Friday, August 24, 2007


Venice Beach, California

Now that the remnants of Hurricane Dean have come and gone, we can relax again. We had a solid day of hard rain and much cooler temperatures (in the high 70's), but no big winds. Today, there are blue skies and the temps are back up - but only in the 80's.

Last month, when I was in the states, I flew down to the Los Angeles area to visit my youngest son, Brett. He's living in Venice Beach - just 1/2 block from the beach!! Lucky guy!! This is a view of the boardwalk in Venice. While Brett was at work (ha ha ha) I took long walks along the beach, down the boardwalk, and even rode the bus to Santa Monica.

Next, check out the view from the rooftop of his little apartment building!!! TOO MUCH! This is where he can BBQ with friends, hang out, and just be, like, way cool. Some of his neighbors are movie stars, musicians, film folks - you know, they're in "the industry". Venice is a funky place for sure. Everyday there was something going on. One day they had his street closed to film a TV show - "Shark" I think it's called. Then the next day it was a commercial of some sort.

You can buy all sorts of crap cool stuff like tie-dye shirts, incense, bongs, or get a henna tatto. I couldn't believe the large number of tourists - mostly from Germany and other European countries. I don't know, maybe because I grew up in LA I just don't think of it as a desirable tourist destination.

Venice is also home to the famous "Muscle Beach".Here's where the buff dudes come to work out on the beach and be seen. I took my current sock knitting project (BBS for Soldiers) along for the tour. Here they are working out on some of the equipment; a punching bag, rope climbing, and pull-ups on the bar. Next, I helped them out on the weight lifting circuit. That's me - spotting the mega-pound lift for them.

Next, we (the socks and I) took the bus to Santa Monica - just because we could and it's a short little ride. We stolled through a farmer's market, down to the pier to see the fun park, and out along the top of the cliffs overlooking Pacific Coast Highway - famous Route 1.

But Zoltar couldn't make my socks "BIG" so we went back home to get some serious knitting done.

Then, at the end of a long day playing along the beach, we relaxed until Brett came home from work (ha ha ha). I play all day and my baby boy goes to a job. I LOVE IT!

Here he is - poor guy - all exhausted after a long day at work in his new apartment.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007



I'm knitting mittens. Yeah, I know, we don't need them where we live, but they are very interesting to knit.

This one is NHM #7 from Terri Shea's new book Selbuvotter and is my favorite. Of course, this first photo is of the wrong side (inside) of the mitten as this is how I knit it. In order to keep the stranding of the yarn color that is not being knitted loose enough, I knit the mitten inside out.

Now, I'll turn it right (public) side out for the next photos -
back of hand and palm. See the little hole for the thumb? I'll knit that last. And speaking of inside out...when Sandi and I were traveling to Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp this summer, we saw a
gal wearing a sweater that was obviously stranded colorwork (fair isle-ish) with the "wrong" side on the outside. I asked the (obviously knitting ignorant) girl if I could check out her sweater. Yup, that's how it was - commercially - made. Very strange. Now, she probably tells all her friends the story about the crazy old knitting ladies who examined her garment in the airport. Well, at least we gave her something to talk about.

Also on the needles (and actually being worked on) is another pair of men's leisure socks for the Socks for Soldiers group. The yarn is Opal - both yarns, the red/white/blue is a section from a colorway that also has black in it. I just wanted to decorate the top of these socks. The Big Black Socks are almost done - only 1 more inch of foot and then I decrease the toes for pair #3 to be done.

Hurricane Dean is running out of gas. Yippeeee! We're still staying put on the boat until it's clear that we're out of danger. Even this morning there was a forecast of 40mph winds and lots of rain in a short period.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Hurricane Dean

We're watching the massive Hurricane Dean out in the Caribbean. Why? We're way over on the other side, the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Well, because this storm is so large, that the current forecast is for the possibility that we will get 35mph winds from it. True, we've seen that before, but not while we were tied to a dock.

I never knew that I'd have to watch/worry about Atlantic storms too!!! Jonesy just went out to re-secure our lines and added pieces of plastic tubing as sleeves over the points where the lines rub against anything to prevent chafing. We're leaving the roller-furled jib, and dodger screens up for now until we see what's coming. The mainsail is already down and secure in the forward berth as we had it repaired earlier this summer and didn't put it back up for just this reason.

Just waiting and watching...if anything comes it won't be until Friday morning , August 24th.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Dew Dabbers

Horses SWEAT
Ladies DEW

That's what my southern-bred (Savannah, Georgia) grandmother used to say. We, my sisters and I, were not allowed to sweat, we "dewed". So, to honor my late grammy, I now introduce handknit....

You have to realize that it is HOT and HUMID down here in tropical Mexico and when we are hiking around town, riding the bus, whatever, I sweat like a pig, dew, as in rivulets running down my face and neck and cleavage. Not a pretty sight, or very comfortable for that matter. I followed the lead of some of the locals and started carrying a small towel around with me to wipe the sweat off my brow dab gently at my dew, but the towels were too big and I kept losing them and Jonesy was embarrassed by towels tied to my purse strap or sticking out of my shorts pocket. So inspiration struck - why don't I just KNIT a SMALL pretty cotton square? Voila! The Dew Dabber was born.

Just knit up a little something out of soft, absorbent cotton yarn, being sure to make a hole somewhere in it for a carabiner, clip, or strap. Clip and Go! I love these things!!!

Yes, we did. We joined the Puerto Vallarta Yacht Club. Here's a pic of Jonesy standing by a statue in front of the clubhouse. That's it - that's all there is...just one room and a patio, with some small offices downstairs.

We have to make sure that we are dressed appropriately to go have drinks or food at the club; we always check our clothes for obvious dirtiness like motor oil spills, dried & crushed barnacles from the raw water systems, larger blobs of old food on our shirts, and rips or tears that would expose body parts that would scare somebody. No silly nautical hats or blue blazers required.

Inside, it is usually air-conditioned and, at this time of year, quiet. On Wednesday nights the club has a movie and popcorn, and we will usually eat dinner there that night. There's a book & magazine exchange, computers to use, full bar, and there's no smoking allowed inside the building!! Yipeeeeeee!!!

Outside is the patio which faces the marina and Nuevo Vallarta estuary. During the winter, this is a pleasant place to hang out, but right now, it's just too dang humid.

The pool and showering facilities which are attached to the building can be used by anybody who lives in the Paradise Village Marina. So now you know where we get outselves cleaned up. It's a real luxury for us cruisers to have running hot & cold water! And believe me, these facilities are a whole lot nicer than the scary showers you pay a few pesos to use in the small towns we've visited.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Knitting Camp in the News!

Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp was on the front page of the local newspaper! And if you look really closely, that's MY BALL of gray yarn in the tiny picture. I demonstrated my 'Needle Weaving' technique (kitchner stitching without a yarn darning needle) to the campers, and that's a picture of my demo tools. How cool is that? OK, so Marshfield is a small town.

So what else happened at camp? Well, The NEW LACE DVD from Meg was released while we were at Retreat 2.75, that's what. We had a surprise celebration for Meg, Amy Detjen, and Marilyn Van Keppel complete with cake and a tray loaded up with the new CDs. This was the first that any of the authors had seen the finished product.

From this photo you can also see the setup for the room - the video camera and the monitors. No matter where you sit, you can see what the demonstrator is doing with her hands on one of the many televisions.

That's it for my camp pictures. What? Why? Because other campers took lots of pictures and are kindly sharing them with us. So have fun with these links:

Kim's Flikr Photos from Retreat 3
LessKnit Flickr Photos Retreat 2.75
Knit Addict - Linda, Full Days
Knit Addict - Linda, Shopping Day
Knit Addict - Linda, Last Full Day
Knit Addict - Linda, This Really Deserves Its Own Post

LAMBTOWN USA Back in the USA, Sandi, Beth and I made our annual pilgrimage to this funky little fiber festival in Dixon, CA.

Here we saw sheep being sheered, fleeces of alpaca and sheep being judged, and toured the many vendor booths. This cute little fella is a "Suri Alpaca" and was exceptionally soft. This year the fair was held outdoors in a city park which was nice and shady. There were fewer vendors but it was a lot more comfortable. We ran into a lot of our knitterly friends wandering the festival.

Of course, my Socks for Soldiers were on the needles and I was able to add a couple of inches to the leg of a sock as I wandered the fair, and on the hour drive each way. These are my favorite carry-along project.
Don't ya love the natural colors of these fluffy wool-muffins (sheep)? I see them as yarn on the hoof.

Friday, August 10, 2007


The Big Haul

So, of course y'all know that I brought back to Mexico massive quantities of yarn that I had been ordering on the internet and had shipped to my son's house in the US. Oh, er, and some yarn and new DPNs and Addi Lace needles that I purchased at some of the yarn shops that my friend, Sandi, drove me around to see. Well, yes, and the yarn and books from knitting camp. But what else did I carry back?

There must have been something else in those two giant overweight (80-100lb ea) pieces of luggage, the backpack, and the Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp 2007 tote bag besides yarn and a few clothes, right? Oh yeah. First, I got my own laptop computer!! Whooo-hooo!! It makes safety sense to have two on the boat anyway ("well Jonesy if you really think I should buy one...")

Then there are the food items that we love and can't find anywhere here in Mexico. There are so many gringos in the coastal cities, that we can find some of the strangest stuff; soy sauce, the nori wrappers for sushi, fancy British canned goods, all sorts of imported goodies. But believe it or not - NO GREEN CHILIES. Nope - there are no fresh or canned green (aka Anaheim or California) chilies to be found down here. Lots of the other fresh or dried chilies, but none of these mild beauties.

So, I packed a couple of cans in my bag, along with the Fat-Free salad dressing mix, Curry Powder, Poultry Seasoning, Dried Beef (for Jonesy's creamed chip beef on toast), natural no-butter popcorn and....Candy. Yep, Jonesy's favorite candies are Big Hunk, Abba-Zaba and Bit-o-Honey. These are even hard to find in the states as the manufacturer of Big Hunk and Abba-Zaba is a small California company - Annabelle's. My new found knitting friend, Elizabeth, just happened to own a candy store in Old Sacramento and the rest is history.

The largest and heaviest item (34 lbs) was a new ShadeTree brand boat cover for the Niki Wiki ! I had to buy a giant duffel bag and stuff this monster into it so that I could check it as "luggage". What a difference this "tent" has made!!! With temperatures in the upper 90's and high humidity, this cover has made the boat much cooler. We don't have to turn the air conditioning on until late in the afternoon - and then run it all night to sleep. Electricity is expensive here at the marina so we need to conserve as much as possible.

Shoes - I brought back 3 pairs of shoes for Jonesy and 2 pairs for me. Check out his new "Keen" brand shoes!! These were originally designed for boat people; to protect our toes and be able to get wet and to dry fast. Very cool indeed.

And the knitting continues... I've finished the black beanie in Cascade Fixation for the Socks for Soldiers group and am ready to work the heel flap in the pair#3 socks.

Progress on the Lacy Socks (aka Pomatomus) has been slow. The yarn is a Regia that I got from Germany with subtle shading of an olive green color. I've started these 3 times now and am just not happy with the results - the YO eyelet holes. My holes seem way too big compared to some of the other finished socks I've seen on folks' blogs. I've tried tweaking my yarnovers before a purl stitch to shorten it and that makes them look a little better. Any ideas? Should I just go with the flow?

I promise, photos, and links to other folks' photos of knitting camp will be on my next blog.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Ahhhh...Back in Mexico

I'm back in tranquil Mexico after the whirlwind trip to California and Wisconsin. I'll be posting pictures soon of my travels - and those of my Socks for Soldiers Big Black Socks. Here's a pic of my World Famous Tommy's Hamburger lunch I had in Santa Monica near Los Angeles. Yep, that's chili sauce on my burger. Do I know how to have fun or what?

So while I was busy shopping, touring, walking, and knitting, what was Jonesy doing? Well, just days after I flew up to the states he had a 17-year old female move aboard the boat! This little hussy just moved right in and made herself at home - in my food cupboard. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that she is a cat. A sweet, old cat named Opal who has more sailing miles on her than Jonesy and me combined. Opal has moved aboard to hang out with us for a few months while her "peoples" are visiting the USA and South America.

Knitting: I've finished the first sock of pair #3 of the Big Black Socks for Soldiers and am almost done with the leg of the second sock. A black beanie is almost done too. Just mindless knitting.

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