Sunday, August 31, 2008


Knitting, Beading...just hanging out

Life's been good here in the slow lane. We've made some great progress on our check list of boat chores without any stress.

For entertainment, some of us got together for an afternoon of playing with beads. Nope, we don't really know what we are doing...we just have fun touching and admiring pretty baubles. We even managed to entice Gaby, who is a server in the Yacht Club to make some earrings.

Here's a photo of Michelle's (s.v. Coastal Passage II) first pair of earrings - on her ear! Go girl! I made a pair of earrings with some little alpaca critters on them. I picked up these little charms many years ago at a bead festival. Along those same lines, I made a knitting stitch marker with a ram. I only use one stitch marker - at the beginning/ending of rounds when I knit in the round - which is most of the time.

A BIG part of summertime life in the tropics is knitting. Yep, due to the magic of Air Conditioning, I can knit all I want - and I knit all the time. So...I finished the final square of my 20 knitted 7x7" afghan square design committment to the Sacramento Knitting Guild.

During my flight last month from Puerto Vallarta to Memphis, TN I studied Janet Szabo's book Cables, Volume I: The Basics which is a treasure for knitters! From the first couple of chapters alone I found some new-to-me ideas which can be seen in this 7x7" square. Plus, more will be seen in future FREE patterns for the Holiday Mystery Gifts yahoo group.

Whew! We have all been so busy designing, knitting, frogging, test-knitting, photographing patterns for the upcoming season of the Holiday Mystery Gifts group. It's frustrating though not to be able to share with y' I'll just show you a couple of little hints about the knitting.

And...TODAY is the start of the Gansey List Yahoo! group's Knitalong of Meg Swansen's Guernsey Pullover. Come on over and join us. If you're a new knitter, this is a great opportunity to knit your first Gansey style sweater and be able to ask questions of the more experienced knitters on the group.

Okay - gotta go...Jonesy just let me know that we need to go ride the bus to the marine store (Zaragosas) to get some zincs for the bottom of the boat. I'll take my knitting. Although this giant store doesn't have air conditioning, they do have a giant industrial fan with a stool set up in front of it. I'm sure they set this up just for me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Olympic Fever

Olympic fever has struck the cruisers of Paradise Marina in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico!

Even the judges cheered the Women's Synchronized Noodling team as the gals splashed and smiled through their routine in the lap pool. Naturally, the judges chose to go topless for this event.

Men's Synchronized Swimming, Bilge Pump Repair Gymnastics and the Couples 50-Meter Loaded Dock Cart Dash were all cancelled due to lack of interest. Instead the men opted to compete in the Men's Individual Carne (Meat) Grilling event and the ever popular Cerveza Consumption Team Medley held on the new patio at the Vallarta Yacht Club venue. Not surprisingly, all of the competitors took home the gold in these two events!

The event was even covered in the press on Latitude 38 Magazine's 'Letric Latitude

True, we may not be cruising due to the threat of summer hurricanes here in Pacific Mexico, but we cruisers manage to have a lot of fun anyway.

Terry & Michelle from the sailing vessel Coastal Passage II and John & Kathy from the sailing vessel Batu joined us for these events. There sure aren't many folks living on their boats during the summer here - it is really HOT & HUMID, but the air conditioning is working great.

Jonesy finished installing our new reverse osmosis water-maker! To celebrate, I went shopping downtown with the gals. We went to the fabric store, the bead store, and the Mexican Tile factory store. At street level is a several large showrooms full of tiles, murals, sinks, platters, and everything you could ever think of that is made of clay.

Upstairs is their factory which we were encouraged to tour. Above is the kiln where they fire their painted pieces. Above the kiln are some of the sinks that are available. I would LOVE to have one of these on our boat! But, I have 2 perfectly good sinks so that won't happen.

Instead, I purchased 6 different 4" tiles for coasters. I picked up some of that "foamy" sheet stuff at the fabric store and I'll glue this to the bottom of the tiles. There were about 6 people upstairs that were painting the tiles. This guy is painting a mural. The colors are very pale in the unfired glaze, but will brighten when fired as you can see in the photo of me sitting on the stairs in front of finished murals.

Yes, there's been knitting going on, but it's all been for the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo! group! If I shared it here, then it wouldn't be a mystery anymore would it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Back in Paradise

We're both back home now on Niki Wiki in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. phones, no clocks, just peace and quiet. While I took a 2-week side trip to Memphis, Tennessee and just got back a few days ago, Jonesy spent that time on the boat chipping away on the chores list.

Check out the new Solar Panels he mounted on the newly extended rear arch! We had extension built for us back in June, so when Jonesy returned to the boat a couple of weeks ago, he got right to work installing & wiring the new panels. When the sun is out we are now getting 640 watts from these babies! This significantly reduces our dependency on our diesel generator.

He installed a rebuilt raw water pump on the main Perkins diesel engine and has already started installing our new Spectra water-maker! Yep, we'll be making fresh water from sea water thru reverse osmosis. The installation will take him about a week as there sure is a lot of equipment and tubing to hide throught the boat.

While we were in California in July, I did a little yarn dyeing. First up some DK superwash wook from Knit Picks dyed various blues & green. Funny thing is, I started out with one cup of a deep forest green - and that is all I used for this skein. As I smooshed the dye along the skein, apparently the yellow portion of the dye mix readily absorbed into the yarn leaving only the blue unabsorbed. I added some water to the remaining dye fluid and got the lighter blue color. Serendipity - I like it!

The big dyeing project was these two "Sock Blanks" from Knit Picks. These are superwash sock wool/nylon and come already knit up in stockinette. There are 2 strands knit together and each blank makes a pair of socks.

My goal: stripes in different colors. Why? Because I want to knit a two-color pattern holding one strand from each blank! Faux Fair Isle! We'll see how this experiment works out.

Here's a simple little newborn cap that I knit up for a friend of a friend here in Mexico.

And speaking of friends, while I was taking the photos of the yarn & knitting today, a little friend watched me. Yep, a green iguana. He (she?) is about a foot long. I managed to catch a photo just as it scurried away into that hole under the concrete.

Back to work & knitting...

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