I commit one of the seven deadly sins every June on one of our knitting cruises. We have a wonderful guest who comes with delicious knitted shawls and every year I COVET what she’s wearing. She wraps herself in gorgeous colors and luscious yarn and I want every. single. piece she’s created.
This means I have two choices. Surreptitiously sneak a shawl here or there into my cabin. (I mean, she probably wouldn’t miss it, right?) Or get busy.
So, I did the honorable thing (humph) and got busy. My first shawl was this one, called Authenticity, by Sylvia McFadden, who, it turns out is one of my favorite designers. It’s made with Cascade 220 Superwash Yarn in Doeskin Heather, which they have at Halcyon Yarn (our schooner pop-up store partners). I started using this yarn on a sweater which, turns out, no matter what I did, I reeeally disliked. The whole thing just looked like a sack on me and even strategizing with Mim, one of our fabulous knitting cruise instructors, did nothing to improve the level of flattery. I ripped it out and set the yarn aside in the closet for the emotion of intense dislike to drift away. Time truly does do wonders because when it came time to get busy with making my own delicious shawls, enough time had lapsed, and I came to love this yarn again.
If you read last Friday’s post, then you know that somewhere in there, Chloe had to have a handmade knit item from me as well. Don’t worry, fair is fair, and hers came in the middle of the two sets of socks knit for Ella.
Chloe’s hat, called the Baa-ble Hat because it has the most adorable sheep on it, was made with Quince and Co yarn purchased at our LYS, Over the Rainbow Yarn. Mim Bird, proprietor and knitter extraordinaire, is also the instructor of our June 8-11, Sheep to Shawl Maine Knitting Cruise, where we’ll get to see yarn from beginning to end. Beginning at Bittersweet Heritage Farm, we’ll see sheep shorn (That was fun to write!). We’ll then gather back at the Riggin for 4 days of spinning with Heather Kinne of Highland Handmades and knitting with Mim of the above-mentioned Over the Rainbow Yarn.
Back to the hat at hand, this super fun pattern was made with Quince and Co colors – Birds Egg; Split Pea; and Bark. (The white we already had on hand.) The pattern calls for the sheep feet and noses to be black, but we found that color to be way too stark with the rest of the palette. Even though the pattern is actually, at times, a four-color pattern, I found it to be really easy and approachable.
We are sailing away to knit and laugh together and you should come! Heather Kinne of Highland Handmades and I already got a good start on the laughing part when we filmed The Fiberista Files podcast together recently.
We begin with a sheep shearing and skirting demonstration at Bittersweet Heritage Farm and wind up back at the Riggin for dinner at anchor. Heather from Highland Handmades will also be joining the trip to lead a spinning demonstration where you’ll be able to spin your own fiber (roving and combtop provided) on a drop spindle. Mim Bird will be with us as well to help assess the yarn we’ve created and figure out how and what to knit with it.
Your yarn and your project will be individual… and as relaxing or as type-A as you’d like. This is a pretty special trip and all of the details are on the Riggin site.
On a sunny day in June, our Maine Knitting Cruise crowd took to the island armed with indigo dye and yarn. The process was magical, beautiful, creative, and a complete blast.
Below is the best of the process start to finish. Ending with the yarn hanging over the wood stove for a final dry. Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without an all you can eat Maine lobster bake too!
All of our trips are excellent and my favorite is always the one we are currently on. However, our most recent knitting cruise was memorable for a number of reasons:
– The youngest knitter so far – 12 years old
– The most number of men knitting (including one who was 16 years old). Does 16 count as ‘man’? Not really probably, but any way he was at the knitting just like everyone else.
– The most new knitters (some came on board not planning on knitting and some were beginners who booked with the express purpose of beginning a new hobby)
– Somewhere it must be said we had the most number of “tinked” projects (things that had to be ripped out and started again), but hey, lots of beginners ups that ante and there was no shortage of laughter and camaraderie in the process.
– Maine’s fastest knitter was with us and knitting her heart out.
Thank you, as always, to the fabulous Bill Huntington for his knowledge, humor and gift of the craft of life through knitting. We are looking forward to seeing you again in July.
Our next knitting cruise still has space! Mim Bird, knitting Queen, will be on board to for the newest to the most experienced of knitters. If you aren’t a knitter, come join us for a short sail anyway, knitters are a fun bunch to share time with.
Last weekend over 40 of us gathered together with sewing needles and yarn to sew 141 knitted squares into blankets. It was a short two and a half weeks from first knitted square to blankets (except for Iris, who began knitting squares when she heard the words “knit-a-thon”). You go, girl!
Many, but not all, of the squares were knit on board the Riggin this summer, with donated Hope Spinnery yarn, with the express purpose of sewing them into blankets to be given away. And then in the world of no coincidences, viola, enter the Knit-a-Thon in support of Ashwood Waldorf School! And it’s not too late to pledge and be entered for the J. & E. Riggin Knitting Cruise trip for two raffle. Tomorrow’s the last day!
The blankets are beautiful and will go to New Hope for Women to hopeful embrace a woman or child who is in dear need of some tenderness and warmth. I’m so grateful to live within this terrific community.