I have just returned from a fabulous Stitchtopia knitting cruise, organised by Arena Travel, teaching continental knitting, two-handed Fair Isle/stranded knitting and steeking. We travelled with 22 ladies, some of whom also enjoyed crochet workshops with Sara Huntington, editor of Simply Crochet.
Our guests came mainly from the UK and USA – two, Gail and Ruth, had travelled with me to the Faroes in 2016 and it was lovely to see them again.
We had a glorious time and the weather was definitely on our side. I think I probably ate too much but I did also get up early to go to the gym on our ship, The Columbus. I have never done a cruise of this kind and it was an experience. I was fascinated by how well the ship was run, from the cabin stewards to the restaurants. Just amazing.
Our first stop was at Orkney where we visited the historic buildings. I loved the tiles in the cathedral – definitely a source of inspiration.
Then it was off to the Faroes, where we met up with our driver from last year, John, who took us to Navia to buy yarn, which made our guests very happy. Then we had a wonderful, traditional Faroes lunch of fish stew in the home of a delightful couple.
Then the highlight of the tour for me – my first visit to Shetland.
We swung by Wilma Malcolmson’s and saw some of her amazing Fair Isle designs. on the right you can see all the different combinations you can get from just one palette. We also met her very talented grand daughter Terri Laura.
Of course, no visit to Shetland would be complete without a visit to the Textile Museum and Jamieson’s of Shetland, where I over-imbibed on yarn. Don’t ask my how many balls I bought but I defy you to be able to resist when you are confronted with their wall of colour.
As we waited for our tender to take us back to the ship this friendly seal stopped by to have a wee peak at us.
Next stop Invergordon where there were tours to Inverness, Cullloden and the Glenmorangie distillery. I didn’t take a trip but wandered around the town – it’s not very nice IMHO, but the skies were dramatic.
Puku, my lovely cabin steward treated me to a variety of animals, one each day, made out of folded and rolled towels. This monkey is my favourite.
Jane Crowfoot is taking this cruise next year but it has already sold out. I will be teaching on a river cruise to the Christmas markets in December. Perhaps you will be able to join me?