June 7, 2011
I can drive a houseboat now. It happened when I was on a houseboat this past weekend with a bunch of women, and when the guy who was explaining the houseboat arrived at the helm to demonstrate how to turn on the houseboat, he said, “So who’s driving?” We all looked at him blankly, realizing that we hadn’t really addressed the issue of how the houseboat might make its way around the lake, and it occurred to us that somebody was going to need to be in charge of that. So we all perked up, I felt a rush of hot terror, and somebody ran off to find a pen to take notes. I am guessing that’s the first time that houseboat-operation instructions have been scrawled in a cute little black Moleskine: “TURN ON BLOWER. TURN IT OFF. TURN LEFT KEY. LEFT ENGINE, CONTROL BUTTON, GUN IT.”
He’s leading us around the thing, opening up hatches and shining a flashlight on a giant red generator saying, “Just mash on this switch if the carbon dioxide sirens go off.” Carbon DIOXIDE? That’s even scarier than carbon MONOXIDE! CO2 is EVERYWHERE, man. I felt like Slim Pickens riding his A-bomb to his doom in Dr. Strangelove.
It was stunning to me that this guy left a 68-foot houseboat in the care of a completely unqualified group of potential drivers. He didn’t even hand us the keys–they were already in the ignition, suggesting “Hell, anybody, have at it.” I asked, “Are we the least qualified group of renters you’ve ever had?” and he laughed hysterically and said “Oh no,” then told us about the Tennessee Titan who pretty much sunk his rental.
Anyway, I have found the ULTIMATE, ABSOLUTE FINEST PATTERN POSSIBLE for knitting on a houseboat: Different Lines by Veera Välimäki.
It’s a scarf/shawl/wrap. No, it’s just a cool, weird-shaped piece of garter stitch knitting, and there is nothing better than that for knitting on a houseboat.
This was a game-time decision, taking this with me. Last week’s lacrosse marathon finished off all the squares I needed for my Mitered Crosses Blanket, so I was in a full-out panic until I found this choice pattern. I stash-busted three skeins of Koigu and a fat loaf of some mystery yarn with the Koigu twist but no label. Complete mystery as to how I ended up with that stuff, but there it was.
It’s not all that hard to drive a houseboat. It helps that you’re ten times bigger than anything else on the water. You’re an obstacle. You can’t run over anybody because you’re going maybe 8 miles an hour. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure we left the marina.