Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nothing New

I'm still forging along on the Paws to Remember Scarf. Only 62 rows to go now . . . although I'm SURE I knit at least 30 or so more than that! These last rows will be like the final 2 minutes of any game with time-outs. I'll knit what feels like 200 rows and I will have advanced 8. Then suddenly I'll be on the last colorway and then abruptly, I'll be halfway through the border and finally I'll be at the bind-off row. I'm still excited by the looming finish.

I've got to get cracking on what pattern for the dark gray scarf for the lady that cuts my hair. Something kind of delicate looking and pretty but warm; no cables and not ribbing.

And the cuff is done on Sweetie's second Country sock. I've got about three rounds done on the leg. Once that's done, I'll finish my second purple sock with STR yarn then we'll see what happens. I still have the Christmas Monkey socks on the needles but they are NOT travel knitting.

With all the knitting my eldabows are aching just a bit today. It could be the damp and all the digging in the yard I've done. All the same I'm going to lay off the knitting or at least cut way back for the next few days or so.

Speaking of digging in the yard, I picked up five more small bags of the lawn patch stuff (the only size they had) and spread it out a couple of days ago. When I run errands tomorrow (Friday) I'm going to search out maybe a half a dozen more small bags or three larger bags and that may . . . be it for now. We've been getting rain right along so I haven't had to water it, except for the initial wetting. This patch stuff is more work but for me this stuff seems work to better than seed alone.

Sweetie's night work is done. His last night was last Sunday the he filled in for a fellow on the day shift on Tuesday. So it's ALL done now for another year, if they get the contract again next year.

We've been to the range a couple of times this week. Monday, we went to the outdoor range. It was cold (temps in the mid '40's and drizzly) but we went anyway and enjoyed ourselves. We didn't stay very long and didn't shoot very much but it was nice being out.

Wednesday, we visited our favorite indoor range as it was pouring. I put a couple hundred rounds through both of my 9mm's. Sometimes I'm on with the Glock 26 and other times it's the Kimber 1911. Wednesday, it was the 1911. The Kimber seemed to absorb the recoil and fit my hand better. I also did fairly well with the 1911 S&W .45. 1911's are my guns and Sweetie favors the M&P style.

We're finally running up against the reloading component shortage. The range was out of large pistol primers and our bullets are back ordered until near the end of May. We've got plenty of stock but when we get below a certain point I start looking around and placing orders, which I've done. Previously, the wait's only been a couple of days or a week. I may have just hit it right in the past. So, we'll see.

I've got the little slide show of my favorites up and running again.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Acoustic Alchemy

reading: Black Powder, White Smoke by Loren D Estelman (a western)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." ~ Thomas Paine

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Idle Hands

Given some time, and a little determination it's amazing what you can accomplish. I am 76 rows from completing the Paws to Remember Scarf. Seventy-Six. Slightly less than three 12 row pattern repeats with both strands of the #7 (the next to the last) colorway; 32, 89 stitch rows to be exact. After that I have seven rows of one strand of the #7 and one strand of the #8 colorway, one 12 row pattern repeat with both strands of colorway #8 then the 24 row ending border with both strands of the #8 colorway.

Four rows near the top of the border and the last four rows of the border are garter stitch. Two rows of the border are k2tog, yo, one row of the border is k6, k2tog, yo and every row "back" is knit. So the border will be a very quick knit. But therein lies the danger. I'll be putting in a lifeline at the end of last pattern repeat as always and about half way through the border which will keep it in the 12 row pattern I've worked with.

I'm going to cast off with really big needles, like double the size, so it will be really loose. The cast on is loose and I want the cast off to be just as loose. The scarf is a nice length for me now so for my taller and longer armed SIL, just a bit more will be fantastic.

I am so excited to be thisclose to being done. That's what's pushing me now; the product knitter. The process knitter packed up and went home in disgust the other day. When I cast off, the process knitting will return until the end again, is nigh.

Tonight, Sunday is the LAST night (as far as we knew when Sweetie left this evening). Monday morning, probably around 4:30am (groan!!) he's going to call as he's leaving to wake me up. He's picking me up for breakfast then back home to sleep. When he wakes up, we're going to the target range. Yippee!!

blogging to: the sounds of a thunderstorm

reading: People Who Walk in Darkness by Stuart Kaminsky (an Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." ~ Thomas Paine

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sod it!

Remember when I said that I was going to work on the yard in small chunks . . . .

Didn't happen. I know I was shocked, too!!

The lawn mower came back from being serviced this afternoon so my excuses are over. Besides it's going to rain for the next three or four days starting Saturday afternoon.

So this evening, I mowed AND spread two LARGE bags and three slightly smaller bags of this stuff over part of the lawn. I need at five more LARGE bags of that stuff. (sigh) And I dug around with my little three bladed garden tool before I spread it out. Thank goodness the ground was still somewhats soft from the rain last Sunday morning. We have a lot of clay even after 15+ years of soil amendments. If it's dry it's like concrete. So now I am committed to watering the lawn ALL SUMMER. I hope it's a wet summer.

I wish I could afford to have an in ground sprinkler system put in and sod to replace all the crappy grass? and weeds. I even want to the same thing done to neighbors on both sides and in the back. I'll pay for it and their lawn upkeep, mowing, the whole nine yards just to keep the frickin' weeds out of MY yard.

We have a rental on the north side, and folks who own but don't give a darn about how their lawn looks on the other side and in the back. All three of them shave their lawn. We have a new renter on the north side so we'll see that goes. The one on the south only cuts when it gets tallish. The Saudi's that rented the house to the north in previous years, would mow about once month and then it looked like a hay field that needed to be bailed. The guy in back mows regularly and this year he has a new riding mower so he's already mowed twice.

Now I'm going to spend the next two days alternately soaking in a tub of hot water and cozied up with a heating pad all the while gulping ibuprofen. Ok, I'm going for sympathy here. It won't be that bad. It's amazing what a Bacardi Limon rum and coke will do for your attitude after all that and a hot shower.

blogging to: sound of the wind through the open window

reading: Scavengers by Steven F Havill (a Posadas Country mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death." ~Sam Llewelyn

Those Who Wait

I've been spending my afternoons and evenings scouring the net for interesting things to download for Sweetie. After last night, Thursday, he has only three more nights. Since YouTube did something to their code on many of their videos you can't capture them as .tmp files and save them. Well, you can, but they won't play. And you can't, well at least I don't know how to capture streaming video so that's out.

So he's got lots of articles I've transferred piece by piece onto a word processor then onto a memory stick on a variety of subjects, mostly about guns. Yesterday I found a bunch of gun-related catalogs that I was able to download in .pdf format. I'm running out of ideas but I keep searching. Luckily, one thing has led to the next one. Thank goodness, it's only three more nights. If he had interenet access I wouldn't have to do this. The first year he did and not anytime after that. Oh, well.

I look back and I wonder what I've been doing with my time and realize there hasn't been that much free time. I'm staying up later than normal and not sleeping well so I tend to sleep in and wake with Sweetie which is anywhere from 10am-noon. Sounds decadent but it's not.

I have been able to fit in some knitting here and there. I'm on two strands of the #6 colorway on the Paws to Remember scarf. There are four 12 row pattern repeats with this colorway and one is already complete. Only 37 more rows until the next color change which will be 1 strand of the #6 colorway and 1 strand of the #7 colorway. Then 3½ pattern repeats with two strands of the #7 colorway. Then it all happens even more quickly. I finish off that pattern repeat with one strand of the #7 colorway and one strand of the #8 colorway. The final pattern repeat is with both strands of the #8 colorway as is the 24 row border. I'd say I was 75% done right now.

This will probably insure that I will have to rip back to at least one of the life lines, which you can see at the top of the photo . . . but I am doing pretty well in that area. Going s-l-o-w-l-y with no distractions such as the TV or the computer insure, for the most part, that my full attention is on my knitting.

I can't believe how close to the finish I am. I've been working fairly steadily on it since January and I hope to co
ntinue until I have it done. It would be great to be able to give it to my SIL when we gather to celebrate my birthday the first part of June. I've knit her a couple of pairs of socks since all the lace action started a few years ago but since I knit her two garter stitch scarves the first winter I was knitting I haven't knit her anything fancy like this. I've done those two lace baby blankets, the lace scarf for her curmudgeonly pal and the lace-ish peach scarf for one of her other friends. I kinda feel bad about that but that's why I started this scarf for her. I can't believe how how it's taken me, though. The two scarves I did knit for her, one was a simple garter stitch in a dark purple mohair. The other was in scarlet fun fur.

Well outside of Sweetie and myself, she's third on the list of the number of handknit pairs socks she's received so don't feel too badly for her.

Sweetie's second Country Sock is slowly coming along. Since I'm not getting an
y passenger time it's my stoplight knitting sock. The cuff is about half finished. I still haven't found a way to get some good photos of the stitches between the knit rows but here are the results so far.

blogging to: sounds coming through the open windows (finally!!)

reading: Scavengers by Steven F Havill (a Posadas Country mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "If householders were required by law to own and know how to use revolvers, burglary would cease. It is an act of good citizenship to make crime dangerous — an encouragement of crime to remain defenseless.” ~ 1904 Iver Johnson advertisement

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still Topsy Turvey

We are Seven days into our upside down world with "officially" Seven more to endure. Halfway. Sweetie leaves home at about 5pm every afternoon and gets home around 5:30 every morning. I say "officially" seven more nights because the processing has been overall very light this year compared to previous years. Really, really, really light. In fact the department that feeds the check processing machines closed down (Saturday) at midnight. As the machines he's to maintain had no work and they were going to put those employees to work in other departments until the end of their shift, he came home early. Hopefully, instead of having to do this until this time next week, they'll end it a few days early like they have in years past.

I haven't been sleeping very much/well so I decided to take a nap Saturday night. Good thing, too. After Sweetie left, I fixed myself some dinner then went to bed around 6pm and napped and dozed until he called about 10:45pm with the news. I was already about half awake so I got up and dressed. I was in the process of working on the previous post about the Tea Party when I heard thunder. Sure enough a storm, with plenty of red, orange and yellow was headed our way. So I shut down all the computers and the network and watched TV and knit (more on that later) until he got home around 1:30am

We'd left the reloading press set up in the kitchen in case he felt like banging out a couple a hundred cartridges anytime. After he ate that's what we did until the electricity went off. This doesn't happen very often in our neighborhood as all of the electric, telephone and cable lines are buried. As the press is manual, we lit some candles and kept going. I know. How romantic; reloading 45's by candlelight at 2:30am during a thunderstorm. Sweetie wanted to stay up as long as possible so we ended up reloading 300 by 3:30 am then called it a night.

Sunday was a very relaxing day for Sweetie — almost "normal — except for all the sleeping. He slept until 10am, had breakfast, reloaded 200 more shells and went back down at noon. Up again for the night at 4pm. We'll both be so glad when this is O V E R!!

The 45's we loaded, we did the HP-38 in the new lighter, softer load. We'd loaded ten rounds of 5.3 grains of HP-38 as test loads a couple of weeks ago, test fired them and they all shot and cycled through the guns fine. Normally, our next step would be to load up 50 rounds just to be sure before we loaded up several hundred. As it hasn't been possible because of Sweetie's work schedule, we decided to up it by one tenth of a grain to 5.4 grains
. That's what all 500 were loaded at. I may shoot IDPA on my own this coming Thursday. It depends on the weather. I don't want to drive back in the dark in a driving thunderstorm. I would come early and shoot some 30-40 (or more!) test rounds of the 5.4 grain load before I committed to shooting them in an IDPA match. I'll see how the week and the weather go.

Now we're now up on our .45 ammo but low on large pistol primers and .45 caliber bullets. I'll see about correcting that this week.

Ah, the knitting. I finished Sweetie's first Country sock. You really can't see much detail in the photos, other than it's a dark gray sock. Up close and personal, you can see the design between the knitted columns. I'm going to fiddle with it and the camera in next few days and see what I can get. I've cast on for it's mate. So far no SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) for me! I'm on round 9 of the cuff and it's about ½" long. I may have a "slight" problem once I get down to the toe decreases or thereabouts. I weighed the sock I finished, 51 grams and I weighed what's left of the skein of yarn . . . without the ball band . . . 49 grams. Hmmmm. Hope springs eternal and I intend to take the Scarlet O'Hara approach. Tomorrow is another day. For now I will just enjoy the knitting.

As to my book choices, I can only take reading about libs and their behavior for very short periods which is why the last two books are taking so long to get through.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Nightmare Town a collection of hardboiled detective stories by Dashiell Hammett
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "A people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression." ~ James Madison

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We're Not Going to Take It*

I went to my second Tea Party Wednesday. I wore my Too Right for Raverly T-shirt. Thanks! BunkerBabes for making this up. I took photos but most of them are of the signs. I had a great time and met and talked to LOTS of wonderful like-minded folks.

As I came into town at the height of rush hour, the exit that I needed to take was backed up for about a ¼ mile — and no one seemed to be making left turns. Everyone was turning right [well, duh!) toward the Tea Party site. I parked a couple of blocks away and strolled to the Tea Party with my sign nonchalantly over my shoulder. As I got closer and saw more people going my way, I changed the position of my sign from just carrying it, to displaying it to PROUDLY displaying it. Despite the fact that the Tea Party officially began only ten minutes before I arrived there were already well over 1,000 folks there. All ages, many with signs and some without but all there for the same purpose.; to protest what is happening to our beloved country.

I took these photos one-handed with a disposable camera so they're not great. And I completely forgot to take some random crowd photos to show how large the crowd was. And yes, that is one of my fingers in several of my photos. One handed, holding a sign, not too bad a job.

Do any of these people look like terrorists to you? or Right Wing Extremists?

Here is a photo of the tree in front of our house hung with family-sized tea-bags on tax day.

And my signs; both sides

Lastly on this spring day, don't forget the victims and prayers for the families of the Oklahoma City bombing perpetrated by by a real terrorist 14 years ago today.

* The Parting Shot and title of this post was taken from the song of the same name sung by Dee Snider lead singer of Twisted Sister.

Parting shot:
"Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore

We've got the right to choose it
There ain't no way we'll lose it
This is our life, this is our song

We'll fight the powers that be, just
Don't pick our destiny, 'cause
You don't know us, you don't belong

Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore

Oh, you're so condescending
Your gall is never ending
We don't want nothin', not a thing from you

Your life is trite and jaded
Boring and confiscated
If that's your best, your best won't do

Oh, Oh

We're right (yeah)
We're free (yeah)
We'll fight (yeah)
You'll see (yeah)

Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore

Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore

No way

Oh, Oh

We're right (yeah)
We're free (yeah)
We'll fight (yeah)
You'll see (yeah)

Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore

Oh, we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, we're not gonna take it anymore

Just you try and make us
We're not gonna take it
Come on

No, we ain't gonna take it
You're all worthless and weak
We're not gonna take it anymore

Now drop and give me twenty
We're not gonna take it
Oh, crinch pin

No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh, you and your uniform
We're not gonna take it anymore"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What a Week!!

Well, it feels like a week's worth of activities that we've crammed into just a few days.

First off, on Monday night Sweetie starts two weeks of working at night, 6:30 pm to 4:30 am. Once a year at this time, one of the large organizations that have contracts with his company to maintain their equipment has their yearly peak time. As Sweetie is the only tech here, his company has to bring in someone to work the day shift at this organization. This year his company has brought in someone to run any daytime service calls so Sweetie won't have to. Yea!!! In the three previous years since his company won this contract, if there were any service calls from other customers during the day Sweetie had to take care of them. The first year was terrible. Several day time calls and not much rest. The last two years have been a lot better with much fewer daytime calls but still difficult. We're hoping things will go smoothly this year.

The biggest problem at night for Sweetie is not the work, its boredom. He can take his laptop but he has no internet connection. He also can't take in any books or magazines. In previous years, we've downloaded books from the Project Gutenberg site. But Sweetie's not a reader. He likes technical manuals and technical reading. Novels are not his thing. Over the year I've been collecting photos from those e-mails that get circulated around; such as the 50 most amazing churches or the 100 strangest buildings—that sort of thing. My SIL's curmudgeonly pal (the one I made the lilac scarf for) is always sending me those types of e-mails. Most of what she sends is drek but there are occasional gems. I've also been collecting and saving You Tube videos, music, shooting, sailing whatever I thought might catch his interest. Plus I also did a post like entry with a word processor compete with any photos we took every time we went sailing last year. So there's that, too.

I'm going to start putting some of them on memory sticks; some on the laptop hard drive and burning some to CD's which will be labeled as parts manuals to the equipment he has to maintain.

So there is that which is coming. And there is this which has already happened . . .

We shot in our bi-weekly IDPA match this past Thursday evening. We had 27 shooters, five of which were new. I was last, AGAIN!! overall but one FTN (fail to neutralize) in the first COF (course of fire) really hurt. What that means, in English, is I didn't even wound the BG (bad guy), not even a little. And my raw times are high which means I'm slow to acquire targets. So, I'm going to soften the load in my gun. After the last match in March, one of the shooters gave me ten rounds of his reloaded ammo. It's a lighter load, softer than what I'm shooting. We tried and it did cycle and eject in mine so we're going up load up some of that and see if that makes a difference in my times.

Part of my problem is that I have small hands and not a lot of hand strength, mainly because of my eldabows. I can't grip really hard because it hurts, even with supports. So the gun bucks and it takes me precious time to bring it back down on the target each time. We usually shoot twice at each target, hence the name of our group, Double Tap. I'd also rather not step down in firepower to a gun that "may" fit my hand better, such as a .380 or a .32. The good thing is that although I take a bit longer and may not hit center mass each time, the BG is still dead or at least mortally wounded if he doesn't get medical help soon because I do hit the body, often gut shoot the bad guy or, um, lower.

Anyway, we've loaded up some of these lighter loads; HP-38, 5.3 grains with plated flat-nosed 200 grain bullets for a 1911 .45 S&W. They work great (cycle and eject well). They are much softer and lighter than the 6.3 grains with Universal Clays I was using. I still like my shock and awe load (lots of flame and flying brass). The muzzle of my stainless 1911 gets very sooty with the Universal Clay loads. It will be interesting to see if it stays cleaner with the HP-38.

Friday and Saturday afternoon we spent at an outdoor target range. Prior to joining this club, we would shoot at an indoor 25 yard range. Shooting outdoors is very different but a lot of fun. This club has several ranges; 3 skeet/trap fields, a rimfire range which has 25, 50, 75 and 100 yard targets, a hi-power centerfire range which has the same targets lengths as the rimfire but also 200 and 300 yard targets and three pistol ranges. One pistol range has 25 yard fixed metal target holders that you slide your cardboard backing into then staple or tape your paper target to that. One of the other pistol ranges is also a 25 yard range but has two hanging metal targets which swing slightly and give off a nice sound when you hit them. The final pistol range, is free form; you can shoot from any distance. However, if you're not the only shooter you need to come to some agreement with the other shooter(s) as to how far away you will all shoot.

For all the pistol and rifle ranges that don't have the metal swing targets you need to periodically traipse up, down or across to the wood target backers and either affix new targets or paste little labels over the holes on the old ones, assuming that you are hitting the target . . . somewhere. There are safety lights that turn on and flash that mean an automatic cease fire on that particular range so the trip down range can be made safely.

We had a good time both days. Friday afternoon we pretty much had all the ranges to ourselves. We spent a couple of hours and many many (many, many) rounds siting in one of our rifles on the hi-power range. On Thursday we bought a 20-60 x 80 power scope just for this purpose. With it we can count the rivets on the chimney cap 6 houses away. With this rifle our groups are tight at 25 yards on an indoor range At an outdoor range all bets are off. It was windy (over 25mph with gusts) Friday and our projectiles are either 42 grain frangibles or 55 grain soft points. We gave up pretty quickly on the 100 yard range and concentrated siting the rifle in at the 50 yard range with better results. Our groups were fairly large but toward the end were tightening up. We're going to get and load some heavier projectiles, near 70 grain for windy days and see how that plays out.

Saturday we brought our pistols to test out some the loads for .45's that I talked about earlier and the 22LR. When we shoot at the indoor range with our pistols, the target is usually not over 15 yards away and most of the time we're shooting 7-12 yards. We chose to shoot on the 25 yard fixed target range. Again, a huge difference between indoor and outdoor shooting. And 25 yards is a lot farther away than 7-12 yards. But we had respectable groups for outside and shooting 40+ feet more than we're used to for the first time.
view from the firing line at the fixed target 25 yard range
If you click for bigger, those goal post looking things are what you put your targets in. You buy or as we did cut a piece of cardboard to fit then staple your paper targets to the cardboard.

And picking up brass outside is also different. At the indoor range the brass rolls and bounces across the smooth floor. Outside the "floor" of the hi-power centerfire rifle and all the pistol ranges is fine white pea gravel. Off the firing line it's regular ground; grass, leaves, mud, sticks, rocks, dirt — much of it the same color as sooty, just-fired brass
— which tends to land upright as the wide bottom and spent primer are the heaviest part of the shell. And those are especially difficult to see. Anyway, like a gymnast the brass lands and "sticks". No rolling or bouncing, particularly when it lands in the pea gravel. On the rimfire range, the firing line is concrete but the ground around it is "paved" with 22 brass!

Down at the rimfire range, we were tired by this point and didn't want to trudge out to 50 yards and staple targets. We really didn't even try to site the Marlin in. At one side of the rimfire range, at 50 yards, there are two metal swing targets set up. We plinked at those for a while. These are rather large targets, the turkey shaped silhouette, I imagine is the same size as "real" turkey so they're not small. With the 4-9 power scope they were difficult to miss even at 50 yards and it was fun to shoot and see the target swing.

blogging to: Pandora Radio seeded with Marc Antione

reading: The Water Clock by Jim Kelly (a Philip Dryden mystery)

Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." ~ James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the Old-Fashioned Way

Lately, I've been embracing doing some things the old-fashioned way. I've devised a make-shift clothes line between two tall one hook plant hangers—we call them bo-peep poles—and some line, just off the patio to hang sheets, pillow cases, socks etc. to dry in the sun and the wind. The sheets and pillow cases smell so good. And the scent lasts until next laundry day; unlike commercial "April-fresh" scents in the softeners and detergents that barely last getting them back on the bed or folded and in the linen closet.

I remember as a kid running between the lines of damp sheets hung out to dry; playing hide and seek between the billowing cotton. And how mom would get a bit irate if the clothes pin bag got left out in the rain. And wooden clothes pins
—not plasticthe spring and the non-spring type. We had thick wire clothes lines that didn't sag much. My line will sag if left up but when whatever I'm drying is dry. Down comes the line; mainly so we don't get clotheslined going out into the yard but also so the birds don't get used to sitting on it.

About a month ago the weather was sunny and windy and I was able not only to hang the sheets out but the bedspread and blankets so that night everything you touched had been dried outdoors that day.

I've also started doing dishes by hand instead of stacking them up in the dishwasher and running it when it was full. There are only two of us and with me not working, it may take us a couple of days or more to get a full load. When we go though a snacking phase instead of "real" meals, it takes even longer. I also think it uses less water and it's certainly quicker!

I refuse to hand wash my clothing, however. I do handwash handknit socks and if I ever finish a sweater that I'll actually wear I'd do that, too. The handknit cotton socks tend to go through the washer but they're air dried.

I've been making great strides on the Paws to Remember Scarf for my SIL. It seems like I've been knitting on it For. Ever. I cast on on December 9, 2007 so 15 months ago. It's also sat for months at times. I've got about 3 or so rows left before the color transition I talked about in my previous post. I'm hoping I can keep my interest up and finish it soon. It does seem to work out well for this project, the reading several pages and then knitting a row. I don't get bored, my eldabows don't bother me and progress is made on two fronts. I dug out the other colorways and was shocked to find it was only three. Amazing how much you get done on a project when you actually 'work' on it. And I've got less than 150 rows to go. Sounds like a lot but it's in small colorway bites that will go quickly.

blogging to: Choral Moods cd 1

reading: A Prayer for the Damned by Peter Tremayne (a Sister Fidelma mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation." ~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1792

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Only as Strong

I gave a half-hearted attempt to fix the large loops on the scarf Thursday evening and Surprise!! it didn't work. So I frogged 11 89 stitch rows which, truly, isn't bad. We've all frogged more and worse.

As of this today (Sunday), it's all been re-knit plus two rows so all is good and back on track. I've only 2½ more pattern repeats (30 rows) before I start on the next color change, which will be one strand of the #5 colorway (the current one) and one strand of the #6 colorway. At that point I will be finished with the middle section so this part will only be six rows then four pattern repeats or 48 rows of two strands of the #6 colorway. The #6 colorway will take the scarf even more firmly into the purple range.

We went target shooting Friday afternoon and had a terrific time. For once, the range wasn't too busy and we had no problem picking up and finding all our brass. When every lane is occupied and folks are standing around and walking to and fro, it's difficult to pick it up, especially if none of those around you reload. They really can't understand why you're doing it. Most of them don't clean up their brass when they're done anyway and just look at you like you're daft when you scramble around picking it up off the floor. If possible when it's crowded, we like to get the first lane so that the wall is immediately to our right. Our brass hits the wall, and drops right down to the floor. The only drawback to this lane is there is no table behind you to set you range bag on and your boxes of ammo. When there are two shooters in one lane, it makes reloading your magazines a little more difficult but we can always find all of our brass. A good trade-off, I think.

Saturday morning we went to orientation at an outdoor range. All the indoor ranges we currently belong to are 25 yard ranges and with some calibers you can only shoot frangible ammo. That's fine as frangible projectiles are presently less expensive than lead bullets. At the outdoor range, they have several ranges. You can shoot trap and skeet which we don't as yet. They have a rimfire range and the ground is carpeted in .22 brass! You can shoot 25, 50 or 100 yards there. They also have a hi-power or centerfire range. As with the rimfire range there are targets at 25, 50 and 100 yards but also 200 and 300 yards. To shoot at the 300 yard targets you need to be qualified by the range officer for that one. I can see why. I can hardly make out the backer boards up there at that range. There are also two pistol ranges. One has fixed targets at 25 and 50 yards. The other is more free form so you can blaze away at a target 3 yards away if you want. They also have cowboy shooting which my BIL is into. There is covered picnic area. We're looking forward to shooting our rifles on the longer ranges.

I do have a feeling though that we'll still end up at our favorite indoor range a lot of the time. It's easier for pistols which we shoot most often anyway. And we like the folks that hang out there.

blogging to: Memories 89 ~ streaming broadcast ~ 40's music

A Prayer for the Damned by Peter Tremayne (a Sister Fidelma mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." ~ John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 17, 1775

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hum Drum

What a dreary morning; a cold rain/rain mixed with snow, leaden, overcast skies, temperatures in the mid 30's and a cutting north wind of over 10 mph. Not an auspicious start to the spring flowers month. All that garden work I said I was going to do . . . so not started. If looking at it and thinking about it gets me anything, it's all done and then some. Instead of doing it in one or two (or three!) big massive efforts, I'm going to TRY to nibble it off; work at least 30 minutes every "dry" day but after that quit at a good stopping point—not more than an hour. That way I won't be exhausted and sore for the next three days and dreading the rest of the work I would still need to do. I'll let ya know how that goes. [snicker, snicker]

I found the notes to Sweetie's heathered gray Country sock. I was a little off in my pattern row count by not much; not enough to make any difference in the finished product. I've got 15 rounds complete which translates into just over an inch on the foot. This one is now my travel sock and will be until I get both socks done. I won't be wearing my purple STR socks until next fall. When Sweetie doesn't feel well or is tired or cold he heads straight for the handknit socks. He's got four pair now. All things being equal and if both pair of socks were done at the same time, he'd wear his before I wore mine. So his get priority, even though mine would knit up faster.

Sometimes, when I'm nearing the end of knitting on a pair of socks I have no idea what I want to knit next; what yarn, what pattern or for whom. This is not one of those times. I have two future sock projects already lined up. These will probably be simultaneous knits as are these current two. The first one I'll start will be a pair of socks for my SIL from her friend K's sock yarn stash that I received when K died last August. As I only have two hanks for each colorway, I'm going to do at least the heel and toe in a solid contrasting or complimentary color. And no, I don't know which one yet or have a pattern in mind (probably just rib) but I know where it's headed. The wool yarns (Knit Picks Sock Garden and Memories ) have been discontinued but I have the ball bands with the fiber content and I'll find something that will work. I also have several skeins of Plymouth Sockotta, one skein of each colorway so there is another option.

I've knit my SIL at least one pair of socks with the Sockotta yarn and I've got a pair, too. She likes hers but I'm not so wild about mine. I don't particularly like the colors, the fit or the pattern of mine. And that's the ONE pair of handknit socks that someone actually recognized IN PUBLIC as being handknit. Are they THAT bad!!?? And yes, one sock is brighter than the other. There were two knots in the skein and when they tied one on (literally?), it was a different dye lot. And, yes they are slouch socks—an unintentional design feature.

My other sock for me will for the most part, be Friday night knitting at the target range. Every Friday night there is a potluck. The range owner supplies the meat and those who choose to dine, everything else. In the winter, when we're all trapped inside, it's really close but once it's warm enough to sit outside, that's when I'll start a sock with this camouflaged yarn. Many of those folks also hunt so it'll be a fun knit. No pattern in mind for this one either, probably some kind of easy ribbing so I don't have to concentrate on the knitting so much.

blogging to: a quiet house

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ~ Winston Churchill

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Does a Body Good

What a wonderful day yesterday! Sweetie was home all day, as he has been all week. He got a haircut in the afternoon, after a nap then we drove to our favorite target range. On the way, I worked on the toe decreases on the first travel sock. I decided to do a round toe. That way it kinda mimics the short row heel and there are no obvious "seams" or whatever you call that group of stitches on each side of the toe when you do other toes.

There is probably a fancy name for this kind of toe but I don't know what it is. Here's how I did the decreases

round 1: *k6, k2tog*
knit next 6 rounds plain
round 7: *k5, k2tog*
knit next 5 rounds plain
round 13:
*k4, k2tog*
knit next 4 round plain
round 18:
*k3, k2tog*
knit next 3 rounds plain
round 22:
*k2, k2tog*
knit next 2 rounds plain
round: 25: *k1, k2tog*
knit 1 round plain

round 27: *k2tog*

If I have more than 8 stitches left after this (and on larger cast-ons I sometimes do, I just knit around round of k2tog or space it round on the last round. Then I cut the yarn and run it through all the stitches twice and pull it up.

The only problem I EVER have with this toe is with all the k2tog's I sometimes don't catch both stitches and then I have dropped one that shows up later. And such is the case with this one. Luckily it's on the first round of k2togs and by the time I found it, it had laddered down only about 3 rounds. It was a knit row so no biggie. I put a safety pin on it and I'll aim my weaving in that way and pick it up and secure it then. It's a real hassle when the dropped stitch is closer to the end of the toe and I've k2tog below it and it ladders down past that.

I'm currently trying out purple-themed names as it's mostly shades of purple. So far it's still the travel sock. I'm thinking along the lines of in Mourning for the Bunker. This didn't start out to be a memorial sock for The Bunker on Rav but it IS in Lenten mourning colors. And as The Bunker was shut down on 2/11 and I was knitting this at that time. Or I could make a celebratory pair of socks commemorating The Bunker and work in the Banning somehow. I like celebrating The Bunker rather than mourning it. And I'm raveling in my Banning!! Heh! Heh! Heh!

Oh, and the first sock IS finished, by the way; except for the weaving in of the ends. I got to typing and rambling on up there and if it wasn't obvious which it kinda wasn't, I have an FO!!!! Or half an FO!!

I took Sweetie's heathered dark gray Country sock along to work on but I forget my notes. So I switched to this one. I did get to work on it a bit today. I knit several gusset decrease rounds on the foot. Still can't find the notes and I do NEED to do that.

We needed to go into Kansas City this evening to get a new video card for my poor computer. It's over 6 years old and fan on the video card is dying. It's getting louder and louder. So before it went and possibly took something else even more expensive with it we replaced it. Now my computer is quiet again.

Ah, the shooting yesterday. It was great! I was in the game! I was putting them, for the most part, where I wanted them to go. What a great feeling! We shot a lot. Over 300 rounds of various pistol calibers. What we've taken to doing
when we bring itafter a paper target has been shot up, we shoot the 12 gauge shotgun at it. What a way to finish a target! A gaping hole or two (or three!)—from the plastic wad; depending on how many shots you fire—and hundreds of tiny holes all over it. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

blogging to a quiet house and computer!

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "If we're so cruel to minorities, why do they keep coming here? Why aren't they sneaking across the Mexican border to make their way to the Taliban?"~ Ann Coulter