1.12.2007

Jelly Fish, Sweaters and New Knitters

Kat mentioned in a previous comment (thank you kat!) about the phosphorescent algae. For the longest time, we were in the deadest part of the S. Pacific Ocean and the seas were dark at night, as most people would expect them to be. However, two nights ago, we passed through a school of jelly fish of some kind that made large green glowing balls in the wake of the ship, almost in the manner of a rave. Since then, the algae has returned in small amounts and is lovely.

The last few days as we head further south have revealed more and more wildlife which is nice because we saw nothing for so long. A shark came poking around the last time we were stationary. A large group of what is called Velella Velella jelly fish (same family as Portuguese Man-Of-Wars) were spotted at sunset and some nematocysts were clinging to some of the gear as it was brought back on deck. My boss received a small sting on the wrist.

Recently humpback whales were spotted in the distance. The next day two Minke whales crossed the path of the ship. They were not playing, but migrating so you only saw the spouts and their dorsal fins, but cool nonetheless. Today as I was working on the back deck I saw an albatross-like bird (could have been an albatross, hell if I can identify any living thing though). However the water temp is cooling down which means no Mahi Mahi to catch and pants, long sleeved shirts and beanie style caps are showing up on everyone.

It is a shame we are getting too cold for Mahi because the food stores are starting to dwindle a little bit. We are probably on our last week of lettuce which is still really impressive considering they haven't received stores since Dec. 1st. We've had almost 6 weeks of fresh vegetables. I don't know how they store it, I think it is magic and I prefer not to ask. Having some fresh caught fish would be a morale booster though.

My sweater is sooo close it is frustrating. I will be wearing it soon. I think I have enough left over to make a hooded sweatshirt style front pocket. I may start wearing it though, knit up the pocket then attach it.

I have taught another unsuspecting victim how to knit and am reminded of the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) book "Meditations for Women who Knit too much". There is one short story about "missionary" work. I guess that is one reason for my existence, to spread Wool's Good Word.

1.09.2007

Damn it

So today I got a message from home that infuriated me.

Waaaaay back a long time ago when I moved to California (yes I know it was only October, but stick with me and you will realize it was a long time ago) I went to Sea World as soon as I moved here. I got some presents/souvenirs for the kids I love back home, including my recent ex's son, to whom I was a part time mother (he lived with us 50% of the time and I took an active role in his life). Well, two of the children got them right away and put them up in their room, things like posters and postcards and stuff. My ex however, informed me today, that he still has not made it to the post office. It has been there since OCTOBER! If he doesn't pick it up tomorrow it gets sent back to me.

That pisses me off already, but I am also really sad for his son. I know he has played in the rooms of the other boys and I'm sure they told him where they got them. Does he think I don't love him as much as the other boys?

What a lousy thing for my ex to do. I still love him with all my heart, but I'm pretty pissed off about it right now. He didn't do it intentionally, but jesus. I would understand if it was for him, he is forgetful, but for his son?

1.06.2007

SLEEVES... ARGH!


So the sleeves on my current sweater HATE me and the feeling is completely reciprocated. Well I guess i don't hate it per se but we definitely are not working together as smoothly as we could be. One of the difficulties of making up a pattern as you go is that you have to rip things out many many times. I ripped the sleeves out twice. I put a cable down the top and found out after 8 rows that I put it in the wrong place. The good news is I learned to fix cables by dropping stitches and re-knitting them up then dropping the stitches where I want them to be and knitting them back up there. I believe this is going to come in handy because I am unhappy with the cables on the body of the sweater and think I may remove half of them. The stitches are just pulled to tightly. Anyway, I have to find another way to finish the bottom of the sweater. I am unhappy with the way that it curls, but I don't want ribs... suggestions welcome... anybody?... anybody?

Back to the sleeves. I forgot to bring smaller sized circ's or dpns for the sleeves so I am having to pull out loops of circ cable every third of a row and start all over. It slows me down. I am frustrated that is slows me down and I quit knitting slowing me down even further. On the other hand, once I remove every other cable on the body, it will fit nicely.

1.04.2007

The other day

I wrote this the other day, but couldn't post it because our internet crapped out exactly when it was time to post:

I just watched to moon come up behind the ship. It was crazy beautiful. Bright yellow and the water was black, so the moon's reflection looked like a yellow brick road between it and me. I wish that I could share pictures with you, but I have never been able to take a great picture of the moon from a moving ship. Sad, but that makes it something you just have to experience on your own and it is an experience that is completely unique to you. Even if the same circumstances come up in the future it will never be the same for the next person. Each individual will have an experience all their own.

The water has been eerily calm the last few days and we should be enjoying it while it lasts. Soon we will be in the roaring 40s (latitude) and it will get much rougher. But somehow the calm doesn't have the same effect on me. For some reason, it makes me restless. I spent the last evening, picking up my knitting and putting it down. Picking up a sudoku puzzle and putting it down. Picking up a book and putting it down. I don't know why I have been so restless, but it hasn't been the case today.

With the turn not only into the new month, but also the new year and with a little time on my hands this afternoon I paid all my bills and afterwards created a spreadsheet that includes my monthly income, bills paid, balances left on student loans and even managed to squirrel away about $100 left over from last month into savings. I still have almost $1000 in the bank for the month. This is really unusual. One of the things about being at sea for an extended period of time, especially for a month or more is you get a great picture of how much money you are wasting at home. I still have to pay rent, utilities and loans, but I don't have to pay for food or entertainment or even yarn while on the ship. Usually, my money goes out as fast as it comes in and I don't really have a clear picture of where it is going. Makes me feel really guilty to say the least. Oh well, if I can get organized out here, maybe I can carry that organization back home. HA! Yeah right. We'll see.

So knitting. I ripped the sleeve of my sweater out for the second time and am starting again. The first time I started it I decreased much to slow, then I decreased much to fast and now hopefully I have it just right, but we will have to see. I have a scarf I started in Lion Brand Wool-ease, color wheat. I bought three skeins of it to make leg warmers for my sister and got distracted. I started the scarf with a person in mind but I don't think that is going to happen. On the other hand, I forgot to bring the right size dpns for the leg warmers. I don't know, maybe I will knit them flat and sew them up the back. Again, we'll see.

So I received word from my best friend who was to move to College Station, TX to go to Texas A&M University. He drove from Idaho to Texas in three days and hit snowstorms and tornadoes. That poor guy. Just his luck to have to pass through all that crappy weather on his way to a new home. I'm just glad he doesn't believe in omens. While I will miss him like crazy (I guess I wasn't seeing him while he was in Idaho anymore either, so I will continue to miss him), this move is going to be great for him. I hope he knows he is in my thoughts and I can't wait to see him again this summer. We are lucky enough that his new adviser at TAMU is the PI (principle investigator or chief scientist) on a cruise I will be on this summer. Sixty days of the two of us working and living together and I am looking forward to all the catch up time.

1.01.2007

Away at Sea

So I am in the water. In the middle of nowhere. What do I have to say about it? I thought about filling you in on the quirks of the scientists and crew members, or listing all the things that have happened since mid December. But I don't want to do either.

This is the first post of the new year and it should be about knitting. It is only fitting (so totally did not mean to rhyme).

There was a gift exchange on the ship on Christmas day. The plan was $20 or less gifts that indicated where you came from. For instance, hats or t-shirts from your home institution. I lost my gift. It was a coffee mug I won in some of my new employee training. It was perfect. But it is gone.

Instead, with limited time and no store, I used some spare yarn I had brought (oh yes, I brought spare yarn. Because the two sweaters, socks and legwarmers I have planned for my sister were just not enough!) and knit up a book mark. It was garter stitch with yarnover eyelets around the edges. I used stockinette to write UCSD in the garter stitch. Came out OK for making it up as I went along. A little hard to read but once you see it you see it forever. I was afraid it was lame or dorky or the person who got it wouldn't appreciate how little time I had and how FREAKING amazing it was that I got this whipped out in no time. Luckily, it went to the one girl on the ship I was teaching to knit and she thought it was super cool and wants to learn how to do it. I'm sorry but I don't have any pictures. It was only in my hands for two days and I was much to busy knitting the damn thing to put batteries in my camera and take a picture.

I ended up with a chocolate bar. My favorite gift, Edible.

The recycled ugly sweater is coming out swell. As a reminder it is a top down, stockinette raglan. I have completed the body. From about the waist down I put in stockinette cables which I think look damn cool on a stockinette background. I am now working the arms, but I have to use the Magic Loop method, which I absolutely hate, because I don't have smaller 10.5 circ's. I am going to rip them out for the second time tomorrow morning because I decreased waay to fast and looks very funny and pouchy under the arm. Alas the trials of making it up as you go along. To match the waist, I am putting a stockinette on stockinette cable down the length of the arms for continuity. Again, no pictures sorry, but you will all see it when it is finished. My internet connectivity is limited and I couldn't upload pics if I wanted too.

I finished my first pair of socks and they look great. Tweaked the pattern quite a bit in the toe. I think it is because my gauge was off of the patterns requested gauge. But the toes were coming out very pointy and elf-like. I had to nix that. Again pictures at a later date.

On a non knitting note. I have quite a bit of time to more or less myself and I find my mind wandering toward the Man back in Idaho. I was listening to a CD that I bought for a trip the two of us took to Oregon a few years back. It was a great trip. We rented a car and drove to the coast. It rained. We were mellow. We drove a lot. It was the exact definition of a vacation. No worries. No plans. Just us together doing whatever we wanted. I almost cried I missed him so much. God damn the time I have to think on my own.