Thursday, November 22, 2012


Hello Stillwater, MN!

Hello Stillwater, MN! One of my favorite activities when shopping in the little town of Rio Dulce, Guatemala is to read and photograph the tee-shirts worn by the local folks. So, here's a new one which advertizes the Stillwater Gazette newspaper. This shirt has traveled a long way and is now being enjoyed here in the tropical lowlands.

I mentioned the website last post and kinda left y'all hanging about what it is that I've been learning.

My first online video course was How to Say It Pattern Writing For Knitters by Edie Eckman. Yes, I’ve been writing my own indie patterns for many years, but I was curious about what Edie had to say because she has been tech editing and writing patterns for many years too (even tech editing one of mine in the One Skein Sock Wonders book).

Little goat kid 
The abosolute best part of this course? The handouts! Edie provides a STYLE SHEET and a PATTERN TEMPLATE for a sweater design in a MS Word doc format that you can save and use (and modify to fit your style). I would have paid a handsome sum for these a few years ago before I struggled to develop my own! But these technical tools would be meaningless if you didn't understand how to use them and why you would select one of the different ways to present your instructions. It's the combination of Edie's detailed verbal explainations and opinions plus these two tools that make the whole class so very worthwhile. Highly Recommend.
Kitten found a  not-so-quiet place to nap

Turkey Day
Today is the Thanksgiving holiday for USA folks. As there are a lot of Americans living in the Rio Dulce area, we will take this opportunity to gorge ourselves on turkey with all the trimmings we can find here in Guatemala. We will talk about our kids and where they are, and brag about grandkids. We hope our 2 sons are celebrating with friends up in California - or are doing whatever they want to do.
But it is not a holiday here. In fact, Jonesy just took off in our fiberglass launcha to meet up with our agent for boat paperwork. Our agent (Raul) only comes up the river from Livingston once a week to service his clients here and this will be his last visit until next year. It will be crowded with a long line of clients today!
Jonesy's FIRST handknit sock hole to darn

Guatemala requires that we purchase a 1-year permit to keep our boat in their country. If we don't buy this permit, then we will be required to import the boat and pay 30% duties on it's value. So not only do we have to think about leaving the country every 90-days to reset our personal passport visas, we have to buy first, a 3-month permit for the boat, then more money later to extend it to a full 12-month permit. These are some of the things we have to remember / think about / pay for in this lifestyle and it differs by country.

Living on a boat is hard sometimes. I offered to share a book that I have onboard about sewing on beaded Embellishments. But, when I pulled it off the rear shelf in our stateroom I discovered that there one point in time...been a water leak into the boat! The book was totally glued together, dry as a bone, and moldy! Destroyed!

This beautiful book was already trash, so I figured I could be agressive in trying to remedy the situation. I soaked the whole thing in water for a few hours. Next, I gently pulled the pages apart where I could. A few days in front of a fan, alternating pages and it was finally dry. Not so beautiful, but we can at least read the instructions and get a few ideas from the photos. We still have not figured out how or where the water got into my book shelf. Another new chore.

At least it's somewhat readable
And speaking of's a photo of a little embroidery work that I did on a favorite tank top of mine. Why? Well because I had sloppily spilled some greasy food (must have been somebody else's food because I wouldn't consume greasy stuff) right on the front of the shirt. The stain wouldn't go away. But I love this top! I remembered that some thrifty folks in the past would add appliques to cover stains on kids clothes so I tried stitching on a little design. Naturally, once the original stain was nicely covered, I noticed two more little ugly spots so those got individual daisy stitch flowers over them to cover. I'm into embroidery again. Will my knitting quantity be impacted?
Stain be gone!

Naw. There's still been plenty of knitting going on these days. I even have a finished object to share. These are big 11" foot socks that will go to the kids at the orphanages in Kazakhstan. Every May the Motherless Child Foundation gives each of the teenagers who have aged-out of the system (about 16 years old) a party to commemorate their "Graduation" and a complete set of hand knit garments; sweater, scarf, hat, mittens and 2 pairs of socks.

Striped 11" foot socks
We receive the "Grads" personal measurements and color choices in December. Knitters sign up for specific children and items. But, there is usually a couple of extra kids by the time May rolls around who were not in these orphanages in December. So, what I am knitting is socks for these "Extra" kids. We know what the sizes have been in the past for this group of kids, so I simply knit socks in those sizes. That way there will be something for everyone!

I used leftover sock yarns that were donated to me by Leanne M. at Meg Swanson's Knitting Camp this past summer. Plus the red toned yarn was donated by Susan R. There were a lot of loose ends to weave in because of all the color changes (like 2 hours of work), but I think it's all worth it to provide another warm pair of socks to "our" kids in Kazakhstan.

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