Combine your Passions: Knit and Travel
How much time have you spent dragging non-knitting travelers with you to LYS all over the world? Just think what it would be like to do yarn crawls in foreign countries with like-minded people and internationally known knitting instructors!
Many Guild members have combined knitting and traveling. If you have never thought about taking a trip with a bunch of crazy, like-minded knitters, we have provided some ideas to get you going.
http://www.jeanmoss.com Jean Moss trip to Edinburgh and York.
Jean's tours highlight her dual interests in knitting and gardening, so we had many stops to enjoy elegant gardens, as well as classes with Jean, Alice Starmore, and Debbie Abrahams. We worked on fair isle and beading in classes. Visits to Di Gilpin's yarn shop in St. Andrews and Wensleydale Longwool shop offered stash acquisition opportunities. Hotels in Edinburg and York were somewhat upscale. Special meals were gourmet and featured Jean playing the spoons to the accompaniment of a trio. I enjoyed the trip a great deal.
http://www.janethornley.com Jane Thornley trip to Tuscany.
With stays in Florence and at a former castle in Tuscany, we visited a number of Tuscan Hill Towns, a cashmere goat farm, had a former Prada knitwear designer as a speaker, and learned Jane's Free Range Method of knitting. Meals and lodgings were elegant. I enjoyed the experience, but my personal style in knitting is not consistent with the Free Range method.
http://www.levieuxmonastere.com Le Vieux Monastere Knitting Holidays.
I've returned to this event a total of 4 times. The first experience featured Jean Moss and Sasha Kagan as tutors. The next 3 times Sasha was paired with other Rowan designers. Now Fiona Morris is the lead tutor. Graham and Christine, the owners, are gracious hosts and the old monastery has been beautifully renovated into self catering cottages. The location is rural and is very peaceful and quiet. Most days Christine provides delicious and nutritious meals for the group. There is one meal at a nearby Michelin rated restaurant (not included in the package price) and several excursions to nearby towns that offer glimpses of history and French culture. Most of the participants are from the United Kingdom as are the hosts. This week is much less expensive than most of the other tours I have been on.
Other websites I know about:http://www.alpineadventureagency.com
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www.travelingtogether.net This company organizes the Vogue Knitting Tours. If you don’t mind large groups (35-40), this is a fun way to go. You will meet many interesting knitters and the trips are very well organized. Trips I have done are England, Australia and New Zealand, Italy.
www.btsadventures.com Behind the Scenes Adventures with Cynthia LeCount Samake (expert in indigenous world textiles). I did a very adventurous trip with Cynthia to Turkey. Her textile knowledge is amazing. She travels with small groups (9 in my group) and goes to areas not usually traveled by “ordinary” tourists. All but one in our group were knitters, so we had a ball gathering at the end of the day for knitting together.
www.jeanmoss.com I traveled with Jean Moss to Scotland and Wales. She is very organized and knowledgeable about the areas she takes knitters. Jean loves good food so she and Philip (her partner) always pick fabulous restaurants.
www.knitaround.com Knitting retreat to Taos, New Mexico with Sheri Prekeles and Carrie Pozza owners of the Knit Around yarn store in Ann Arbor Michigan. We stayed at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, a neat facility with comfortable rooms in a South West setting. Not sure if they still do retreats – didn’t see it on their website.
Judy is another fun and adventurous tour director. She is extremely organized and doesn’t miss anything worth seeing. I have been on several trips with Judy. They are: Knit New York, Knit Chicago, Galapagos Islands and Ecuador, Argentina and Ecuador. I am scheduled on Knit New York #2, Knit Cornwall in England.
www.helenhamann.com Helen leads an excellent tour of Peru. She is Peruvian so has first hand knowledge of the country. Helen is a free spirit and not very organized. If you take this trait into consideration and not let it bother you, you will have an outstanding experience.
Jo Ellen Gould
http://www.janethornley.com Knitaly with Jane Thornley
Trip to Florence and Garganza (all in one hotel and town in Tuscany.) Expensive but worth every penny. We stayed in two very nice hotels with great food. Knitting instruction ala Jane Thornley’s “free range knitting”. We knit shawls with a starter kit from Jane using various yarns in Tuscan colors and finished with yarns purchased in Italy. We toured both Florence and the countryside around Gargonza This was my first and favorite knitting trip.
http://www.levieuxmonastere.com French Treats: Don’t have much to add to Carolyn’s writeup. It was a very good deal and we were given a lot of instruction. It wasn’t project based but more like taking various knitting classes over the week. For my taste the food was fine but would not describe it as delicious as Carolyn did. I enjoyed the trip but would not go all the way to France to attend again.
www.knitaround.com Knitting retreat to Taos, New Mexico with Sheri Prekeles and Carrie Pozza owners of the Knit Around yarn store in Ann Arbor Michigan. We stayed at the Mabel Doge Luhan House, a neat facility with comfortable rooms in a South West setting. Delicious breakfasts and lunches were included. The retreat was project based. We were given a choice of a few roused scarves to knit. We knit with the group in the morning with the afternoons and evenings free for knitting in the knitting room or exploring Taos. Very little instruction was provided. A high light for me was taking a batik workshop on our own at one of the local galleries.
Nicky Epstein Cruise on Royal Caribbean lines from New York City to St Johns Canada with ports of call in New England. We had classes based on Nicky’s “Block by Block” knitting book mornings and afternoons on all of our days at sea. Nicky gives good instruction and her classes were enjoyable. My only critique is that our knitting room was in the bowels of the ship and unless you cut a class there was no opportunity during the day to take advantage of the ship’s activities or enjoy sitting on the deck.
www.craftcruises.com. Craft Cruises® is a full service travel agency that specializes in personalizing the cruise experience by including activities people love. At Craft Cruises® our purpose is to create the highest quality cruise experience by catering to travelers with a keen interest in the shared travel experience, cultural exchange and learning new skills.
On every cruise, an internationally known knitting instructor gives classes while at sea. Also Craft Cruises provides a guide to knitting shops in most ports.
So far, my experiences have been excellent.
I have taken two cruises:
Baltic Knitting Cruise (with Betty Clarquist and Barbara Levin)
This itinerary takes you to Copenhagen, Germany, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Sweden, and Finland. There are great tours and knitting experiences in every port. The instructors were Chrissie Day and Chris Bylsma. The ship was the Eurodam, Holland America Cruise Lines. Because we were there during the “white nights,” we were able to knit on deck most of the night. The informal knitting in the evenings was wonderful.
China Yangtze River Cruise with Lily Chin (with Betty Clarquist)
Craft Cruises partners with Viking River Cruises to provide a wonderful experience from Beijing to Shanghai. If offered by Lily, be sure to stay an extra day in Shanghai to see “Lily’s Shanghai.”
Panama Canal Cruise with Chris Bylsma
Wonderful trip cruising from Santiago, Chile to Fort Lauderdale, FL through the Panama Canal.
www.greatballsofyarn.com Trip to Argentina and Uruguay
Although Argentina and Uruguay were wonderful (especially the ice cream), I may not travel with them again. The tour guides were somewhat inexperienced and disorganized.
However there were many highlights of the trip mainly provided by the owner of Aslan Yarns. He took us to a Pampas Ranch, wine tastings and wonderful meals and a fascinating tour of the Aslan Yarns Factory
If you ever get a chance to visit Malabrigo Yarn in Uruguay, do not miss this opportunity. Antonio led novices through a hands-on yarn dying experience. This is a business owned by the most wonderful family who made us feel totally at home, including grandma’s special cookies. The factory is in an old slaughter house, so don’t let the ride up the cattle elevator scare you off!!!
Nicky Epstein was our instructor on this trip. We had classes from her “Block to Block” book which had recently been published.