Previous month:
August 2004
Next month:
October 2004


Had a talk with Susan today and started getting all excited about ideas for new designs for next year.
I'm thinking about a cardigan trimmed with a series of dropped stitches side by side, caught up and twisted -- sort of inside-out hairpin-lace style, with the twist incorporating a novelty or ribbon yarn as its vertical element. Can't really imagine what it will look like, but it will be fun playing around with the idea. Who knows where it will lead. Right now I'm pretty psyched to do some designing in wool, but I know I need to come up with a few ideas for new cotton sweaters for next year, too.

Looking forward to setting up my knitting studio. I'm setting up a couple of standard gauge machines, one with a ribber, and a couple of bulky weight machines, again one with a ribber. I could also set up a machine with an automatic carriage on it to knit for me while I work on one of the other machines. It can't get set up quickly enough; I have four special orders in the back of my car and I also brought home some wool to make a few hats (after realizing that we only had TWO wool hats in stock and all the
knitters were already booked).

I got a bag of Zara, from Tahki/Stacy Charles (100% merino) to work with & evaluate in an attempt to replace the Jo Sharp wool. It is really nice, very soft, pretty nice to work with (it splits more than I like, but it feels great). I was concerned that it was a little too fine to fit the niche I wanted; I thought it leaned a little too much toward a sport gauge, but in working with it I find it is very versatile, producing a nice sport gauge while also able to support a worsted or maybe even an aran gauge as well. I crocheted a hat, scarf and mittens with it on an E hook, but right now I am knitting a seed stitch scarf on a 5.00 mm needle and it would do very well as a sweater fabric. So that just leaves the hand; it is very soft, which makes me wonder how much it would pill. I was just wanting that dense, round, firm feel of the Jo Sharp -- yarn with some heft to it. I think I will keep looking, but the Zara is a very good candidate if I can't find what I want. Heh, I still haven't found a good replacement for Florica, and how many years has that been? Oh well. The yarns, they come and they go. I won't even bring up my search for the Holy Grail: the cotton yarn I want for sweater production.

Isaac Evans Knitting Cruise 2004

I made it back home after four days of knitting and sailing -- What a great, great cruise this was! I say it every year, but it seems true every year too: this was the best knitting cruise ever! We had a great time. Wednesday was foggy and there were some swells to get through, but the knitters persevered and made progress on their work. A beginning knitter finished her first hat in just a few hours, which was pretty exciting (for her and me, anyway). We anchored near Stimson Island in the Little Thoroughfare (just off the Fox Island Thoroughfare) in Penobscot Bay and had a great lobster feast, with hot dogs & burgers for the non-crustacean eaters; there were the tastiest mussels I ever had and roasted corn, all followed by s'mores of course.

Thursday was rainy, but I love to sail in the rain. I was joined on deck by our own Anne from Vermont (Hi Anne!) and we weathered the storm quite well; the rest of the knitters made more progress on their knitting down in the galley or in the midships area below. It's a "Knitting Cruise" -- Anne and I figured we were doing the cruising part, and everyone else was doing the knitting part. :) Peggy worked diligently on a really pretty blue variegated yarn that she is using to create a Silver Creek pattern pullover. We anchored in Pulpit Harbor, one of Maine's most well protected harbors, to weather out the blow from the remnants of Hurricane Frances. There was a beautiful osprey in the huge nest at the entrance to that harbor.

We left Pulpit Harbor in sunshine on Friday morning and had an excellent day of sailing! As you can imagine, it was windy and we were able to go really fast. It was quite exciting. It's really fun watching the waves break over the bow and hearing the wind whistling and laughing in the sails. It was great. Since it wasn't raining, we were all able to enjoy the sailing while we worked on our projects. We even had a little impromptu race with another windjammer (I think it was the Lewis R. French) which was quite exciting. The French won the race to Gilkey's Harbor, but that just allowed Brenda to breeze past them, tack, and then make a dashing entrance back into the harbor, dropping the jib & foresails and the anchor all at once. Then there was a great evening sing-along and performance of a special windjammer song by the crew.

Saturday was bright and sunny and we enjoyed a totally blow-out brunch by a magical being named Eileen (currently disguised as cook on the Evans) and we knit our way slowly back to Rockland and the end of the cruise. I did dig out my spindle and spun some of Linda Diak's fab fiber in a lovely turquoise color, appropriate for cruising on Penobscot Bay. It was all so much fun.

Throughout the cruise there was unbelievably fabulous food, much sharing and learning, a great deal of laughter and bonding. And a LOT of knitting! And door prizes, many, many door prizes (are they "porthole prizes" on a boat?)..... actually, I think everyone won one. As a matter of fact, I do believe there were prizes left over. Maybe they'll make their way to Helen's Treasure Chest. :)

If you want to check out the Isaac Evans, their website is . You can call them toll free at 1-877-238-1325. Next year's schedule isn't finalized yet, but it's pretty safe to say the knitting cruise will be during the week after Labor Day next year.

You can visit my online photo album called: "Isaac Evans Knitting Cruise 2004":