Thursday, September 20, 2012


Independence Day Guatemala style

Now what is this? Hint: it's not a baby bra or a frilly bowtie. It's my two center mesh diamonds for "Waldesgrund", the intricate lace knitting table centerpiece that I've been working on with a Knit-A-Long (KAL) group on Yahoo. I'm blocking out some of my time and energy to focus on this design by the late Herbert Niebling (German master knitted lace designer). His patterns are beautiful and quite challenging.

Practice Swatch
First there was a swatch to check out gauge and different ways to handle the crossed stitches and edges. Then I cast on 3 stitches and began knitting the diamonds. Tiny, tiny thread (DMC Cotton Cebelia nr. 40) and needles (US 0, 2.0mm). but it is after all just knitting! Already I have learned so much from the other lace knitters on the group. That's what KALs are all about - sharing tips and tricks and encouraging each other.

More bracelets
After my brain has been fried by the lace knitting, I return to my comfort zone...socks (of course) and now these addicting bracelets for the kids in Kazakhstan. The little coins are 5 and 10 centavo pieces from Guatemala here and are so pretty and lightweight too! Value? Well about 1/2 a US penny and 1 cent respectively. They don't buy much even here, but they do add a bit of glitz to the bracelets.

The wider bracelet (cuff) is knit with two different colors of yarn in the double-knitting technique. This really fiddly knitting gives a double sided fabric that is reversible with the patterning being opposite colors on each side. I'm not happy with the little white purl bumps though, but thankfully I have an idea in my head to rectify that on the next experiment.

Last night when I was taking these pictures and chatting with folks, this bracelet flew off the table on onto Sherry's ankle. She wanted it! So she got it. I can go knit another one (or more). It's nice to know that a little piece of my knitting has gone to someone who wanted it.
Blue Water Cat's dinghy

It's still HOT here in the tropical lowlands of Guatemala. But we are expecting (hoping, wishing for) some cooler temperatures (like down in the low 80's) to finally arrive in the next month. The water temperature of the river is still up in the high 80's so it's tough to keep the boat cool even with air conditioning! Remember, us mono-hulls sit down in the water so our living quarters are submerged. Cooling rains only cool the top decks.

The heat and humidity didn't stop all the activities last week for the celebration of the Guatemalan Independence Day. Local schools had presentations by the students which were well attended by the families. Even some of the gringo cruisers helped celebrate.

Marco's 100% Guatemalan launcha
Here in the Rio Dulce both locals and cruisers decorated their dinghy's or fiberglass launchas and had a little parade. They started at BackPackers restaurant in town and motored past businesses and marinas on the river. We managed to get some photos when we went into town for our exercise. We walk 2+ miles along a nice paved road every other day to help offset our sedentary hide-in-the-A/C-on-the-boat lifestyle during these hot summer months. The tall teak and other trees along the way make enough shade for us that we don't get too over-heated. Gotta get out and move or we'll end up looking like the local manatees!

Volleyball at Mario's Marina under the cashew trees
Plenty of cold drinks and good conversation by the pool
As part of the celebrations Mario's Marina hosted a volleyball tournament, BBQ, and games for all. The kitchen staff prepared hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad which was served by the pool. Yummy!

Good news! The generator is again up and running! Jonesy was successful in the repair so he can cross that big chore off of the list.  This is a big ($$) maintenance summer for us as the boat needs to be hauled out of the water so that new bottom paint can be applied. Also, our insurance company wants a complete dry dock survey done which is a normal every-few-years hassle. Our boat is well-maintained - after all we have Jonesy! But if you could see some of the other boats you'd wonder how in the world they still float.

Because we were already planning to stay in Guatemala until the storms from the north die down, we have plenty of time to take care of all the tasks. But, really most of the time we do exactly what we want. That's what we call the good life.

Glad to see a new post from you! The knitting looks interesting!
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