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Scottish Fleet/Yorkshire, Week 3: 4 March

Every now and then I’m driven by a desire to try to understand something of the world around me, and so I open my well-thumbed copy of The Big Boys’ Colouring-In Book of Quantum Mechanics, wrap a damp towel around my head, and dive in. This is, of course, as likely to succeed as a dachshund trying to learn to play the banjo, but still I persevere. And then I read something to the effect that a thrown ball will fall to earth in a curved trajectory because time passes more quickly for it the higher it rises, and my only option is to open a box of cheap chocolates and start eating until the pain goes away.

Limpets on the rocks at Sandside

I know that physics teaches us that reality is very different from what we perceive it to be. This table I am leaning on as I type is not a solid thing of hard brown wood, but is instead mostly empty space in which wee particle thingies sort of whizz about, generating an electrical charge at just the right height to support my elbows. The colour is also an illusion, there being no such thing as “brown”, just photons of light of a low frequency falling on my retinas which my brain helpfully converts into colours, probably because it knows I’m rubbish at maths.

Trees & Snowdrops by the river

Buddhists have taught for centuries that the material world is an illusion, an approach that I think of as similar to quantum mechanics, only with fewer equations. And I know I’m not yet ready to break free of the cycle of death and rebirth because I still find this world full of wonders: I have an uncomfortable feeling that if I met the Buddha upon the road I’d hear him out with reverent humility, then try to interest him in this amazing new app I’ve got on my phone.

Late afternoon at Dunnet Beach

Well, Wendy’s Atlantic Blue may be an illusion (particles of light travelling at a wavelength in the region of 380-500 nanometers) but, to misquote Woody Allen, as illusions go it’s definitely one of the best. I’m approaching the endgame of this gansey now, being well on the way to finishing the first sleeve. Confession time: this jumper, like the last one, is also being knit from wool of two separate dye lots; but unlike John Macleod’s gansey, on this one you can see the join. (And does this bother me? Not a photon!)

I guess I’m living proof that a lifetime isn’t enough to fully explore the range of all the gansey patterns out there. Not that I’m especially keen on the idea of reincarnation. In this, as in so much else, I follow the wisdom of Bender, the robot from the cartoon series Futurama: “Afterlife? If I thought I had to live another life, I’d kill myself right now!”

10 comments to Scottish Fleet/Yorkshire, Week 3: 4 March

  • meg macleod

    there really is nothing stranger than the truth and nothing more illogical……spent the day trying to get a form signed by `the appropiate person` well..putting the camel through the eye of the needle would be my preferred option
    my thoughts turn to the novel titled` catch 22`, I am experiencing it for myself in all its full blown irrational reality…….
    my mind is normally quite good at seeing situations from all angles but this one has me well and truly demented.. it has nothing at all to do with knitting but your post is the first logical thing I came upon today..even with tables that dont exist and colours that are not there.. your gansey is lovely and so are the photos…….

    • Gordon

      Hi Meg, the beauty of Catch-22 is that you start off thinking it’s satire, but after a while you realise it’s how the world really is… unfortunately! PS, this might be first time anyone’s ever called me logical…

  • =Tamar

    Another dye lot? [squints at screen] Nope, looks fine to me.

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, I reckon when it’s finished and blocked out in all its glory you’ll be able to see the join. But it is subtle, and anyway it gives it a traditional worn look…

  • Lois

    That lovely shade of blue shows off the pattern so well. Different dye lot? Must be an illusion.

    Just like the several feet of snow on my sunporch roof, that is building up past the second storey windows , must be an illusion too. Merely molecules surrounded by air. I’ll mention that to my husband when he climbs up to shovel it off. “What? Heavy? It’s just an illusion!”

    • Gordon

      Hi Lois, as they say in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, “time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so…” Or, as a wise man observed, physicists have disproved the notion of time, but that doesn’t make them late for dinner!

      Good luck with the snow. We’re done with spring, straight back into winter now. Hopefully summer will get a look in before next October, but I hae ma doots.

  • Jane

    Well, there is nothing wrong with any form of chocolate ever, so just carry on!

    As for dye lots, I cannot see any differences in colour in your beautiful gansey. In any case, as the nice, and very knowledgeable, lady who runs the local wool shop once explained to me, if dye lots are fairly close in number, there will be virtually no differences in tone. It makes good sense to me! It is a wonderful colour!

    • Gordon

      Hi Jane, I plan to wear it only on cloudy days – also known as a Scottish summer – so no one will ever notice the subtle tonal shift! And yes, let’s be honest, as if I ever needed an excuse to eat chocolate!

  • Carole

    It’s a pigment of your imagination. Nothing better.

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