Thursday, September 17, 2009


Mango Madness

It's mango season here in Cartagena! Fresh, luscious mangos are everywhere - in the stores, on the street carts, and in my hands and mouth. I've discovered that folks eat these tropical fruits in varying degrees of ripeness. The hard, unripe fruit is crunchy like an apple and is light orange-yellow-green in color while the ripe fruit is a bright, deep orange and soft like a peach. What I've also discovered is that I LOVE all stages of ripeness! They taste like completely different fruits. So, each day when I pass my favorite street vendor, I pick out a bag of slices, and have him douse it with a generous squeeze of lime...pure heaven for only 50 cents.

And speaking of mango...I've started an adult sized sweater with the "Mango" colored yarn that my good friend Sandi gifted to me last year. The yarn is Brown Sheep NatureSpun in a light sport weight wool. Because I couldn't decide what type of welt (lower edge) to use, I simply started with a provisional cast-on and knitted up the body. Later, I'll go back and pick up those stitches and knit the border down. For patterning, I picked out an open diamond design from one of my gansey knitting books. Then tweaked it in Excel to add more purl stitches inside of the diamonds so that they gradually get denser as they rise up the yoke.

Oh...the safety pin? Well, umm, you see I knit all the time; on the wild bus rides, during "happy hour", in the dark even so yes, I dropped a stitch. I didn't realize it until I got past the plain stockinette part up to where the patterning started again and was short a stitch. Whoops. No big deal. I pinned the lost-and-found stitch and will work/darn it in later. Then I just increased at the side seam and kept knitting. Perfection not required.

Well, we're in our second day of NO WATER in the entire city of Cartagena! A major water pipe broke. Thank goodness we have our water tanks filled on our boat so we're good. But, the wind is also out of the "bad" direction so we're stuck on the boat anyway to watch for any boats out at anchor who want to drag into us.

I thought I'd show you what our marina looks like now. The demolition and construction continues. Yep. The bar is still open - just watch your step! Here's a photo of Jonesy and our buddy Billy "supervising" the construction of the future dinghy dock. How good of a buddy is Billy? Well, he flew back to the states this week and he carried with him all of the knitting that I've done these past few months for the orphans in Kazakhstan! And I mean "carried" as he took no checked luggage on the plane and physically carried my big plastic bag as carry-on. What a guy! Well, his sisters all knit (and he named is sailboat after them "Anne-Vera-Lynn") so he totally understands and appreciates the fiber arts. The kids THANK YOU BILLY!
The 3rd Annual Holiday Mystery Gifts Knit and Crochet Along begins this coming Saturday, September 19th! Have you joined yet? Well, for those folks who are waiting patiently in the group for our blast-off Saturday, we uploaded a special little dishcloth pattern to warm up your knitting fingers and tools.

The "Step It Up" Cloth and Coaster pattern is by one of our new designers, Vicki Mikulak. It knits up so quickly and is super easy! Enjoy!

I LOVE mangoes. I eat them with lime and sometimes with chili powder. I think some varieties are better riper than others.
I'll have to try mangoes if I can find some in the Texas Panhandle. I don't think I've ever eaten one by itself although I've had some in salads.
Thanks for the link to the KAL...just signed up.
3rd year gal to the HMG here! I, too, love mangos and I love your sweater! It's off to a great start.
When I read about you tweeking the pattern in Excel, I thought: Where can I learn to do THAT?!
Looking forward to tomorrow on HMG for the gates to open with fun patterns and mystery!
Jane, do you have any Mexican markets in your area? They usually carry the BEST produce in Texas.
I have never had a mango... I must try one :-) The sweater is really pretty!! I love it!
So glad to see that you are back to blogging! I worry about you when a couple of weeks go by with not post from you!

The sweather is lovely.
well my dear friend, that mango has been on a long voyage and now has a life too..... great choice. I love it....... Interesting paragraph about Mangos. I'll have to try them again in different stages. I love them in the soft peach stage but have never had them a little harder. What is the taste like? Any good ways of using them?
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