Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Naked Lady, and A Dilemma.

Look! A Naked Lady!

Get yer mind out of the gutter. Also called "Hurricane Lilies," these flowers pop up at the first possible hint of autumn. The name "Naked Lady" derives from the fact that a completely bare and unadorned stem just leaps out of the ground with no apparent foliage to herald the event.

And that's exactly what they do. You can almost hear them go, "BOOOIIIING!"

Yesterday, no flower.

Today, flower.

Like mushrooms, they just explode overnight when it's time for them to make their entrance.

There is an old saying hereabouts that when the Naked Ladies come out, it means that we've had the last hurricane for the year, thus the other name, "Hurricane Lilies."

I hope the old saying is true. Thanks to El Nino, we got off easy this year, and we are grateful. New Orleans and the Gulf Coast just can't take another heavy blow right now, and us peeps here inland aren't too excited about Mother Nature playing another round of Water Oak Bowling, either.

The appearance of Naked Ladies in one's yard is also supposed to herald the arrival of fall. If so, this is one well-coordinated flower, because I woke up this morning feeling like Something Is Right and when I went outside it was mild, overcast, and, while not Actively Cool, it was definitely Not Hot.

I don't know how long this will last -- summer in Louisiana does not go gently into that dark, cool night -- but I am ecstatic while it's here. If we are lucky, today will be the first day of high temperatures under 80 or in the low 80s..

So of course I am thinking of sweaters. Even though it is nowhere near chilly enough for them yet, the simple fact that is Not Hot today is enough to cause sweatery thoughts to erupt from my head.

And thus, my dilemma.

Naked ladies almost always seem to present dilemmas, don't they?

In the hottest part of summer (mainly the part between mid-June and Mid-September) it is simply too humid to have largish animal-fiber items on one's lap. Even indoors where the air conditioning is on the "Jasper, Alberta" setting, it's still uncomfortable having wooly type things in direct contact with human skin. As a result, the large, body-parts of sweaters don't get worked on, so I do sleeves. And socks and hats and such.

If you go back to my 9-11 post, you'll see a pair of socks executed on autopilot while dealing with the original numbing shock of 9-11. The result of my distraction was a set of coordinating, but not matching socks. The color repeats are off kilter because in my robotic state of mind that day, I apparently did not rewind the skein for the second ball before I began to knit the second sock.

Something similar happened last week. I was working on the sleeve of a fisherman's sweater for myself when I heard that Steve Irwin died.

Everybody loves Steve, but his death hit me hard. I am a humane advocate, wildlife advocate and herpetologist, so Steve Irwin represents far more to me than the average popular TV-show host. I was, and still am, quite upset by his death. Losing someone like him in the community of animal advocates is like losing a relative, and a relative you like, at that.

So, it was only last night, when I was about done with the sleeve (of course), that I noticed an extra row on two different cable rounds in the general elbow region.

Once again, the product of knitting on autopilot while transifxed before the TV, absorbing bad news.

I honestly can't decide on a course of action, so here is the errant section of sleeve for your inspection (yes, unblocked, as usual). It is deployed on the bed of Monkey Grass in our yard, near the Naked Lady. I love Monkey Grass. It's just so .... lush.

And here is the sleeve with a newspaper rolled up inside it to give the approximate effect of blocking:

Hm...maybe the approximate effect of a little too much blocking.

Can you find the extra rounds? My husband claims that 99.9% of people, including himself, will not notice it. EVER. But I know that I notice it.

My dilemma, of course, is To Rip Half A Sleeve, or Not To Rip Half A Sleeve.

Part of me wants to leave the sleeve as it is, as a weird sort of memorial. And part of me wants to rip and re-knit.

Yes, I know if I leave it as is, I will, in all likelihood, need to insert a couple of extra rows in the same locations on the other sleeve on purpose. This is an option I am willing to consider.

I didn't rip and re-knit my second 9-11 sock. I decided that the off-kilter color sequencing was interesting.

So I am stuck.

Please vote:

___Even in its scrunchy, unblocked state, those extra rounds are jumping out and screaming at me! It's so obvious, Mambocat might as well have knitted those rounds in Safety Orange.

___Extra rounds? What extra rounds?

___Mambocat should stick to hats and socks until it dips into the 60s, Fifties, even. Nobody can knit cables, even easy ones, if it's over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It's just too ... wintery. The body needs time to adjust. Christmas merchandise shouldn't be put out before Halloween, swimsuits shouldn't apear in shop windows until May, and nobody, but nobody, should work on sweaters until after the World Series, unless they live in Jasper, Alberta.

___I am a cable knitter, too, and on close scrutiny I can tell you which pattern repeats contain an extra round, but this should be less obvious when blocked, and only Mambocat, state fair judges, and any mean-spirited, eagle-eyed and hypercritical knitters which Mambocat may encounter will know they are there.

___Mambocat should go eat a big honking piece of chocolate and she will not care about the extra rounds.

___Mambocat should leave them there in memory of Steve-O -- he loved the randomness of nature.

___Somebody should call the folks at the psychiatric ward right this freaking minute, because there is a woman wearing an LSU Raptor Rehab T-shirt and surf baggies standing in her front yard taking pictures of a knitted sleeve with a newspaper rolled up inside of it. Bring extra Thorazine, please.

You decide.



At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Barb in Texas said...

Couldn't figure out how to enter a check mark, so I vote for:

___Mambocat should leave them there in memory of Steve-O; he loved the randomness of nature.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for eating large quantities of chocolate and leaving the (invisible) extra row as a memorial to Steve Irwin. I also admired him very much and think the world is a sadder and less colorful place without him in it. Flaunt your random rows in his honor and shout 'Krikey!' if anyone is picky enough to notice it.
Ruth, a Knitu-er in Petaluma

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Vivian said...

Like everyone else, I vote for the extra rounds to be Steve Irwin's memorial. My son loves him.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Barbara-Kay said...

I, a cable knitter, bless your completed sleeve. Get over it! Take some honking chocolate as needed and call me in the morning, as they say.

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see the extra rows and would just leave them. But I offer another alternative. Can you carefully snip a stitch and separate sleeve into two parts, rip out the mistake rows and then kitchener it back together?

At 12:53 AM, Anonymous sogalitno said...

Eat Chocolate.
Leave it alone.
Call it the Steve Irwin memorial sweater.

Remember those persian carpet makers PURPOSELY putting in a mistake in their rugs as nothing is perfect only Allah or whomever-your-supreme-being is.

it will be fine.

and ah well, i remember the fake falls of Baton Rouge... while here in the Hudson Valley we will be getting into the 50s at night this week - and i started a wool jacket this week.

At 1:11 AM, Blogger LornaJay said...

Extra rows? Nope, can't see them - though that may have more to do with the past week (over 120 hours) than your knitting....

Eat chocolate. Drink Baileys & Hot Chocolate.

Unless you're going to be fretting over it for ever. Then rip, and enjoy the reknitting.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger erin said...

Any person not gifted with x-ray vision will not notice said extra rows. Make the next sleeve the same and call it "artistic license" or "custom-fit elbow". Don't you think Steve would like a little bit of wonkiness in that sleeve?


Love those naked ladies!

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

I don't see the extra rows. I'm a hyper-critical knitter, too, and I looked hard. So I vote for leaving them in.
Ha! I totally empathize with the photo-taking comment. I live on a main highway, and I sometimes wonder what the stream of traffic by my door thinks of my blog-inspired photo sessions.
Since it will likely drive me crazy, would you mind editing your photo (after you have enough responses to your poll, of course) and put an arrow pointing out your "error"?

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Kendra said...

When my son was 3 he had to have his adnoids and tonsills taken out. Since it was mainly for enlarged adnoids, they observed a 23 hour observation rule. As he recovered in his bed, I sat in the almost comfortable chair and knit all night.

The result as a row of cables that didn't look like the rest. This was on the back of the sweater. I decided to keep it as part of the scrapbook for that period of our life.

I'd keep the randomness and not attempt to repeat it on the other sleeve (and I'd remember that the Quaker quilters and Perian rug makers purposely add mistakes as only God can achieve perfection).

Steve's death hit me hard too, it is because of him that my children have so much love towards non-fluffy animals.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous butfoist said...

Leave the rows and consider them an offering to the knitting gods. I have a copy of Vogue Knitting with a big honking mistake on the coer sweaters. I always use that as my excuse if Vogue can do it so can I!
I miss Steve too a very big loss to the nature lovers of the world.

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Laura Gallagher said...

This is a multiple choice test, right?

__Extra rounds? What extra rounds?

___Mambocat should go eat a big honking piece of chocolate and she will not care about the extra rounds.

___Mambocat should leave them there in memory of Steve-O -- he loved the randomness of nature.

I'm voting for all three of those. Eat some chocolate in memory, and go for the unusual.

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Leslie in Vancover WA said...

Mambocat should leave them there in memory of Steve. I am a cable knitter too and I can't see the error without straining my eyes and brain. I always tell people I am teaching to knit. "who besides you will notice. If they are close enough to see that they are too close." Leslie in Vancouver, WA

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Jess said...

I looked hard, too, Dez, but nothing jumped out at me. I'm knitting cables right now (well, no, not RIGHT now - I'm hunting and pecking at the keyboard...) and should be able to spot a familiar mistake. I also cast a vote to leave them in memory of Steve, whose death hit me surprisingly hard, too, and for the chocolate option (with some cabernet, maybe), and for celebrating the wonderful color of the yarn (my write-in vote).

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Dez Crawford said...

Thankis for the comments' folks. I'll take a close-up of the errant rows, draw on the photo and post one day soon.

The final poll is leave 'em be ... and Krikey, eat some chocolate.

I am highly amused at the second anonymous post, about snipping and Kitchenering. I do love knitters with a sense of humor!


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