Home!

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,


Much as I love my job, there is nothing quite as wonderful as my first week home.

This time, amongst many other things, I slept late (okay, as late as Nell would let me) took long walks (starting later than Nell would have liked, but far earlier than I would have liked) and raided my inventory for more 3 Ply Romney > Cotswold so that I could keep working on Fantoosh.

I love the color of milkweed flowers, and the smell is intoxicating,  but I never realized until I looked at this photo how much they resemble something a special effects department for a creepy sci-fi movie would create.  Huh.  Let's just enjoy the color and move on. 

I love the color of milkweed flowers, and the smell is intoxicating,  but I never realized until I looked at this photo how much they resemble something a special effects department for a creepy sci-fi movie would create.  Huh.  Let's just enjoy the color and move on. 

Nell, patiently waiting while I photographed the now-creepy-seeming milkweed flowers.

Nell, patiently waiting while I photographed the now-creepy-seeming milkweed flowers.

I have been living the life of six weeks on the boat, six weeks home for nearly three years now, and one would think that I would have packing down to a science by this point, but one would be wrong.  Packing for the boat generally involves me semi-resentfully throwing things at the last possible moment into luggage that I never quite managed to unpack, pausing only to consider whether I am going to Alaska (and will therefore need sweaters and long underwear) or Costa Rica (shorts).  My knitting gets a little more consideration, but only a little.  I have several project bags that contain short skeins of cone-ends and yarn seconds and gloves that I will someday (maybe this rotation on the boat?) type up the patterns for.  Into those project bags I will generally throw yet more yarn seconds and cone ends from whatever batch of yarn I was working with during my time home, with the intention that I will swatch and maybe design (and write up) another glove/mittlet pattern.  (I am coming to resent gloves and mittlets). This system has worked okay so far, though I wish I could be more organized about the whole thing. 

Except. 

I left for my last rotation on the boat thinking that I had about three skeins worth of 3 Ply Romney > Cotswold in Sitka squirreled away in my project bags.  Believing this to be true, I started my Fantoosh knowing that I probably wouldn't have enough knitting time to get though more than two-ish skeins. For my first three weeks aboard I merrily worked through my first Fantoosh skein, enjoying the pattern and the result greatly.  And then, down to my last nubbin of yarn I calmly searched through my project bags, looking for the next skein of yarn that I knew was there. 

That little nubbin of yarn was the end of what I had on board

That little nubbin of yarn was the end of what I had on board

It was not there. 

Instead, I found a complete-but-for-the-last-two-rows-of-the-thumb mittlet based on the original gates of one of the locks in  the Panama Canal, knit out of the yarn I was looking for. I remember knitting the thing, but I really thought I had only gotten halfway up the palm.  Apparently there was some fugue state knitting in Panama (which happens - I am a stress knitter). 

And then I remembered what happened to the other skein. 

Somewhere off the coast of Costa Rica. 

Somewhere off the coast of Costa Rica. 

Not visible in the above photo: the carefully wound ball of 3 Ply Romney > Cotswold in Sitka bobbing somewhere in our wake.  

I was sitting on the fantail taking a break after dinner, preparing to cast-on for the afore mentioned mittlet based on the lock gates, and I just dropped it. I dropped my perfectly wound ball of yarn onto the deck, and we were in just enough of a seaway that rather then stop, it rolled right under the rail and off the side of the boat.  I did not expect that to happen, but I should have known that losing a skein of yarn overboard at some point in my boat career was inevitable. 

I mourned my inability to continue Fantoosh  for a few days, and then I began a glove/swatch in honor of the Cordova Gansey Project. 

I very much enjoyed working on my little gansey glove, but at times I felt like the landscape was mocking my poor yarn planning.