A new use for sheep, and I'm knitting socks!

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,


I am usually the last person to hear about things, so I suspect that the entire sheep-interested world has already heard about this, but I just found about it and I am ridiculously excited.

According to this article in the Washington Post (to name one, a quick Google search shows that many other news organizations also ran the story) the topography and lack of roads in the Faroe Islands make it impossible to photograph the islands for Google Street View using the normal cameras mounted on cars.  The folks at Google were just willing to let it go, but the Faroe Island tourism board very much wanted to add their islands to Google Street View, and so they strapped solar powered cameras to sheep. Which is honestly just the coolest solution.   (Although it actually turns out that sheep are generally too focussed on grazing and therefore move across a space too slowly to be much good at photographing an area - so most of the footage of the Faroes that is currently on Google Street View was actually taken by human hikers).

The Sheep View footage is available on the tourism board website, and a lot of it made it onto youtube.

On a more knitting related note, I have been longing to knit Kanoko Socks by Mary Jane Mucklestone, published in Making Magazine No. 3,  ever since I saw her wear them during the Wool Scout Retreat at Bradford Camp this August.   As usual, I got a little sidetracked and my knitting queue got in the way, but when MJ’s Instragram post came across my feed announcing that the pattern was being released for individual sale on Ravelry they immediately jumped to the head of the line.  I started knitting them a few days ago (using my Straw’s Farm Island Sheep fingering weight) and am thoroughly enjoying them.  The four rows of dots are charming in cream, but they would also be charming in different colors.  Yup, I’m plotting kits….

kanoko no 1 in progress.jpg

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.