Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Turtlegrass Socks

Turtlegrass Socks
Introducing the new Turtlegrass socks knitting pattern! When our boat guest Bobbi gifted me some yummy Cascade Heritage Paints yarn I knew it had to grow up to be a new design for socks. I fiddled with a curving lace motif and introduced some 1x1 ribbing elements into the lace in the cuff for a better fit. Then then lace sways down the leg and gently diminishes asymmetrically on the top of the foot. Just like the turtlegrass that swayed under our boat when we were anchored in Roatan Island, Honduras last winter and spring. And yes, there were turtles swimming about in the turtlegrass,

The exciting part of this new pattern is that it has been selected as the KnitAlong pattern for October and November on the Six Sox Knitalong Yahoo group! That's why I haven't been able to share it until now - had to keep it a surprise to the 3000+ group members.

Not a surprise, there's been knitting for the orphanage in Kazakhstan. Here are some socks that I knit with Berroco Sox yarn which was donated to me by fellow knitting retreat camper Joan S. Thank you Joan! And a few more knitted bracelets (cuffs) for the kids came off of the needles. The group has now made 500+ bracelets which will be hand-carried to the orphanages in mid-November along with the socks and other warm items.
Reversible Cuff Bracelets
These reversible double-knitting cuffs sure are time consuming to knit! The first few rows of the color knitting section are the hardest. Then after awhile I found that I developed a rhythm and could keep the yarns from twisting around each other. I think I'll stick with the sock knitting as it's quicker and doesn't challenge my brain so much. The Reversible Cuff Bracelet pattern is now being test knitted and will be available soon.

Speaking of socks, here's another pair that I whipped up for the kids in Kaz. I used one of my go-to "Monster Socks" methods for these which is simple stripes of 2 rounds each. Yep, there are two different colors of hand-dyed yarns used in these. The cuffs, toes and heels are the more blue toned colors. The legs and foot are worked in 2 rounds of this blue, then 2 rounds of a green and blue colorway. Why did I do this? Because another knitting retreat camper (Chris) donated a bag of beautiful yarn that she dyed and in the bag was 2 little wound up "cakes" ready to use. Each ball (cake) wasn't enough for a pair of socks, but if I combined the yarns I could squeeze out a teenager sized pair of warm wool socks.

That's what "Monster Socks" are all about - creatively using up leftover or small balls of yarns. This yarn is from Briar Rose Fibers and is delicious! It is lofty, full of life and a real joy to knit with. I'm soooooo looking forward to winding up some of the other skeins Chris donated just so I can fondle this yarn again.

Chris of Briar Rose Fibers isn't the only one doing a bit of fiber hand-dyeing these days. Paula from the sailing vessel Hooligan brought out her Tie-Dye kit and shared it with a few of us fortunate cruisers. This kit has been on her boat for 5 years! It was finally time to get it out and play.

s/v Hooligan Paula
I decided to colorize a lightweight shirt that I wear to sleep in and hang out on the boat. It was a plain light blue and big and baggy and comfy. First we tied rubber bands in the t-shirts. Some of us obviously placed these dye-restricting rubber bands much more strategically than other. Some of us had watched the video. Not me. Oh well.

The next step was to soak the banded shirts in a bucket of water with washing soda. After 20 minutes, we artfully(?) applied dye from the red, blue and green squirt bottles. Some of us got dye on our clothes that we were wearing. Some of us (ok, just me) got dye on my feet which is STILL there after showering and scrubbing.

s/v Happy Times Mikayla

This was so much fun! The next step was to put the dyed shirts into individual ziplock bags and let them sit overnight (ferment? - mine smelled terrible the next day).

The next day (today) we rinsed the still-banded shirts with a hose, then removed the rubberbands and rinsed again. Removing the bands was a real chore and my hands are still bluish tinged.
Tie-Dyed Shirts
Then it was time for a final rinsing and voila! Got tie-dye! I'm really impressed with the results from the other folks! I guess it does pay to follow the instructions.

Boat dogs Nigel and Belle joining in the fun
We hung them out on the clothesline at the back of the marina to dry. Next step? I guess we'll have to wear them in public.

So, that's what I've been up to lately. Jonesy is continuing to knock off chores from his to-do list. We finally received our shipment of anti-fouling paint for the bottom of the hull. A thousand bucks for 5 gallons of paint. Painful.  I am excited about the new LED light Jonesy installed over the galley sink - it's so bright! I can really see now when I do the dishes. Maybe they'll get done more frequently - as if.

Terry's sleeping/boat-slug shirt

So, other than weekly potlucks with fellow cruisers, "Trivia" quiz night, All-you-can-eat Taco Bar night, shopping in town for veggies, that's all that's been happening in these parts. We're planning to have the boat hauled out in December for the bottom job and other things we can only do when it isn't floating. Then we'll mosey on up to Belize probably in February after the storms from the north die down a bit. Then on to Mexico and the Yucatan area. At least that's the plan...and we all know that cruisers' plans are written in the sand at low tide. Subject to dissolving.

FUN! LOVE the turtle grass socks! They do make me think of sea grass. Some of those dye jobs are fantastic! Our son is in Panama, headed to Costa Rica, to pick up his motorcycle and then he'll ride the coast to the Yucatan.
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