April 21, 2009

Spring... Summer?

We had spring for about 3 days and the WHAM-O all of a sudden it was over 80°! So yesterday and today were pretty freaking hot, but it's fun having a mini summer :) It's supposed to cool down and maybe rain tomorrow, but that's ok... it is only April, after all.
Last weekend I worked at my friend's house and she has a cherry orchard. Cherries are in full bloom right now, so I finally got to see hers with flowers. They are beautiful, but I really do love pink more than white, so I can't wait for the apples to bloom next month! More amazing than the flowers, though, is the sound the bees make. It's a really amazing feeling to be standing in the middle of thousands of bees, even right next to them, and know that you'll have to REALLY piss them off to be stung. They're so excited about the flower :)

She and I also went for a little hike on the Sage Hills trail. I didn't really get any good pictures, but it was such a nice hike.
I have really been knitting, too. I'm knitting some heavy weight socks, but I'm soooooo sick of them. So I started knitting Ripple. Pandorasslave gave me a bunch of single skeins of purple yarn. They go together really well, so I added one more purple yarn I already had and knit the squares of the pattern cycling the different colors. I just started the ruffle edge and I'm really liking it.

April 19, 2009

Aircarft Carrier

My brother is in training with the Naval Shipyard to become some kind of Nuclear Engineer (it has a special name which I of course forgot as soon as he told me) and over the last year he's been sent to work on a couple of aircraft carriers. Basically the shipyard needs guys trained in working on the nuclear system on aircraft carriers, but until right now there hadn't been any there, so he had to go first to San Diego and then to Everett. Now the ship he worked on in Everett is at the shipyard, so I think he will continue to work/learn on it.
Last Thursday the USS Abraham Lincoln had a family day cruise, so I got to see what they're really like! It's definitely huge, but I think I had an image of something unfathomably large, so it actually didn't seem quite as big as I'd expected. Nonetheless, the flight deck is 4.5 acres!
Some specs about the Lincoln:
Commissioned: November 11th, 1989
Length: 1,092 feet
Height (keel to mast): 206 feet, 6 inches
Breadth at flight deck: 257 feet, 5 inches
Propulsion: 2 nuclear power plants (this is the part my brother works on)
Anchors: 2 at 30 tons each
Anchor chains: 1,082 feet, each link weights 385 pounds
Complement including air wing: almost 5,500
Loaves of bread baked daily: 600-800
Haircuts given daily: 250
We got to watch an airshow from the flight deck. It was no Blue Angels air show with colored smoke and fancy flying formations - this was strictly a navy air show. They did Top Gun style fly-bys and touch downs no more than 30 feet from where we were standing! It was incredibly loud, so I didn't take a ton of pictures...
I'm pretty sure it goes without saying that I did not knit last Thursday :)
In line to get on the ship before 0500

Flight Deck approximately 0600 - looks like it goes on forever!

Mikaela, Yvonne, Mom, Me on the flight deck

Mom looking through the giant binoculars

The Olympic at about 0730. Coast Guard boats paced us for the entire trip.

Really high above the flight deck

Framed Olympics and Coast Guard boat

Me holding a giant gun. This was supposed to be my war face, but I kept giggling. Looks like the gunman thought it was funny, too. Don't expect this ever again.

A few 385lb chain links

Lots of people observing the mountains through the giant elevator door (the cover outside is one of the plane elevators)

Watching one of the planes fly by for the first time

Port Angeles

Fort Casey

Leaning into the wind on the flight deck when we were cooking along (maybe 20 knots? I don't know). Mom missed the memo about leaning into the wind and looks like she's going to blow over. Clark is a much better reference. It felt like we we hiking up hill just to walk to the end of the flight deck (which remained flat) in the wind.

one of the 3 tug boats that guided the massive carrier back into port

April 6, 2009


The first cherry blossom of the spring :)

April 5, 2009

Product Knitter

In the great debate of product vs. process knitters, I'm decidedly a product knitter. I also have a fairly short attention span (which in the world of non-knitters may actually be considered a fairly long attention span considering how long it takes to complete even the smallest of projects...). That means I stick to small projects or big projects with small parts that seem like major accomplishments with the completion of each one. Now I don't wonder why I love knitting socks and hats so much :)
I made another hedgehog yesterday. They are so fast that there is no question that they provide instant gratification. This one is going to my coworker to put in her son's Easter Basket. I love that idea! Might have to implement it for my own kids someday. He's drying in the tub after making a couple of trips through the washer.
I also started Tessa's hat. She bought yarn while we were in CA and said she wanted a slouchy hat (as confirmed this morning, a really slouchy hat). It's really fun to knit. I'm working seed stitch which I don't think I've ever done! I love the look and might replace some otherwise-would-be stockinette projects with it.

Drew is now in Glendive, MT preparing to fish for giant prehistoric fish. I got some Regia to make him a nice pair of thicker socks. I also had him pick a project and yarn for it before he left - he picked some Pagewood Farms sock yarn in "Forrest Camo" and asked me to make a hat. I thought about doing his hat in seed stitch, too, but I found a diamond pattern that I might even like better.
Finally a quick note about how to take care of non-machine washable socks:
Fill the sink with cool soapy water (Woolite isn't the best, but it's what I've got so I use it, you can also use shampoo or a fancy extra mild no-rinse-required soap designed for washing your extra delicate items)
Put your socks in the water and let them soak a while. I usually forget about them, so they soak at least 30 minutes, but I don't think it's really necessary for them to be there that long!
Squish them and swish them just enough to knock out some of the dirt.
Drain the water.
Refill the sink, but don't add any more soap.
Let your socks soak a few more minutes (I usually forget about them on this step as well...).
Squish them and swish them again.
If the water is clean, then drain the sink, squish out most of the extra water (don't wring!), and hang them to dry.
If the water isn't clean, repeat the refill-soak-drain steps until the water is clean.
Here are some all lined up like sardines looking clean