Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo Yaaaa!

Well, ya know, things just keep on moving. I've finished the leg and the heel on the fourth and final Four of a Kind sock. I stuck with my die rolls through the heel. The exception was the little triangular heel turn which is gray. I'm about 10 or so rows into the foot, still doing the gusset decreases. I'm a little sad but mostly relieved to be almost done with this project. At the end of a non-stop long project I think most of us would be tired of it. And I am. I'm a little tired of knitting with cotton and 2 mm dpns and I'm a bit weary of the colors. However, it hasn't stopped me from wearing any of the other three completed socks.
Here's photo of K's Hydrangea socks, complete. I've e-mailed my SIL that they are complete but I don't think she wants to deal with them for a while. No problem. I'll hold on to them until she's ready.

Here are the stats on K's socks as much as I know. I don't think I posted them.
yarn: Kick Picks Sock Garden ~ Hydrangea ~ used 1½ hanks
needles: hers: 2.75mm short dpns ~ mine: 3mm long dpns
pattern: Stephanie Pearl McPhee's sock recipe from her book Knitting Rules

Running errands today I got 3 or so rounds done on my Romancing the Socks sock. I decided to to some back of the calf decreases. Here is is (again!) so far. It's a whopping 4½" long now. I quite like the diagonal stripes. Once I get the final Four of a Kind sock done, this one's gonna fly.

We went target shooting the other day at the range in Topeka. Why wasn't it this much fun 20 years ago? It obviously wasn't otherwise we wouldn't have stopped. I bought a Marlin 22 LR over the weekend. I also got a 4 power scope for it. I've wanted a bolt-action 22 rifle with a magazine for a while now. I like the bolt action. It's fun working the bolt each time. I thought I would end up with a youth rifle because I wanted something small and light. I don't have much forearm strength and even with a youth rifle I would bench rest the barrel.

It's a lot of fun to shoot. It's been a long time since I shot a rifle and it took me awhile to find the place on the stock to rest my check and see through the scope. For the first several shots I was doing the turkey thing with my head (up & down and forward & backward) trying to see through the scope. After a while I found the spot and began to develop some muscle memory.

I got an inexpensive eye patch from the drug store and that seems to work pretty well. I also found that with the scope I do better if I take off my prescription glasses and wear shooting glasses. And that's such a charming look too; yellow lensed over-sized shooting glasses, a black eye patch, blue muffs over my ears, florescent orange strings coming from under the muffs around the back of my neck and tufts of hair sticking up, smashed down or bunched up from the elastic on the eye patch as it goes across my forehead and around the back of my head. Oh, well, At least I have nice tight groups at 50 yards.

When we shoot Sweetie and I share a lane. It's fun taking turns, shooting the same or different pistols. We usually each shoot 5-7 shots each time, sometimes more. Of course, we always try to outdo each other in accuracy.

To make it a little more competitive and fun we un-vented a little game. We have a several paper targets with a dark background that we ordered and we find we don't like very well. It's hard to see where you're aiming on a dark background. So we've taken to turning them over on the light background and drawing rows of 2" or 3" diameter circles. We each take a turn and shoot once at all the circles, with the pistol of choice, reloading, if necessary. We have the target anywhere from 5-15 yards away. You only score points for the round if your shot is in the circle and the other person's isn't. If both are in or out of the circle or on the edge no points for either. If one is on the border and the other in the circle, the one in the circle gets the point. We have several colors of markers to circle the holes each time so we know who shot where and we can use the same target longer. We both have a lot of fun with this.

I hope everyone has / had a
H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N ! !

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Rumpole and the Reign of Terror by by John Mortimer (a Horace Rumpole mystery)
I'd heard of the Rumpole of the Bailey British TV show but had neither watched it nor read any of the novels. NOW I know where the phrase "She Who Must Be Obeyed" comes from.

Parting Shot: "Mei capilli sunt flagrantes" — Latin for "My hair is on fire."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rock Out

We went target shooting Friday evening. When I feel good I can really Rock Out with my Glock Out as the saying goes. There is something very satisfying about aiming a firearm and putting the hole where you want it. The more I shoot the better I'm getting. I usually always hit what I'm aiming for if I aim (of course) and slowly squeeze the trigger.

But now I'm concentrating on not only aiming faster but more importantly squeezing the trigger more quickly but still smoothly thus getting an accurate shot off quicker. If I aim no matter how carefully and just pull the trigger I invariably impact the target about 4-6" below where I'm aiming. And for the non-shooters there IS a difference between pulling the trigger and squeezing the trigger. It's a slow process but I'm taking my time and enjoying the journey.

Since we reload now and the owner of the range we went to doesn't sell the used brass any I find on the floor from previous shooters I figure is fair game. We always come home with more brass (shell cases) than we shoot. Before we got there today someone had been shooting the same ammo that our rifle uses and we scored 67 cases. Not a lot, but at 7¢ per used case or over 19
¢ for each piece of new brass it makes a difference. Loves me some FREE brass.

One of my near future knitting projects will be a felted eye patch. AAAARRRRR!! I'm right handed and I shoot right handed. When I shoot I close my right eye because I can't close my left one. So I tend to consistently hit a little to the right of where I aim. An eye patch will let me keep both eyes open but my left eye will be covered. I'm going to use some leftover cashmere from Sweetie's broken rib charcoal hat. It's not super wash so it should felt. My plan is to make two large eye patches, sew them together then felt them to make a dense material. Then I plan to get black 1-1½" elastic (does elastic even come in black???) and sew the elastic to the felted patch. I'm thinking that this will be easier to deal with than tying on a knitted or I-cord strap each time.

I'm making good headway with the fourth and final sock in the Four of A Kind series. Sweetie had a service call in Topeka. The place he went is about a mile from the range. We packed up shootin' irons and my knitting. While he was fixin' stuff I was knittin' stuff. Not only did I knit all the way there and back but I got in about an hour or so knitting time while Sweetie was working.

I'm about 3/4 done with the leg. I've got about 14 more rounds to go before I start the heel flap. It was nice working on K's wool sock but now I'm back to cotton and 2mm needles for a while. I've been working on this series since the end of March. It will be nice to do all wool socks for a while. And once this series is done, my travel sock, Romancing the Sock sock made with STR Romancing the Stone yarn will get some serious time.

And K's Hydrangea sock is complete. I frogged the 5 or so rounds on the toe decreases, grafted the toe closed and wove in the one end. I'll have a photo for the next post. Hopefully by then I will have washed and blocked it.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Port Hazard by Loren D Estleman (a Page Murdock western)

Parting Shot: "Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." ~ Winston Churchill

From Nothing to Almost Complete

I don't know what got into me. But yesterday I was fired up! I not only cleaned house but I've almost finished K's Hydrangea sock. Everything matches the first sock. I think it was three things: I put it on larger, longer needles, it's all stockinette and it's only 64 stitches around.

I only went up a quarter in size, from her four 2.75 mm dpns to my five 3 mm dpns but it was enough to get me very close to her gauge and the four needles made it easier for me. I also tried and think I succeeded in knitting a bit looser. My dpns are the long ones and she used the short ones. I was continually worried that my stitches would fall off the the other end of the needle.

Stockinette can be very boring but also refreshing in that you don't have to concentrate on your stitches or a pattern. You can just knit. This helped me concentrate on knitting looser.

Only sixteen stockinette stitches on each needle goes pretty quickly.

I just have to fix one thing. K followed Stephanie's directions in the Yarn Harlots book Knitting Rules at every step. Every. Step. When it came to the toe I had that K had only knit 15 rounds. When I'd knit and decreased on the toe rounds per the directions I had a lot more than 16 stitches left so I kept going. K did stop early and graft a wide toe. So I need to back off about five rows on my toe decreases then graft the toe closed. I have one end to weave in and then these are done.

I don't usually wash or block new socks even when they're for someone else but I'm going to do that to these because being stockinette they're kind of formless. I think they'll look better blocked.

So there's that project almost done. Now if I could just accomplish that much on the fourth and final Four of a Kind sock. It's a couple of inches long now.

t, ya know, there's ALWAYS going to be another project on the horizon that I'll be wanting to finish the current project for. ALWAYS. And that's good.

blogging to: classical music

reading: Port Hazard by Loren D Estleman (a Page Murdock western)

Parting Shot: "Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon." ~ Susan Ertz

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stay Loose

K's sock has come out of the "bad" corner and is back in play. Last night I frogged everything I'd knit on it, yes, even the 10 or so rows I'd knit on the leg. I looked at my stitches and her stitches and mine were just a bit smaller. In really looking at her stitches her gauge is a bit uneven but considering what she was going through as she knit the sock I'm impressed it's knit as well as it is. Tough lady.

It's all back on long 3mm needles — ¼ of a size up from what K was using. I did a couple of rounds last night and a lot more today. Checking. Checking. Checking at each step. The leg is done, again. I did the heel flap and measured it against the completed sock then I turned the heel. The gusset stitches have been picked up, again and now I'm on the foot doing the gusset decreases. I'm trying to knit looser and every couple of rows or so I compare my stitches with K's on the leg to see how I'm doing. So far it's OK. When I get to knitting quickly (for me) my stitches tighten up. No biggie but I'm trying to knit loosely.

We turned in the paperwork the other day to have Spray pulled for the season. A very sad day. We were going to wait until after Sweetie's vacation the first week in November but decided to go ahead and have it done.

We've got a short list this year (finally, a short list!) of things we have to have done by the time she goes back into the water in the Spring. Of course, there's always the polishing and waxing on the hull and topside. That's just a once a year given. I'm hoping that we'll get a string of warm days so maybe we can get some of the polishing done early
mainly on the top.

We didn't renew the anti-fouling paint this spring so we're going to have to do that before we launch. Not a biggie but it's a hard afternoon's work crawling around on the ground under the boat between all the trailer uprights. And the temperature has to be just right,. The hull temperature has to be at least in the mid 50's for at least 24 hours prior to paint application. We're having the hull power washed when she's pulled so the bottom will be as clean as can be made.

The "new" thing we're doing this year is replacing the waterline stripe. It's pretty dinged up. We have all winter to peel the old one off. We're probably going to replace it with navy blue again. It will be interesting to see how faded the hull has become once we peel off the stripe. The boat is a 1988, 20 years old this year. No one would ever think it's "new" but she looks pretty darn good for a 20 year old boat.

My SIL sent me some photos of the new baby in his Baby Surprise Jacket. He's a month old now and it still fits him. Sweetie will help me grab it from the pdf file, I'll blur his little face and you can see, too. Action Photos! w00t!

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Port Hazard by Loren D Estleman (a Page Murdock western)

Parting Shot: "The scarlet of maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
to see the frosty asters like smoke
upon the hills." ~ - William Bliss Carman

Monday, October 20, 2008

One of Those Knits

I WAS rolling along fairly well on K's Hydrangea sock. I WAS ready to do the toe decreases and I fetched the completed sock to make sure that the foot was the same length. K knit the sock by measurement (foot is measured 5" from the picked up stitches) not by the number of rounds knit which is the way I knit. I counted the rounds on the completed sock and came up with my numbers. And so I began to knit. I checked to make sure I was doing the heel flap the same way and that's the last time I looked at the completed sock, until now. I didn't make the heel flap long enough. I know why . . . . now. I counted 14 rows and that's what I knit. I should have knit 28 rows since half those rows were purled back and didn't "count". Yeah, my heel flap is about have the length of her heel flap. And I knit tighter on the foot as my foot's about an inch shorter than hers for the same number of rows. Must have been those debates.

Well, I'll sit on the sock for a few days, then rip it back to the beginning of the heel flap and go again, trying to knit a little looser. I may go up a bit in needle size. She knit the socks on a 2.75 mm dpns. I have a set of 3 mm dpns. I think I'll switch to those and see if my gauge matches hers better. I can't see a difference on the leg but I only knit the last 10 rounds.

Here I thought I'd be done with this project but now I'm almost back to where I started. At least with my 3 mm needles, they're longer and I have 5 needles so it'll be a bit easier for me.

As the fourth and final sock in the Four of a Kind Socks series, the cuff is done and I've got about 2 rounds done on the leg. It's so nice for a change not to have to figure out when to change colors for the stripes. It's now a bit of a mindless knit.

I'm keeping my eye on my "reward". When I'm done with these two socks, not only will I have completed projects but I can start my Monkey socks.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae (a home crafting mystery)

Parting Shot: "As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes." ~ Mel Brooks

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Present Knits and Future Plans

I watched the third and final Presidential debate last night. And that means I was also working on K's Hydrangea sock. The foot is almost done. I've less than ten rounds before I start on the 15 round toe decreases. Another hour or so in front of the TV should see this sock done including weaving in the one end.

I've also cast on for the fourth and final Four of a Kind sock. It will be nice to not have to work with 2 mm dpns for a while when this one is done. I say that it will also be nice not to do stripes again but I have at least a couple more stripe patterns I want to try before I say I'm done with stripes forever. One is Grumpernia's helical stripes and the other is corrugated ribbing from Wendy Knits. And are we ever done with a particular knitting style?

And by the way, there is nothing to see yet on the fourth Four of a Kind sock. I'm on round three (I think — it's not sitting right here) of the cuff. I haven't even started the stripes yet. I've got five rounds (well, two now) of the light pearl gray to knit then I start the first round of fuchsia. But I do (finally!) have a photo of the finished third sock. The other two in the photo of the three just came off the sock blockers so they're especially flat. Once I weave in the ends of the third one it'll be ready to mix and match with the other two.

I'm so relieved. At last I got to the library today and picked up a half a dozen more books! I am going to finish the classic Dune series before I start on my library books. I haven't read the last two in ages.

While I was out I also did about three weeks of recylcing
— a huge amount of water bottles. Usually I try to go every week and a half or so but with Sweetie being on vacation for two weeks and then my cold I never went. And since I canceled our newspaper and my Newsweek subscription I can skip a stop. The point is that only dropping off the recyling (which was more than usual), going to the library and then the grocery store (more Kleenex and orange juice and throat lozenges, please!) I am bone tired. Not I have to lay down and take nap tired but I need to sit down and rest for a while. A little later I'm going to persuade Sweetie to get out one more time and we'll get some more deer corn and bird seed. For some reason I just didn't feel like wrangling 20 lb bags this morning.

blogging to: this over and over and over

reading: Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert

Parting Shot: "There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid." ~ Frederick W. Cropp

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Brake in the Action

Apparently I'm taking a bit of a knitting break. Perhaps I peaked in the finishing of the third Four of a Kind sock and now there is nothing left. Well, not really. I have cold and all the wonderful things that go with that. If I was working I wouldn't feel bad enough to stay home. I'm just very tired and have had no inclination to pick up the needles these past several days. I do have a really low, hoarse voice now though.

But today I'm feeling a bit more energetic. Not energetic enough to lay out the completed third Four of a Kind sock for photos but brisk enough to blog a bit and think about picking up the needles maybe later this evening — during the final Presidential Debate.

When you're ill, even if it's only a cold, your mind, well, my mind, anyway, does odd things. I finished all my library books on Sunday and after a bit of a panic I pulled all my classic Dune books off the shelf and started in on those. If you've read those you know they're good but kinda strange. And in a cold medicine haze they're even stranger. So that's the universe I've been inhabiting and listening to soothing Gregorian chants. Hopefully, I'll feel good enough to venture out to the library in the next day or so.

Meanwhile I have decided on the stripe and rib pattern for the fourth and final Four of a Kind Socks. As I said in my previous post I'm letting a roll of the die determine the stripe pattern. I've rolled 50 times and have way too many rows but that's OK. I wrote all 50 rolls out and I'll keep them with my pattern notes to cross off every time I change color. At least I will have several rounds in a row of the same color instead of having to change colors every round or every other round like the last sock.

The rib will be p1, k3, p1, k4
— only a variation on previous ribs. What can I say? I'm tired and it'll go quickly. This is the second time I've knit what essentially is the same sock four times. It's a terrific idea but by the time I'm on the fourth sock I'm weary of the concept and want to be done with it. Of course, when I have four finished socks, I'll be more than thrilled.

blogging to: various Gregorian versions of new age and
popular music

reading: Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert

Parting Shot: "It ain't over until it's over." ~ Xena in Return of Callisto

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reloading and Recharging

We've been shooting a lot and reloading a lot these past couple of days. It's kind of neat knowing that when we target shoot now our ammunition cost has been more than halved. For instance, a round of commercially prepared ammo may cost 32¢ while a round that we reloaded may cost just under 14¢ a round, a savings of around 18¢ cents a round. That doesn't seem like a lot until two of you shoot 250 rounds at paper targets over a couple of hours.

And the cost of each round can vary a bit, too. You have a choice in every component, powders, primers, bullets and cases. There are more choices in powders and bullets than in primes and cases. We've bought used brass (shell cases) and new. But mostly we've reloaded our own used cases from the commercially prepared ammunition we'd purchased before we started to reload. And, yes, I am keeping a totally anal spreadsheet on all aspects of this. Once a case, purchased new or used, has been shot I take away all costs that may have been attached to that case.

We're having fun in all aspects of our "new" hobby / sport. I figure reloading is a hobby and target shooting is a sport.

As for the knitting, I finally finished the third Four of a Kind sock this evening. With 2 mm bamboo dpns and cotton yarn doing a k2tog, a p2tog or even an ssk is tough. Cotton yarn has little elasticity. Especially near the end of the toe decreases when you only 6-10 stitches on each needle. It's tight and you only have a few stitches to relax between bouts. But it's done and now on to the fourth and final sock . . . tomorrow.

I've used two full 50 gram skeins of the fuchsia and have only a couple of yards left in the second light pearl gray skein.

As far as the stripping pattern on the final sock, it's going to literally be a roll of the dice or this case die as I'm only going to use one. I don't have any dice at home and I'm not going to buy a pair just for this. So I found a place on-line that will roll for me. Since I knit much of this sock on the road, I'm going to be rolling ahead several rows. Hopefully, since I just finished a pair of socks with narrow stripes I won't get too many consecutive rolls of a snake eye. That takes care of the stripe pattern. As far as the ribbing, I have at least the 20 row 2x2 ribbed cuff to think about that.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Acoustic Alchemy

reading: The Haunted Abbot by Peter Tremayne (a Sister Feidelma mystery)

Parting Shot: "She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Actual Knitting Content Post

Not a huge amount of knittin' goin' on either at home or in a vehicle. Been preoccupied with other goings on. And with the blog lately, it's either two posts in one day or nothing for three or four days. I've not tired of blogging, just other things going on. Sweetie was on vacation last week and he's also off this week. So any schedule that we may have had is out of the window. We're usually pretty loosey-goosey around here anyway, especially in the mid to late afternoons when the chances for a service call drop way off. But with no on-call time, we can pick up and take off for anything, anytime. And when we do, I've been doing the driving, so no knitting there.

Last Friday we went to the range and I always take my knitting bag. Usually I knit on the way to and from but I've never knit there. We're usually shooting. Since I had some down time while our reloading press was being put together (see previous post) I knit on the third sock of the Four of a Kind series. I got a couple of inches past the gussets knit, the other night I knit on it just a bit while reading blogs and forums and yesterday I knit on it on the way to and from the range. With all that the foot is almost done. I'm on round 60. The first sock had a 64 round foot and the second sock had a 74 round foot. I'm guessin' this one will be closer to the second sock. While this does seem like a lot done I've only knit on it three times and except for the blog / forum knitting they were long sessions.

Then, too, the foot of my socks (measured from the heel flap to the toe decreases) is just under 5" long. I have short feet so it doesn't take too much to do the job. The Tiger Blue socks I made for my CIL last year, who wears a size 9½, took 95 foot rounds. I also make these cotton socks a tad large for shrinkage. One or more trips to the range or Kansas City and I'll be ready for the fourth and final Four of a Kind Sock.

Watching the second Presidential debate last night I hauled out K's sock. I got the gussets picked up and did 2" on the foot. According to my count on the first sock, there are 50 rounds on the foot. I got 18 of those done last night. Still don't like the short dpns. And there are only four instead of five but I'm am managing.

I finally sent the Fern Lace Wrap off to the recipient the other day. She just loved it. She was
very surprised and pleased. And that makes me happy. She doesn't like cold weather and now she says she won't mind it so much.

I am looking ahead to my next project [aren't we all?!] and I'm still thinking it'll be Cookie A's Monkey Socks out of the mostly dark Cherry Hill yarn. Why do I always turn to dark yarn when it starts to get dark earlier? At least this colorway, Northern Lights, has some other colors in it. Should make a fetching pair of wool socks for me.

I've also decided to try to stay with my original plan and finish the Four of a Kind series and K's sock before I cast for the Monkey socks. I'll let you know how THAT goes. If I can keep from digging the yarn out or looking at the pattern, I think I'll be OK.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Hook, Line & Homicide by Mark Richard Zubro (a Paul Turner mystery)

Parting Shot: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~ Dr Suess

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not a Knitting Post

Now we're getting back into reloading. Once we started target shooting again I suppose it was inevitable since we used to do that, too. Twenty plus years ago we reloaded almost all of our own ammunition. When we stopped target shooting for some reason we also stopped reloading. Still can't tell you why. Somewhere along the way we gave away all of our reloading stuff. It may have happened about the time we got our first sailboat. Everything went out the window for that.

We ordered a Dillion RL 550B progressive stage press with these options; strong mounts, roller handle, bullet tray, empty case bin, low primer alarm,
caliber conversion kit and of course, the dyes for all the calibers we want to reload. We don't have the conversion kit or the extra dyes yet but we'll have those sometime this week.

Since we'd taken that step we made a foray into Kansas City to go shooting and pick up some preliminary supplies. Where possible I linked exactly what we got. At Cabela’s we got a digital caliper, a case tumbler kit (which we were able to use right away as we already had some used brass), a couple of reloading books, and a powder trickler. At The Bullet Hole we got a chamfer tool and a small pocket reamer.

Anyway, we got the press on Friday. That was an experience and such a pleasant way to purchase something like this. We knew the press was in as we'd been to the range Wednesday to shoot. One of the members was going to set it up for us but had been unavailable. When we came in to shoot on Friday the fellow that was going to set it up for us was there. This guy is also involved in the every other Thursday IDPA league which sounds like fun. Friday nights the owner of the club hosts a pot luck dinner. He provides the meat. That Friday, it was two large pork butts. I have NEVER tasted pork that good. OMG! So while the meat finished cooking, our press was assembled outside on the picnic table amidst the comings and goings of the regular patrons. Several regulars were parked in chairs watching the process and waiting for dinner. I sat out of the way (WARNING: knitting content) knitting on the foot of the third Four of a Kind sock.

The biggest deal was getting the proper piece of wood to bolt the press to. We don't have a place to permanently mount it such as on a bench since we don't have a basement or a large garage. So having the press bolted to a piece of wood 29" long, 11" wide and 2" deep will enable us to C-clamp the press to any surface. Saturday evening, I went to a fabric store and picked up a yard of dark blue felt. We unbolted the press and stapled the felt to the board so it won't mar whatever we clamp it to.

On Saturday we went to the Wichita Gun Show. Again, it'd been years since we'd been to one. A lot of junk and crap but we did pick up a few things such as some more used brass. Just the pricing on this brass alone made it a worthwhile trip. I also found a holster that I like.

On Sunday we drove into Kansas City to Cabela’s and picked up the rest of the reloading supplies. We'd been saving our brass (a term for the brass shell casings) for a while now. We figured if we absolutely were NOT going to ever reload, we could dump the brass at the range or give it to someone there. Since we ARE reloading, we're glad we have all that "free" brass. We'd also purchased some used brass at another indoor range, The Bullet Hole in Overland Park, KS. So we're set for brass until we get it all loaded.

We needed everything; bullets, powders and primers for sure. But also a case trimmer, a powder scale, a powder funnel, a bullet puller (one of my personal favorite things to use — you do indeed bang it on the ground like you would a hammer), a deburring tool, and a primer tray. I also picked up a couple of the cheap green plastic ammo cases. Eventually, the empty boxes that once held ammunition will fall apart and we have more brass then empty boxes anyway. And I thought knitting and sailing required a lot of special tools!! LOL!!

I'm purposely leaving off what calibers of bullets we purchase but we started off with 100 each of a couple of brands, weights and sizes for each caliber we plan to reload. That way we can see how we like the bullets before we buy in bulk.

We bought five different powders in 1 lb increments. For the non-reloaders out there, powder is measured
out in grains. One pound of powder is equal to 7,000 grains. This doesn't mean there are 7,000 individual pieces of powder. As knitters, most of us are familiar with yarn in 50 gram increments. One gram is 15.4323584 grains so 50 grams of yarn equals 771.62 grains. A typical powder load for a .38 special is 4.5 grains. A pound of powder will load a lot of cases.

Back in the day, we only used two kinds of powder, one kind for the rifle (which looked like little pencil leads) and one kind for small pistols (which still looks like flakes). Both were Hodgdon powders which are still made right down the road in Overland Park, KS right next to The Bullet Hole. Back in the day, there also wasn't a Cabela's or Bass Pro or the internet (thank you algore) and we were lucky enough at that time to live only a couple of miles from The Bullet Hole so that's where we got ALL of our reloading supplies.

Today we have lots of different retail, equipment and supply options. So we took advantage and as I said bought five different pistol powders. We got two Alliant powders, Bullseye and Unique and three Hodgdon powders, Titegroup, Universal Clays and the old reliable HP-38 which we both remembered from days gone by.

Sunday afternoon we set up the press, on the kitchen table. Sweetie's been reading about our press on line, watching lots of you tube videos and reading the manual he'd downloaded. He's also been studying the reloading manuals and had already figured out what we were going reload first. The press had only been roughly calibrated when it was set up so we set about fine tuning the calibration for this particular session.

It was a satisfying session. I'm keeping a spreadsheet on all of our reloading data so we can track all the variables. It will be interesting to see how quickly we can "pay-off" all the money we spent on the reloading equipment. We loaded 86 rounds. Based on the used brass we'd purchased we "saved" $7.85 based on what we paid for similar ammunition a month ago. If the brass was "free" as our scavenged brass is the savings goes up to $13.30 for this session. That also includes some spilled powder and spoiled primers. Not bad for our first reloading session in twenty plus years.

blogging to: sounds outside the opened windows

reading: The Adventures of Johnny Vermilion by Loren D. Estleman

Parting Shot: '‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." ~ Jefferson's Commonplace Book, 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

Thursday, October 2, 2008

K's socks

Watching the VP debate this evening I started on K's sock. While I was rummaging around before the debate updating my notes on the previous two FO's something inside me said that it was time for her sock. So I picked it up and carried it into the library where I watched the debate and knit on her sock.

Thank goodness, K followed Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's sock recipe in her book Knitting Rules right down the line. I finished the leg, knitting the same number of rows as K. I measured the leg of this second sock against the finished sock and they are the same. I was a little worried about the heel flap as it didn't look like ANY of mine. But following Stephanie's recipe it looks like the first sock. I even managed to knit with the little short dpns instead of the long ones I use not dropping any stitches off the ends . . . so far.

So, the leg is done, the heel flap is done and the heel has been turned. The next step is to pick up the gusset stitches and do 50 rounds on the foot then the 15 rounds of toe decreases. This should go fairly quickly as it's all stockinette and once the gusset decreases are done, only 64 stitches around. I'll have it done by this time next week, probably sooner, depending on my knitting time.

As the finished sock fits me so well, this makes me want to do a stockinette sock. Not the next sock I do but one in the future. Maybe that'll be my next travel sock. An 1½" cuff and the leg and foot all stockinette. Talk about your mindless knitting.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Smile of a Ghost by Phil Rickman (a Merrily Watkins mystery)

Parting Shot: "Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there." ~Author Unknown

Another FO! in the Tank

Sometimes it takes a long time to get from here to there. Or so it seems. My Hunting Hat is done. Even the ends are woven in. It took an entire hank of fingering Koigu and a few yards from a new hank. I could have done without an entire pattern repeat, but whatever. That would have definitely put me right at or just under one hank.

I definitely have enough yarn to make me a pair of socks. When I bought the yarn about a year ago, it was with the intention of making my SIL a pair of socks but with only two hanks left that's not going to happen, unless I make the heels and toes a solid color, which could still work. But more likely are more socks for meeeeeee. Someday. I'm not quite oranged out yet, but I don't want to push it with another orange hat to make. It only took me two weeks and I didn't push it.

Since Sweetie doesn't like the variegated orange yarn that I'm knit my hat from that means that one of these days, I'll be stopping by the ol' LYS for some other orange yarn. I'm hoping I can find something other than acrylic. If I can't I may even resort to getting a hank of neutral Koigu and a couple of orange Kool-Aid packages. I've NEVER dyed yarn and this could be the time. We'll see.

I've finished the heel, picked up the gusset stitches and am heading south, er . . . towards the toe on the foot of the third sock in the Four of a Kind Socks series. I'll probably be starting the last two skeins of yarn somewhere on the foot on this sock. I need to start getting a bit serious about what the ribbing will be on the last sock. I know. I keep whining about it. Like the others, I'll probably come up with something two rounds from finishing the cuff.

And the "official" traveling sock, the Romancing the Sock socks knit with STR Romancing the Stone yarn is still in on track. It's just under 4" long now. It grows slowly as it only sees occasional action, a round or two at a time. Once the Four of a Kind socks are done, this one will see a lot more knitting time.

Now I'm between "official" projects until I start on Sweetie's hat. I could pick up any number of put to the side projects such as the White Caps afghan, which is mindless but attentive knitting. It's certainly cool enough now to have a large cotton project spread over my lap.

I could pick up and knit some one the Paws To Remember scarf. I haven't touched that in months. I could convert that to my "official" project but I couldn't knit on that and read blogs and forums. I'll have to see if the afghan is still small enough to fit on my lap at the computer. It may strictly be TV or couch knitting.

I could also do the Nautical Striped Sweater. I can almost wear it now. My next step on that I need to baste the first sleeve to the body, baste the sleeve shut and that side of the sweater to see if it fits. Not in the mood for fussy knitting.

I could also finish up K's sock but I'm not ready for that.

Until I decide (or not) I think I'll just knit on the third Four of a Kind sock.

We went sailing Tuesday. The weather was gorgeous. About 75°F / 23°C with winds 15-20 mph / 24-32 kph. Very few boats on the water. It was wonderful.

blogging to: sounds outside the open window

reading: The Smile of a Ghost by Phil Rickman (a Merrily Watkins mystery)

Parting Shot: "When danger approaches, sing to it." ~ Arabian proverb