Friday, August 30, 2013

Straight Jackets for your Brewski - knit & felt your own!

I insist on a polychromatic Life, and that includes my afternoon beer delight.  These hot little numbers keep my beer cold, my hand warm, and the color doesn't stop.

The weather has been sublime here in Jackson, so I've consulted my palette of yarn colors from Knitpicks, hefted my sticks and had a color jam.

These are easy to knit.  Size 8 (5mm) dpns, or if you have a clever gene, a size 8, 11" circular.  I double strand Knitpicks Palette yarn, a total of 100 yards.  But a worsted weight, feltable wool could be used as a single strand option.  I also use Knitpicks Wool of the Andes and Cascade 220 this way.

Cast on 40 stitches, place a stitch marker, join and work your own color dream for a total of 40 rounds.

I kind of like this pattern combination of 3 colors:

Color #1:  CO and K 10 rounds

Switch to Color #2:  K 4 rounds (I just tie on color # 2, and carry #1 for the next stripe)

Switch to Color #1:  K 1 round (Here I break off Colors #1 & 2, for simplicity)

Switch to Color #3:  K 7 rounds

Switch to Color #1:  K 1 round (Break off Color #3)

Switch to Color #2: K 4 rounds (Carry Color #1 up the back)

Switch to Color #1:  K 13 rounds

P one round

Begin Decrease:
Rnd1:  K6, K 2tog* repeat to SM
Rnd 2:  K5, K2tog* repeat
Rnd 3:  K4, K2tog* repeat
Rnd 4:  K
Rnd 5:  K 3, K2tog* repeat
Rnd 6:  K2, K2tog* repeat
Rnd 7:  K
Rnd 8: K1, K2tog* repeat
Rnd 9: K2tog* repeat
Break yarn, thread through stitches and pull tight.

Weave in any ends, and try to adjust those color jogs.  Then use your favorite felting method.  I throw mine into a top load washing machine, with hot water and an old pair of jeans.  I find it still needs a bit of hand felting, to get a good thick fabric.  Shape around a bottle or can, and let it dry.  Voila!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Notes from Zim ~ Warthog

I received an email from Godfrey today.  It sounds like the action is heating up in Hwange National Park!  The dry season is bringing the animals closer and closer to the water holes, and thus the camps.  Here is Godfrey's story.  I have copied it exactly as he sent it, because I enjoy the translations he makes from Indabele to English to keyboard!

today we had to watch 5 lions tryng to kill a warthog on the vlei in front of the camping ground here in sinamatella
it was around 8 am when l saw a warthog running with lions in hot pursuit.the warthog then got in a hole .l then called the tourists who were camping and we watched the lions tryng to dig it out.after about 5 min the lions went about 20 m from the hole &slept there waiting for it to come out after 20 m we saw the warthog coming out of the. hole thinking that the lions had gone and it started going. very slowly leaving the safety of the hole and the lions pretended not to be seeing it after it had gone about 30m lions started crawling towards the hole .when they got there they made a horn formation and one of them then went round the warthog with the intensions of. pushing torwards the others unfortunately the warthog saw them first and it ran away on the opposite direction .the lions tried to chase it but the warthog had already outpaced them and got into another hole and the lions gave up and left it alone and went to lie near the river.after about
 2 hours came the buffaloes and they went straight to were the lions were after a few minutes the action began .the buffaloes were taken by suprised by the time they tried to run towards the river the lions were already there .we saw dust.and the all wailing of the buffalo .we could not see what was happening in the river and the lions are still in seems there are enjoying their lunch on the cool sand

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Dry Season Takes Its Toll in Hwange National Park ~ Godfrey

For the past weeks l have been at Shumba Camp.  There is also some activity taking place here.

Elephants are now coming in large herds & they are now drinking the whole night.  They have also started destroying our water system.  They have already came twice & it now means that many small pans are drying up. 

It seems this year they have started early to destroy the water system as they usually do that in Sep to October.  I am also afraid that we might have another drought in some parts of the park especially from Shumba to Main Camp, as most pans seem to be full yet its only mud some even less than a metre deep.

Buffaloes are also coming.  There is a herd of about 300 but it does not come everyday.  Roan & sable are now coming but still in small herds.  There is also a leopard, usually seen at Roan Pan about 6 km from Shumba on the way to Main Camp.  l hope it will come to Shumba when that pan dries up.
Tourists seem to have disappeared. There are very few people in the park - sometimes there is no one camping for 3 to 4 days.  It seemz tourists had said "lets quickly go to Zim at the same time & quickly leave" whilst everyone is still amazed at the large volumes of people visiting the park.
Masuma seem to be having many animals as all the pans around it are dry.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Updates from Godfrey ~ ~

Godfrey has had difficulty selling his knitted items to tourists in Hwange National Park ~ visitors have been scarce!  I wrote him and suggested that if he encounters any American travelers, to ask if they would carry his knitted wonders back to the US, then send them to me.  I also asked what color of yarn he would like, and sent him a copy of The Amanda Hat by Gina House.  ( A very cool pattern!)

Godfrey's response:

Hello Beth

that sounds like a great idea. next time l see someone from America will send them to you.
for the yarn any coulor is fine. but if you can find yellow, red, green, they will be okay.
for the needles my size 6.5 mm circular needle broke & thus the ones I use most often.

Yes you made me laugh. tell you what at first l was shy to be seen knitting now am very proud of my knitting skills all thanxs to you!!!

will try the Amanda hat I managed to download it


Monday, June 24, 2013

Update from Godfrey

Godfrey has sent me a few emails these past few days.  He is at Mandavu Dam, in Hwange National Park.  Such stories he has to tell!!!  (I edited just a little, for clarity)

June 20, 2013 Godfrey wrote:

Yesterday evening lions tried to take a baby elephant here at Mandavu.  6 lions came to drink ,whilst they were drinking came a herd of ellies with small babies.  The elephants chased the lions but within a few minutes the lions were back, only that they were on the far side of the dam it was not clear to see exactly what was happening.  We just heard the baby elephant screaming & running to the water with the lions in hot pursuit.  Then the Elephants got mad & started chasing the Lions & there was a lot of noise with the Lions roaring & Elephants screaming.  Then darkness took over but l don't think the baby Ellie made it as we saw Vultures in that direction in the morning.

Since l came here Lions are here every night making noise the whole night.  Animals coming to drink seem to be multiplying everyday as there is an increase in Elephant & Buffalo herds.

Tourists turnout is still very low.  I spent the last 8 days without anyone camping.  l hope that they will improve after elections which l dont know will be when.



And this, dated June 24  Read carefully - Godfrey eventually went outside the gate to inspect a lion kill!

today in the morning at around 4am lions killed a kudu just outside the fence near the gate.  when l woke up at around 6:30 l saw the tourists who were camping here, standing near the fence.  when l went to see what was happening they said there were 4 lions and the female was mock charging them.  they dd not know that it was a real charge.  thanxs to the fence. coz they could have been injured.  they did not know that the Lions had killed a kudu near them.  l heard the noise but l did not know either if they had killed anything.  l think when the female was charging them, it was tryng to chase them away and get the remaing meat which was behind a small bush.  so we moved back.
after some hours l saw vultures landing there & thus when l went back & went outside the fence l found the meat behind the bush.  the insides too, as lions dont eat them except for the liver.  every time they kill they first remove the insides and bury them so that vultures & hyenas won't smell them.   but here they couldn't bury them coz of the rocky area. l hope they will be back this evening