Although the Cold War years might now be viewed as a period of hysteria and mass paranoia, they were a boon for me. The main reason is that after the Russians launched Sputnik, the US government spent huge amounts on science education. And I was plucked from an ordinary, dull grade school class and admitted to a program with an intensive curriculum in general science and geology. I had a really great teacher in that program in seventh and eighth grades who turned me from an indifferent and lazy student into someone who would work if sufficiently motivated. The year of geology in ninth grade was also wonderful. The only exception was our class trip to observe the roche moutonnées, a type of rock formation (which translates as “sheep rock”) with glacial striations, in Central Park on a day that felt as if it were below zero. Girls could not wear pants to school back then, making the weather not conducive at all to a “walk in the park”. I have on infrequent occasions edited introductory geology books, but for the most part the content of the course only served to add to my personal store of inconsequential knowledge. The word “arête” shows up often in crossword puzzle clues, and I ace any geology questions on Jeopardy. In that class, I learned about the idea of “geological time”—tiny events that occur over such long periods that they end up having substantial consequences. (The parallels with knitting now seem obvious, so you can see where I'm headed with this story.) These changes were often tied to the progress of glaciers altering landscapes and dumping debris so they formed islands, lakes, and the like.
And it is the idea of glacial progress that came to mind as I finally got through the left front of the Devonshire jacket. This is all to set you up for another photo of what looks like the same bit of knitting as in past entries, but is an achievement for me because it represents the end of one stage of this project:
It was engrossing to count the orange rows to come up with the places to decrease for the armholes and neck edge. And I dutifully wrote these down so that I could make the right front match, as I begin it this week. (I had better not lose my notes, or there might be some explosive volcanic action in my household.)
But then it occurred to me that with global warming, “glacial” might not mean the same thing as it once did. After all, glaciers are now retreating at an alarmingly fast pace, and so can I also call my sock progress glacial too?
There's a chance I'll finish the 6.5 inch cuff while waiting for the ear doctor to check my blocked eustachian tube this morning, and I'll devote an evening to turning the heel, which will restore this to an automatic pilot project, until the toe.