late for my Guild meeting so I leave you with this instead: Pattern by Amy, (During Quiet Play)found at Craftsy.