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She expanded it to create a spacious, multi level, rambling chalet with two gathering and living areas, three kitchens and a window surrounded addition on stilts for knitting workshops. The rooms are furnished with beautiful antiques and a lifetime collection of art. There are baskets and shelves of wool, artfully displayed, throughout the house, which are not according to Christa, a stash, but insulation! Decks and balconies, often occupied by knitters in action, surround the house, providing stunning views of sunsets over the beach in front, and a wild-flower strewn meadow at the back. The meadow is edged by dense pine forest from which deer wander into view in the evenings. A patch of seasonal flowers, a driftwood sculpture and small water feature attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
The island has no paved roads other than a landing strip for small planes. It has miles of dirt roads that tunnel through dark pine forest and more open stretches of beech trees. It boasts a one room school house, a town hall, a fire department and cozy country restaurant that serves, among other things, great pizzas and ice-cream
As we strolled round the west side of the island, Shelby pointed out that the house numbers depict the year in which they were built. Stretched out across the road from the beach, they range from ornate Victorian villas with gingerbread decoration and spacious lawns, to modest cabins. Inhabitants on the east and west sides of the island rarely interacted until Christa began Wednesday knitting circles at Insel Haus, which is midway along the beach. The knitting evenings, very different from her more formal and instructive workshops for serious knitters, became so popular that they developed into crafts-of-all-kinds- evenings. Non-crafty individuals now also tag along for drinks and conversation! These are now anticipated social occasions to which island visitors are also welcome.