Knitting on Mars

I’m beginning a sweater. It’s with ridiculously tiny yarn, so I’m hoping it will take me the whole mission. So far, the project has been an entertaining microcosm of the way we have to work with limited resources. On Mars, it takes a village to knit a sweater.

For my first attempt at beginning the sweater, I used rubber bands for stitch markers (many patterns give instructions for how to place markers and then use the markers in the following instructions rather than giving stitch counts). They stuck to my needles and were too wide, resulting in big gaps between stitches. So my crewmate 3D-printed me some excellent stitch markers. (Yeah yeah, in a pinch I could have busted out my contrasting color yarn, but I prefer stitch markers.)

For my second attempt, I used the 3D-printed stitch markers, which worked perfectly. However, I had no idea what “make 1 right” vs “make 1 left” meant. Actually, I was guessing at how to add stitches at all. My second attempt again had lines of giant holes because I was adding stitches improperly. So I contacted Mission Support and requested instructions for how to add a stitch right vs left. Mission Support did some research and sent up a video that explained how very clearly.

For my third attempt, I referred to the video from Mission Support and ended up with a nice little V of added stitches, so I’m keeping this one.

 

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4 thoughts on “Knitting on Mars

  1. I started knitting recently too, and it took so many youtube videos. So the only thing I could think of during the first and second paragraph was: how is Laura managing this without the internet. Contacting mission support for knitting instruction is brilliant!

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  2. But of course there would be no access to the library in the cloud known as The Internet. That was not immediately obvious to me so it struck me as odd that you would have to ask Mission Control for instructions. How long did you have to wait?

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    1. We definitely have to wait 40 minutes, because the communication delay is 20 minutes each way. Often it ends up being more than that if Mission Support is busy with other things, or if we don’t ask our questions clearly enough and Mission Support needs more information from us. I lucked out and the person on Mission Support when I asked was a knitter too and knew exactly what I was asking 🙂 But we get pretty used to having a few things going at once and switching to something else when we get stuck.

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