Shop Talk : Snuggle up
Have you felt it? The cool breeze of fall trying to sneak in early. I bet you have already reached for a sweater to fight off the evening chill. It's time to go shopping for a warm, stylish and long-lasting sweater before those cool breezes turn to cold winds.
If you would like a handmade, "Island grown" sweater, visit Allen Farm Sheep & Wool Company on South Road in Chilmark or Island Alpaca off the Edgartown/Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs. Allen Farm's Gift Shop, just past the pastures, offers beautiful sweaters hand-knit with Island wool ($475) along with hand-dyed yarn woven into throws ($295) and scarves starting at $85. For anyone who is outside a lot in winter what could be better than some Ibex Woolies (long wool underwear).
Island Alpaca offers a 100% Alpaca Classic Crew ($139) or a Baby Alpaca Cardigan ($139) sweater, along with several other fantastic selections. While there, you can find coordinating Alpaca hats, scarves, mittens and even some cozy slippers. Make sure when shopping at both of these working farms, that you bring the young ones and leave time to visit with the animals. Another wonderful feature at Island Alpaca is the opportunity to learn how to spin your own Island-grown yarn. Check with owner Barbara Ronchetti, 508-693-5554.
If you want to take up a practical hobby and try making your own sweater, stop by Heath Hen Yarn & Quilt Shop in the Tisbury Market Place off Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. They have a large selection of yarn, needles and everything else required to make the most head-turning sweaters. Even more helpful, they offer lessons in how to actually knit the sweater - which makes it a "no experience required" endeavor.
If you're looking for a store option where they have everything from cotton to cashmere, try Sweaters Etc. on Winter Street in Edgartown, dedicated to warming you up with a wide variety of sweaters from South Cotton to Saint-James. They have everything from zippered to large button cardigans and print to solid pullovers.
And for those who want a quick in-and-out solution, just about every clothing store on the Island has started displaying their fall merchandise, so stop by and keep warm.