Kathleen Prater Taylor and I have been friends since high school many moons ago. We reconnected on Facebook in 2009 and our friendship has grown by leaps and bounds. Kathi is a master knitter and teaches all over the country. She has written a good number of books on the subject and her finished projects are gorgeous! She has gifted me with two pairs of her beautiful socks.
The socks on the right are an original design just for me!
Official disclaimer before I start: The following pictures are a conglomeration of those taken by both of us. Kathi graciously gave me permission to mix hers in with mine as we both took different pictures on many occasions.
Last year she was invited to teach on a Carnival Knitting Cruise to the Bahamas and I jumped at the chance to go along. We found that we are perfectly matched as roommates and that our "rhythms" matched very, very well. And we had an incredible time! Both of us decided that cruising is amazing.
This year the knitting cruise was on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Sea and was sponsored by Malabrigo yarn. Friends and Fiberworks, based in Asheville, led the cruise and planned the classes. And once again Kathi was asked to teach. Since her husband is not a fan of cruising, I was thrilled to be able to go with her. And after seeing and hearing about knitting so much, I decided to step back in the pool after 40 years. I decided my first project would be for Kathi.
And Kathi knit me what she calls a Leftie. Beautiful yarn that I had received on the last cruise and which matched one of my formal dresses perfectly. When you look close, you can see it sparkles from teeny tiny sequins.
I can't express how proud I was to wear it!
Kathi arrived in Ft. Lauderdale midday on the Saturday before we were to embark. My flight was delayed several times and finally the plane I was supposed to be on was diverted, causing me to take the very last flight out of Raleigh-Durham. My phone had died a terrible death so I wasn't able to keep in touch with either her or my husband, Butch. I finally arrived at the hotel room at midnight. When I knocked, Kath through open the door and grabbed me! Shortly thereafter she fell asleep and I got ready myself. When I woke up the next morning, this is what I saw at our hotel.
and . . .
And we had our first opportunity to really say hello and let everyone know we were safe and together at last!
After leaving the bad weather in North Carolina, this was a very welcome sight to see! The Holiday Inn handled transport to the port very smoothly. After we got through check-in, which involves passport, linking my credit card to the ship and having our pictures taken so that they would show up on the computer whenever making a purchase on board (no cash purchases; all were made with the Sea Pass), we got our first view of our home for the next 7 days.
and it is BIG!!!!!
When we boarded, we were on the 5th deck, known as the Promenade Deck. Lots of restaurants and shops line each side of this deck including a Starbucks! We had lunch at the Promenade Cafe and it was a delicious introduction to the food we were about to stuff ourselves with in the coming days.
Foccacia and caprese salad sandwich!
Another of the wonders of the Promenade Deck was The Cupcake Shop. That's right, scratch made and hand decorated cupcakes of all different kinds. We started with the Dreamsicle and Turtle Praline varieties.
The cinnamon was also crazy good.
More to come . . . .