Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Riddle for the icy weather

Q: What do you get when you cross a 15-ton schoolbus, a slushy soft shoulder, and a car trying to pass on a narrow country road?

A: A really big trench dug into the side of the road.
The bus was stuck for about 20 minutes before a local farmer pulled it out with his tractor.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bolts Win Opening Game, 12-4

No, it's not a baseball score -- it's the results of the twice-delayed (due to the ice storms) opening weekend of Hunter's youth basketball league. When your tallest player is not quite yet five feet tall, there's not a lot of scoring. Still, the boys did very well; they are getting the hang of things like setting picks and rebounding. The Bolts, in yellow, score their third bucket in this clip. Hunter, wearing number 2, mostly stands around under the basket looking confused, but there you go.

(Some notes on YBL rules: Games consist of four quarters of seven minutes each; jump balls are given out-of-bounds to each team on an alternating basis; fouls result in a turnover rather than free throws.)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow Fort

He's Frosty, he's made of snowWe ended up getting about eight inches of wet, heavy, persimmon-spoon snow last night. So the first order of business this morning was shoveling the walk, tossing a few snowballs at one another, and building a snowman.
Packing snow around the baseThen Mike & Hunter decided to build a snow fort in the backyard. Of course, it should come as no surprise that a fort designed by Mike is going to be over-engineered to the nth degree. This one is built of bricks made from compressed snow -- we used an old broken toolbox as a brick-making mold. Here's the first couple of rows laid down in a horseshoe pattern.
Packing it inWe all got involved in the massive construction project. We took turns shoveling snow, tamping it down to make the bricks, and patting loose snow all around the rows as the "mortar" between the bricks.
Don't distract me, it's a precision jobNear the top, Mike began angling the rows to get the top to curve inward. The top doesn't close all the way like an igloo, but has a narrow chimney-like opening at the top. The finished fort is somewhere around five and a half feet tall.
One cool fort!Thanks for the awesome fort, Dad!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More snow

Let it snowWhat's that on the other side of the glass? Well, it's kinda hard to see, but YEP -- it's snowing again. Pyewacket is distinctly unimpressed.

Vested Interest

Ribbed for his pleasureThe new project is a sweater vest for Mike, as I mentioned earlier. I change my mind daily about whether it's going to be a cardigan or a v-neck pullover. Since I'm still working on the back, I haven't reached the decision branch yet. Mike is no help; he says he likes both & I should do whatever I think will look best with the yarn.

Anyway, the wide rib really pulls in a lot & will keep it from looking saggy and grampa-ish at the waist. The only thing I don't like about the rib pattern is this: when knitting flat, on the wrong side you've got to do a couple of twisted purls, which is a terribly awkward stitch. (When I used this rib on the Sixth Sense socks, they were of course knit in the round so I didn't encounter the twisted purl. Didn't realize what I'd gotten myself into until the second row after the ribbing. Hmmmph.)
Why are you coming into my bedroom and taking pictures, anyway?A gratuitous kitty shot. Pyewacket was snoozing on the other end of the bed from where I was photographing the sweater.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ragna Rocks

Image from Viking Patterns for KnittingPattern: Ragna
Source: Viking Patterns for Knitting: Inspiration and Projects for Today's Knitter by Elsebeth Lavold
Yarn: Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool in Calypso Green
Needle: size 8
The sweater on the model is knit in a different yarn -- Magpie Tweed -- and is quite boxy. In fact, I suspect the hands-atop-the-head pose was devised simply to cause the sweater to pull in at the waist & get a little shape into the picture.
RagnaliciousMy version is quite a bit curvier, but then I'm not a skinny Scandinavian model with cheekbones like scimitars. Nonetheless, I love this sweater. It fits me quite close, which Mike thinks is a point in its favor (note to self: wear a dark bra next time). It is incredibly warm and comfy.

I love me some Ragna!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ice Ice Baby

Look at this, MomLife has pretty much ground to a halt with the paralyzing ice storm that has enveloped the Midwest for the past three days. It's been raining & sleeting off & on since Friday. Of course, when you're a kid, an ice storm is a fun event... it's a chance to perfect, say, your two-footed sliding technique.
Scraping the windshield sucks, doesn't it?Of course, it's a lot less fun when you're an adult.
FYI, I sewed this sleeve on three times before it looked rightMostly we're just staying inside & keeping warm. I've been working on seaming up Ragna; a nice wool sweater looks like the perfect thing for this weather. (For the record, stack-type chips are the preferred snack while seaming, because they don't make your hands greasy. Or I might just be busted on my diet, I dunno.)
A lazy Sunday, watching TVMost of the household has been having a much less goal-oriented afternoon.

Stay warm & safe, everyone.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ragna blocking

Ragna is off the needles and blocking! The pattern, from Viking Patterns for Knitting, is a basic drop-shoulder pullover with no particularly difficult shaping, but it's a cable extravaganza that I expect will flatten out a lot with blocking.
Oh my gosh, look at all those endsHere's the front, wrong side. Yikes, there are about a million ends to weave in. Cables always look like crap on the wrong side, don't they?
Much nicer.The back is much neater -looking once the ends are woven in. I'm ready to start pinning this one out. One nice thing about the Denise interchangeable needle set -- you can leave it on as a stitch-holder and block; since it's plastic, it won't rust.
The cats are mightily put out that I have covered their favorite napping surface with wet wool.I pinned the whole thing out on towels & laid it out on our bed to dry. Uff da, wet wool smells musty. Once the blocked pieces are dry, I will seam the shoulders & sides, and knit the funnel-neck collar... it has cables, of course.
The End(s)And now I present... the obligatory photo of the pile of ends.

Having cleared the needles at last, I have cast on the sweater for which Mike has been asking for, oh, at least three years. (The yarn was bought & stashed a couple months ago.) It's a V-neck sweater vest with a wide ribbed pattern cribbed from the Sixth Sense sock pattern, knit in the same wool as Ragna, actually... Elann's ever-versatile, ever-affordable Highland Wool. I've knit at least half a dozen projects in it. One of these days I'll gather up all the leftover half-balls of Highland that I've got lying around and knit a crazy-stripe felted tote bag or something. Wouldn't that look cool?