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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Where We Make: Bonnie Sennott

[Bonnie Sennott is an artist and knitwear designer living in Amherst, Massachusetts. She blogs about her creative work at Blue PeninsulaYou may recall that I am currently knitting her Pomegranate pullover, and I can’t remember the last pattern I found so pleasurable or satisfying to knit. Bonnie has drawn inspiration from Squam Lake (where we met last year) for patterns like Deephaven and Rockywold, and here she describes another beautiful setting that creatively (and literally!) nourishes her.]

 

Although I have a studio (a spare bedroom), I can’t seem to confine my creative impulses to just one room. There’s work all over the house—sketchbooks on the dinner table, embroidery on the coffeetable, knitting projects on the sofa—even on the kitchen counter!

But my home is a private space, so I thought instead I’d write about one of my favorite places to work away from home: the Bookmill in Montague, Massachusetts (population 8,400), a former mill that houses a used bookstore, café, and restaurant, CD store, and artist studios.

1_Bookmill Exterior

 

2_Bookmill Interior

 

Quirky rooms awash in light pouring through big windows; comfy, well-worn furniture; an ever-changing selection of books and notecards; good WiFi—all this makes the Bookmill a favorite hangout for writers, artists, and other creative folk (and booklovers, too!)

 

3_Lady Killigrew Cafe_Peppernut Shawl
My Peppernut shawl artfully draped over a chair as I work on a pattern in the Lady Killigrew Café.

 

“Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find” is their marketing slogan. But it’s really not that hard to find. And the bookstore? Amazing! Lots of books I do need—I’ve found some great stitch dictionaries there.

 

4_Sweater in Progress_Bookmill

A sweater design in progress.

 

On sunny fall weekends, the Bookmill can be crowded. But I always find a nook or cranny where I can knit or embroider. When my eyes or hands need a break, I head into the Lady Killigrew Café for an iced tea or fresh salad. I love the view from the café windows and how peaceful and at ease I feel there—so much so I named a scarf pattern after it.

 

5_Lady Killigrew Lunch

Lunch at the Lady Killigrew.

 

As I stitch or knit while listening to the Sawmill River rush by, I find my mind quieting down—sometimes working there is like creating and meditating at the same time. It’s a beautiful place, and since I’ve been going there for seventeen years, it really does feel like a second home.

 

6_Embroidery at the Lady Killigrew

One of my daily embroidery pieces, in progress.

 

 

Where We Make is a weekly series on creative workspaces, appearing on Fridays. Read the submission guidelines here. If you’d like to contribute a profile of your own space, please email me at cometpartyATgmailDOTcom.

7 Comments to Where We Make: Bonnie Sennott

  1. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    November 1, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Lovely post! Such beautiful photos and I want to check this bookshop out now.

  2. November 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh how I miss knitting in coffee/bookshops! I used to do this regularly but just haven’t had the time recently. I am so behind on knitting projects. But you’re inspiring me to pick back up on them.

  3. November 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Now this is a beautiful place. If there were one similar to this in this corner of my world, I’d be a semi-permanent fixture.

  4. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    November 1, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Being creative in a bookstore/restaurant/cafe with a river rushing by sounds absolutely lovely!

  5. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    November 5, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I love the Bookmill! Just down the road.

  6. November 6, 2013 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Oh, the Book Mill is so charming!

    Camille, if it’s yours to share, would you mind to send me a high resolution pic of the photo with the couch and bookcase? Such a divine pic – I can almost feel the comfort and smell the books! I would love to frame it and add it too my bedroom gallery of inspiring pics.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.