Sunday, May 21, 2006

J is for Jam

We be jammin'I have taken the canning plunge, putting up three pints of strawberry jam. Canning is easy! It takes a lot of time, though. Hulling two quarts of berries, boiling them up, so on and so forth, the whole thing took almost two hours. I think the next batch will be put up in half-pints; these jars are a little on the largish side. I don't think they will last long, nonetheless.

Little Waves sox

Waving not drowningI finished off the socks from the green & blue KoolAid-dyed yarn. The original intention, a cable pattern, just seemed too chunky and heavy, so I went with a scalloped-lace pattern that is supposed to evoke water.
Yarn: Unbranded 100% wool, dyed with KoolAid
Needles: 2

The lace, in case you're wondering, is a variation on the old Chevron Lace pattern. (Pattern is written for in-the-round, but will also work for knitting flat; start on RS at row 3.) Over 10 stitches:
Rows 1, 3: k1, yo, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, yo, k1.
Row 2: Knit.
Row 4: Purl.
This means every fourth row will have a garter ridge that draws up into a nice wavy line with the decreases.

Ha, I've cleared my good Addis just in time for the June Six Socks pattern! :-)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I is for Indolence

So sleepy.  Perhaps I will take a nap.Pyewacket here demonstrates the finer points of the art of relaxation. "I am simply exhausted, darling, you can't possibly expect me to be awake just now. I will rest my chin on the ledge of the kitty bed because it's just so tiring to lift my head. Perhaps if I lie here for a few hours, I will achieve the strength to open my eyes all the way. I must conserve my strength until the time that you are going to bed, which is the perfect time to chase Friday all around the house and make that noise that sounds like a herd of elephants. For now I will simply pretend to be boneless."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

H is for Hunter

Lost in Gameboy spaceMy beautiful baby boy is now a grade-schooler, just shy of nine, verging on the cusp of young-manhood. He's all skinny bird-legs with impossibly big feet (only a couple sizes smaller than his dad's, already,) a throaty giggle to go along with a nine-year-old sense of humor -- bodily-function jokes are supreme comedy -- and bouts of pre-adolescent sullenness or rudeness which are suddenly alleviated by a sunny smile. He's not yet too old or too cool to kiss his mom goodbye when he's dropped off at school, which I know won't last much longer, but I am enjoying every moment that's left of it. He also has a kid's absolute focus on electronic games. Here he is totally absorbed in his Gameboy. (For the record, I believe he was playing Tony Hawk Boom Boom Huck Jam.) He never even noticed the camera until after the flash went off.

Monday, May 15, 2006

TKGA swatches

Dull as dishwater... some of the dishclothsHaving recently completed a number of smallish projects (the most recent being a half-dozen boring cotton dishcloths in a variety of styles, more as an experiment than anything else,) I have decided it is time to GET SERIOUS and apply myself to the task of finishing my swatches for the TKGA level 1 master program. I decided that I hated the cast-on edge for three of the six swatches I have already knit, so I redid those over the weekend; now I'm on #7 and feeling pretty good about the whole project. The whole point of the thing is to be challenging & ability-stretching; I'm highly enjoying it. After I knit & block the swatches, I have to answer a bunch of questions and write a brief essay on blocking. My goal is to finish before the end of June. :-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

G is for Garden

...but it could also stand for Grossly late in your tongue. Sorry to have neglected my ABC's for so long.

How does our garden grow?A new garden is always beautiful, brimming with promise. We have a couple of trellises for peas and cukes, as well as a bean obelisk that Mike seems to think needs to be 8 feet tall. We'll never be able to harvest the top quarter or so of our beans, but oh well. We'll dry those pods once the vines come down at the end of the season.

Lock your doorsWe use our grass clippings as mulch for the garden, just dumping them in and turning them into the soil as we work. I hate the way deep mulch makes the garden look -- it's so messy -- but I love what it does to the soil. The zucchini doesn't give a hoot what the ground looks like, of course; it came bolting up first & promises to be pretty vigorous. I'll make baby zucchini pickles if they get too out of hand.

I need a volunteerA strawberry volunteer came up in the corner of the plot with the tomatoes and basil. I decided to leave it -- we'll see if it produces anything. We also have one plot dedicated entirely to pumpkins, which will be fun. We'll save good-looking ones for Jack-o'-lanterns and can the rest for pies & muffins & whatnot.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Storm Watch

Kansas City StormI went to the home opener for the Kansas City Storm women's football team last night, which was unfortunately a bit of a snoozer. The Storm crushed the first-year Indianapolis Chaos by an embarrassing score of 77-0. Such is the unfortunate reality of women's football, which often pits an experienced team against a first-year squad due to travel restrictions. On the opening kickoff, which the Chaos inexplicably deferred when they won the toss, I saw it was going to be ugly in the first three seconds when I could see one team running, the other jogging. The Storm returned the kickoff for their first of ten touchdowns.

The Storm really have their act together, though, in terms of putting on a good show for the fans. Their PA guy was sometimes a bit silly, but they had a lot of fun little schticks -- they played a thunderclap sound effect for each standout defensive play, and their roster intro was preceded by the instantly recognizable braaak-braaak-braaak "Storm Warning" tone.

I was there for a halftime presentation in which former women football players were honored with a certificate "recognizing [our] contribution to the sport of women's football." All of the other alumnae at the presentation were former players for the Storm or the now-defunct Kansas City Krunch; I was regarded as something of an oddity ("So, what are you doing here in Missouri?")

Two Kansas City Chiefs were there signing autographs -- Ronnie Cruz, the starting fullback, and a player to be named later, who turned out to be Adam Johnson. Both of them were sweet as pie and chatted with me for a little while, and were suitably impressed by my championship ring. Not as flashy as the NFL rings, but hey, it's still pretty darn cool.

The Storm have three more home games this season; catch a game if you get a chance!