We sailed on the Norwegian Pearl from Seattle, WA for our cruise of the Inside Passage of Alaska. Something we noticed as we were going through the boarding process (which is similar to going through security at an airport for almost 3000 passengers) was a boarding line with a small sign saying “Welcome knitting group.” We wondered what that was all about. It didn’t take long after boarding for us to see why there was a special line just for them – they were everywhere! They all wore purple lanyards and some had canvas bags and/or sweatshirts with “Stitch and Sail” on the them. Found out they were all part of the group from “Stitch and Sail to Alaska with Debbie Macomber
“. All 300+ of them. I’m not sure if that number included the non-knitting spouses or not, though there were couples where both were knitters or at least worked with fiber.
And yes, Debbie Macomber
was on board, though I don’t think I ever saw her.
Throughout the cruise you would see individuals as well as groups of knitters in all areas of the ship. They had classes going on in different locations during the cruise, and, I understand, special events just for them. Like me some would bring their work with them while they waited for a show to start or while listening to some of the live entertainment that was available, as well as just relaxing around the ship. For some reason a lot of people thought I was with the group, I suppose because the uneducated couldn’t tell what I was doing other than something with “yarn”.
Having breakfast in the Garden Cafe. Check out the lady behind me.
I met Priscilla and Linda, both from the state of Washington (different cities), and asked about the many knitters aboard. We had a nice chat out on the deck about knitting, the cruise, and tatting. Both ladies do many of the fiber arts. Priscilla’s mother taught her knitting, embroidery and crochet, then she learned needle tatting later when she had her own yarn shop so she would to be able to answer questions about it. Linda’s grandmother taught her to knit when she was a child. She has made items from fiber she’s carded, spun and knitted (pretty much doing everything right from the sheep’s back except to actually sheer it). She also knits very fast. A special yarn and shawl pattern were made just for the cruise, and only a few days out Linda was already done with her shawl and was now on to other things.
I met Andy one evening in the Atrium. Both he and his wife knit and came on the cruise together.
He was working on a baby blanket for a grandson due in a few months. He and his wife are owners of “All Strung Out,” a yarn shop in Ontario, Canada.
The Atrium was a nice place to relax and people watch. There was usually some kind of entertainment going on at one end, customer services had desks at the other end, and a lot of people going through from one place to another. I think I spent some time there almost every day, usually with tatting in hand and usually not the only one working with fiber of some kind. I really enjoyed having all those knitters on board and felt a kinship with them, even if I don’t knit.
“When people see me knitting, I tell them I’m a knitter. Not the sort of knitter they may have run into before, but a passionate, constant, deliberate knitter. I knit everyday, all the time, everywhere I go.”