Thursday, May 28, 2009

Present and Future Knitting

Other than shooting and reloading I have been knitting. Really! The Good Luck Lace Scarf is about 13" long now and it's just over 12" wide. It looks great. I'm almost done with the first skein of the Mariboo but still have some on the first skein of Feza. With a total of 6 skeins of each yarn I wondered when I cast on if I may have "slightly" overbought on the yarn. (Is that even possible!!) At 13" per Mariboo skein it would be a 6½' scarf, unblocked. Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe no-yes. I'm going to asses again when I have two skeins left to see if there is enough for the scarf and maybe a watch cap. I never know until the end, however. And this scarf is thick so it won't expand much if I decide to block it.

When the Good Luck Lace Scarf is finished I'm going to take a bit of a break from scarves/shawls and finish my Monkey socks which have been languishing since my eldabows started bothering me in December. I figured that doing k2togs with the thin wool on the Paws to Remember Scarf on 4mm needles would be less of a strain than doing them on 2.25mm dpns which is what I'm knitting the Monkey Socks with.
The Good Luck Lace Scarf is a thick yarn and I've been doing k2togs with the 4mm needles and that doesn't seem to bother my eldabows. Purling back, however, seems to stress my eldabows more than knitting or even the k2togs. Overall, I'm doing OK eldabows-wise. Doing the Monkey socks like I've been doing the scarves where I read several pages then knit a row / round or two will work well, I think. As I've said before, it lets me enjoy two of my favorite thing, reading and knitting almost simultaneously

Sweetie's Country Socks have also coming along; less than nine rounds and the leg of the second sock will be complete. They're my travel knitting so on the way to and from the target ranges they get the most action. Lately, though, when we're at the outdoor range, we spend so much time shooting I'm so tired I don't feel like knitting until we're most of the way home.

Not that I will wear them any time soon but I'm looking forward to casting on for the second sock in the STR Romancing the Stone colorway. That will be my travel sock. Only having to do one will feel like cheating. Then I can cast on for socks for me (again!) using the camo yarn as my travel socks.

When my Monkey Socks are done, my grand plan is to cast on for another pair of socks for my SIL using some of the yarn from the stash of her teaching friend that died in August, 2008. As my SIL's socks normally take over two hanks/skeins, I'll need to use a complimentary or contrasting yarn for the heels, toes and probably cuffs as none of the colorways in K's stash are more than two hanks./skeins. I'm going to lay out the yarns and see if I can it with the yarn that was in her stash. If not I'll see if what I have that will work, if that doesn't pan out, I'll have to (gasp!) make a trip to my LYS!

As far as the White Caps afghan, I'll hopefully pick that up again this fall. That heavy cotton is too hard on my eldabows at this point.

blogging to: Rush Limbaugh

reading: Watchman by Ian Rankin (a mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "What liberals mean when they complain about "attacks" is simply that it is unfair to point out the things the Democrats believe. Republicans telling the truth about them is dirty pool." ~ Ann Coulter from her book Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Books & Bullets

I took a long break from Atlas Shrugged and Ann Coulter's book but I'm back reading them again. Really, I just can't take that liberal crap for any sustained period. I've just started chapter ten of Atlas Shrugged. Even though the read-along has kind of fallen apart, I'm going to continue to read and make notes as I did from the beginning. I have 54 pages of notes so far. Thursday evening I reread then finished my notes on chapter nine so I was up to speed as to where I was in the book. I've always been able to leap in and out of books and remember (for the most part) where I am in the story--even if it's been days or weeks as this break has been.

As far as Ann Coulter's book (see below) I just finished the second chapter. I'm making some margin notes and highlighting passages with this one. I'm not so much for writing in books, except for textbooks. It seems kind of sacrilegious to write in a book. Most of my reading are library books anyway. But Ann's just calls for margin notes . . . positive margin notes. I agree with quite a bit of what she says in the book. Go Ann!

The last couple of days we've been to the outdoor range. They have several pistol ranges and one of them is a free form range. If no one was around we decided to use it to practice some of our IDPA skills such as shooting while moving or is that moving while shooting. Anyway, late Saturday morning we started off with a couple of simple courses of fire (COF) that we were familiar with from our matches. Luckily there were a couple of much abused and shot up target stands which we used for bad guys and cover depending on the COF. After we shot those COF's a few times we decided to concentrate on just moving and shooting. We started out in front of the target, about 6 yards away. We fired four shots as we moved backward in a straight line, as you might lay down covering fire as you moved backward to cover. We also practiced moving left to right and right to left, shooting as we ran from cover to cover. We did get better as we practiced but we need to practice a lot more.

After that we moved to the high power rifle range and shot some new 69 grain reloads. These were Sierra and Nosler hollow point boat tail match king bullets. The load was 24.3 gn of IMR 4895 powder. Very nice. But we've decided that as much as we liked shooting them they are ten to fifteen cents, respectively, more per round than either the 55 grain Hornady's or the Sinterfire frangibles we load. The extra cost is all in the projectile as we actually use .7 gn more powder in the 55 gn cartridges. The 55 gn Hornady's (fmj bt) come in at 21.827¢ per round compared with 20.965
¢ per round for our last order of frangibles so loading and shooting the heavier non-frangible projectiles is still cost effective. At this point we're shooting 100 yards and the 55 gn bullets work just fine at that distance. If we were going to go consistently for the 200 or 300 yard targets, it would be a different story. The only thing we do at the 200 yard range is shoot at the gong! And we don't have any interest (at this point) in rifle matches. We just want to plink. If it's a calm day we can shoot our 42 gn frangibles and do OK at 100 yards. They work best at 25-50 yards or at an indoor range.

Sunday, we went back out to the free form pistol range and arrived just after 9am. It was cooler and we were able to practice the moving and shooting again. We practiced moving left to right then right to left while shooting. We're getting better.

Then we watched the Cowboy Action Shoot for a while. They shot metal silhouettes. We saw some similarities between our IDPA matches and theirs. I think because of our IDPA experience it was easy to catch on to the "behind the scenes" going's on such as the shot timer, the SO (safety officers), the prep table where you loaded your guns before going to the firing line and the SO that checked that each of your guns was empty before leaving the line and of course, a few folks picking up the shotgun hulls for each shooter. They all dressed cowboy and cowgirl and referred to each other in their cowboy and cowgirl names.

Then we went back to the pistol range to shot the hanging gong! We were a bit tired at this point and didn't feel like traipsing back and forth to put up and paste targets. Also the regular pistol range was infested with hornets. We're going to bring hornet spray with us next time! So we shot the gong which was 25 yards away. The shooting stations are in the shade and there was a nice breeze. At 25 yards, we would usually hit the gong once or twice in 8-10 shots with either the 40. or .45 Not great but not bad.

blogging to: sounds through the open window

reading: Remains to be Scene by R T Jordan (a Polly Pepper mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Armed Citizen: Sarah Nahmens and her mother often discuss personal safety and keep a .32-caliber revolver in their home. "We've always talked about defending yourself and how important that is," Nahmens said. Police say her planning paid off when two men began forcing her door open. Nahmens quickly retrieved her gun and pointed it at the door as it flew open. "It kind of kicked in and I thought, 'OK, I've got to make sure that I'm safe' ... It was either going to be me or them and it couldn't be me," she explained. Nahmens fired two shots and the uninjured suspects fled. "I commend her for protecting herself," said police Capt. Patrick Whitney. Nahmens said the incident has raised awareness in her normally quiet neighborhood. Several women have expressed interest in a "girls day" at the shooting range to practice and learn more about firearms. (Clovis News Journal, Clovis, NM, 02/06/09)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Let it Go To Your Head

I've been trying to take a decent photo of the unblocked lace in the Paws to Remember Scarf. First off, it's all garter stitch so it doesn't lay smoothly. And probably most of all, it's unblocked so it's all crinkled and uneven looking. Here are my best efforts so far. Even more than the stitches I want to show off the color as it moves from almost a salmon to a lilac.

I was also able to take some photos of the Good Luck Lace Scarf. The garter stitch end border wants to curl up a bit which makes it diffuclt to get a good photo. A good blocking, I think will cure that. The yarn is thick and so the lace is also thick. I thought about frogging it and moving to larger needles but I decided I want the warmth and thickness of the smaller 4mm needles. I think the recipient will appreciate the soft thick, warmth of a scarf more than airy laciness. And the
Quatrefoil Eyelet shows up well so that's OK.

We spent the entire weekend in. Sweetie didn't have any service calls Thursday or Friday. Except for IDPA Thursday night and a grocery store run for me on Friday afternoon, we've been home. Saturday, he got the idea to sort all of our brass by the headstamp. The brass is metal case the primer, powder and projectile go in to make a cartridge or bullet. The headstamp is the "brand" as it were of brass, such as Hornady, Winchester, Speer, etc. So yes, we spent the weekend sorting most of our brass by the headstamp. Except for the .38 special and .357 brass (which we have yet to sort) here's what we have, percentage-wise. Notice that doesn't give you any idea of how much or how little we have.

We can look at it several ways. Here's a list of all the headstamps so far and what percentage they comprise of the total. This does not include loaded cartridges. Here and here are the sites that helped with the headstamp ID.

*I* ~ 1.84% ~ Independence Ammunition made for CCI by CBC/Mag-Tech in Brazil - distributed through CCI & Federal both owned by Alliant

*-* ~ .04% ~ Starline Brass, Sedalia, MO

A-Meric ~ .32% ~ American Ammunition Co., Miami FL

Agulia ~ .80% ~ Industrias Tecnos S.A. de C.V., made in Mexico

B H A ~ .01% ~ Black Hills Ammunition, Rapid City, SD

Blazer ~ 5.63% ~ Made by CCI which also owns Federal

C B C ~ 2.02% ~ Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos, made in Brazil

C C I ~ 1.53% ~ Omark Industries, CCI-Speer / Sporting Equipment Division, Lewiston ID

C J ~ .01% ~ China North Industries Corp, made in China

Cor-Bon ~ .01% ~ COR-BON, Sturgis, SD

E L D ~ .01% ~ Eldorado Cartridge Co., Boulder City, Nevada (wholly owned by Pan Metal Corp. (PMC) of Poongsan, Korea)

FC xx ~ 11.93% ~ Federal Cartridge Corp., Anoka, MN (also produced in Germany and Austria for Federal)

FC Rem ~ .37% ~ Federal Cartridge Corp., Anoka, MN (also produced in Germany and Austria for Federal)

Federal ~ 6.41% ~ Federal Cartridge Corp., Anoka, MN (also produced in Germany and Austria for Federal)

Fiocchi ~ .40% ~ Giulio Fiocchi, Lecco, Italy

Frontier ~ .10% ~ Frontier Cartridge Company Inc., Grand Island, NE

G E C O ~ .01% ~ either Dynamit Nobel A/G, Troisdorf, Germany or Gustav Genschow & Company, Durlach, Germany

G F L ~ .07% ~ Giulio Fiocchi, Lecco, Italy

Hornady ~ .33% ~ Hornady Mfg. Co., Grand Island, NE

Lake City ~ .17% ~ Lake City Ammunition Plant, Lake City, MO

M M ~ .01% ~ Musgrave Manufacturers and Distributors (Pty) Ltd, Republic of South Africa

N N Y ~ .01% ~ rvi Partizan-Namenska Proizvodnja, Titovo, Uzice 31000, Yugoslavia. These are actually Cyrillic letters equal to "PPU in the Western alphabet.

P M C ~ 4.32% ~ Poongsan Metal Manufacturing Company Ltd., Seoul, Republic of Korea (probably at the Angang Ammunition Plant). Note that the "M" is shaped like an upside "W" also Eldorado Cartridge Corporation (previously Patton and Morgan Corp., and Pan Metal Corp. ) Boulder City, NV 89006. The PMC headstamped ammunition for ECC has been made in Korea, the Philippines, Mexico and the Repuclic of South Africa.

P M P ~ .02% ~ Pretoria Metal Pressings Ltd., Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

P P U ~ .01% ~ Prvi Partizan, 31000 Titovo, Uzice, Yugoslavia ~ see also NNY

Precision ~ .01% ~ not sure - could be several things

R – P ~ 18.62% ~ Remington Arms (Peters) – made in Bridgeport, CT and Arkansas

Rem-Umc ~ .04% ~ Remington Arms Co., Bridgeport, CT

S & B ~ .83% ~ Sellier & Bellot, Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) Factory in Vlasim

S M M ~ .01% ~ not sure

Speer ~ 2.98% ~ Omark Industries , CCI-Speer / Sporting Equipment Division, Lewiston ID

T Z Z ~ .08% ~ Israeli Military Industries, Tel Aviv, Israel

unknown ~ .01%

WCC xx ~ 6.91% ~ Western Cartridge Company (Olin), East Alton, IL

W – W ~ .05% ~ Winchester-Western (Olin), East Alton, IL

Win-MT ~ .01% ~ Winchester-Western (Olin), East Alton, IL – don't know what the MT means

Winchester ~ 34.08% ~ Winchester-Western (Olin), East Alton, IL

by percentage

.01%: BHA ~ CJ ~ CorBon ~ ELD ~ GECO ~ MM ~ NNY ~ PPU ~ Precision ~ SMM ~ unknown ~ Win-MT
.02%: PMP
.04%: *-* ~ Rem-Umc
.05% W-W
.07%: GFL
.08: TZZ
.10%: Frontier
.17%: Lake City
.32%: A-Meric
.33%: Hornady
.37%: FC Rem
.40% Fiocchi
.80%: Agulia
.83: S & B
1.53%: CCI
1.84%: *I*
2.02%: CBC
2.98: Speer
4.32%: PMC
5.63%: Blazer
6.41% Federal
6.91%: WCC xx
11.93% FC xx
18.62% R-P
34.08%: Winchester

by caliber
.223 ~ 8.15% ~ 13 different headstamps
9mm ~ 46.04% ~ 19 different headstamps
.40 ~ 32.19% ~ 15 different headstamps
.45 ~ 13.63% ~ 27 different headstamps

So that's how we spent our weekend. We didn't reload anything although we resized lots of brass, punched lots of primers and polished lots of brass. We even changed out the corn cob media.

blogging to: sounds through the open window

reading: Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Stories by African-American Writers edited by Otto Penzler
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Men that are above all Fear, soon grow above all Shame." ~ John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato's Letters: Or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects [London, 1755])

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Life in the S - l - o - w Lane

is another way of saying, I like the boring life. And that's what we've had around here. Nice and slow and easy. Lately, our biggest task has been to refill the THREE hummingbird feeders two or three times a day. I supposed I should refer to them as Baltimore Oriel feeders as that's what's suckin' down all that high quality sugar water. We've left the bee guards off to make it easier for the oriels to get to the "nectar". We still have the hummers comin' in but as the oriels are larger birds they drink a whole lot more than the hummingbirds. I put one feeder out around April 17th. At that time I also had a 4 lb container of C & H sugar that was almost full. A few days later I refilled that first feeder and put out a second one that we can see from our office. About two weeks ago, I broke out a third one for the other side of the patio. Now that 4 lb container of sugar is almost gone.

I'm using these humming bird feeders (see photo) as the oriels don't seem to have a problem with getting the liquid out of them, especially with the bee guards removed. I've tried several kinds of official "Oriel" feeders, including the ones that have a space for grape jelly which the oriels supposedly love and the ones that have a fitting that you put an orange half on, which they are also supposed to like. Well I've tossed many, many orange halves and scrapped jelly out of various holders many, many times. I've never ever seen an oriel at any of them. In fact, when both feeders were available with fresh food (including oranges and grape jelly), they would always visit the hummingbird feeder. And like the hummers, they have expensive tastes. They don't like the cheaper beet sugar. They like cane sugar, C & H in particular. I must have elitist birds.

I guess they get it from the rest of the birds. First off I buy the cheapest column feeders I can find. The fancy expensive ones with the copper accents or heavy metal lids and perches look nice but in the "real" world they don't last any longer than the plastic column feeders with the plastic feet, base, lid and handle. I've bought the plastic column feeders with metal feet or fancy grill work and the UV deteriorates the plastic far quicker than the metal perch bars and hanger. I can always rig a perch bar and a hanger but it's difficult to overcome UV damaged plastic. Besides, the cheap feeders come with a complete extra set of perches. I have a whole baggie of extra perches now. Usually when a feeder falls off the bo-peep pole one or more of the plastic perches bites the dust but that doesn't happen very often. If we've neglected to bring the feeders down close to the house the deer knock the perches off as they tongue the seed out of the bottom openings. That happens more in the winter.

For the column seed feeders it's Wild Delight Cardinal Food. All the birds love it, even our goldfinch and house finch seem to prefer it over Niger. I do save a bit of money on the ground feeders, because all I'm lookin' for in that type of food is red and white millet. So they get the cheapest I can find. They didn't eat the fancy "dove" food any quicker than this stuff. The perch feeders won't eat it but the ground feeders like it. And enough of the good stuff falls out of the column feeder that the ground feeders get some of that, too. We good a good deal a plastic tray about three feet square with three inch sides meant for rabbits with a damaged corner. We place the tray so that the damaged end is downhill so rainwater will drain from it. That's what we pour the millet into and shuck any squirrel/deer corn from the cob that's not quite all been eaten.

We often have deer come into the yard and feed at night and one of the places they hit is this tray. One of our just before full dark tasks is to take the column feeders and put them on the short bo-peep poles just off the patio. That way if we don't get out there at the crack of dawn when the birds wake up it's still available for them. In the evening we pour about 2 cups of the millet into the tray for the deer and scatter 4-5 cobs of squirrel/deer corn around the feeder area. In the morning we replenish the tray (if the deer have visited) with 2-3 more cups of the millet. That usually holds the ground feeders all day, although sometimes in the spring, we need to add a couple more cupfuls in the late afternoon.

The other feeder we recently added is for other nuts, such as peanuts. It has a larger perch so the red-winged blackbirds and woodpeckers can hang on it. Unfortunately, so can the cow birds, grackles and starlings; they'll empty it in an hour once they find it. When that happens, I don't put it out for a week or so. We'll go along for several weeks and they'll discover it again and so it goes.

We also have one of the cheap column feeders filled with safflower seed hanging from a double bo-peep pole about six feet from the center of our office window. The other hook holds a hummingbird/oriel feeder. I knew our close proximity wouldn't bother the hummers but I was a bit surprised when the house finch and oriels didn't seem to be bothered anymore when we moved around the room or they heard music or us talking. If we drop something, sneeze or cough they all take off, but only to the nearest tree, which is only about six more feet away. And the mourning doves eat the
safflower seed that falls on the ground. And don't let anyone tell you that safflower seed won't sprout. It does.

I didn't mean for this to take up an entire post, but it just kept coming and I kept typing.

blogging to: sounds from the open window

reading: The Eight Strokes of the Clock by Maurice Leblanc (an Arsene Lupin mystery) by Maurice Leblanc (an Arsene Lupin mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not Sitting on My . . . .

The Paws to Remember Scarf may be complete but I'm deep into planning my next lace scarf. It will be with Frog Tree Meriboo yarn in a dark gray with brown undertones (top) held with Feza Mesmerize in a steely gray (bottom).

I got the pattern idea from Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. This is now my number one go to book for lace. I'm going to go for an all-over eyelet scarf; 4 eyelets in a diamond pattern on a stockinette background. Barbara Walker calls it the Quatrefoil Eyelet at the bottom of page 171. I've seen the same stitch pattern but with row one being the right side instead of the the wrong side. It was called Tulip Lace. If I use this pattern, I'm going to call it Good Luck Lace Scarf.

The beginning edge border is going to be garter stitch; sl 1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2 . . . pattern stitches in stockinette . . . and the ending edge border will also be garter stitch; knit 2, yo, ssk, k2. That should keep it from curling.

Across each end of the scarf will be four rows of garter stitch with a sl 1 at the beginning of each row. Row 5 of the border will s1, k1 *k2tog, yo* to last 3 stitches which will be k3. The end border will be the same, just reversed; against to keep it from curling.

So, that's the plan, man. I don't know, yet if this pattern will even work with this yarn. I'm going to start with 4mm needles as that's what the Meriboo (merino, bamboo blend) calls for. The Mesmerize (a thin acetate ribbon yarn) calls for a 5mm needle so we'll see. I may even end up just using one of them if I can't get the results I want with both held together. I suspect I'll need to go up in needle size so we'll see about that, too. I'm not concerned with gauge but how it looks. I could knit it sideways, but as the Quaterefoil are symmetrical diamonds it won't look any different. I'm going to start off by casting on 44 stitches, which will give me 4 stitch repeats plus the two six stitch borders.

It's been a day or so since I did all that figuring and I need to sit down again and look everything over before I cast on. But I bet I'll be knitting on it soon.

I did sit down outside this afternoon and wove in all the rest of the ends from the Paws to Remember Scarf. Before I block it, I'm going to photograph it in it's scrunched up unblocked lace state and weigh it. It shouldn't weigh any different blocked or unblocked but it will be an interesting experiment.

Along the way I'll need to continue to put this project to bed; update my various project notes on it and move the file from the WIP's to the FO's.

blogging to: the sound of wind and thunder through the open windows

reading: Among The Mad by Jacqueline Winspear (a Maisie Dobbs mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 11, 2009

Unrestrained and Unconstrained

The Paws to Remember Shaw is finished. It's been unrestrained off the needles numerous times for various froggings but it's ALWAYS been constrained by the balls of yarn attached to it. No more. At approximately 11:40 pm cdt on Monday, May 11, 2009 I bound off the final stitch. Then I pulled ALL the lifelines out. All FIVE lifelines.

And yes, I AM wearing it shawl-like as I type, draped over my arms, the cast on and bound off edges at my wrists. The yarn is very soft and every time I look down at it's unblocked merging color stitches, I like what I see.

I knit it with 4mm Addi Lace Turbos and bound off with a US size 13 / 9mm. I started with a US 11 / 8mm but it was a little tight so I tinked those half dozen bind off stitches back and tried again. And it's bound off loosely with the 9mm needle. Loose. FIVE sizes bigger. I think it'll work.

I'll get a photo up in the next couple of days. With No needles and No lifelines. WoW! I might even have the ends woven in. Maybe.

For now, I'm going to bask in the glory of a well deserved FO.

After the scarf for the lady that cuts my hair is out the door . . . I'm going to cast on (with something) for a triangular shawl (a "real" shawl) for myself.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Woman With Birthmark by Håkan Nesser (an Inspector Van Veeteren mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. ~ Author Unknown

Friday, May 8, 2009

Minute by Minute, Row by Row, Stitch by Stitch

Yep, another excruciatingly boring post about the Paws to Remember Scarf. I know. I know. Quit typin', knit and finish it already. The border is almost half done. I have 13 more rows to go. I keep counting, even though many of the rows are almost all plain knitting. The next row is putting in the very last (I hope) life line. I know if I leave this one out, I'll have to frog the entire border. By putting this one in I am hopefully inoculating myself against having to frog at all. I've already had to tink one row when the stitch count was off at the end. On many of these rows the edge border is not at all what it was up in the center portion. Consequently, I keep having to move my eight-stitch place markers almost every other row. They're not necessary, but they help me keep count.

Well, we've finally run square up against the hard edge of the primer shortage. Sweetie was in Kansas City Thursday and he stopped at the Bullet Hole to see if they had any primers. They had no small rifle or small pistol primers at all. They had three boxes of large pistol primers. He picked up two of them. They were $40 for 1,000. The last time we bought them, from the KVGC, it was mid March and they were $32 for 1,000. The Bullet Hole is always a bit higher but gee whiz. We have enough empty cartridge boxes to completely run us out of small pistol primers and put a very large dent in our large pistol primers. We're gong to be slowing down a bit and start to ration our ammo when we shoot. At this point we'll still go when we want, we just won't take 100+ rounds for each gun. We're thinking we'll limit ourselves to 50 rounds for each gun/caliber until the supply loosens up. If it looks like it's not going to, we'll cut back more. We have plenty of powder, bullets and brass . . . for now.

What a wonderful late afternoon. Sweetie has had a couple of tough back to back days. This afternoon when he came home we grilled some hot dogs, had some doctored grillin' beans, some of those new French Onion Sun Chips (not bad) and doctored lemonade for me and a Heineken for him all outside at the picnic table. Then we sat back and relaxed. No one was mowing. Just the sounds of the birds and the wind. Afterwards, he napped and I knit.

It was sunny and a bit breezy so I dried almost all the laundry I did yesterday and today outside. It all smells so good.

blogging to: night sounds through the open windows

reading: Woman With a Birthmark by Håkan Nesser (an Inspector Van Veeteren mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it." ~ John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Final Countdown

I am on the final colorway, two strands of the #8 colorway. I knit the final pattern repeat this afternoon. I have only 24 more rows, which is the the border to knit. Will things ever be the same again. It's the final countdown.

Tuesday evening while Sweetie sat in the garage and cleaned the guns we'd shot that afternoon, I re-wound almost all the skeins I'd knit on during this project. All the colorways except the last one had two half hanks of 300 yards and around 28 gr each. When I started I wound each of the hanks into separate cakes and split the final single hank into two. When I've cast off I'll wind the final skeins and weigh all the colorways to see what's left. One of these days, I'll dig out these leftovers and knit myself a shawl. I'll knit with two or three strands starting with the salmon on the left and knit with each colorway until it's gone.

I'm excited to be almost done and as always a little sad when a big project is complete. I've had this project around longer than anything I've ever actively knit on. Sure it took 15+ years to finish my first sweater but I didn't knit on it for 15 years either. I except the knitting on this will be done by the end of the weekend. It depends on how much stay at home and knit time I have.

I'm also excited to have it almost done so I have start the next thing.

Sweetie's second Country Sock is coming along nicely with the leg about one third complete.

blogging to: sounds through the open windows

The Master Executioner by Loren Estleman (a western)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Success and Rest

After a week our out-of-whack schedules are now back on track, at least for the next 49 weeks. As I mentioned in my last post, my eldabows have been bothering me. I've cut back on the knitting and am wearing my arm bands again. They seem to be getting better. Alas, I'm not done with the yard but I will have a weeks' respite. We've having our roof replaced and the guys will be here Tuesday morning. With them tromping all around I'm not going to do anything to the side yards or the backyard until they're gone.

This roof replace will be an interesting thing. The house is 16 years old and it's never had a new roof. They're doing a complete tear-off. I'm glad because we'll be able to see if there are any problems. We don't have any leaks at present so we don't expect any large issues.

Friday we went to the indoor range and shot many, many rounds from several pistols. We had a great time. When we first got into shooting we'd ordered some of these but found that we didn't like them. It's hard to see where you're aiming as the background is black. So we turn them over and make our own targets. Often we draw 3-4" circles or squares. Before left to go shooting on Friday, I drew a series of large rectangles two side by side then divided the large rectangles into smaller ones, about 3" square. In the middle of each "square" I put a dot with a wide-tipped marker. On another target, I just put three dots across and about 9 or so down. We had a great time with those. On the one with just the dots, Sweetie would shoot two shots at one and I'd shoot two shots at another to see who was the closest most of the time. We seem to have the most fun with our own targets.

Saturday afternoon we went to the outdoor range. It was overcast, again but cleared off a bit as it got later. We took our rifle and had a great time at the 50 yard range. I can't see the small center circle or the lines at 50 yards with the 4-9 power scope. There was a fellow there with a 8-20 power scope and not only could I see the small center circle at 100 yards with it I could also see all the lines that make up all the circles. So we "may" be getting a more powerful scope for the rifle. I can see well enough to center the reticle on the target at the same place each time so I'm happy for now.

Our groups at 50 yards were much tighter. We bench rested the entire rifle this time, not just the barrel. We're going to get about three of these flatish shooting bags. That will help. We have one of those suede shooting rests for the stock but it needs to be a bit higher which is where the flatish ones will help. For the non-shooters, the flathish ones look like a fabric covered 2 lb bag of rice or dried beans.

We couldn't believe that it was 5pm when we left the outdoor range. We usually don't spend more than an hour shooting at the indoor range and we had been there since about 12:45. We shoot the rifle more slowly. It takes more time to get settled. The shooter shoots one shot, the spotter (with the 20-60 power spotting scope) sees where it went on the target and makes a mark on a sheet of paper with small targets so the shooter can see where it is then you both settle back and do it again. If the shot is in the black ring it's sometimes difficult to see with the scope on the rifle but the more powerful spotting scope can see it. So each shot takes a while.

On the pistol range, we're shooting much closer, usually about 10 yards and we typically shoot in groups of 4, 5, 8, 10 or 15
— either whatever the magazine holds or if it's crowded, half or a third (if it holds 15 rounds) of what the magazine would hold when fully loaded. So we pause after a group of shots not every shot. And it takes seems to take longer to settle the rifle and yourself at the rifle rather than standing to shoot with the pistol. Both are fun anyway. We did take my Marlin 22 LR but we were having so much fun on the high power center fire range that we never got around to firing the .22

I'm scooting right along on the knitting front despite the forced slow down. I've got a good start on the leg of Sweetie's second Country Sock. It's 2¾" long now on row 15 of the left. Hey, I've only got 65 more rounds on the leg to go!!

As far as the Paws to Remember Scarf, I'm back to knitting ONE row and reading at least 20 or 30 turns of the page between each one. I was up to knitting two rows and only putting 10 or so pages between the rows. Oh, well. The slower pace will enable my eldabows to heal and I'll still get some knitting in. As to the progress, only 15 more rows in this colorway (both strands of colorway #7), just a little over one pattern repeat. I have just under three pattern repeats left before the 24 row border. I'm still nicely on track to have it completely finished and blocked by the first part of June, even with the slow down.

And I haven't done a thing towards the pattern for the next endeavor. I can always sub the travel sock until I figure it out. I could sub the afghan but it's rows are 300 something stitches long and it's heavy to boot. I won't be picking that up until my eldabows haven't given me any problems for several months — hopefully about late fall of this year.

blogging to: sounds through the open windows

reading: Cruel Intent by J A Jance (a mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. ~ Thomas Jefferson