Monday, June 04, 2007

Science Geeks Unite!

We have a winner!

Joanna is the winner of the Oh! Science! contest. She was one of only eight people who got the first question right. The reason why the bottle was crushed was because of differences in atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases. I drank almost all of the water in the bottle during our hike up a mountain and then I closed the bottle thereby trapping low-pressure air inside the bottle. We then hiked down the mountain, got into our rent-a-car and drove to an even lower altitude. (I think we lost about 3,000 feet in altitude.) At the lower altitude, the atmospheric pressure outside the bottle was much greater and it squished the bottle.

The other people who got question one right were Janelle, Beth, Tania, Paula, Aimee, Laurie (Etherknitter), and Terby. (Forgive me for not linking to all of your blogs.)

The answer to the second question is that I got excited about the bottle because I am a complete and total science geek. I accepted any variation on that theme as correct. Pretty much everyone who got the first question right also got the second question right. (Is that because only science geeks answered that question and can relate to my geekiness?) Joanna's name was pulled by a random number generator, but as you will read, her winning sock yarn from me is eerily appropriate.

And finally, the caption “I didn’t hear any oboes playing” on the photo of Peter and the Duck is a reference to the piece of orchestral program music by Prokofiev called Peter and the Wolf. In that composition, different instruments represent different characters in the story. The Duck is played by an oboe.

Meanwhile—there has been knitting. I just haven’t been writing about it.

KoiguPastel.JPGLast year, Jennifer sent me some beautiful Koigu for my birthday because her husband and I share the same birthday. When I left for my Colorado trip, I didn’t want to drag Morrigan along. So I decided to make Birthday Socks using the birthday yarn. I figured that I would easily finish a pair of socks by my birthday (yesterday). No such luck.

I started the socks using this pattern and short-row heel tutorial. I finished the first heel before I got on the plane to Colorado. Just minutes before the plane was to board, I decided that my short rows were ugly and ripped out the heel. (Imagine me trying frantically to get the yarn and needles in order before they called my row.) Then, on the plane, I had to start the heel again—without any instructions on how to do a different short-row heel. Oh sure, you expert sock knitters are probably scoffing at me now, “What do you need directions for? It’s just a short-row heel.” Okay, how many of you made your first short-row heel without directions, hmm?

BDSv1.JPGI inferred how to do a wrap-and-turn short-row heel on the plane. It worked okay. At least it looked better than my first short-row heel attempt. I finished the sock the next day and was not exactly impressed with my handiwork. Although one side of my heel was passable, the other side had rather large gapes—not holes—just gapes. At this point, I could have started the other sock and finished it by the time I got home, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to cut the yarn. So, there was no more knitting for the rest of the trip.

After I got home, I read about Joanna’s magical garter-stitch short-row heels: no purling, no picking up wraps. I emailed Joanna and asked her for instructions. (Now that I had regained Internet access, I figured that I should use it to my advantage.) Armed with the new instructions, I produced ONE birthday sock yesterday. I’m not sure when the other sock will be produced. Maybe it will be a week-after-birthday sock. But look! Pretty heel!



chemgrrl said...

Well crap, how did I miss that contest? I'm quite saddened by the fact that I lost out on the opportunity to whip out PV=nRT in general conversation. Science Geeks unite!

Love the socks—I might have to give that heel a try too. It looks comfy.

Cordelia said...

Oo! That *is* a pretty heel!

Jeanne said...

Happy Birthday!!

Jennifer said...

I love what you've done with the Koigu! Very nice.

I had a feeling the bottle had something to do with the change in atmospheric pressure, but I wasn't sure. :-)

Joanna said...

Ooh the sock looks great! Aren't those heels fun to work?

And thanks again for picking me as the winner! :D

Mintyfresh said...

knock me over with a feather--you are knitting socks???

Debby said...

What Minty said was the first thing that came to my mind too when I read your post.

Don't leeeaavveeee meeeeee as the last nonsock knitter. Please.

And a belated happy birthday to you! Did you do anything special to celebrate?!

Janelle said...

Congrats to the winner! At least I can know that my geekiness did not fail me this time! :)

The socks look great!

Emily said...

Hey, so what is going on with that toe? Is that short-row too? I like it! I want one too!

Terby said...

Still apathetic? I like your sock.

Rachel said...

Craaaaaaaaaaap. I missed your birthday. Happy belated birthday! My present to you is...umm...that I'll give you the opportunity to host me in Houston next month. Yes, I am exceedingly generous.

Also -- you're making socks! The world has turned upside down on me.