Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Rainy Day

Yesterday as we approached St. Anthony I was very excited to see some (small) icebergs in the water.  I'd never seen an iceberg before and was struck by how very white and luminous they are.

We drove into town to register at Hotel North, and lost sight of them.

On the way to L'Anse Aux Meadows we saw them again, and farther on the way saw a whole lot of little, little pieces.  There was no place to safely pull off the road to get a picture, so I figured we'd catch them on the way back.  I did get this picture of what I'm calling "berglets" as they are very tiny fragments.  Closer to St. Anthony we turned left toward St. Anthony's Bight and were trying to find a place with a good view of the ice.

Unfortunately, the Dear One was finished for the day--headache, etc., so we gave up before we got a picture, saying we'd try again in the morning.

Today dawned dark and drizzly.  We drove to an overlook, but because of the fog could see nothing at all.  This was definitely a day for indoor activity, so we took ourselves to the "Grenfell Historic Properties" which is right in town here.  There's a lovely Interpretation Centre with excellent displays.

Dr. Wilfred Thomason Grenfell was an amazing person.  Born in England in 1865 he chose to be a doctor, and inspired by Dwight Moody he committed his life to serving God through the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.  In 1892 he came to the Newfoundland/Labrador coast and found his life's work, helping the impoverished fisher families along the isolated coast.

Full of energy and daring he set up hospitals, orphanages, schools, even a co-op trading post to try to help the fishermen escape their eternal indebtedness to the merchants who supplied them and took their catch in payment.  He married an American woman who was well connected in "society" and she, too, worked with enthusiasm in all his adventures.  Their impact on the lives of the coastal people can hardly be exaggerated.

One of their endeavours, particularly of Anna's, was to establish craft cooperatives to give the women a chance to earn some money also.  Their hooked rugs became immensely popular and sold very well through many outlets in England, Canada and the U.S.  They also produced very fine, hand-embroidered outerwear.  In fact, a new cloth, called Grenfell cotton, a 600 thread per inch fabric, was invented in response to Dr. Grenfell's request for protective clothing for the north country.

I visited the Gift Shop and saw the very well done handknits and hooked rugs.  When we were at the Gift Shop in Hawthorne Cottage I saw other beautifully knit mittens, hats, etc. and commented to the saleswoman, "That looks like Briggs and Little yarn!"  She gave a noncommittal reply.  Evidently she's not a knitter!  And here in the Gift Shop at the Grenfell Properties I noticed the same thing.

And then I saw BINS of Briggs and Little Yarns!  Wow!  At home I would have to order them over the internet, and here they were in volume and lots of gorgeous colours.  You have to be a knitter to understand my excitement over this.  And they were only $4.99 for four ounces!  I limited myself to four skeins, enough and more for two wonderful pair of wool socks.

Then, as a souvenir of Newfoundland I chose this lovely little (7 1/2" x 9") hooked rug.  The workmanship on these hooked rugs is marvelous.  And this little red house with the sky and seabirds in the background looked pretty typical to me.  I'll put this on our coffee table at home and remember Grenfell and his wonderful contributions to the wellbeing of the people on the Newfoundland / Labrador Coast.

Since it was still a rainy day, we didn't feel like going for a hike as we had planned, so we returned to our hotel for a quiet afternoon.  I used the time to continue knitting on my project for this trip: a pair of socks for Dear Daughter #2.  This is a Mary Maxim yarn made from 75% bamboo and 25% nylon in a colour called "Hibiscus."  This is a very fine yarn--32 stitches to 4 inches, so it's taking a long time to knit.  It's a pretty lace pattern that I'm enjoying, and it's only the second pair of socks that I've ever knit from the toe up.

There's another "Yarn Tale" connected to these socks that I had planned to blog earlier, but then my computer went down and took the yarn pictures with it.  Maybe they'll be back sometime in the future.

1 comment:

  1. ooohhh - I am sooooo jealous - you are having a Marvelous trip my friend -- you remind me so much of my dad and I when we travelled as a family unit. Dad & I would set the pace for the day with lots of preliminary seeking out info for the days adventures!! But you have seen so much in your stay on the Rock! Icebergs, lighthouses, B & B's rich in history, lots of interesting places researched and pleasantly detailed info to your fans -- this will be another of those things I MUST DO! Imagine growing up in the Maritimes and not going to NFLD.? I guess perhaps I would appreciate it more now though! My daughter loved it when she was there - she even got to become an honorary Newfie by being Screeched in! Bu screech is not for the faint of heart - it is a very strong, yes strong, Jamaican type rum that is part of the initiation. I can't wait to read your next post! Glad to see all these fabulous photos - and good descriptive tales of your days adventures! Enjoy the rest of your stay - I can't wait for the next instalment!