Sunday, May 08, 2011


Floral Me Softly Hat

Just because I could...I knit another of my Floral Me Softly Fair Isle hats this past month. Sometimes I have to knit something other than socks. Not often, but sometimes.

This was a quick project...hmmm....and I have lots of this type of yarn (Knit Picks Palette fingering weight wool) in my stash in all sorts of colors. Perhaps there should be another one started soon.

Monday, May 02, 2011


Busy month!

Wow - the month of April just flew by! There was lots of knitting, socializing, snorkeling and go-see-doing going on last month.

The socks pictured here are my new pattern - WOVEN WISPS socks. The smocking on the cuff gathers together the strands of straw (ribbing), then let's it flow down the back and front of the leg in a lacy woven design. Modeled by the lovely Cheryl from the sailing vessel Interlude this pattern is available for free only during the month of May on the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group.

The highlight of April was the visit by a friend of mine from high school! Carol spent two weeks with us on the boat and was the perfect boat-guest. Why? Because her family had a sailboat and she knows her way around marine heads (toilets) and doesn't get seasick. Sailing to Catalina Island off the coast of California as a weekend guest with her family is how I discovered the joy of sailing! Seems fitting that Carol would be our guest on our sailboat now.

And Carol KNITS! In fact we spent a lot of time with our yarns and needles. Carol knit a beautiful hat in alpaca yarn and two different dishcloths.

We had fun checking out Facebook and laughing at looking at old high school acquaintances. Carol is a naturalist so we toured the botanical gardens (mostly just laid around in a garden hut and chatted) and snorkeled almost every day - often for over an hour at a time. In the evenings we experimented with different fruits and fruit juices and rum or tequila in the blender. Alternating nights, we'd just whip up a couple of gin and tonics with fresh lime juice.  Yes, we even had little umbrellas a couple of times. It is the tropical island after all!!

We introduced our guest to the Debauchery on the Derelict Dock cruiser BYOB and Appetizer event. Unfortunately, the weather was quite humid and there was the pall of smoke from agricultural burning so we didn't get a good sunset most evenings.

We rented our first car to go-see-do the small villages up-island on the eastern and southern sides. This is a picture of Oak Ridge on the south shore. Oak Ridge is at the end of the paved road and is the last stop for public transportation (Tica bus).

We stopped for lunch in Jonesville on the south side, and ate at PUKY'S. I don't know, there's just something about that name and the cartoon fat crocodile that gave me the creeps. Anyway, it was a nice clean little open-air restaurant right on the water. Carol and I had "Typic Food" - that is the typical food of the island. What was it? It was a freshly made flour tortilla, 2 fried eggs, a grilled hot dog, a blop of mashed red beans, and fried plantains.  Here's a picture of Jonesy and Carol pondering the menu at Puky's.

Continuing along the dirt road down the center of the island we turned off to go down to Camp Bay on the north shore. This is a beautiful place! At the far end of the white sand beach is a little bar/restaurant called "Asylum". This is it - a thatch roofed hut on stilts out over the water.

And this is one of the resident dogs. Sleeping and enjoying the breeze. Yes, I checked to see if she was breathing because she never moved the whole time we were there.

Here's Pam from the sailing vessel Glide (which can be seen in the background) modeling her new knit hat that she knit herself! She was already a knitter, but I taught her how to work on a set of double pointed needles and decrease the crown seamlessly. She actually knit 3 of these hats within about a week and donated 2 of them for the kids in the orphanage in Kazakhstan! Go girl!

I have to confess that I'm an enabler. While her enthusiasm was hot, I loaded her up with a bag of beautiful Noro and Lamb's Pride yarns to knit more hats for the kids. Glide is currently underway for a long sailing passage non-stop to North Carolina, then all the way up to Maine. I do believe that Pam will be knitting all the way. In fact, she reported in on the side-band radio net that she has already knit two more hats.

Besides working on a couple of new designs (that have to remain secret a while longer) I also knit up some thick wool socks for the orphanage. Both pairs use Brown Sheep "Lamb's Pride" worsted weight wool and my "Hug Me Socks" pattern modified for the heavier wool. In the red pair I switched to an after-thought heel to make the incorporation of the extra strand of sock yarn and nylon woolly yarn a little easier in the heel area. The toe area also has this reinforcement.

It always tickles me to see how neatly socks fold up when I've used the after-thought (Turkish) heel.

Where are these knitted items now? Up in the United States! Carol hand-carried a bag of items including these socks and Pam's two hats up to the states and will mail them to the Mittens for Akkol organization soon. Thanks Carol!

So, that's been our life lately. One more month of the island life before we head back to the mainland of Guatemala and the Rio Dulce. We'll miss a lot of what we can get and do here - but Jonesy and I both start salivating when we think about the juicy pork chops we can buy from the Casa Guatemala orphanage's meat shop in the Rio Dulce!

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