Archived Story

A knitter travels the world

Published 3:21pm Monday, February 28, 2011

Once a knitter, always a knitter! I learned my first stitch seven years ago while trying to help my child with a toy knit kit.

In seeking stories for my column, I stumbled upon a wonderful yarn store with the usual yummy, soft yarns and colors arranged in an eye-popping palette.

Knitters are interesting people, and so I wasn’t surprised when my conversation with owner Joanne Alderman turned to travel, and her childhood experience of cruising aboard a freighter, which set the tone for her exploration of the Mediterranean as an adult.

Joanne Aldermann

Part of cruising is the idea of mega-ships with Broadway productions, fine dining, all meals included and movies under the stars. Though I love big ships, tall ships and small ships, I also studied the freighter; an old fashioned way that offers an alternative to Transatlantic travel via air or cruise. It’s not a travel method that is necessarily less expensive than a cruise.

On the contrary, for a plentiful sum you can hop aboard in comfortable, but not luxurious amenities, and be part of the crew getting cargo imported or exported. It’s a rewarding adventure.

I had never met anyone who had done it until Joanne, and realized that every traveler has a fascinating worldview – some from the perspective of the sea.

To email YOUR travel story to columnist Lucianne Evans, contact the Tryon Daily Bulletin or Evans at jazzmusictravel@gmail.com .

Where’ve You Been

Who: Joanne Alderman, owner of the Knitter’s Nest, Columbus.

Where are you from?: Raised on Long Island, Joanne’s father was a Maritime lawyer for ship owners and helped set the strict standards of the shipping industry. His family, including Joanne, went on many trips as guests of the owners.

Where’ve you been? “When I was a child we went to Europe several times, Japan, Yugoslavia and Egypt. We travelled to Cuba just before Castro took over, and we went through the Panama Canal 50 years ago!  After college, I went to Italy to study Italian, and loved it so much that a six week course turned into living there six years. During that time I was fascinated by my visits to Greece and Turkey.”

Loved: “When I was a child, I loved being on a freighter. You have to make up your own entertainment, and part of that was the ability to learn about navigation.

As a treat for me, I’d be given a watch, and would be allowed to steer. I steered so straight once the Captain almost let me take the ship through the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey, but my mother said no.”

As an adult, I loved everything about Greece. I love the music, the food, the people, and the atmosphere. Ditto for Italy. What they call “La Dolce Vita,” the sweet life, is an attitude I’ll never forget.

Where would you like to go next? “There are specialty trips and cruises for knitters, hosted by star authors and yarn designers, and I would love to go on one of those.”

Lily Chin has been a master knit author and television star for 25 years, for example, and she has plans for a river cruise to China, which will part of her “Yarniverse” series.

Another chic knit designer, Helen Hamann, has been guiding textile, Alpaca, and fiber arts tours to Peru for several years.

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