Monday, December 9, 2013

Earth Science Hat: And I Took A Lot Of Pictures

It has all paid off.

Sketching on a whiteboard, drawing little arrows to visualize plate motion and erasing in frustration designs that didn't work.  Lists of things to include that got longer as the semester continued.  Purchasing yarn, and the adventure that is dyeing with food coloring.  Going out the day before Halloween in search of black food dye (yeah, not going to find any!) and coming home with a sampler box of twelve dyes (including black but not orange?).  Experimenting with cast-ons, realizing I hadn't built one into my yarn requirements (oops).  Starting at least four times (too many stitches, twisted cast-on, etc).  Ripping out my first efforts at colorwork again, and again, and again.  Finally figuring out some half-assed intarsia-in-the-round thing that left a few ends but looked pretty good.  Frantically altering the design as we progressed through the class.  Learning to relegate some details to duplicate stitch; learning to do duplicate stitch.

And finally, wrestling a finished hat onto a balloon (you would not believe how many balloons end up in our house...) to take pictures of it.  And I took a lot of pictures.

I think this is my favorite shot of the bunch:

In fact, it's the first one on my Ravelry project page.  I like it because it's off-center, and you can see the mostly-concentric circles my gradient yarn produced.  The tiny twinkling stars out in space are pretty darn awesome as well.

So now let's go on a tour of the rest of the hat, shall we?

If this shot looks familiar, that's because it's in almost the exact same place as the picture of the fully-knitted hat I showed you last time.  This time, you'll note the large cumulus cloud hovering over the ocean.

Moving to the right, we see a volcano in the act of erupting.  Magma rushes up through the crust, and lava spurts out the top and runs down the side.  This shot also gives an excellent view of the lower layers of the hat: the dark inner core, semi-solid outer core, thick lower mantle, and light liquid asthenosphere. Note the little black thing to the right of the lava flow?

In class, the professor always draws a stick-figure geologist to assure us that we're looking at a cross-section.  Usually, the stick-figure geologist ends up in danger of some sort -- tornado, rift zone, hail, or volcano.  Often, we give him three little motion lines to indicate running away.  But notice where he's running...

This plate is breaking apart, pulled in opposite directions and fueled by the pressure of the (pale orange) asthenosphere.  This has created a rift zone where the crust falls in toward the center, which forms the V shape.  What's that little blob on the opposite side of the rift zone from our small stick-figure?

A nimbostratus cloud! "Stratus", because it's a low, sheet-like cloud, and "nimbus", because it is precipitating (i.e. raining).  The rain might be a bit difficult to see unless you click the image to zoom in, but I assure you, it's there.  Notice the ground pushing upward on the right?

Weird angle, but bear with me.  Two continental plates have smashed here, interlocking and shoving the crust into a mountain range (here, three peaks).  Over the rightmost peak, that light-colored patch isn't whiteout from the flash...

Tiny, high-altitude cirrus clouds float overhead!  These little wisps are actually suspended ice crystals.  To the right you might barely be able to see the blue-green ocean peeking back into view again.

In the middle of this ocean is a structure called "mid-ocean ridge", where the plates spread apart and new oceanic crust is formed.  This crust is darker than its continental counterpart, and heavier too.  See how much lower it sits?  That's why the ocean has collected here. Notice the cumulus cloud to the right?

And with that, we're back around to the beginning.  Thanks for following me on a quick journey around my globe.  I hope my professor loves it as much as I do.  We were supposed to have our final exam today, but weather closed the campus and it's been rescheduled for Wednesday.  Ugh, more waiting!


  1. This is for a final exam in a class? WAY COOL! I love it! Are you going to be writing a pattern for it?

    1. Well no. It's a gift for my professor (explanation is on this blog somewhere, probably in the "math, and the doing of it" post). But the next time I'll see him is for the final.

      And I have no idea if I can write a pattern for this. Working it was too intuitive and experimental and involved lots of turning, keeping track of what row I was on for this section, and tedious slipping of stitches to get to a different yarn end. Way too complicated to explain on a piece of paper.

  2. AMAZING. Seriously. I cannot express my love enough.


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