24 March 2007

About Time!

I haven't done any Dulaan knitting for a bit, so I cast on for this hat last night and finished it tonight.


The pattern is extremely basic - a one inch band of twin rib, then two alternating colors - in this case, tone on tone - stranded for a thicker garment. The only thing I don't much care for about this one is the twin rib. I knew that it wouldn't pull in much and thought about frogging it, but I figured I'd keep going and see how I felt about it off the needles. I still think it'll make a nice hat for a toddler, but next time I think I will stick with regular ribbing for a snugger fit at the bottom.

The yarn is part of a big bag I got from Debbie Gremlitz at Nordic Fiber Arts. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but she had a bunch of stash yarns she had wanted to get rid of and offered them to me to pick through for Dulaan. This particular yarn is one of the lighter weight ones I picked up. Both skeins had been wound into balls, so I have no ball bands to identify the brand, but they're a lite lopi type yarn and the two colors were obviously meant to go together. I believe there is also enough yarn to make another hat, so I hope to do that soon.

Sheep Eyes

Knitnzu has tagged me for a meme to come up with several lists of sevens. Right now, though, I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone actually think about seven of anything, so it'll have to wait a bit. I do, however, owe her an answer about sheep's eyes and why they have horizontal pupils.

Of course, in the time it's taken me to get to this question, she's gone off and done some of her own research. She cites a Wikipedia article - "Pupil" - which suggests that sheep and goats may have evolved the horizontal slit pupil the better to climb mountainous terrain. Of course, this doesn't adequately explain why all ungulates (hooved animals) have this type of pupil, since most of them evolved to inhabit plains and grasslands.

The two most basic explanations are a) this pupil shape is the result of a chance mutation that turned out to be benign in terms of survivabilty and managed to perpetuate itsef, or b) this particular pupil shape conferred some sort of survival advantage (better visual acuity, better depth perception, etc.) on ancestral prey animals with this sort of pupil. Because there's essentially no variation across this huge group of mammals, this suggests that b) is the most likely explanation, but I quite honestly couldn't answer with complete certainty as to what that advantage is (though I suspect it has something to do with ability to spot predators).

1 comment:

knitnzu said...

Hey! Great hat. I like hats looser at the bottom rather than tight, so hopefully the recipient will like it just fine. Thanks for the update on the eye thing. I kept thinking about the picture I'd seen someplace about binocular vision and peripheral vision and the range of vision of rabbits (with their eyes on the sides of their heads) versus humans (out front eyes). I thought maybe the sideways pupils did something like that, and maybe more because don't most ungulates (that was news that they all have these pupils!) have their eyes to the sides of their heads? I also wondered if there was something about ratio of cones to rods and these pupils getting light to more rods so the goat could detect that stalking leopard more easily...but that is probably more than most folks on knit blogs care to know! I also questioned the mountain environment comment... Do you have a good way to catch the color you carry in two-color knitting? I just learned and just posted some pics.