Cruise Knitting and Why It Is Different

Filed in Point of View by on September 10, 2015 0 Comments

Assuming we are on schedule and weather hasn’t been an issue, today I will be visiting the Shetland Islands. It is part of the 17-day Knitting Cruise for which I am the teacher (sometimes this job is really awesome).

Shetland Lace

A few days ago I taught a class on Shetland Lace. Which to most people’s surprise is not nearly as complicated as they first believed! Some of the best “starter” patterns in lace are actually traditional Shetland patterns. On days we are at port, there are no classes, but instead we often have an option of a “knitting themed” excursion that is arranged by the folks at Craft Cruises.

Classes on Cruises Are Different Than Conferences

This my second time teaching for Craft Cruises. What I learned is that class time runs differently than what typically happens at a yarn shop, guild or other group knitting event. Everything runs just a bit slower. This was very disheartening at first, but once I realized that it wasn’t me, I was prepared to compensate. One a cruise, folks really are on vacation. The focus is to move away from stress.

So learning something new is a great way to spend the day when you are “stuck” on the ship, but everyone is still in relaxation mode. I have since confirmed this with several other teachers who have had similar experiences. Now that I know, I don’t plan on getting quite as far or sharing quite as much information. The knitting class is the bonus, the cruise is the primary focus.

Knitting After Hours

The travel knitting on a cruise is also different. Because we only have to unpack once, I find some folks are working on larger projects that what I typically see when at a conference event. There still is the challenge of luggage space, but because there is time to knit most evenings (mostly uninterrupted) folks tend to plan on more knitting.

That said, it still needs to be relatively straight-forward knitting. Often the group finds a location or two and claims it as their own each evening. Lots of conversations happen about the events of the day, what folks are working on and in most cases an adult beverage might be consumed.


On the last cruise I was knitting this shawl front cardigan with the shadow knitting design around the body. It is a much larger project than I would typically take as “travel” knitting, but it filled the bill perfectly. Some might consider this too difficult, but what is considered “straight-forward knitting” is definitely in the hands of the knitter and for me it was just right.

This time I am actively working on a stranded sweater project. Once again, some would call this challenging, but the pattern repeat is actually only 8 stitches, so each row can be memorized rather quickly. The knitting itself has its difficulties, but when I want a break I work on the sleeves which are much simpler in design.

Once I get back I will give you an update. But if you were cruising with me, what would you bring as your travel knitting?

Tags: , , , ,