Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cruise- The reason I was there in the first place

It's a pretty good gig when you land a job that gets you on a cruise ship to The Bahamas, but that's just what happened. The work-portion involved, as always, enthusiastic, genius students who put up with my babbling and mistakes. There was lots of laughter and a whole lot of fun.

The first night of the cruise had a Meet & Greet, where we got our Goodie Bags.

I had met a few of the other Knitterly Folk at other venues (primarily SAFF), but I met, and became fast friends with many others. We gathered in a lounge that was decorated with large replicas of cat food cans, tobacco tins, and a large aluminum tea pot and spoon. I have no idea why any of those were chosen, but they were fun.

Our Goodie Bags were stuffed with, well, goodies. In addition to a Friends and Fiberworks  (the wonderful yarn store that organized and hosted the cruise) tee shirt, bag, pen, name tag, and needle gauge, we all got a drawstring net bag with two (!) balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze with sequins and a Rowan instruction book, some other yarn (I got Brown Sheep superwash- enough for a pair of socks), and a shawl pattern written by Vithard, one of our teachers. We also got a few other goodies in the bags.

We all also got a big skein of this wonderful jumbo yarn, perfect for a soft hat.

There were also free drinks, and noshes. This marvelous plate of nibbles was amazing! My favorite was the shrimp in the canteloupe cup.

The next day was our first full day at sea, which was also our first day of classes.

My afternoon class had no takers, but the wonderful Mary, Ellen, and Doris joined me in the morning for Beaded Lace Mittens, during which we learned how to put beads into our knitting with wire, and how to read a lace chart. I learn as much from my students as they do from me, and we had a great time. (Note: this is not my photo- I borrowed it). And in case you wondered- the ocean was smooth as glass for most of the trip, and there were only small swells on our last day at sea- being on the water had absolutely no effect on the classes (except to make them feel more exotic).

The pictures I took of my second day of classes (the second full day at sea) didn't turn out, but trust me, Lisa, Mindy, and Cathy all steeked their doll-size sweaters beautifully!

One evening, inside on the Lido Deck, Ellen and Doris (from my class- THAT Ellen and Doris... hee)
 hosted a pajama party. I chickened out and did not wear my pjs (they're too shabby for public viewing), but many did. We knitted and spun and laughed and told stories about ourselves and each other. It was an absolute hoot. There were prizes, and if we got hungry, the bottomless ice cream machine was nearby. (Note: this is also not my photo, I borrowed it).

DeeAnn and I checked a different dining option when we registered (any time, rather than a specific time), so we ended up eating in a different dining room than the rest, but we all ran into each other constantly, on land and on the ship- if we didn't recognize each other on sight, the knitting needles were a sure giveaway.

One evening, we all gathered on the marble stairway in the lobby (on the Empress Deck) for a group photo. What an amazing and wonderful bunch of fibery women and men. I'm so lucky to have been a part of this adventure! The other people gathered at the railings are not watching us (though certainly some of them may have been)- they were in line, waiting for the dining room to open.

And guess what? There's going to be another adventure in March. I don't know yet if I'll be going, but here is the info. This first cruise was such a success, I am certain that the next one (on an even bigger ship, and longer at sea, visiting more tropical paradises) will be even better (if that is possible).

I want to go! And trust me, you do too!

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