Shetland: the Historic Swan Boat

Before I left for Shetland, I didn't do a lot of research on what we'd be doing. I was too busy, but I also just wanted to be surprised by what I found there. One of the activities I knew we'd be doing was sailing on the Swan Boat. But I was just thinking it was a tour boat situation where they'd take us around the island and point out landmarks. That was not what the Swan Boat was about.

It's a historic sailing ship (from about 1900) that's been restored to a fully working boat. They take tourists, school groups, and sailing enthusiasts around Shetland, but also further to places like Faroe, Norway, Iceland, and Amsterdam. But passengers don't just sit around and see the sights - they gave us a thorough safety presentation, put us all in bright orange inclement weather suits, and put us to work hauling on ropes and tying things off! I've never sailed before, so this was a hundred percent new to me, and while it was hard physical labor, it was so much fun too! We actually lined up along a rope and yelled "HEAVE!" as we pulled up a sail! 

Of course when things got dicey (like when one of the sails was tangled), the actual crew took over, but it was pretty great to get to participate! They even let Ysolda steer the boat and she looked perfectly at home. 


The other thing I loved about this sailing trip had nothing to do with the sea or labouring together with my friends. I completely nerded out on the textures present on a sail boat. The ropes were gorgeous, the chains had the absolute perfect patina on them, and the stitching and fabric of the sails was completely captivating. If I had art on my walls, I think it would just be historic sail boat closeups.

Since this is a knitting blog, I'm going to assume you all are just as much into textures as I am, so I'm hoping you're into these photos too!

In other news, my book AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary is here! I'm pretty excited that AlterKnit is currently the #1 best seller in Knitting on Amazon! If you've already gotten your copy, I would so appreciate a review.