Saturday, November 17, 2012


Darn Knitting or Knitting Darning?

Cemetario de Rio Dulce
The first day of November is a national holiday here in Guatemala known either as All Saints Day or Day of the Dead. Last year we visited the colorful Kite Festival in Sumpango but this year we went for a quiet walk up the hill to the local cemetery here in the Rio Dulce. We could get a better idea of how the everyday person celebrates this day of respect for their ancestors. The grounds appeared to have been recently cleared of vegetation - scraped down to the bare earth.

As it was fairly early in the day there wasn't much activity yet. A few families were already there refurbishing their relatives' graves with new paint for the concrete tombs. Women were setting up their little food booths outside of the cemetery to provide refreshments. I love how entrepreneurial folks are in Latin America and the freedom they have to pursue these endeavors.

One of the first things that we noticed was the numerous graves for small children and young men in their teens and twenties. Age-wise, the population of this cemetery was very young with few tombs/graves for folks as old as us! Quite unlike what we have seen in the USA. We found one set of 3 graves for family members all who died on the same day. We stood and wondered what had happened to these people and the terrible family tragedy.
Decorated Grave marker Rio Dulce, Guatemala
We understand that the Guatemalans visit the graves not to revisit the sorrow of loss, but more to maintain a connection with their ancestors and family members who have passed on.  Many families will bring their mid-day meals and make picnics at the gravesites.

But I have to also imagine that for one family the memories of the 3 little children in these tiny graves will be sad.

Knitting applicable New Technology I Gotta Get when available: 
Jonesy mentioned to me how workers who build today's aircraft use heads-up displays with the engineering drawings in them as they work. Olympus and Google are both developing tiny heads-up display screens which are mounted on your eyeglasses. Imagine having your knitting lace or colorwork charts and/or pattern instructions available with simply the flick of your eyes! I want one of those! Here's a short article about this emerging technology for us simple consumers on

BRIGHT red flowers
Knitting has hit the fan again
In the last 9 days we have survived had the adventure of four 6-hour bus rides to or from Guatemala City. I have a chronic nasty infection in my upper jaw from an injury I received 50 years ago! When I was 9, I got hit hard in the mouth with a big weight from a grandfather's clock swinging on a rope. No, I don't remember how or why we were playing with this, but I got hit. My front tooth took the blow and I've been fighting issues with it ever since. The endodontists are mostly located in the big city so that is where I've had to go for treatment. The highlight of the trip? McDonald's serves hot oatmeal with diced apples, raisins and dried cranberries now! Whooo hoooo!

Ye ole knitting basket of new socks needing ends woven
I did manage some easy knitting on the bus rides and in the hotel room on a pair of monster socks for a big-footed (11" foot) teenage boy at the orphanage in Kazakhstan. Now I have only have the toes to do on each sock for a completed pair. Currently, there are 3 other pair and one single sock of a new design waiting patiently in my "done" basket for the yarn ends to be darned in. These will wait there too until...until..until I "darn" well feel like doing it.

Yep. I'm still slacking on getting to work on my lace knitting project. Each evening I promise myself that I will tackle it in the  morning when I'm fresh. Trouble is I'm not so fresh in the mornings lately. That's my excuse darn it. Frankly, I've gotten all tangled up in other fiberly pursuits.

For the last couple of months I've been taking online video courses through and am learning so much! Some of the courses are free and some cost a little to take. The course is always yours to take at your own speed (slow like me..due to internet issues and way too many other things that scream for my attention or lack there of) and you can go back and review your course anytime. Craftsy is not just about knitting, but also sewing, quilting, cake decorating, jewelry and a lot more. Life, even especially in remote places on earth with an internet connection, is good.

Dia de los Muertos is big here in Texas too. But mostly for decoration, not graves but the decorated or sugar skull look. My daughter wants me to help her find fabric in the Day of the Dead motif. Hate hearing that you are having dental issues... me too. I need to have two implants and I'm seriously thinking of heading to Costa Rica.
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