And the World is Green

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,


Our internet has been so bad of late that for the last two weeks we have been given free shipboard internet (which, when we've had it, has been faster than our normal expensive internet - which is weird).  I'm worried that this may be coming to an end, so I'm posting as many photos as I can before we return to slow, bad, expensive, internet. 

This Wednesday we made our weekly stop at my favorite botanical garden.  I was caught up on sleep and the morning was quiet so I put on my favorite blue dress, grabbed my camera and a mug of iced coffee, and spent the morning in a world of green. 

This Venezuelan Rose is actually the height of an apple tree.  The flower is the size of a hat.  I would actually like to wear this flower as a hat. I shall have to learn to make hats. 

This Venezuelan Rose is actually the height of an apple tree.  The flower is the size of a hat.  I would actually like to wear this flower as a hat. I shall have to learn to make hats. 

A decorative pineapple.    I never realized that the body of the pineapple had blossoms, though in retrospect it makes sense. 

A decorative pineapple.  I never realized that the body of the pineapple had blossoms, though in retrospect it makes sense. 

True to the name, there were orchids.  I love how alien this one looks.

True to the name, there were orchids.  I love how alien this one looks.

And I love this very frilly frill.  Before this garden I was never all that fond of orchids, but seeing them in their native setting has won me over. 

And I love this very frilly frill.  Before this garden I was never all that fond of orchids, but seeing them in their native setting has won me over. 

And there were mushrooms!

And there were mushrooms!

I love this texture. 

I love this texture. 

And also slime molds (or maybe sill mushrooms?).  This is one of the many little bamboo bridges that dot the garden.  

And also slime molds (or maybe sill mushrooms?).  This is one of the many little bamboo bridges that dot the garden.  

And butterflies

And butterflies

And several wild toucans.  I sat on a conveniently placed bench and watched this one for a while.  There are usually scarlet macaws around the place as well, though there were apparently elsewhere that morning. 

And several wild toucans.  I sat on a conveniently placed bench and watched this one for a while.  There are usually scarlet macaws around the place as well, though there were apparently elsewhere that morning. 

And then (far too soon) it was time to head back to the boat and to start my workday. 

And then (far too soon) it was time to head back to the boat and to start my workday. 


Engineer’s Armwarmers Kits and DK weight BFL, or: What I Got Up To During My Last Rotation Home.

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,


Now that we are in Costa Rica for the winter and the engine room thermometer measures 100 degrees it seems impossible that only during my last rotation (when the boat was in Alaska) I was thinking about what to layer under my coveralls to stay warm, but I really was, and my solution was a pair of armwarmers in a random rib inspired by the geological formations of the Endicott Arm in Southeast Alaska.  

 

With a little bit of shaping for the forearm and the simplest of holes for the thumb they are lovely and simple to knit.  When I wrote up the pattern I realized how little yarn the three accent colors actually required and so I decided to make up a few kits.  And once I decided to make kits, I got a little carried away, but in a good way.  

I talked Sam into drawing a crossed pipe wrench and set of knitting needles, which I then turned into a block print. 

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And on a lazy Sunday morning printed flour-sack muslin bags.  

And once there were bags, there had to be stitch markers.  So I got in touch with Wendy at Blue Dog Workshop (a fellow Mainer) who has made lovely stitch markers for me in the past, to see if she might have any charms that fit the emerging theme.  She had the perfect charm in mind, and was happy to pair it with a light blue bead the color of glacier ice.   (I wish I had taken a better photo of just the stitch marker before I left - I could not be more pleased).

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All in all, I had a lovely time putting the kits together and am really pleased with the results.  

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In addition to working with my Romney > Cotswold fingering weight yarn for the kits, I also got to dye this year’s worsted spun DK weight Bluefaced Leicester from Two Sisters Farm in Woolwich, Maine (I feel like I earlier mis-identified the farm as being in Waldoboro, which is one town over).  

The yarn is lovely and lustrous and soft and also the perfect weight for knitting Kate Davie’s Epistrophy, which has been on my “to knit” list ever since Yokes was released.  I will admit that I dyed the Aspen and Tongas color ways with my Epistrophy in mind. 

Sadly, I had to return to the boat before I gathered my courage to cut the steek, but it is almost finished, and I really enjoyed the pattern and am very happy with how it is turning out. 

The remaining BFL (that I didn't hoard for myself) is currently listed for sale here. 

I will be on the boat in the sweltering heat until mid-January, dreaming of colder climes and knitting. 

The sunsets are lovely here though.

   Flamenco Anchorage, waiting to head into the Panama Canal, Caribbean bound. 

 

Flamenco Anchorage, waiting to head into the Panama Canal, Caribbean bound. 




Scenes from life aboard.

by upton in , ,


Christmas and New Years were working holidays for the crew of the Sea Lion.   Some of the stews tried to make things a little more festive around the crew spaces by making and hanging traditional Christmas decorations.  I wanted to hug them all for it, especially for the gem they hung outside the door to the engine room. A pefect metaphore for Christmas

Just in case it isn't quite clear, they used paper from the office recycling bin to make paper snowflakes.  I think this is the perfect metaphor for our Christmas.

Not quite two weeks later we are just beginning our second round trip from Colón, Panama to Herradura, Costa Rica and return.  This is beginning to feel oddly similar to the ferries in Maine, with no cars and a strangely long run.

Two days ago we docked at a container dock in Colón.  Between Colón and the Port of LA where we spent our annual yard period I feel like I am becoming more acquainted with industrial marine infrastructure than I ever expected to be.

CCT container dock

But it has not all been work.  Most mornings I have managed to spend a little time up on the sundeck with my first cup of coffee and my tahkli, much to the fascination/consternation of guests and crew.  I spend most of my free time immersed in the world of fiber arts/crafts, and I forget that the rest of the world does not do the same.

Tahkli on a boat