Wednesday, January 23, 2013
|Admiral and Terry|
The amount of time available for knitting has decreased because of these duties though. That and the fact that Admiral loves to sleep on laps. It's been more than six years since I had my own Niki kitty sleeping on my lap so we both, Admiral and I, needed to work out the dynamics. After a couple of days he's learned to relax during Arts and Crafts time and not to be bothered by yarn tickles or the occasional poke from a knitting needle. Oh, and because he has to go do his "business" in the morning, I have to get dressed and off the boat and can't laze about in my sleeping tee-shirt all morning. But it does mean too that I've had the privilege of hearing and seeing the parrots in the trees on these mornings.
A new Mystery Lace Sock Knit Along has begun on the Nicole Rodgers Designs group on Ravelry with a beautiful sock pattern. Although the pattern is named Eggplant Parmigiana, I have chosen a bright chartreuse hand-dyed yarn I picked up at the last Sock Summit convention. So far we have only recieved the "clues" (instructions) for the cuff which is worked in broken rib stitch. Hopefully there will be a girl in Kazakhstan who will enjoy wearing lace patterned, bright colored socks. Here is a quick photo of our progress so far...
Jonesy has been busy with some final preventative maintenance on the boat before our planned exit the first week of February. But, he found a problem on the engine. Actually, we're very fortunate that we found this before we headed out to sea and had some sort of a failure. But, now it means that our schedule may have to slip. Dang. He found that the auxillary shaft coupling for the raw water pump has exploded away leaving just bits behind! He took this photo a couple of years ago when it was still in place which is a good thing because we have emailed the picture to the engine supply company. Now we need to get a new one down here to us - that's the tricky hard part! If Jonesy had a spare, we'd be ready to go in one day. On boats, it's always something.
|Perkins Engine Raw Water|
Yesterday I met up with a group of gals for the first time to work on rag rugs to sell to support an animal charity. "Freddy's Friends" is run by Pam and she administers wormings, vitamins, and information to the local residents so that they can take better care of their pets and farm animals. These rag rugs are sold at our twice-monthly cruiser swap meets. I helped to rip up sheets into strips and roll these into balls. Other crafters, including Pam, crochet them into thick area rugs of various sizes.
|Crocheted Rag Rugs|
|Freddy's Friends at work|
These past few weeks Jonesy and I have been feeding an emaciated little black dog who lives out in the jungle where we walk. I have only been able to get close to her one time, and that was because she was so weak she literally stumpled and fell on the side of the road. I hand fed her what I had been able to buy in town - just some dry Purina dog chow, some chicken ham, and sliced american cheese. Now, Pam has supplied me with some worming medicine and liquid vitamins. But, we haven't seen the dog this week yet. I hope I can get her to get close to me again so I can squirt the meds in her mouth. We'll keep walking and looking for her.
So that's how we've spent the last week or so, enjoying other peoples' pets, crafting, and preparing for our trip to sail up to Belize and Mexico. Come on engine supply house and airfreight and get that part to us NOW!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Socks, socks, socks
So that has motivated me to keep on knitting those socks. The measurements this year have 3 of the boys with 12" long feet! That's a lot of knitting. This gray pair is 12". Not real exciting unless you have big, cold feet.
Then I finally finished darning in all the yarn ends on a 10 1/2" pair of socks knit from leftover small balls of yarn. Of course, there are more socks on the needles. too.
Today is the first day of our year-long Afghan Knitalong on the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group. This project features strips of 11 different pattern stitches developed by 11 designers. Each month a new strip will be released as a free pattern. This way folks can knit smaller amounts spread out over a year and have a completed afghan at the end! Look for my strip in a few months.
Also on the Holiday Mystery Gifts group this year, we are releasing 24 different little patterns for ornaments for an Advent Calendar of Ornaments project. Soon I'll be able to share with you what I've developed as part of this knitalong.
All's well here in Guatemala as the countdown to tearing ourselves away from the dock continues...20 days...
Monday, January 07, 2013
Leaf Cutting Ants
Leaf Cutter Ants everywhere! They parade through the grass here at the marina and create little channels/ant highways. The day we took this video along the road where we walk, the ants were carrying bits of these bright orange flowers. The parade of colors facinated us so we stopped and watched for a while. We are so lucky to have the freedom to stop and explore when it strikes our fancy.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Celebrations on the Rio Dulce - Part 2
|Pororo Street drummers, Livingston Guatemala|
|Recycled oil jugs make a hanging garden|
|Flower petals in a stone trough|
|3-mile walk from Livingston to the 7 Altars falls|
It was a lovely walk. It would have been perfect if it wasn't for the large amount of plastic trash piled up at the high tide line. Unfortunately this beach is down wind from the whole Caribbean which means that any plastic that is tossed into the sea will eventually get washed ashore. This has really created a blight throughout Central America and Panama.
|Dugout cayuco with nets on the beach|
This hanging bridge is at the end of a little local road to/from Livingston (there are no roads connecting Livingston to the interior of Guatemala) so there was a lot of foot (now floating) traffic of local people. Why? Because not only were the Garifuna having a celebration, it was the monthly distribution of food support from the European Community to the women. We saw mostly Mayan women out here as they don't celebrate the Pororo going on in town. We heard that they rent out their colorful woven traditional skirts to the dancers for a few bucks during the festival. Each woman was hauling home a giant clear plastic bag filled with sacks of wheat flour and other foods.
|Andrea crosses a beach stream bridge|
The Seven Altars are a series of waterfalls that are fed by local rains. There hasn't been much rain lately because we are currently in the dry season so that meant that the "falls" weren't, umm, falling. But that also meant that we could see what the rock structure was beneath the usual flow of water which was also interesting!
|Wooden hand cart|
|Terry swims in the COLD water of the Seven Altars|
Back at the hotel, we met up with other members of our group and had a wonderful meal in the outside patio area before retiring for the night. After a leisurely breakfast the next morning we headed out in the launcha again for the trip back up the river to our marina homes.
|Rio Dulce gorge|
|Hot Water Springs on the Rio Dulce, Guatemala|
|Hot Water Springs|
Farther up the river where the land flattens out our launcha river (now guide) took us through a remote lagoon off of the beaten river track to show us more wildlife. We saw more iguanas and many nesting cormorants on the isolated islands. The shallower, and thus warmer water was encrusted with water lilies.
Even though this is a remote area (and one we have been advised never to anchor in overnight), there are a few families who have made their homes in this marshy flatland. Men paddled their dugout cayucos along the river to head out to fish, collect firewood, or whatever was on their chore list for the day. I certainly hope they weren't out hunting iguanas which they do eat.
|Water lilies in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala|
|Mayan children along the Rio Dulce|
Still working on socks for the kids in Kaz. I find this sort of knitting so relaxing and comforting, so I just am doing more of it. Plus, I have turned over the management of the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group to a couple of great gals. That means I don't have to keep involved daily and can just drift, knit, eat, sleep, and play.
But I did manage to finally sew on 2 buttons to my Gansey Mystery Hood with neck-warmer. Then I stalked one of the kitchen workers here at the marina and got her to model it for me. So now I have my own photo for the pattern...AND some optional instructions to knit the hat all in One-Piece! The original instructions create a flat piece that you need to seam up to create the hood. It is very simple to knit. The optional seamless version uses short-rows and picking up stitches to avoid all seaming. The only sewing is to add the 2 buttons at the neck.
The New and Improved pattern is free on Ravelry.com and I'll also put the link here for you too.
FREE PATTERN Gansey Style Mystery Hood
|Gansey Style Mystery Hood modeled by Candy|
Remember I talked about upgrading the stairs down into our boat? Well, we finished them! Our friend on s/v Kajun Diva has a walking foot on her sewing machine so she stitched two rows of stitching which created channels on the wool rug runner. I then cut ("steeked" is knitting geek terminology) the runner into 5 pieces for the 5 steps. Just to be sure there would be no unraveling, I sealed the raw edges of these new stair treads with silicone seal. It was a messy ooey-gooey job.
I just happened to have a can of Elmer's Glue Craft Adhesive spray on the boat. We sprayed the backs of the wool treads and the stairs and stuck those puppies down. It took both of us to do this and yes, our hands, arms, and everything else was sticky too.
|Wool stair treads woven in Mexico|
Yes, we know Ryan that you and your brother "ingress the boat by swinging in like a monkey" but you will be allowed to actual use these steps. In fact, we are impatiently waiting for the pitter patter of your feet anywhere you wish to tread (its your boat too) sailing vessel Niki Wiki.