Saturday, February 02, 2013


Cruising Interrupted

The Admiral's Dog Sweater
It's February and we're still at the dock. Sure, we planned to be here today - and to leave on Tuesday. But our cruising has been interrupted. Well, to be interrupted means we actually started and that hasn't happened...yet.

The critical part for the engine repair is in Florida at the freight forwarding service. It should arrive any day now. That's good news. Jonesy can flail around in the bilge and subdue that bad water pump in short order. But, wait...there's more.

The radar system started misbehaving. We called in a specialist (yes, here in Guatemala there are actually independent folks who can diagnose electronics problems). We need parts. Oh...there's no actual replacement parts available. The factory has a 2-,month backorder as our equipment is obsolete at 6 years old. He suggested that Jonesy update the software for the electronic chart plotter while he was at it. Ooops. Now the chart plotter is dead. Again, no replacement parts (i.e. circuit boards) are available.  That is a show stopper.
Cup Holders & New Outboard Cover

The radar we can do without this season as we are day-hopping for the most part (or had planned to do so). But navigational charts? Those are absolutely necessary. Especially because we will be in areas we've never sailed and Belize has hundreds of reefs and atolls. So we are investigating solution for the chart plotter.  Stuck in paradise again.

But, there has been some progress made in other areas. Check out our river transportation launcha. See our new cup holders? One is that black circle on Jonesy's seat there. Not only are we styling now, we can stow our water/beverage cans and bottles for the hot ride back to the marina after walking and shopping.

Happy, Styling Jonesy
Plus...see the new padded fabric cover on the outboard engine? The white is reflective tape. We had a mishap at the crowded dock in town last week where a larger engine smashed our fiberglass engine cover. That's not good because then rain water would get into the guts. Marco, our marina manager suggested that we get it repaired at the same place where our fiberglass launcha was made. Yep. 4 hours and $30US later we were all better. That same day we picked up a brand new pre-made $25US canvas cover too! Very nice! See? We can get some boat stuff here in the Rio Dulce of Guatemala.

Hunky Chunky Cables Socks

Finally the first of the month rolled around and I can share with you two new designs of mine that have been released. First up is my Hunky Chunky Cables Socks for the Six Sox Knitalong Yahoo Group as their Feb/Mar 2013 sock pattern. These socks have a single big cable running down both the front and the back of the socks. Wouldn't you feel special wearing these with your open-backed shoes or sandals?

The knitting technique is intarsia-in-the-round which will make some less-adventurous knitters go running about screaming obscenities and poking people with sharp sticks. But then, knitters could also use these socks to impress and amaze other knitters. Only other knitters would be able to grasp the challenge of these socks. So if you are ready to accept the assignment go get your pattern while it is free only during February and March 2013 on the Yahoo group.
Chunky Cable down the back too

For the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo Group I've shared my new little holiday Teddy Bear Ornament. You can either download the pattern from Ravelry for $3US, or grab it for free only during the month of February 2013 on the group. I think it would be fun to make one of these little 4 1/2" tall ornaments with self-patterning sock yarn too! It is knit flat on 2 needles then seamed and stuffed.

For a girly version you could tie a ribbon around the neck or add a lace frilly skirt with a wide piece of purchased lace trim! My mind runs wild with the possibilities...guess what I'll be knitting for the next few months. Yep, more Christmas ornaments. I mean, who wouldn't want to decorate their tree, office, home, packages, backpacks, etc. with personalized handknit cuties?
Teddy Bear Ornament 

Now, at the top of this post I featured the boat dog that I've been pet-sitting. He's proudly wearing his new sweater as he poses on the bow of our boat. What? You thought I would have a little dog onboard for weeks and NOT knit him a special little sweater? Of course I would and I did. I also wrote up the pattern which is now being tested for errors. It will be released to the Holiday Mystery Gifts group next month. I know, I'm spoiling some of the "mystery" but I'm so in love with this little dog and had to share.

The sweater is knit flat in one piece with no seams! The two front straps criss-cross over the dog's chest and are brought back under the legs and button up to the side of the back piece. It's really easy to knit and easy to get on a dog. Not that that was a problem with Admiral. He loves getting dressed - and even posed for his photo session. What a hoot!
This is a photo of the sweater - see if you're a knitter you'd realize how easy it is to knit one of these.

Yes. Admiral needs a sweater even down here in Guatemala. It has been rather chilly with temps in the 60's and light to heavy rain. It's damp and gray. Admiral gets chilled. Amazinginly he's taught himself how to pull his little blanket up over himself! We are having so much fun with him.

So, our ship's stores here in the galley are stocked with staples for our cruising season and the freezer has layers of meat. It's not like any of it will go to waste as we still have to eat. It just means that when we finally get our issues sorted out I'll have to restock. We've taken down and stowed the larger of our two big ShadeTree awnings over the boat so we're exposed to the tropical sun (if it ever reappears). The watermaker has been unpickled in preparation for going out to sea (so no dock water) thus Jonesy now has to run it every couple of days. We're all ready, set,...and now stay.

Sorry you're stuck, even if it is in Paradise! Looking at the dog sweater flat (and Admiral looks very comfortable & proud wearing it),I thought of a couple of alternate uses. Make two, seam them together and you'll have a child's rabbit hat or put a button on the end of one of the tabs and use it as a child's bib. FYI - it is snowing in Indiana and temp is about 25 farenheit.
Great ideas! I like the way you think!
I just love the little dog sweater on Admiral. He looks so proud of it too. I can see that pattern will be very simple to upsize for any pooch who needs a sweater, too. Thanx for including the flat photo. Hope everything gets fixed in a timely manner so you can sail new seas. Good luck.
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