[Bonnie Sennott is an artist and knitwear designer living in Amherst, Massachusetts. She blogs about her creative work at Blue Peninsula. You 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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.