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When traveling, whether in real life or in an armchair, wouldn’t it be nice to have a knitter tell you where the good spots are?

That’s the idea behind this series. We’re kicking off A Knitter’s Weekend (on a Monday, as it happens), with this piece by Gale Zucker. A professional photographer, Gale documents “Real People in Real Places.” She’s been everywhere, and knit everywhere, especially on the east coast of the United States. Today she’ll show us a good time in midcoast Maine. 

Kay and Ann

Maine is a magical, fog-bound, wool-wearing place, stretching out of the northeast corner of the USA. There’s a long rocky coast. There are islands, piney forests, and north Atlantic winds that call for handknits, pretty much year round. Maine is home to knitwear designers, yarn makers, and sheep farms. There’s an appreciation of making by hand, and use of natural materials. It’s my kind of place. For this short visit, I’m mid-coast, with knitting on the horizon.


Nature here on the coast, untouched or intersecting with humans, gets me jonesing for local color combinations. The blue/green/steely gray of the water itself draws me, then there’s the bright ping of lobster traps, or the acid-colored seaweed on gray rocks.

Spragues Lobster, Wiscasset ME Nash island shearing Nash island shearing

The color combos of sun-bleached lobster pot markers! Seaweed and lichen! The yarn I brought with me seems too tame and citified. I want a new project, and I want some Maine-inspired wool.

Yarn Shopping

Midcoast Maine means driving along Route 1, twisting through villages, over  bridges and by coves. I start in Bath. My first stop is Halcyon Yarns, just before crossing the bridge northward.

Hacyon Yarn, Bath Maine

The shop is large, the vast selection is well organized, the staff friendly.

Hacyon Yarn, Bath Maine

Halcyon Yarn is a haven for hand spinners, weavers and felters, not just knitters.

Hacyon Yarn, Bath Maine

Or knittahs, as a Mainer would say.

Hacyon Yarn, Bath Maine

Best of all, Halcyon stocks earthy Maine and New England yarns in seemingly every color way, on cones and in skeins. Bartlett Yarns, Peace Fleece, Harrisville Designs and Romney Ridge are all present. Great hearty sweater samples tempt a locally inspired cast on.  

While You’re in Bath

Visit the Maine Maritime Museum to learn all about the ship building, sailing  and lobstering history.

Maine Maritime Museum
243 Washington Street
Bath, Maine

Sit. Knit. Eat Lobster.

One bridge and a short drive north is Wiscasset. Signs claim that it’s the prettiest village in Maine—which seems kind of braggy—but maybe it’s true. Shops and historic homes line Main Street, inviting me to stroll by, or peep in. But I am not here to peep or stroll! I am here to eat lobster, and knit for a while.  

Spragues Lobster, Wiscasset ME

On the north end of Main Street, on the tidal Sheepscot River, is Reds Eats. Reds has famous lobster rolls and equally famous long lines. My choice, instead, is lobster on the dock, at a picnic table, at Spragues, across the street. I knit while watching the tide roll in, soaking up the local vibes, along with the butter.

Spragues Lobster, Wiscasset ME


Sprague’s Lobster
22 Main Street
Wiscasset, Maine


Reds Eats
41 Water Street
Wiscasset, Maine


Next day, north to Rockland, the artsy town on the south side of Penobscot Bay. It’s got plenty to keep me busy.

Rockland Maine shopping

I spy the sign that, in four letters, plainly signals I am amongst my people. It is on the side of the building housing Over the Rainbow Yarns.

Over the Rainbow Yarns
18 School Street
Rockland, Maine

Next, I head to Clementine, on Main Street, and surrender to Making. That’s right, with a capital M. Owner Leah Ondra greets all with her infectious smile.

Rockland Maine shopping

There’s no doubt you’ll find a wonderful project in this apparel fabric boutique and modern haberdashery. There’s a good chance it will be a sewing project, but it could just possibly be wool felt, or embroidery, or oil cloth tote bags or fabric-covered journals. All are displayed in a way so irresistible, so well chosen and presented, that you must make it. Leah’s Pinterest boards are lovingly filled with ideas for making and crafting, as well as tutorials and resources.

Rockland Maine shopping

Hot tip: Clementine sells sewing patterns from indie designers often found only online, and has sewn samples to try on. I slip some on, to figure out if the pattern works for me. Brilliant!

Rockland Maine shopping Rockland Maine shopping Rockland Maine shopping

(Editors’ note: the mittens pictured above are the Kanagawa Mittens by Kirsten Kapur.)

But I am not here to make clothes, or totes, or cool looking aprons, though sorely tempted. I am here because Clementine is the only retail outlet for Starcroft Yarn, spun in a tiny mill owned by Jani Estell, Leah’s mom. The yarn is springy soft and dyed beautiful colors. It’s all from sheep that live on Nash Island, according to a Maine tradition. The only decision left is choosing between Nash Light (worsted weight), Tide (sport/dk- very Shetland/colorwork friendly) or Fog–a fluffy fingering/sport weight with a bit of angora blended in.

428 Main Street
Rockland, Maine

Inspiration and Shopping Supporting a Good Cause

Next, a short walk to the Island Institute, a nonprofit that “works to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities.”

Archipelago is the Island Institute’s double storefront showcasing island artists and makers. 

Rockland Maine shopping

The art gallery is on the left side. This being Maine, the art is as likely felted wool as oils and canvas. Nature plays a big role, in theme and in media.

Rockland Maine shopping Rockland Maine shopping

To the right is a fine crafts shop. I linger over smooth sea stone buttons and earrings, cuff bracelets from tidal maps, and modern glasswork. There’s a section of traditional handknit children’s sweaters: perfect gifts. No one needs to know I didn’t knit them myself . . . oh, I’m sorry, did I say that out loud?

If you can’t get to Rockland in person, Archipelago has an impressively well-indexed website for online shopping.  

Archipelago/The Island Institute
386 Main Street
Rockland, Maine

Island View Knitting

This trip is too short for a windjammer cruise, though Rockland is the largest port for the graceful schooners. Still, it would be wrong to leave without some time on the water.

A bag of Fog skeins in hand, I jump aboard a ferry leaving Rockland for the islands of Matinicus, Vinalhaven and/or North Haven. Excursion fares offer a roundtrip boat ride on Penobscot Bay—perfect for winding yarn and casting on—with time allowed to hop off and walk around an island until the next ferry.  

Nash island shearing


A Note About A Knitter’s Weekend

Each piece in our series A Knitter’s Weekend is written by a knitter with local knowledge and a personal point of view. If you have additional places or information you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it—please leave a comment. And if you have plans to visit Maine, be sure to save this article in your MDK account


About The Author

With a degree in photojournalism from the University of Minnesota, Gale Zucker has made a career of capturing the humanity and humor in the people and places that are her subjects.


  • I love this feature!

  • O I miss Maine…actually, all of New England..I’m a displaced Rhode Islander!

    • So am I, stuck in the desert in Arizona. Oh, how I miss New England!

    • I left Rhode Island almost 20 years ago and still miss it. The food the yarn and the beaches during winter.

  • Thank you, thank you! My Maine roadtrip list is now underway!

    • Next time see more of the midcoast and visit The Cashmere Goat in Camden and Heavenly Socks in Belfast.

  • So, so beautiful. In my dreams this is where I’ve always wanted to visit from the UK, Thank you for this wonderful new feature, for all of us arm/wheel chair travellers! Gale’s pictures, as always, inspire and delight, capturing the wonderful light and colours.

  • Those mittens – do they have a name? (she says longingly)

    • My thoughts exactly. Thank you for finding them for us all!


      Here they are — the motivated knitter can find them 😉

      • Thank you! They were calling to me….

      • Gorgeous!

      • They are lovely. I think that I need a new project!

  • Oh what a wonderful weekend!
    Did I mention how jealous I am???

  • Oh goodness, I want to get on a plane to Maine and EAT LOBSTER now!! How mouth-watering the whole post is. 🙂

  • Oh, I miss New England too! I grew up on the coast of CT and spent a number of years in Maine after college. My yearly visits back just aren’t enough.
    And the lobster….wonderful. I like my local Maryland crabs, but there is nothing in the world like Maine lobster on the dock.
    Thank you for reminding me.

  • Love Maine, been to Halcyon many times but love having more places to visit on my next trip!

  • Ahhhhhhhhh….I miss Maine. Thank you!

  • And just a bit farther in Camden is The Cashmere Goat – right on the water. If I remember correctly, there is also a Swans Island Shop.

  • Oh this is wonderful!

  • Thanks for this great review of the many yarn “fix” locations in Coastal Maine .
    I plan to see many of these in the near future, what a great place to live.
    Keep the travel reviews coming

  • What a great feature and Maine what’s not to love!!!

  • Love, love, love this feature. I am in sales (southern New England)- so I am always out and about looking for new yarn shops. This feature is awesome. I love how she adds good eats, museums and shops. ❤️❤️

  • Great feature! I long to return to Maine; it’s been decades. In the meantime, your new feature makes me want to try to approach my own local knitting stores with a traveler’s enthusiasm.

  • Thanks for the memories. Grew up in Bangor and headed that way tomorrow from Texas for a family wedding. Hope I have time to visit some of these places. Sue.

  • Love the new travelogue feature. I have always wanted to visit Maine and now, thanks to Gale, I know just where to visit.

  • This is a beautiful post! I am taken away by the images of sights and sounds and the lovely inspiration for knitting. Thank you!

  • I want to go, now!
    Seriously, this is a much needed feature. I am looking forward to more of the same, please. Who among us doesn’t love a roadtrip with yarn?!

    • Hear, hear!

  • How lovely to have been in Maine for a while, just checking out the yarn shops and local scenery! Perfect time of year for it, too. Ahhhhhh!

  • I love this new idea/feature! We have been discussing a Maine road trip (trying to keep a newly retired husband busy while maintaining my knitting time) and this post is a sign that we need to go! Thank you 😉

  • Starcroft! The “pop up” yarn shop that Kay told us about in January of last year. I thought the name was familiar. At the time, I wasn’t able to go; now am kicking myself for that all over again…

  • Oh Gale, you have just planned a girls only trip for next fall! Beautiful photos (as always) and some of my favorite places to visit.

    • Thanks Dianne! xox

  • Finally really relevant travel guidance!

  • Love this series! Keep it up. Heading to Dayton Beach in a week. Any suggestions?

  • Charming article and photographs! There are so many places to visit on the Mid-Coast, and Swans Island yarns in Northport is one I would add to the itinerary. Visitors can see watch blankets being hand-loomed — and factory outlet for their yarn!!

  • Loving the new site and this is a great feature! I had the pleasure of visiting Halcyon and Over the Rainbow in August with my dearest knitting friends. We had great fun cuddling (and buying!) so much gorgeous yarn. Maine is wonderful and the lobster is not the only attraction.

  • Does anyone know the name of the pattern for the sweater in the Halcyon Yarns photo? I love the yoke pattern!

    • Hi Susan, I didn’t catch it while I was there, but I bet you could call them and ask.

      • Halcyon Yarns got right back to me with the information about the sweater. For anyone else who’s fallen in love with it, it’s “Loki” from Lopi Volume 34. (Halcyon has copies in stock – the book has lots of other great patterns, too!)

  • I’m dying over here! I love Mid-coast Maine more than any place on earth. For about 12 years, our precious two-week summer vacation was spent at a cottage on the coast near Damariscotta. When I read your headline and the description of the post, I said to my husband “Halcyon Yarn! I know this is going to be about Halcyon!” Many an hour have I spent there perusing patterns and cruising the aisles squeezing yarn. Except for the island tour, I’ve been to every place she mentioned (and bought yarn at every one, of course). My cousin’s wife in New Hampshire raised sheep for Harrisville Yarns, and I’ve got a Swan Island shawl on the needles right now. Life has taken me to Portland, OR (home of MANY delicious yarn stores), but my heart will always be in Maine.

  • This is such a good idea for a series. I enjoyed this one very much. Please consider including a little state map with the location of each shop marked on it.

  • Lovely article Gail. Captured all that wonderful woolly Maine feeling.

  • Just love this travel feature! One of my very best yarncentric trips was to coastal Maine. On the way to Rockland, I encourage anyone following Carrie Bostick Hoge of Madder to stop in her workshop in Brunswick.

    Looking for some added R&R in Rockland, particularly if you want to splurge? Consider staying at LimeRock Inn, a fabulous B&B with the best gourmet breakfasts I’ve ever eaten! Too much knitting and in need of neck, shoulder and hand massage? Synergy Massage is total zen right in downtown Rockland. Then if you are willing to travel a short distance outside of town, there is Prime, a farm to table restaurant that grows 90% of its meat and produce and sources seafood in Rockland right off the boats. It’s a must visit for foodies but not inexpensive.

    A short distance north in Northport is Swan Island Yarns nestled in a beautiful antique farmhouse. Confused about sizing? They keep store samples on hand in various sizes to assist customers like me who can’t determine fit or imagine how they’d look in the finished garment.

    Last but not least, if you’re heading further north and looking for that special handdyed yarn, there is String Theory in Blue Hill, Maine. If it’s a nice sunny day, you may see a rainbow of luscious colored hanks drying on clotheslines behind their converted farmhouse.

    Happy travels!

  • Gale Zucker is right on the money. Her creative sense reflects in all her outlets. From photography and capturing the moments, to her love of color and fiber arts. She is one talented woman that should be followed as well as hired for your next creative project. She has experience that she happily shares when you’re ready to embark on your next project. From the corporate world to the boats off Swan Island transporting sheep for the season, Gale is one treasure to find with talent and humility and integrity.

    • Agree, agree, agree!!!!

  • thank you so much – I live about 2 hours from the midcoast… nice to know I do a day getaway there…

  • Such a pleasurable read!

  • Love this article. Also, what pretty yarns!

  • This post was wonderful — just like a little vacation to New England without having to pack or travel! Thank you for sharing it.

  • Gale! Because of her fab photos and descriptions, this native Californian wants to visit Maine, a place I’d never thought about visiting! Thanks!

  • Only visted Maine once in my life. Wish I’d had this information then. I plan on visiting the website to make me feel better about missing out all those years ago.

  • This is a SUPER feature! Thanks!

  • This is a beautiful and inspiring piece and very timely — we’re headed to Rockland (from Portland) for a little jaunt tomorrow. Just a word of caution to visitors over the next several months, they’ve started a huge construction project on the viaduct in Bath and you should call Halcyon before you go for advice on the best way to get to their job. it is WELL worth any detour!

    • Um, that should have been “get to their SHOP”.

  • You’re making me wish it were summer and we were up in Maine again! Reds Eats is ok — tried it once, but have no clue why people are so into that place. The main thing we know is that it causes those major traffic problems to Boothbay! Nice to know that Sprague’s is good — we always wondered. Love Clementine! The one time I was there, I didn’t realize that the yarns were from Starcroft or that the owner was Starcroft’s daughter! So cool! Thanks for all the places mentioned — there are one or two we haven’t been to yet.

  • Wonderful! Seeing things through Gale’s eyes is always a pleasure!

  • Great article….makes me want to go now! (bucket list)

  • I have had the good fortune to visit most of these places the last few summers. These exqusite photos really capture the special beauties of mid-coast Maine. Thanks you for the mini trip back there!

  • This could be dangerous!!

  • love the article

  • I love this! More! More!

  • Such a lovely spot on view of mid coast Maine and so evocative I feel like I just got back home from exploring there. Thank you Gale. Halcyon is a stop for us on our trips up Rte 1 and they also carry Swans Island Yarns. A walk and shop in charming down town Bath is also worthwhile. We love Spragues who have a world music soundtrack playing while you eat and enjoy the ambiance of the deck. Tasty.

  • Love this new feature! Any idea what the pattern is for the shawl pictured from Clementine?

  • My poor guys have sat in the parking lot at Halcyon many times… I take advantage of their sleepiness and sunburned selves by timing the trip home ib order to pass by Halcyon when they are open. ❤

  • My sister and I (and our husbands) visited mid-coast Maine a couple of years ago. LOVED IT!! Stayed in Bayside, near Belfast, on Penobscot Bay. HEAVEN!!! Now I’m knitting with my yarn from Good Karma Farm which is made in Belfast. The colors of Dragon Fly Eye remind me of the water and that great trip. The yarn is as fabulous as Maine and I highly recommend it!

  • Reading the article (and all these comments), I’m feeling very fortunate to call Maine home.

  • Oh, I am ready to go. Thank you, Gale, for a most delightful trip

  • The “YARN” sign on the side of our building has become a landmark around Rockland, and we’re glad it helped you find your way. We’re also very friendly and collegial with Leah at Clementine and love the yarn and fiber she gets from her mom. And just in case you all planning a trip to Maine would like to know it, we have a wide selection of Maine made yarns as well as national commercial brands, and more classes and events than any other yarn shop in the state. There’s always something going on and so much to see, feel and knit. You can find us at While you’re right here in Rockland, we do hope you’ll all pop in.

  • What a great segment. Can’t wait to read the next one. Have put Maine visit on my to-do-list to check out these spots.

  • I am already looking at maps to plan a trip exactly like this. We went to Maine a few years ago but we didn’t get to the coast as much as inland. We traveled to New Sweden to attend Midsommar. If you’ve heard of Caribou it is located beyond that. It is an original Swedish settlement still alive and celebrating Swedish traditions.

    Thank you for sharing this trip and the beautiful blues and grays of Maine colored landscapes and yarn!!❤

  • You forgot Tess Designer Yarns in Portland. The most gorgeous hand-dyed yarns going.

  • beautiful article and pictures. reader had great idea-post a small map with yarn shops hi-lited that
    were featured. look forward to saturdays and my next trip……the yarns are gorgeous and pictures
    are incredible.

  • So exciting I am going to plan a trip in the spring

  • I love this article! thank you!

  • Beautiful!

  • Great piece and photos ! Makes me want to go to Maine, today. Where are we going next?!? And I am totally buying some Fog yarn

  • Lovely feature. Could we have a map?

  • Thank you so much for this simple and clean view of Maine and Knitters.
    Although I’m a long-time knitter, the only time spent in Maine, was riding a century bike ride (100 miles in one day) along the coast.
    Living in Denver now, I so wish that I could have stayed.
    The money raised from the bike ride was approximately $9000.00 from my donors, alone.
    If they only knew that I wanted to stop, knit and eat a lobster roll…

  • Oh, Gale, your words and photos are so elegantly eloquent. Do go on, please!!!

  • Gorgeous photography. All you had to say was knitting and eat lobster!!

  • I really enjoyed this, I read the Lobster Chronicles a few years ago and would love to visit this area. Maybe next summer?

  • I absolutely love this idea- it’s so inspiring! I have been dreaming up a fiber filled trip to Maine for quite some time and will hopefully go this summer! I’ve book marked this post so I can follow your itinerary when I go:)

  • What a great site! So glad I found it.

  • Love reading all the love notes about Maine, as it’s now my home. Mid coast is wonderful, and Maine abounds with so many fiber-y destinations. Before traveling, check out Maine Fiberarts at a nice gallery, fiber tour ideas and news. Maine has several fiber festivals, fiber camp and fiber retreats, operating historic mills and more. Can you tell I love it here?!? And don’t get me started on lobster and clam shacks!!

  • For anyone just seeing this in 2018, Maine now has a yearly summer “Yarn Cruise” Most of the shops mentioned here are included. Door prizes and other benefits. You can check it out at the link above. Includes a map of the shop locations.

  • Unfortunately, Over the Rainbow no longer exists. But a wonderful shop, Mother of Purl, has opened in Freeport.

  • As I was reading the article, I could not help but wonder if you had a list of knitting retreats for the rest of 2023? Would appreciate the information. Thank you.

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