Friday, September 29, 2006

Extra Rows, And A Disappointed Cat

A couple of folks swore up and down they could not find the extra rows that I complained about the other day in my post, "A Naked Lady, and A Dilemma."

So there they are. Circled in yellow are the cable sections wherein reside the extra rows of lore. Sort of circled anyway. I am much better at knitting than I am at drawing circles with a mouse. The one on the left is partly obscured by a blade of monkey grass, but it's there.

But it's enough to give you the general idea. Contained within the circles lie the extra rows, and since I wrote that post, I have decided to keep the extra rows and let life roll along. Both sleeves are the same length, and the cable pattern stops at the same point on the top of each sleeve. Life is good.

Now I am at the point of joining Sleeves with Body.

I have always felt that there should be some sort of ceremony for this event. Music, even. A Union of Fibers ... a Yarnfasting ... some secret ritual that my grandmother should have handed down to me ... something held within the pages of a dusty, leatherbound book, handwritten in Gaelic ... a chant by candlelight perhaps, offered on a rocky beach at high tide under a new moon, as sleeves and body Become One. This Union of Three Tubes does have a certain mystic quality to it. It's almost magic.

Xeres from Oz wants to know when we get to wear sweaters here in Louisiana.

Xeres, I suspect that we have mutually distorted views of each other's climates. You must imagine that it's hotter and more tropical here all the time, and that winter of any sort never arrives. Never having visited your lovely homeland, I imagine Australia as one vast and beautiful, yet scorching, desert, full of magnificent, yet venomous, creatures, a desert almost never visited with any sort of merciful coolness and only the rarest of rain. After all, I've never seen Steve in anything but khaki shorts, and Steve knew everything. (Okay, I have seen him in a wetsuit, but he was playing with whales).

Now I do know that my impression of Australia is not entirely correct. I just don't know exactly in what way it is incorrect. I don't know if your winter is mild and rainy like Florida, or bitter and dry, like the high deserts of the American west. I do know that when it's July and August here, that it must be deliciously cold somewhere Down Under?

We do get "winter" here in Louisiana. We definitely don't get the deep freeze for months on end like folks in the Dakotas, and it doesn't stay very cold for long periods of time. When it freezes, it usually does so only at night, and warms to above-freezing during the day. When we get winter precipitation, it rarely accumulates, and we are seldom visitied with anything more than occasional flurries of snow each winter. We are more likely to have day-long drizzles of sleety rain. Winter precipitation here is like rain in California -- if there is any accumulation of white stuff, everybody gets all excited, and the TV weather people advise people to stay off the roads if they can.

The Southern United States experiences winter weather much in the same way that a beach experiences tides. Every few days, we get a cold front, so we often swing from ten degrees below freezing to 20 degrees above over the course of a few days, and back again. So we wear all those sweaters mostly between Christmas and St. Patrick's Day.

But we do get a fair bit of that "almost cold enough for snow" weather -- damp and deeply chilly. What my Dad used to call "see-your-breath weather." The thing to remember in Louisiana is that it is always, always damp. Even the weather we consider "dry," which only happens in winter, is considered "humid" in other places. So our cold is not deep and bitter, but it is damp and penetrating. We do get a fair bit off sweater weather. What we don't get a lot of is coat-and-sweater weather.

A wool pullover is not usually worn all day, and not next to the skin. Unless we are having a spell when it's quite cold, a sweater is worn over a turtleneck or simlar garment, and it is removed once indoors, unless (like me) you prefer to underheat your home or office, or you mostly work outdoors. Most Southerners tend to overheat their living and working spaces, so cardigans get a lot of use here as outerwear. Most of the time, you put on your sweater before you go out and take it off when you come back in.

A bonus is that a wool sweater will shed rain.

I would much rather wear a sweater indoors, save on the utility bill, and have an excuse to knit.

I get the most use out of double-knitting or sport weight wool, especially for pullovers, and rarely have need for bulky weight. I have a bulky weight poncho and a couple of bulky weight cardigans but they really serve primarily as light coats. I don't have a bulky-weight pullover.

So yes, Xeres, we do wear sweaters down here, only not for as long as our friends in New Hampshire, Maine or Idaho get to wear them.

And now ... about that disappointed cat ....

Jigsaw is disappointed at the apparent lack of interest in the Halloween Costume Contest. She is very much looking forward to being a judge. Jigsaw is a very discerning feline with excellent taste, and, as you can see, she takes this sort of thing very seriously. I tried to explain to her that there are probably dozens of you at work on Halloween costumes for her to judge, and that not everyone comments on posts, and that you simply hadn't posted about your intent in the Comments section. But Jigsaw remains skeptical:

Jigsaw urges you to give some thought to your Halloween costume entry. Don't let her down. By the way, she wants me to tell you that she is not above accepting bribes of catnip or canned cat food (salmon or tuna, please) , and that she is a Capricorn, and she prefers soft, natural wool.



At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Dez, I am blog-surfing tonihjt and came upon yours. I am an experienced knitter who had a major stroke in April. I have recovered very much of my functioning, but my left hand doesn't work very well. I am going crazy not being able to knit.
Any suggestions? Can contact me at Thanks. Mai

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Lisa Louie said...


Auntie Lisa has been giving much hard work and consideration to a costume. Cousin Tucker Louie has personally selected and approved the potential...costume recipient. The only concern here is if Auntie can actually manage to find time to knit, much less the item(s) necessary to complete the costume. Cousin Miss Ricki Louie has agreed, as usual, to supervise the creation of said costume.

Don't worry buddy, it will happen.

A hui ho,

Auntie Lisa
Kahului, Maui

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it resembles a long pad of prickly pear laid out in late afternoongrass..

just a coincidence jig's tag loox like a dangling little pumpkin? ;-)

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Kathryn said...

Dez actually snows in Australia...we have some of the largest and best ski fields in the world (or so I am told...have never actually visited them myself but have knitted for those who have dared to defy the weather gods and demand snow). On the other hand it does not get really cold in most places...I went through the winter wearing at most an 8ply (light sportweight) and feeling too warm in it most of the time...which is frustrating in the extreme if you are a knitter and adore working with wool but do not really care for cotton...I suspect that the climate has something to do with the lack of a knitting culture here....the local cats are also shedding fur...I know this for a fact as they keep shedding on me...
Halloween is not a big thing in Australia (although getting bigger as the commercial interests - read supermarket - gets behind it...
but plan to design a Halloween shawl for a friend who has just moved to Denver...
but today Dez I thought of you as I used my new set of jungle animal
cookie cutters!
Kathryn Knitf(r)iend from Downunder

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Xeres said...

Ooo, lookie, I've been published, nay, *quoted* !! LOL.

Hiya :) Thanks for the geography (meteorology??) lesson ... sounds like your climate is sorta similar to ours. We are possibly milder still than that. It never gets cold enough to really NEED an overcoat. We get stuff like 15C (50F or so?) and shiver and WHINE about how cold it is. It NEVER snows in Sydney. To get snow you have to drive to the Blue Mountains, about 2 hours west of here, or 6 hours to the ski fields (I'm surprised to hear of them described as the *best*, I would have thought they were quite wussy compared to oh, Canada, or New Zealand, but I'm not a ski guru by any means).

I guess my original question was relating more to your phenomenal-sounding output than to the vagaries of the weather. You are ALWAYS knitting. Enquiring minds wonder how many sweaters you have yourself ... and when you've filled your wardrobe and that of your hubby's, who else are the lucky recipients? Do you give them away?

Just How Many Sweaters Does Mambocat Knit In A Year?

Hugs from Sydney, where the day started out 15C and raining, and is now about 25C and sunny. How are you supposed to dress for weather like this?

At 7:40 AM, Blogger LizKnits said...

Hey... loved your comment on the harlot's page today! You got some skills girl. I'll be sure to visit again.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Dez Crawford said...

HI folks ... thanks for your comments. I am a bit delayed in posting this week.


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