Thursday, June 21, 2007

One More Project Completed

This wasn't a UFO, but one I needed to complete. This is a baby cardigan in Cotton Ease from the Knitting Pure and Simple top down pattern. One of my daughter's college friends is having a baby boy next month, and my daughter requested a sweater.
This pattern is so quick and easy to do. The sweater seemed sort of plain until I added train buttons, so I hope the new mom likes it.
I bought a bag of three skeins of Cotton Ease at Tuesday Morning on clearance, and I have enough to do another cardigan like this and probably a hat or two.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Alaska - More About the Cruise

I have had a lot of questions about the cruise. We went on Holland America, on the Amsterdamm. This was our first cruise, so I don't have any comparisons, but we were very happy with this ship. As you can tell from the picture on the bow, I am not altogether comfortable on a ship. In fact, I normallly really hate being on water, but this was a very pleasant experience. This picture was taken the first time I went out on the bow. After this, the bow became one of our favorite places unless we were at speed, because we could see so much. It was really great to be out there when we were coming into a harbor because it was quiet and we could see so much of the places we were going.
This ship was one of the smaller ones, holding around 1300 passengers. This is what we were looking for - we didn't want to be with hordes, and we didn't want to be in a perpetual party. This cruise tends to attract older people (older than we are!), so we thought it would be more sedate, which it was. That doesn't mean there weren't things to do on the ship, but there wasn't a rock wall, wave pool, no big bar/dance places. They had games, competitions, some sports things, shows, etc., but the second picture shows our favorite place which was the library although I didn't get a lot of reading done because I was watching the scenery go by and watching for whales most of the time.
Our room was very comfortable, the food was good, and the crew was great. We really had the trip mojo going because we got an upgrade which put us about two cabins from the stairs/elevators; our dinner table assignment was right by the stern windows so we had an amazing view, and our tablemates were interesting and great to talk to. Even though it's not something I would normally do, I went to the casino a couple of times; trip mojo again because I hit a nickle slot for $180!! The only time I felt crowded on the ship was the first meal when we were all put in the buffet area while the rooms were finished. There were just so many public areas that we never had a problem finding a place to sit and stare out the windows.
Finally, I would go again in a minute. I have already started looking at cruise/land travel packages. A big part of that is Alaska itself - I really want to see more, but I would choose Holland America again also.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


My husband and I just got back from a seven day cruise to the Inside Passage of Alaska. We left from Seattle, went to Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria and then back to Seattle.

It was absolutely amazing. We went on a couple of excursions and saw humpback whales, a gray while, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, porpoises, a grizzly bear, bald eagles, and lots of birds I couldn't identify.

I took lots of whale pictures. I think seeing whales was the best thing for me. Coming from landlocked Texas Panhandle, I was just taken aback at how beautiful they were.

We also saw a grizzly bear, sitting on a small island eating grass. The naturalist on the boat told us he was probably not long out of hibernation and was trying to get his system restarted. The waterfall in the background is coming from Redoubt Lake feeding into Redoubt Bay outside of Sitka.

We saw a lot of bald eagles and some nests. Wow, those nests are huge. We saw one eagle down in the water, evidently fighting to get a fish out and saw a lot just soaring. It was hard to get a picture of those; this was was easier to catch.

We saw several glaciers, although we had to miss the Johns Hopkins glacier because of fog. We stood out on the bow of the ship and we could hear the ice popping and cracking. We even saw one glacier calve, losing a chunk of ice that we think was about the size of a Suburban. It truly sounded like thunder! And, arent' the colors amazing??

And, of course, I bought yarn. Thanks to nice ladies at Knitters Review, I had an address for Skeins in Juneau where I found some DK wt. for socks from Rabbit Ridge in Anchorage. In Sitka, we went to an Arts and Crafts center where I found yarn that had been dyed in Sitka, Raven-Frog Fiber Arts. I bought some merino/silk to make a stole in a colorway called Kelp. This seemed appropriate - we went out to kelp beds to look for sea otters in Sitka. Then in Ketchikan I found a store that had both yarn and beads - Alaska Bead Shop. I found some Lorna's Laces in a colorway called Baltic Sea - of course, I wasn't in the Baltic, but I saw all those colors in the seas we were in. And, I met some really nice people. It is so nice to travel for thousands of miles and still find something in common with the people you meet. The ladies in Alaska Bead Shop were especially knowledgable about the different yarns, and they had a lot of yarn!

So, now I have to get back to the real world, but I am determined to get back to Alaska again.