Saturday, May 27, 2006



Whew! We are knocking chores off of the list as we prepare to embark on our open-ended cruising aboard the "Niki Wiki". Here is a pic of Jones intalling the hoist sling to the outboard motor for the dinghy. We had the motor refurbished and just got it back. Below is me sewing the D-rings into the straps that secure the liferaft. Just another day of purchases, repairs, upgrades, meals, and of course knitting!
We picked up the liferaft that had been re-certified and repacked - $700 - but worth every penny considering that a new one is $6000 and if we ever need to use it - priceless. It was tough getting it back onto the boat - Jones fashioned a 3-point pulley system and we hoisted her aboard. Then I made the sewing repairs to the straps. That's the liferaft at my feet - the white box. Hard to believe that there's a 6-man life raft inside! It's one of those that is shaped like a space ship capsule - completely enclosed - and has a medical kit and small rations of water. All you have to do is toss the WHOLE BOX overboard and the line (rope) that ties it to the boat yanks on the box as it drops and engages the mechanisms that will inflate the raft! I really hope I never see it inflated!!!!

Also today, we lowered the dinghy into the water, mounted the motor and off we went for our maiden voyage in our dinghy around the harbor. We toured the marina looking at the other boats. As it is Memorial weekend, I attacked the nasty, greasy BBQ on the rear deck with a wire brush so I can grill some teriyaki chicken & veggies this evening. You know how it is - everyone is down here on their boats and they will be grilling up delicious food with wonderful aromas. It would be awful to have to smell their meals without grilling up our own!

Yesterday was a mega work day - we discovered that the forward head was "burping" fumes and "fluid materials" out of the holding tank onto the floor and into the bilge. No wonder it stank to high heaven up there!!!!! Once we tighted up the fittings - so simple - I mixed up a solution of Clorox bleach and detergent and scrubbed all the forward areas. Yeah, that's how it is to be retired and living on a boat - thrilling chores. So you pictured me with an umbrella drink sitting in a hammock? Well, that's coming up...just a few more chores...

Making progress on the "Pacific Northwest Shawl" as I've finished the "seagulls" motifs and am about 2/3 of the way thru the "evergreen trees" motifs. Still have the "sand dollars" "Fish" "Waves" and the "shell" border to go...knitting..knitting....

As this is a lace shawl you really can't see the patterning yet - kinda a rumpled blob.

Knit on...

Thursday, May 25, 2006


He did it!

Here's my baby boy, Brett on his Graduation day from California State University, Chico this past weekend! He majored in History with a declared minor in Biology. What a guy!

Jones & I drove up from the San Diego area to Chico which is in Northern California - an all day drive for Brett's graduation. We slept at my older son's house in Sacramento. Another 1st - the parents crashing at the kid's house! Life is a series of passages - and we have now moved into another phase of our lives. In fact, Brett called our cell phones a couple of days after we left Chico because he wanted to make sure that we made it home OK. Actually, we went to my dad's house in Palm Desert for a couple of days. Check out the picture of us with Palm Springs/Palm Desert/Rancho Mirage in the valley below. What a view!
So now, it's Thursday afternoon - we're back at the boat, and diving right into our electronics upgrade project. Oh - Knitting - Yes!
I finished the shawl for my sister knit from banana tree yarn.
I had picked up the yarn at Stitches last year and wanted to experiment with it. Well, I did. No, I won't knit with this stuff again. It was a very poor quality yarn. Overspun, DIRTY, highly variable material. There were actually shredded plastic UPC codes in the varigated skeins. YUK! And HAIR, long black human hairs spun into the yarn.
The shawl is inspired by the Pi R Square theme - but no arcs. Instead, I knit the triangular back, then increased out to get a wider upper back - arm coverage as my sister is short and quite, quite well endowed. I then bound off the back neck and continued straight down to create a couple of long front pieces that she can drape or wrap around.

On the needles: Finished one "Here Comes the Sun Sock" and am working the gusset of the 2nd sock.
Also, started a "Pacific Northwest Shawl" by Fiber Trends in a laceweight merino - yummy!

Knit on...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Socks & Socks

Okay, here's a pic of the "Jaywalker" socks that I finished for my niece Kelley. She picked out the yarn from the 15ea 100gr skeins of sock yarn that my dad brought back from Germany for me. It's interesting that the chevron pattern in this sock produces a rather inflexible, tight fabric compared to plain stockingette stitch. The stitch also created a very tight gauge, and the increases and decreases were tiresome. These really took a lot longer to knit than most socks.

I started the "Here Comes the Sun" socks below. The yarn is a bright yellow Opal Prisma sock yarn and the pattern is from our "Knitting Surprise" group. I turned the pattern on the leg around 45 degrees so that the "rays" of the sun are on the sides of the leg rather than on the front and back. I prefer to have the patterns on the sides - is that old fashioned now?

It was gray and in the mid-sixties again today. I woke up kinda groggy and just felt like I needed a quiet day, so I read a little romance novel, did a few loads of laundry, then knit.

Jones was a busy guy. He repaired the bow pulpit - pulling it up and repositioning it. Then he tightened the life lines around the boat. The cable guy showed up in the afternoon, so next, Jones worked out the cable TV and cable internet connections (I heard some really bad words this evening and eventually he called our computer-smart son who solved one of the problems instantly). Yesterday, Jones repaired the steps that we have on the dock to board the boat. They were quite wobbly - but no more - solid and safe now.

Knit on...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


There he goes...the bathing beauty. The figure walking along the dock is Jones trotting off to take a shower as part of the daily routine. Yes, we have 2 showers on the boat, but I need to do some intense scrubbing before we use them. Plus, on shore you can run the hot water as much as you want!!

Also, here's me posing up on the bow (pointy-end) of the boat in my new Koigu Charlotte's Web shawl.

Oh, that's another chore on our "to-do" list - the bow pulpit (rails) need to be tightened. We'll have to pull up the railings and reset the screws as some have been stripped out of the wood.

The SUN CAME OUT!!! Yippeee!!! Good thing 'cause I'm knitting on my "Here comes the Sun" socks with Opal Prisma yarn today. I started them last night while watching TV. You know, the 26" flat screen TV that every boat needs. No, we are definitely NOT roughing it.


Koigu Charlotte's Web Shawl Finished!

I had lost this shawl last December when we had to super clean the house to put it up for sale and just found it again during the move to the boat. I KNEW it was somewhere safe, just didn't know which closet I had stuffed it into to hide.

Anyway, I knit the last few rows, and did a picot edging instead of the fringe suggested inthe Koigu pattern. Thanks to someone (I can't remember who) who used this eding on her shawl about a year or two ago. I'm just not into fringe - and this shawl is for ME.

First, here's a picture of it stretched out during blocking so that we can see the lace pattern. Next, the crumpled mess as it comes off of the needles before blocking.
This is it, spread out on the dining table in the "salon" of our boat. Not too attractive at this point, eh?

And.... next is the shawl stretched & blocked on the "V-berth" of the boat. A perfect fit! A "V" shaped bed and a triangular shaped shawl. So that's what V-berths are good for!! Please ignore all the stuff shoved in the berth - that's what V-berths are also good for - for storing those bulky "what do we do with it" items when moving aboard a boat. Eventually, we'll have to find permanent homes for this stuff so that our guests will have a place to sleep.

We drove over to the north side of San Diego yesterday to take the 6-person life raft in to the marine store to be refitted. Hopefully, it can be serviced and isn't too old. Otherwise we'll have to shell out big bucks for a new one. This is one of those boat items that you hope you'll never need to use.

Weather report: gray and in the 60's still. We saw some sun yesterday when we drove inland to shop at Trader Joe's.

Been reading up on the fishing in this area and can't wait to get out there and snag an albacore!!!
Knit on...

Sunday, May 14, 2006


My man has a BIG

Engine. A really big, blue diesel boat engine; 350 cubic inches, 130hp, and 6 cylinders. We were having a stinky odor problem in the boat and Jones was searching for the source. First, he played with both of the toilets...nope, they were stinky but not big stinky.

Thinking that perhaps the 2 giant batteries were "off-gassing" he pulled up the floor hatches and...EEEEWWWWW....the stink was incredible. There was also about a gallon of water combined with a little oil stewing in the bilge. Highly fragrant, stagnant bilge fluids.

So he donned his rubber gloves and dove in. Why do I like this man best? Because he took care of the stinky situation immediately. We are now relatively odor free.

We had a great time yesterday at a picnic given by the Chula Vista Marina here - meet lots of nice boat folks, drank free beer, boogied to the oldies, sat in the sun. A great day! This was the only sunny day that we've had since moving onto the boat. They call it the "May Grey" - then we move into June, and the "June Gloom". The marine clouds move in every evening - and stick around most of the day.

On the knitting front, I finished my nieces Jaywalker socks and my Koigu Charlottes Web shawl.
Pics tomorrow...

Knit on

Friday, May 12, 2006


How Much Yarn?

How much yarn could a yarn-hog hog if a yarn-hog could hog yarn?

Good question. Lots of yarn...carts and carts of yarn. Here's a champion yarn-hog moving a cart of yarn onto her boat. No, this isn't all of the yarn - it's only about half of the masses of yarn. Folks suggested that I may have to tow additional dingys behind my boat to transport all of my yarn. Sure, this looks like a lot of yarn, but now that I'm retired it will be knit up so fast. Shoot, I may need to order more!!

So, I know you're wondering "where did she put it on the boat?" The answer is...behind the settee in the salon - or in land-lubber talk, behind the sofa in the living room. Check out the photo below for the massive quantities of space bags stuffed into the huge storage area. The cusions of the settee will cover up the holes. I can easily access these bags later.

Well, we had the sewage holds pumped this morning, and the electronics guy just came by to figure out our solar panels, new chart plotter navigation system and a power inverter. All things that will make the boat more safe and comfortable. We got the toaster oven working, microwave, and heads (potties). More later...gotta run to the marine supply store...

knit on...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


ON the "Boat

Finally, we are actually ON the boat! It has been a crazy last few days; living in cheap motels, eating way too much excellent mexican seafood, leaving the laptop computer, camera, and our cell phone chargers at my sister's house, having the money for the sale of our house NOT get wired to us until days after the close on the house, and dragging a fully loaded trailer behind our fully loaded minivan everywhere we went. No internet, No phones. We were HOMELESS and living out of the Plymouth!!!
But, it all came together yesterday afternoon; my darling brother in law air express shipped our laptop to us, the bank got the money for the sale of the house and we paid the balance due on the boat and got the keys, we got the keys to the marina, and we worked our tails off and unloaded the trailer. We figured out how to get the shore electricity working, the refrigerator is turned on, but the toilets are still a we trot off to the mariana tenants toilets when nature calls. I'm sitting at the "Nav Station" on the boat, "borrowing" somebody's wireless in order to write this entry.
Tonight will be our first night on the boat!!! I'll take pictures tomorrow.... No knitting today...way too much to do...

Thursday, May 04, 2006


She's Gone

Waaahhhh! My car was sold this morning and I miss her already. She was bought by a very nice couple to be driven by the wife (who loved the color red). The husband is very knowledgable about Honda cars so I'm sure she will continue to be well taken care of for the remainder of her useful life (I mean the car, well, hmmmm...I'm sure the wife will be well taken care of too).

Tomorrow is our last day in the house. It has been a lot of work getting rid of 30 years of marriage worth of STUFF. But also totally "freeing".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Knitting with Dog Hair - Eeeewwww...

First, let me say that I LOVE this dog - Molly, a golden retriever who owns my friend Pam. So if I'm going to knit with dog hair, it would ONLY be from this dog. No, I will NOT be knitting with dog hair again.

This all began as a joke in grad school several years ago. I encouraged Pam to save her pet's hair to spin into yarn after we finished the program. Molly is an incredibly clean dog - gets a bath every week. So Pam saved dog hair for about 3 years. Then, I sent it down to VIP and had her spin the whole works into yarn.

Actually, she provided excellent service, and the yarn was so soft and smelled good. Well, several years later, the good smell has evaporated and now it smells, well, rather doggy.

Fast forward to today, Molly, the dog, is older and has cancer. I knit this picture frame for Pam to put a picture of Molly into it. She can pet the hair then. There's almost 3 whole skeins of yarn left - someone else can knit with it.

I'll probably be banned with the serious knitting Yahoo! sites for knitting with dog hair. But for cripes sakes - some folks knit with possum and that quivat stuff - take a look at those bit ugly smelly oxen creatures. And sheep are filthy animals too! Anyway, I hope Pam enjoys this little momento.

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