Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Knitting Up to Date

Jonesy took this photo yesterday while I was hanging out at the Bocas Marina knitting on a pair of socks for the kids in the Kazakhstan Orphanages.

We had just dropped off 3 LARGE bags of laundry for the gal to wash, dry, & fold, then over to the office to leave the propane tank to get refilled, and add books and magazines that we've read to the book exchange. Chores. Now it was time to kick back and relax. With the propane tank off the boat, we are dependent on the little reserve tank so cooking will be limited for about a week until we get our tank back. Yippppeeee! That means we'll "have" to eat a lot of our meals out in the marina's outdoor Calypso Cafe or over in town at one of the many restaurants and grills.

It rained for 3 days straight last week - of course, right after I had handwashed the sheets and had them out on the lifelines to dry. So, I threaded some line thru the handholds on the ceiling of the salon and hung them up inside the boat. Awkward, sure - but at least they dried - in 2 days.
So, I'm thrilled to have the local gal do my laundry for me - in real machines - and dried with a dryer. Another reason why is that my clothes are all stretched out from handwashing and line drying in the humidity. Loosey goosey. I guess that's better than too tight! That, and the handwashing really takes a toll on my knitting fingers.

It's not always sunny in Panama, even during the "dry season" now. Often we have squally weather with thunder, gusty winds and occasionally rain. There's almost always rain at some point during the night. One hour there’s a sky full of stars and then it’s pouring down big drops of rain. It even rains when there are no clouds directly overhead! The wind blows the drops from other nearby clouds. I wouldn't want to be here in the "wet season"!

So, here are the rest of the socks, mittens, and hats that I've knit for the Kaz kids. What you won't see here are the items which will be new patterns for the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group this coming fall.

This first grey pair is worked as "Monster Socks", that is it is a combination of several different leftover yarns. I kept them to only shades of gray, as a challenge and also because that is what teenage boys like. I knit both socks at the same time on two sets of double point needles so that I can match the yarns. For solid colors I knit one sock from the outside winding and one from the inside of the ball of yarn. When the yarn is finished - cut and voila! matching socks.

These multi-shades of blues and green socks use 4 different self-patterning yarns. The legs were knit in a spiral using 2/3rds of a round for each color. Then, I switched to simple multi-row alternations for the ankle, heel and foot.

When I was digging around in my yarn stash, I found a bag of beautiful Aran-weight wool yarn from the Falkland Islands that I forgot I had. So, these 3 pairs of man-sized mittens were born. Then, with the last bits of yarn this 2x2 ribbed beanie was created.

These mittens are super warm because they are knit in a worsted weight wool and have "thrums" which are little tufts of wool knit right into them. I've had the kit from Camilla Valley Farm for these since 2004 and finally had a reason and the time to finish them up.

Now, these green striped mittens are worked with 2 different yarns at the same time - sort of. I would knit with one yarn for 2 rounds, then pick up and knit with the other yarn for 2 rounds. One was a solid and one was a self-patterning yarn. What a great way to use up those leftovers from knitting socks!

These bright primary colors socks are more child-sized and use a multicolored yarn from Germany. All the details for yarns can be found on Ravelry. Then another child-sized pair made from two different self-patterning yarns in blues, orange and mauve.

Another skein of wonderfully soft German sock yarn turned into a woman's sized pair of socks in soft blues and greens.

The second socks for both pairs of the Double Blank socks where I dyed the yarn were finished. You may need sunglasses to view the larger pair - the colors are a bit acidic. Yikes! But the are wooly & warm so they'll do the trick in Kazakhstan.

With the leftover yarn from these two pairs of socks, I knit up some child-sized socks. If they don't like the blues & greens legs no worries, they won't show anyway when wearing long pants as only the brown feet will be visible.

That's post will be the beautiful tropical island of Islas Pinos.

You have been a very busy lady! I love all the socks, awesome job! There are going to be a lot of warm feet!
Oy, you are a sock knitting maniac. Love them all!
Oh my yes - you really have been busy. What gorgeous socks - and what lucky recipients! I love your life! LOL
I just gave you an honorable mention for a Kreativ Blogger on my blog... you inspire me!
Dang, I'd love ANY one of those pairs of socks. Lucky kids in Kazakhstan! Everything you knit is gorgeous!

Deborah / Benicia
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