Contributed by: Lead Science Communication Fellow Jenny Woodman
The water to the right of the knitting project is the Pacific Ocean—churning behind Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, a 64-meter (211-foot) ship that can accommodate a 31-person science team (including student interns, educators, scientists, engineers, communication professionals) in addition to the 17-member permanent ship crew.
The E/V Nautilus’ mission is to explore unknown and poorly understood places in our oceans, developing and using technologies that enable us to push the boundaries of ocean exploration. These expeditions are shared with the public via telepresence technology and a wide-range of outreach activities for a global audience.
Much of this exploration relies on robotics. Whenever E/V Nautilus’ remotely operated vehicles, Hercules and Argus, are deployed, the data and video they capture are streamed back to their audience in real-time. This allows scientists, students, and viewers all over the world to travel with the Nautilus to locations normally inaccessible to humans.
I joined the E/V Nautilus Corps of Exploration as a science communication fellow during the 2017 expedition in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. We helped sanctuary managers to learn about areas they had never been able access before, leading to discoveries of new species of deep sea sponges and a better understanding of this special underwater national park. You can read more about this mission here and here.
In 2018, I served as lead science communication fellow for the multi-year SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) Research Program, a partnership between NASA, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, and various academic centers. The work will took place at Lōʻihi Seamount off the coast of Hawaii. You can read about the 2018 season and all the exciting projects underway from now until November here. There’s plenty of time to work on this knit-along project while watching live footage from the Pacific Ocean
Feel free to use any shade of yarn you like, but the color used here was part of my inspiration for the pattern. The geometric design repeats endlessly like waves moving across the vast surface of the ocean, which covers 70 percent of Earth, but remains largely unexplored today. Thanks to programs like those found on board E/V Nautilus, the majority of our home planet won’t remain a mystery forever.
The blanket is super easy to execute with enough variation to keep you interested from beginning to end. I’ve made it in several sizes and love the weight when made with Cascadia Eco+ yarn because it’s so warm and squishy. You can easily adjust to use less yarn and make it any size you like.
Share your progress with us while we explore using #NautilusLive #NautilusKnitAlong and #OceanBlanket!
The Pacific Ocean Blanket
- One 42” Circular Needle in size US 8
- 5 skeins Cascadia Eco+ Peruvian wool yarn, 478 yards/250 grams, (any bulky weight yarn you like the feel of will do). Color pictured: #3101
- 2 Stitch markers
- Place Marker, PM
- Slip Marker, SM
Cast on 240 stitches with long tail method. The pattern is composed in sets of 8 plus a border of 12 stitches on either end. You can make it wider or narrower if you prefer.
Garter Stitch Border:
Knit every row until you have 12 garter ridges. Then begin the following pattern until the blanket is as long as you’d like. Repeat border, knitting every row until you have 12 garter stitches.
Row 1: K12, PM, Repeat until 12 stitches remain [P1, K7], PM, K12
Row 2: K12, SM, K1, Repeat until last 7 before marker [P5, K3], P5, K2, SM, K12
Row 3: K12, SM, P3, Repeat until last 5 before marker [K3, P5], K3, P2, SM, K12
Row 4: K12, SM, K3, Repeat until last 5 before marker [P1, K7], P1, K4, SM, K12
Row 5: K12, SM, P4, Repeat until last 4 before marker [K1, P7], K1 P3, SM, K12
Row 6: Repeat row 4
Row 7: Repeat row 3
Row 8: Repeat row 2
Row 9: Repeat row 1
Row 10: K12, SM, Repeat until marker [K1, P7], SM, K12
Comments or questions about the pattern? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For personal use only. Ship image courtesy of OET/Nautilus Live. All rights reserved.
This expedition marks the beginning of the multi-year SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) Research Program, a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and various academic centers. Bringing together both ocean and space exploration teams aboard E/V Nautilus, SUBSEA blends ocean exploration with ocean worlds research to address knowledge gaps related to the habitability potential of other planets in our Solar System.
Continuing north along the California coast to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS), offshore the San Francisco Bay Area, Nautilus will visually survey deep-water habitat that has never been explored and characterize habitat, species, and communities. Recently expanded to protect 1,286 square miles of offshore habitat including continental shelf, Cordell Bank, and Bodega Canyon, as well as smaller canyons along the continental slope, most newly added areas of CBNMS have not been explored.