Mick and I went on an Alaskan cruise last week.
drill 
The photo above was taken during the mandatory safety drill that happens after everyone is on the ship.

It was the second Alaskan cruise we’ve taken.  As far as cruises are concerned, Alaska is probably one of your better destinations.  The scenery is absolutely spectacular.

glacier

Plus, it’s kind of fun to be on the ship, especially if you pretend you’re on an episode of The Love Boat.  There’s plenty to eat and drink at all hours of the day, there’s a spa, and there’s fun things to do in the ports of call.
flight 

Still, after doing it twice, I can honestly say I have no need to do it again.  There are aspects of cruising that are a bit generic, for lack of a better term.  First of all, it is very shopping oriented, almost offensively so.  There is a “shopping advisor” on board whose job is to direct passengers to all the “good” shopping both at the ports of call and onboard the ship.  Most of this shopping is for jewelry, not for the cool handmade kind, but for stuff you can get in any jewelry store in any mall in the country.  Supposedly it’s cheaper, but it didn’t seem all that inexpensive to me.  Then there’s the art auctions, the two-for-$39.99 watches, the chain-sold-by-the-inch… so many opportunities to waste some cash.

Don’t get me wrong–there was never a consumer born who could out-consume me–it’s just that there’s only so much of that sort of thing that even I can take.

But lest you think I didn’t find anything to spend some money on, I did find a couple of very cool things to purchase.  In Juneau, there was an art gallery-type store than had some very cool handmade-in-Alaska things.  I got this gorgeous bowl that has a very pretty glaze on it–the entire collection was beautiful and I had a hard time picking just one piece:

juneau_bowl

Even more exciting, I happened upon a yarn store in Prince Rupert Island, Canada, where they had some lovely hand-dyed-in-Canada yarns:

canada_sock_yarn 
The multi-colored yarn is self-patterning, as you can see by this small swatch:

canada_sock_yarn_swatch
I couldn’t wait to get started on a pair of socks with this stuff, so I chose this Basic Ribbed Sock pattern and spent most of Saturday and Sunday happily knitting and watching Weeds on Video on Demand.

canada_sock_yarn_basicribsock
My plan is to make a lacy or cable pair of socks with the green wool, which I think will look marvelous.  I haven’t chosen the pattern yet, but here are a few options:

Baudelaire
More Fun Than Cables
Mirabella

5 Replies to “Adventure-in-Alaska”

  1. Morgan says: July 23, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    I love the socks! I can’t believe you made those. I have been looking through this knitting book I got at the library and I don’t think I will ever be able to make anything like socks. Right now I’m just practicing different stiches by making dish rags. So far I can gater, stockenette, and checkerboard.

  2. Holly says: July 23, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Silly, of course you will make socks if you want to. Just keep practicing and challenging yourself and soon you will have socks coming out of your ears.

  3. Ashley13 says: July 25, 2007 at 9:03 am

    I recently stumbled across your blog and I love it! Those socks are adorable. I’ve never actually knit a pair of socks, but I’ve made many pairs of fingerless gloves and a Christmas stocking knit on two needles. Would you say that ribbed sock pattern is suitable for someone who has never knit a pair of socks?

  4. Holly says: July 25, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Hi Ashley!
    If you knit the fingerless gloves on double pointed needles, then I think you’d be able to knit this sock pattern for sure. For me that’s the only fiddly bit–even though I’ve used DPNs many times before, I’ve never used such small ones. It’s not hard, but it took a tiny bit of practice for me. As for the other stuff, if you know how to pick up stitches, increase, and decrease, this should be a good pattern for you. Have you seen http://knittinghelp.com? It is a great resource and can help if you have any questions with specific techniques.

  5. Antoinette says: July 30, 2007 at 11:57 am

    DANG!!! I’m gone for one weekend and you crank out the blog!!!
    Love the socks. That’s interesting what you said about the shopping on a cruiz. Good for you for spending your money on hand-made items. The bowl and yarn are both just stunning. I love it!!!

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