Alright, so this is going to date me. Like, you’re gonna read this and be like: “But, Jac, we thought you were super young and hip. Is everything a lie? Is this whole thing a sham? WHO CAN I TRUST ANYMORE?” Sorry, guys. Despite what my round baby face might lead you to believe and the fact that 70% of my wardrobe seems to consist of nerdy t-shirts with cartoons on them, I’m quickly approaching 33. I know. So sorry. The nurse at my Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor was surprised too after I had to tell her that no, that man with me was my husband and not my father. He’s actually four years younger than me, but that’s besides the point. The point is that in the late 80s – early 90s computer day was the best day.
Once a week, our class would get an hour slot in the computer lab. We’d sit down in front of big, boxy computers with tiny screens and get really excited to have our 60 minutes with Oregon Trail. Actually, I think we were supposed to practice typing first or something like that, but I’ve mostly blocked that out. I spent more time agonizing over what to name my family than actually playing the game. What if I named one of the people in my wagon after my crush and someone saw? Should I name them after my friends or my actual family? Or maybe I should go rouge and name them after the Ninja Turtles? These were important questions that plagued me.
Like most people, I died of dysentery and hunted for more meat then I could ever possibly carry. I don’t think I ever made it to Oregon. That’s what happens when you squander your limited in-school computer time on learning how to type or deciding which of the Muppets will be accompanying you on your journey west.
What I can say, however, is that Megan-Anne can’t spell dysentery. I know she was hoping I’d forget about this since she worked on this design eons ago, but I didn’t. ::Insert Evil Laugh Here:: I actually put a little note in my calendar on August 28th that looked like this:
Disentary / Disentery / Dysentery
She was super pregnant at the time and we were working on designs at this diner. [God bless, Lancers. We always come in right after the lunch rush and stay until just before dinner. We start with breakfast, drink too much of their fabulous coffee, and then end up ordering way too many of their delicious pastries. The waitresses let us get away with using the place as a mini office since we tip well.] Megan-Anne showed me what she had for it and I said, “Is that really what the ox looked like? No offense, but it looks like a fat pig.”
“I knew you were going to say that! Look, here’s a picture of him.” She showed me a screen shot of the ox pulling the wagon, which I’m still sad wouldn’t fit on this square.
We made jokes about how maybe we could never ford the damn rivers since our wagon was actually being pulled by pigs. Once the laughter died down and we started to turn back to our work, I said, “Oh, by the way, you spelled dysentery wrong. And Maybe we should put the ox-pig at the top instead of the bottom.”
Megan-Anne made the changes and turned her computer back around to show it to me. “Yeah,” she said. “It looks better like this. Good catch.” And then I laughed for about five minutes since dysentery was still spelled wrong, but in a different way. Normally, I wouldn’t fault someone for bad spelling. I suck at it and thank my lucky stars that spell check exists, but she had been staring at screen shots of it while she drew the square.
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Oregon Trail pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!
If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.
Oregon Trail was nominated by Finie7 and received 35 votes, putting it at number three on the Leaderboard.
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