Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Want a Talking Star Trek Computer

I was on the computer quite a bit the last couple of days and today the areas above and below my eldabows are quite sore. I'll continue to ice the areas this evening. I will be reading a book and not knitting and not on the computer. Does it count as knitting if I read knitting books?

It was kind of an experiment and it confirmed what I have suspected. It's mostly the computer, typing and mousing and maybe not so much the knitting although when I'm already sore that could exacerbate it. (Hey, I just spelled
exacerbate correctly without the spell checker!)

So just this short post with none of my usual add-ons. I'll be cutting way down on my computer time and when I do get on, setting a timer for 10-15 minutes so I'll GET OFF ALREADY! And I'll limit it to only a couple of times a day. Lately, I tend to write posts in spurts so no big change there.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Got a Rock

My eldabows are getting better and better and it's getting more difficult to ignore the siren call of the needles. I was a bit worried that this extended no knitting would just kill off the knitter but evidently she is made of sterner stuff. I'm very pleased by that. But I am not going to succumb, even for a few rounds on a sock. It's easier to stay off the computer as I get on it a couple of times a day then back off. If I do surf a bit I lay both hands in my lap rather than leave them extended while I read what's on the screen.

When I do start knitting again, it's going to be gradual so that I don't re-injure myself. And take lots of breaks to stop, get up and stretch. No more stints of three plus hours in the evening in front of the TV with needles and no breaks. And if I feel even a bit sore, back way off or stop for a week or so.

Again, thank goodness for the love of reading and the library.

Except for Friday when it was 65°F it's been cold and either wet, snowy or icy. Today it was all three. Sweetie has a cold so he's been sleeping and resting and we've not be out of the house since Christmas Day. We probably won't get out Sunday either even though it's supposed to be in the low 40's and sunny. Better to be rested and a bit bored, perhaps, than to get out and get all tired again. Especially as he's got a call first thing Monday morning.

Since I don't have a lot to talk about what with the no knitting . . . here are some reading statistics

So far this year I've read 140 books. Based on the page count of each book that's 42,490 pages, give or take the half pages at the beginning and end of each chapter and keep in mind a few were paperbacks with small print but most were hardback with larger print. Based on that, the average book length was just over 300 pages. The longest books I read were the last three Harry Potter books (651, 759 and 870 pages, respectively) but there was a non-HP book that was 631 pages and another that was 531 pages. It took me six, two and seven days,
respectively to read the Harry Potter books and three and eight days, respectively to read the other two. The shortest three books were, two at 148 pages each and one at 151 pages. It took me two, three and two days respectively to read those.

I read four books that only took one day each. They averaged 300 pages, two close to 300 and the other two, one about the same number of pages over the average that the other was under. I rated all these as good or pretty good reads but not excellent. Mostly I think it had a lot to do with the time available. If it was an OK book, I may have gotten bored and put it down to knit or do something else. Here's the breakdown:

  • 4 books - 1 day to read
  • 39 books ~ 2 days to read
  • 45 books ~ 3 days to read
  • 15 books ~ 4 days to read
  • 16 books ~ 5 days to read
  • 15 books ~ 6 days to read
  • 3 books ~ 7 days to read
  • 2 books ~ 8 days to read
It took me an average of 3½ days to read each book. Just taking the 84 books I read in the two and three day periods, they average 291 pages each, just below the total average of 300 pages. I don't know what this information tells me (or you) other than I have too much spare time and I love to read.

After the first of the year, if there's any interest (leave a comment), I'll post my 2008 books read list.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Darkness Gathers by Lisa Miscione (a Lydia Strong mystery)

Parting Shot: "Armed people are free. No state can control those who have the machinery and the will to resist, no mob can take their liberty and property. And no 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out … People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically right. Guns ended that, and a social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work." ~ L. Neil Smith (from The Probability Broach)

couldn't decide so you get them all . . .

I already knew this (and so did you, probably): Liberals Don’t Love America

We're screwed '08: link

Out There (as usual): link

Unbelievable: 60,000,000 people liberated

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Merry Merry


Still not knitting but today I can tell a difference. I'm still icing and wearing the tennis eldabow brace thingies on each arm and resting and not too much on the computer and just a little shooting with mostly the .22 and the rifle.

As far as that shooting, we went Tuesday afternoon. I shot my 9mm four times and that was it. Too much for my right eldabow. We had reloaded some "soft" .45 cartridges and I shot two of those. Too much. And I was wearing my braces. So I shot several clips out of the .22 semi-auto which didn't bother at all. I wanted to keep my hand in so my skills wouldn't slide off into nothing. Then I got out my .22 bolt action and shot about four clips at 25 yards. My final clip was seven shots at 25 yards into an area the size of my thumbnail right on center.

I FINALLY figured out that instead of centering the reticle (I have a duplex crosshair) of the scope on the center of the target and then squeezing the trigger I should drift towards the center and as I get close then squeeze off. Yeah, Baby! For those that don't shoot or don't use a scope at that magnification (9x) and distance just a tiny, tiny movement (such as your breathing) can move the
reticle off center and even off the entire target. I'm very pleased with that. And I still have the muscle memory of putting my cheek right down on the stock and I can see through the scope.

About those cheese straws. Must be me. A waste of time. A pain in the >>> to make. Totally not worth it. And not very good. So.

I made tart cherry scones again this morning. The first time I kneaded the cherries into the dough. This time I put the cherries into the dry ingredients before I added the milk. Way easier. I have a second box of Krusteaz Scone Mix and some dried cherries left. I know everyone (my BIL in particular) doesn't like cherries so I'll do some with cherries, some with dried cranberries and some with dried blueberries. I'll knead in the fruit on these. According to the box you divide the dough into thirds. which will work great as I have three dried fruits. As there will be lots of other things to munch on, 12 will be about right and will be great with coffee and hot tea.

We had a great time Christmas Eve at my SIL's. Dinner as usual was sauerbraten. Yummy! They loved their gifts. My BIL was especially excited about the 300 rounds of our hand loaded ammo he got, not necessarily for Christmas. We gave him 100 rounds of 9mm, 100 rounds of .38 and 100 rounds of .45. He's going shooting as soon as the range opens Friday morning! The highlight of my Christmas gifts was a gift cert to a yarn shop!! and one to Cabela's!! We've been saving up the discount coupons we received in the mail recently and that'll be nice. We've both been eyeing this vest. If the store doesn't have it, we'll order it on-line.

And I'm still roaring through the books! So far this year I've read 139 books. Last year I read 142. With the no knitting I'll easily surpass that. I could if I had to stop knitting entirely. It would be difficult but I could do it. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't see to read or hear an audio book. Reading has always been my first love. I'm SO thankful for writers and libraries.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Carol of the Bells.

reading: The Malcontenta by Barry Maintland (a Kathy Kolla and David Brock mystery)

Parting Shot: "This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone." ~ Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985), English novelist.

Good Stuff: link

Monday, December 22, 2008

Still With the No Knitting . . .

My elbows haven't improved much. I keep doing other things (ouch!) and it's not helping. Since I've been favoring my right arm my left one also hurts. So today I picked up another brace and I like this one. And, yes, I have been icing both but it's a slow process. Christmas shopping and housework don't help much. Just sayin'. I have got an amazing amount of reading done. In ten days, I've read eight books and I'll finish the ninth one later this evening.

I'm done with my Christmas shopping. I WAS done last Monday but today I found out that the ban on Christmas gifts has been lifted at the cousin-in-law's Christmas Day get together. This is the same CIL that I knit the Tiger Blue socks for. She had a falling out with the person who's idea this was and so this person's not going to be there this year and we're back with the presents. So back out today and I got my standard $25 Borders gift cards which should please anyone. If there any are leftover, they're ours to use!

So I'm done . . . again. I still need to box and wrap or bag, bow and tag what I got. I think every one's going to be pleased with their gifts. We'll see come Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

At the Christmas Day gathering instead of a meal, she's having "snacks and dessert" and everyone is bringing something. I've found some cheese straws recipes with puff pastry sheets so I'm going make some of those. As usual, I'll probably combine a couple of them. I'll let you know what I end up with. Another new thing I tired was Krusteaz scone mix. I'd had the tart cherry scones at Panera Bread, liked them and was looking to duplicate that. It was pretty easy and, of course, I messed with the directions. Plain scones, to me, are pretty tasteless and boring so I added some dried tart cherries and sprinkled in some ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice and some ground ginger. Once they were on the baking sheet, I brushed them with melted butted and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar. I was hoping for leftovers for the next morning with coffee but no such luck.

Since I haven't been doing anything, or going anywhere I don't have much to say. I've even (for the most part) stayed off the computer. Sweetie's been busy all day for the past week but he and another fellow finally got everything fixed today. The weather's been really, really cold here with temperates at night below zero and day temperatures in the teens. And more snow and ice on Tuesday. Global - Warming, my ass. Oh, goody!

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Carol of the Bells

reading: Spirit Sickness by Kirk Mitchell (an Emmett Quanah Parker and Anna Turnipseed mystery)

Parting Shot: "There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries." ~ W.J. Cameron

Nut Jobs at it again: link 1, link 2

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Whatcha Doin' . . . ?

Well, since I'm not knitting . . .

I've been shoveling the snow Tuesday and Wednesday and icing my elbow which DOES make it feel better . . . later . . . after it warms up. We got 3-4" here and today it's playing the freezing drizzle card. A machine is giving Sweetie fits and so someone set off this afternoon from Alabama (he hates to fly) to help him Friday. Meanwhile, we are to drive to the airport (about 45 minutes away in good weather) to pick up a next flight part around 8pm cst. Yeah, it's all fun and games until you have to drive to the airport in an ice storm. The ice is supposed to end before we have to start out for the airport so that's good.

With the snow on the ground the deer were very easy to see the other night. We had four, a large one, one a little smaller, maybe last year's fawn and two of what must be this year's fawns. The two smallest stuck with the largest one as she went from the tray feeder to a corn cob in the snow. A couple of the cobs I just tossed and they ended up being kinda buried in the snow but the deer found them. After a couple of nights a lot of our backyard is criss-crossed with deer, rabbit and bird tracks. I sure there are others I just don't know what they are.

I've been doing pretty good with the not knitting. Thank goodness I hit upon a run of good books at the library. Since I'm also supposed to be staying off the computer I can't do a lot of things there that I would like to but I did download a bunch of podcasts that I hope to listen to. That just involved clicking a couple of things to get the download started then typing some things and clicking some more things when it's done. For the several minutes in between, I am reading a book, not clicking or mousing.

And since I can't knit and there is NOTHING on TV, I've been reduced to walking on the treadmill. I figured a podcast would get me through and evidently it's the knitting not the podcast that is the magic bullet. So I set my MP3 player for soothing music (Tim Janis and Enya) and picked up a book. Not quite a diverting as knitting and anything else but I managed to stick it out for 50 minutes at various speeds and inclines. And it doesn't bother my elbow. I guess a long a I don't try to read a hardback copy of War and Peace it won't bother my elbow.

As far as the Christmas shopping, I've got a little done on-line but I need to do a little more. This weekend, I'm going to take Sweetie and we'll drive into KC and we'll do a Cabela's gift card and a gift cert from his favorite fly fishing shop for my BIL and a gift cert for my SIL from her favorite needlepoint shop. She attained SABLE (Sash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) some years ago but Hey! She LIKES it. I'll round it out the first of the week (maybe even tomorrow as the weather's to be good) with gift cards from JC Penney's and Borders and a sweater or something from Penney's or the local department store for each of them. I always get votive candles from a local shop and there might be something else along the way.

We're also going to give my BIL a box of our reloaded ammo for each caliber's he shoots that we reload for. Not necessarily for a gift but so he can try it out. He's going to come out sometime after Christmas and we'll all reload together. He's never reloaded. If he likes the process, he might get a press of his own or buy his own supplies and we'll reload his ammo to his specs. Hopefully, after we reload for a couple of hours, we can jump in one of the cars and go out to our range in Topeka and shoot some of what we reloaded. I think he would like that. That way we can also try each others guns. My SIL may or may not come along. If she does, I will feel compelled to knit while she needlepoints instead of being in the kitchen reloading with the guys. One of the few times I would rather NOT be knitting. We'll see. The advantage of living in an open floor plan house is that we'll be able to hear and take some part in the kitchen conversation.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Carol of the Bells

reading: Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith (a No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency mystery)

Parting Shot: "Man is not free unless government is limited." ~ Ronald Reagan

We're Screwed '08: link 1, link 2

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Cussing and Cursing Post

I've just come from the DR. I do have tennis elbow in my right arm (big surprise) and a just a slight case in my left arm. The best recipe for recovery . . . NO knitting, NO shooting, NO computer for 4-8 weeks or anything else that bothers it. I have exercises to do — wrist curls with 2 lb weights. I CAN indulge in the forbidden things but I need to take frequent breaks, not do it as much (as I'd like) then ice my elbow after the activity and use a brace.

I know that the more I do any the forbidden activities for any length of time will delay the complete recovery of my injury and after a certain point I'll risk re-injuring it and starting all over. At least I can still READ!

So I'll give up the knitting for the rest of the year (this is where the majority of the cussing and cursing comes in), cut way down on the computer mousing (some cussing and cursing) and cut way back on the shooting (not a whole lot of the cussing and cursing) and we'll see how things look New Year's Day. I'll also do the exercises every day (build up the repetitions and the weight) and if I do something else that hurts my elbow, I'll ice it down with either frozen peas or corn.

It'll be interesting to see how many book I read between now and the end of the year. I'm off to the library to stock up.

blogging to: classical music

reading: Thicker Than Water by Rett MacPherson (a Torie O’Shea mystery)

Parting Shot: "Examine what is said, not him who speaks." ~ an Arab proverb
Quote Source

Recent NutJobs: link 1, link 2

What With One Thing and Another

I've been making some good progress on my first Monkey Sock. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Northern Lights and it does remind me of the Northern Lights not that I've ever seen them in person. I'm about half-way through the third pattern repeat. It's a fun and rather uncomplicated knit. I'm knitting these on 2.25 mm dpns instead of my usual 2.5 mm needles. I guess after all those months of knitting cotton yarn with 2 mm dpns I wanted a tighter knit. I don't plan to do any fancy heel work, just a plain ol' heel flap. The yarn is soft although dark — roll out the Klieg lights!

Yes, I know that first photo is technically upside down for the wearing but it's how I knit it. You probably can't tell from the cropped photos but I'm using six needles. There are five 16 stitch pattern repeats in my socks. I've got a thing that if at all possible, when knitting in the round start a needle with a knit stitch. And it makes it easier if all the needles have a similar number of stitches on them and all knit the same. I couldn't find a place in the 16 stitch pattern to easily split it more than one time and I had an extra set of these Clover 2.25 mm dpns anyway. So one pattern repeat on each needle. When you're already knitting with five what's one more!

I spent a bit of time Friday evening knitting on the Monkey Sock and watching The Princess Bride on TV. A sweet story but kinda silly I don't understand what all the fuss was about but now I understand where some of those tag lines come from that I keep hearing.

Thursday night I shot in my first IDPA match. I was terrible. LOTS of room for improvement but it was fun and the guys were really supportive. I can hit what I shoot at standing still and firing one at a time at will at a static paper target. When you're aiming and shooting as quickly as you can and moving and reloading keeping in mind that you have to stay behind cover it's a whole different ballgame. The next match is the second week in January and I plan to be there. Meanwhile, practicing the standing
still and firing one at a time at will at a static paper target. Can't hurt.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland (a Kathy Kolla and David Brock mystery)

Parting Shot: "Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." ~ Ronald Reagan

Change you can believe in: link 1, link 2

Friday, December 12, 2008

On and On We Go

I'm making great progress in small steps. Sometimes, however, you want to make great progress in large steps all the time on everything and it just isn't possible, All. The. Time. Besides, once the socks, scarf, sweater and afghan are complete there'll be two more pairs of socks, another lacy scarf/shawl and another afghan. There will always be the next thing I want to knit.

I've put about ten rounds back on the STR Romancing the Stone sock that got frogged from 2/3 of the foot complete back to 30 rounds above the heel on the leg. Only 20 more rounds to go until I get to do the short row heel all over again.

My right elbow has been really paining me these last several days. Ibuprofen, heat and a brace help but it's not getting any better and as it's beginning to bother me more probably means it's getting worse. So Monday morning I'm off to the DR to get it looked at. I'm thinking it's knitter's or shooter's elbow since I don't play tennis. But enough with the self-diagnosing and self-medicating and get real help before I do permanent damage.

I found out Wednesday that the woman that 'd knit the Peachy Keen Scarf for died Tuesday morning. This is not a rant about her but disappointment for me. An unrealized opportunity. I never saw her wear the scarf. I never heard from her directly that she got the scarf or liked the scarf or even ever wore the scarf. I mailed it to here along with a note of how I came to knit it for her along some a small bottle of wool wash and care instructions. But I heard through my SIL that she did get the scarf and liked it and wore it. I'm glad I knit her the scarf and that she got some joy and comfort from it.

My SIL would tell me that she only wanted to leave the house for doctor appointments or chemo and would often not answer the door or the phone.
She lived alone and clearly wanted to be left alone. She's not in pain in any way any more and she has peace.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland (a Kathy Kolla and David Brock mystery)

Parting Shot: "To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another." ~
Katherine Paterson

We're Screwed '08: link 1, link 2

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gone. All Gone

All that lovely progress on the STR Romancing the Stone socks . . . gone. Well, not ALL gone just half gone. I had maybe 4" on the foot of the first sock done and tried it on again. I was concerned when I tried it on shortly after I completed the short row heel. It felt a bit snug over the instep at the ankle. I attributed it to it still being on needles and the needles were hampering the fit. But, alas, it was not to be. (knee deep in a river in Egypt) I'd gone a bit overboard when I did the calf decreases. You know me. If I have to rip out I'll do it to make the sock fit better. And so I did. I rrripped the out foot. I rrripped out the short row heel. And I rrripped out all the the calf decreases. The leg is now back on about round 50 instead of round 34 of the foot. The leg WAS an 80 round leg and it will probably be that when get there again.

So now I've put it back on needles and did another round count, yep, round 50. I'll do one row to make sure all the stitches are properly settled on the needles then back it will go into the travel bag. I reduced the stitches by nine when I did the calf decreases last time. Something that I forgot is that I only cast on 72 stitches instead of close to 90 . . . so IF I do any calf decreases it will only be a few. Maybe just one pattern repeat which would three which doesn't seem worth it. But if I didn't Do ANY I'd get to keep my wide round 'd round stripes. It'll make a few more rows on the short row heel but, Hey! We're only talking NINE stitches here. Won't make that much of a difference. So. OK. Decision made as I type. NO CALF DECREASES on this pair.

Normally, sometime during the late fall, after ALL the leaves have fallen from the neighbor's elm I run the lawn mower one last time, set one notch up from the lowest setting. Not so much to cut the grass, but to mulch the leaves and make it look nice when it snows. Which I did and which it did. We only got about an inch or so but, Gee. It sure looks nicer on MY lawn than it does on any of the neighbors.

We also put the Christmas Tree up Tuesday. Seemed appropriate what with the snow and all. We have one of those fiber optic trees we bought several years ago from the hardware store. About two or three years ago, the power supply failed. It's really some kind of transformer that converted 110v to 12v . . . or something. Anyway instead of paying bunches of $ for a new one Sweetie hooks it up each year to a battery charger. Works great.

We don't put any ornaments on it, just the tree with the lights. It cycles through the colors in different parts of the tree. We like it.

I've s - l - o - w - l - y been working on the first Monkey sock. Well. It's not that I've not been knitting in a dilatory manner, the progress is s - l - o - w . So I temporarily put aside the afghan which is my TV knitting for this sock. And I finally got the cuff done, all 15 rounds — along with most of the first pattern repeat. I only lack the two knit rounds to finish it. NOW I can see why folks like to knit this sock so much. Every round is different and it follows a progressive pattern. Very Cool.

I've kinda narrowed down what pattern I want to knit for the gray scarf using the Feta Mesmerize and the Frog Tree Mariboo (see previous posts for photos & yarn info) for the lady that cuts my hair. It the Falling Water Lace Scarf by Bonnie Sennott. That's a link to the pattern on her blog. To get the pattern click the blog name at the top to get you to her main page. She has a short list of free patterns on the right side. So far that's the one that's caught my fancy. I'm still scrolling through the patterns I've saved on the computer and haven't looked through any of my books yet.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland (a Kathy Kolla and David Brock mystery)

Parting Shot: "Self defense is nature's first law." ~ John Dryden

We're Screwed '08: link 1, link 2

Ooooo! Yarn p0rn!

Last Thursday I met up with a fellow blogger who sometimes blogs about her knitting that you know as Bo aka The Bohemian Road Nurse. According to Bo's blog she's currently relocated on Exit 95 on The Yellowbrick Road... which if you clicked on both links they take you to the same blog. We went on a two shop yarn crawl.

First up was Yarn Shop and More in downtown Overland Park, KS. I've been there many times. Most often when I worked in Lenexa and my SIL
gets me gift certificates for my birthday and Christmas there. I've been thinking for several months about making a scarf for the woman that cuts my hair. She's a GREAT KU fan, football and basketball but I never found any soft wool yarn that I liked. And whatever I chose, it could not in any way have ANY purple in it. So I changed my tune and ended up with six skeins of Meriboo by Frog Tree [top photo) (black colorway ~ color code 100) and six skeins of Mesmerize by Feza [2nd photo) (steely-silver colorway ~ color code 56). I have no idea on the pattern yet but I'll hold these two together. I think it'll make an elegant scarf, even if it's not lace. Bo found two very colorful skeins of sock yarn.

Then after wandering in the wilderness for what seems like a long time (we mis-read the map quest map and were on the wrong side of I-35 — and it was probably only 15 or 20 minutes) we arrived. I was still kinda looking for yarn for another scarf which will probably be lace but I wasn't sure of the color (let alone the pattern) so I put that aside. So the sock yarn got my attention.

I found two hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock in the Vera colorway. I was thinking about a pair of socks for my SIL — all the brown which as you know isn't my favorite. But at least in their hanked state these browns aren't so . . . offensive. Maybe it's all the purple. They only had two hanks of this colorway and SIL's socks will take another hank and I forgot to ask if they had a third or look for a complimentary solid color . . . I'll be back in town in a few weeks Christmas shopping and I'll bring the hanks and see if they have a third one or match it or a complimentary or contrasting color for the heels and toes or something.

I found some Regia Bamboo Color in these wonderful soft jewel tones. The fiber is 45% bamboo, 40% superwash wool and 15% polyamid. It will make me a great pair of socks. The colorway is called Papillon, which is French for butterfly.

I also bought a scarf pattern and the yarn in the pattern and the color in the sample. It's the Swirl Scarf by Jane Field put out by ShubuiKnits. The yarn is very thin and lofty and is called Silk Cloud. I got the Mulberry. I only got one skein which is what the pattern calls for. Now that I'm home, I may want a longer scarf. As I'm going back in a few weeks anyway, we'll see what happens.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Manheim Steamroller Christmas

reading: The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland (a Kathy Kolla and David Brock mystery)

Parting Shot: "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." ~ Plato

Nut Job links: gotta take the good with the nut-jobs sometimes ~ yeah, baby (nws), part 1 and the update

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not What You'd Think

Christmas Lights?

Note to Self: Next time you go to the range take more than 90 rounds for your gun. Normally I wouldn't shoot this much of one gun / caliber unless I was testing loads like I did at the beginning of November. For those three outings I shot 100, 130 then 120 rounds. This evening it felt really good. I was getting good tight groups while squeezing the rounds off fairly quickly. Towards the end I'd developed a muscle memory of where to bring the gun down to the target again after I'd fired it. So I didn't have to find the target through the sight again. As soon as the gun was back down I would fire. The groups were the size of my fist and I have small hands. That was really cool. I would really get into the groove when I would fire all ten rounds in the clip. By the third shot, the muscle memory was there.

So next Thursday (12/11), I hope to shoot in my first IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) match. I'm looking forward to it. I'd link but the site's down or something. If you want more info, you can Google IDPA and hopefully it'll be up then.

Lots of sparkly Christmas Lights?

Well, as far as the knitting goes, I've been un-knitting these past couple of days. I did something weird on the White Caps Afghan and the best way was either to frog two rows (which means putting everything back on the needles and loosing another row) or painstakingly tinking back. I tinked back. Again the great thing about this cotton yarn, Reynolds Saucy, is that when you take the needles out, if you don't tug on the yarn it holds the loop, even when frogging rows and rows and rows. So this evening, I finished the tinking which altogether took four or five hours and then knit it back which took all of maybe thirty minutes.

Sweetie was done with jury duty Tuesday afternoon. He said it was a good experience and he's glad he did it.
What ARE Those?

Today we spent most of it punching primers out of a whole lot of cases. All this brass is from the brass we purchased from fellow in Wichita, KS about a month ago. He had a full to the brim five-gallon bucket and a half full three gallon bucket. We got a lot of brass. We only have the brass from one caliber left to work through. Although we don't load all the empty brass at once it's nice knowing it's there. With it cleaned, de-primed and cleaned again, when we're ready to load we don't have to deal with the brass. We can set up the press, calibrate the powder load and go to it. We actually did load several hundred 9mm cartridges. Since I've been shooting so many practicing for this IDPA thing, I've been working through it.

Ahhh, 9mm copper clad round nose projectiles

These are the bullets we were loading today. Sitting in the bullet tray with the light shinning down on them they're pretty.

blogging to: jazz on the radio

reading: Hope Will Answer by Susan B Kelly (a Nick Trevellyan / Alison Hope mystery)

Parting Shot: "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." ~ Adolf Hitler

We're Screwed '08: link 1 link 2 link 3

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bullets and Balls

I certainly have been in the posting mood, haven't I. Quite a change from these past several weeks. Well, the cold weather's set in and it was wet the past couple of days. I worked a lot on the Paws to Remember Scarf Saturday afternoon. Sweetie napped in the big chair in the living room and I sat on the sofa and knit on the scarf. When I last had contact with the scarf I'd decided to knit on for 7 or so inches until it reached 30" unblocked before I changed colors and started the second half of the scarf. I'm now at 26½" long and I've just finished row 210. Each pattern repeat is about an inch so about four more 12 row pattern repeats and I'll see where we are. The scarf is only 89 stitches wide so other than the row I feed the lifeline through it goes pretty quick. It's all garter stitch. It may be a long while before I do a garter stitch lace scarf.

I cast on Saturday evening for the first Monkey Sock, Round 2. I added a pattern repeat and I think that'll work much better fit-wise.

And speaking / writing of socks, as I'm about 2" into the foot of the first STR Romancing the Stone sock, I should start at least contemplating the next travel / stoplight knitting sock. What yarn, pattern, etc. I do know (at least now) that it's going to be stash yarn. I have some great stash yarn.

We reloaded some rifle cartridges Sunday and punched fired primers out of . . . let's just say a whole lot of of pistol brass is now ready for loading. When we punch primers we lubricate the cases then we put them back in the polisher to remove the case lube. When you punch primers you also re-size the case as it expands slightly when it's fired. You don't have to lube straight walled brass but we think it's easier on those carbide-lined dies. Anyway, while Sweetie is lubing up a bag of 500 count brass I start de-priming them. When he's finished lubing them all we change places. He works the press and I knit on the White Caps Afghan. I can get almost one row done before he finishes. Here are some You Tube videos that show the whole process. At the 6 minute mark on this video he walks you though explaining each step while reloading one shell. The previous videos (1-3) talk about setting up the press from scratch. This one at the beginning shows more of the actual reloading with more than one shell at a time. Cool, huh. The way we do it with two, is I place the projectile (the copper clad bullet) on top of the case that has powder in it then advance the press one stage. And yes, you can easily churn out a couple of hundred completed cartridges in a couple of hours without pushing.

We got an order of bullets in the mail Monday. I wasn't home when the poor postal person had to lug the heavy boxes to our front door. That was probably a good thing. But we're all set for quite a while, unless we start shooting more than twice a week or purchase a different caliber firearm.

Today (Monday) I "had" to drop by my LYS because I broke a tip off one of my 2.25 bamboo dpns. I already had an extra set but let's just not go there. Stoplight knitting and holding on to the sock while I shifted from second
to third I heard that awful snap. Yep, I broke one of my ebony 2.5 mm dpns. I didn't think I had any more of those and I'm sure there is some knitting "rule" that says you can't mix rosewood and ebony dpns so I "had" to turn right around and head for the LYS. Also I only have 3/4 of a bottle of wool wash and this IS wool sock wearing season. So. All in all I did rather well exiting with only one skein of this considering I was also prospecting for yarn for two lacy scarves. Camo yarn. I'm going to call it Black Rifle Yarn. The socks from these will be my Black Rifle Socks. This yarn is going to be for the next travel socks. Sweetie doesn't care much for it (not a dark, solid color) but I think it's fun. So much for the stash yarn thing in a previous paragraph, huh.

Since I ran all of my errands today, I can spend Tuesday knitting and then cleaning house. We'll see how well that goes.

Sweetie ended up having to serve on a jury. He didn't take the black rifle book. I'm wo-manning his company phone so I can pass messages back and forth. It may be done by sometime Wednesday.

blogging to: A Peaceful Christmas

reading: Hope Will Answer by Susan B Kelly (a Nick Trevellyan / Alison Hope mystery)

Parting Shot: "The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." ~ Malcolm X [ain't that the truth]

We're Screwed '08: link 1 link 2 and the media is NOT your - friend