Monday, September 28, 2009

Stuff and Nonsense

The Dr Who Scarf is stalled as is the Red Lace Scarf. The Dr Who Scarf swatch is languishing a bit for lack of a 7mm needle. Yep, just about the only size I DON'T have looks like it's going to be THE size I need to get gauge. Why do I need to get gauge on a scarf? For those not familiar with the Dr Who scarf; (and I wasn't before this) it's a set pattern of stripes and number of rows in each stripe. It's supposed to hang to the floor hanging around your neck including 5" of tassels on each end. My friend is very tall so his scarf has to be very long, 150" sans tassels. I'm attempting figure out which needle size will let me knit 1,042 garter stitch rows and be 150" long with Cascade 220.

Last Thursday and Friday I discovered that 5mm and 6mm needles are too small and that 8mm is too large. I have a 6.5mm needle but no 7mm. I know the 6.5mm probably won't work so I'm going to wait until I can get to one of my LYS's and hopefully pick up a rosewood Suzanne's 7mm circ.

As to the Red Lace Scarf, I was going along just fine about the middle of the third repeat of the center panel when I dropped two stitches then messed up trying to pick them up and fix it. So I frogged back to the lifeline. It's been resting ever since, about a week now.

The mate to my Christmas Hey! Hey! It's the Monkees Sock is making some progress. We drove to Kansas City Saturday (more gun stuff, yea!!) and I managed to knit an entire 11 row pattern repeat on the to and from. I've only one pattern repeat (for a total of six) left on the leg before the heel.

It's getting closer a decision on what I want to use for my passenger knitting when this sock is done. I don't know if the Dr Who Scarf will work because of all the color changes. However, I don't intend to have all the colors in balls hanging off it all the time. After each stripe is knit it's more than a few inches until that color is used again. Yes, it's more ends to knit/weave in but I think carrying all the colors up the side won't look well, either. At the most/worst, I'll have a bag with one wound cake of each color (or two if I'm low on a color) and I'll be knitting with only one color attached. So, I'll try it as my passenger knitting.

I think, however, that I will cast on for something else in case the all garter stitch all the time scarf is giving me the heebie jeebies. Other than more socks for me!! as I've said before, I can do socks for my SIL or Mr WK. His black socks (now a nice shade of variegated blue) still have the holes in the bottom so I really should cast on for another pair for him. I want 100% wool, not a blend, so Koigu. None of my LYS's carry Koigu anymore. Why? It wears like iron. My in-town LYS carries Claudia Hand Painted instead. I love the colors but after two pairs I found that it sheds, pills and didn't wear near as well as the Koigu. I'll have to order the Koigu on-line. Not a biggie but I do like to try to buy local when I can. So what color? I knit him a pair of socks in the natural, the Burr Oak Socks and I wouldn't mind knitting another pair in that color because he wears them in public. I also think he would wear color 312 (shades of white and gray). I do have an entire skein of the Trekking XXL which knits up into a very subtle blue, black and gray strip which he also wears in public. I'll need to think about this for a bit. To buy yarn or use stash yarn. Always a question.

Friday I gave my hairdresser the Lacy Beret and the Good Luck Lace Scarf I'd knit for her. She was bowled over. She had no idea. The colors were perfect. The hat fit. She loves the scarf and it's theme. I love it when a plan comes together.

We shot IDPA Sunday afternoon. It was like the sites on my Glock 19 were low and to the right. It's true I haven't shot much with it in the last month as I've been more focused on my rifle skills; but geeze. The scores aren't up yet but I bet they'll be worse than any since I started shooting IDPA.

I have no problems plagiarizing myself.

When Knitting and Shooting Collide
Ever been tempted to shoot a piece of knitting gone bad? Might be interesting and somewhat gratifying. What caliber? I guess it would depend on how gone wrong it was. Would you go for velocity or hole size? Both would give satisfaction. Would you be able to see the grease ring on light colored yarn? Would gauge matter? Lace would probably not be my first choice here. Would acrylic melt at the hole edges? Would copper or lead fragments from the bullet catch in the yarn? I would definitely have the most unusual target that day.

Knitting a standard bullseye target in the round; I could just do a plain one or get fancy and use black yarn and some colored yarn scraps and do one of those expensive shoot 'n see ones where every circle shows different color hit splats. And figure out how to knit in a couple of bullseye splats. And then maybe felt it.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Vineyard Chill by Phillip R Craig (an Martha's Vineyard JW Jackson mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer." ~ Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Can You Picture That?

You know what they say about best laid plans. I cheerfully and confidently strode into my LYS the other day to pick up ALL the yarn I would need for the Dr Who Scarf for my shooting friend. They only had the gold / yellow and the purple I'd bought as a yarn sample in the Cascade 220. So I bought the gold / yellow and and extra hank of the purple.

I came home and ordered the rest of what I needed on line. Can't say I didn't give my LYS a shot. The yarn cost was the same on line as it was from my LYS but now there is about $11 postage involved and I probably won't be able to return any unused hanks. Oh, well. The confirming e-mail I got said that I should get my order in 2-3 days. Two days and it would be here on Thursday, IDPA night and I'd have all the yarn to show my friend. If it comes on Friday or Saturday, we shoot IDPA again on Sunday so I can bring the rest then.

I wound one of the purple hanks and the yellow one this afternoon. I'm doing the gauge swatch with the yellow one because, it has the least number of rows in the scarf, if I do need more my LYS does have it and I will probably be able to get the same dye lot. the biggest reason is; it's a lot easier to count rows and stitches on a light colored yarn than on a dark colored one. That's 25 stitches (about 4¼") and 22 rows (just under 2
½", excluding the row on the needles and the cast on row) on size 5mm needles. I slipped as if to knit the first stitch on each row which is what I think I'll do on the scarf. I like that look. I'll keep knitting until I have 4½-5" in length then check gauge.

I am so pleased. I closed up the hole at the top and sewed the button onto the Lacy Beret. Once I'd closed up the hole you couldn't tell it had been there but since I had the button, I put it on anyway.

I was also able to take some halfway decent
photos of the Good Luck Lace Scarf. The photos show the true color pretty well; a dark gray with steely silver highlights. If you click for bigger on the bottom photo you can see the pattern detail better. I hope she likes it. I get my hair cut bright and early Friday morning.

We shoot IDPA Thursday evening. I realized this evening that we haven't been target shooting with our pistols since the last IDPA two weeks ago. We've been so focused on the rifles lately. It will be interesting to see if that makes any difference at all. The one thing that will be different for is knowledge. I am going into this match with the knowledge that double tap and controlled pairs are different which I didn't have the last time. And I know that I can do double taps while moving and shooting a rifle.

blogging to: night sounds through the open window

reading: Hardcastle's Spy by Graham Ison (an Earnest Hardcastle mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." ~ Patrick Henry

Monday, September 21, 2009

This Could Become a Habit

I'm moving along well on the Flemish Braid Red Lace Scarf. I'm now several rows past the point where I frogged it the third? fourth? time. I dutifully put a lifeline in after the last pattern row of the center panel. If I kept that up that would be a lifeline every 16 rows—less frequently than I did on the Paws to Remember Scarf. I'll see how often I have to frog back to the lifeline before I do it more frequently. This time, the bottom edge is not curling as much. Wonder why that is. Because that edge is not curling, the pattern is showing up better, even the two end panels.

I'm also moving forward on the Dr Who Scarf. I got approval yesterday to spend the money on the yarn. Now for a trip to my LYS before Thursday evening (rubs hands in anticipation). I'm using Cascade 220 and I matched color numbers (and some back ups) on Cascade's site with the colors described on this Dr Who scarf site. I'll pick up as many as I can at my LYS (and order the rest on-line) and bring them with me to the IDPA shoot this Thursday so my friend can look them over. I'm not a Dr Who person. I'd rather he look at the colors I've found to make sure there aren't any color surprises. I'd rather deal with it now than 5 feet of scarf down the road.

I've even going to do a gauge swatch. This scarf WITHOUT the ten inches of tassels (five inches on each end) must be 160" long and according to the pattern site 11" wide. My friend is very tall. I think I can fudge a bit on the width. If I get length gauge and it's a bit narrower or wider, pfft. I also don't intend to block it as I don't have anyplace large enough block something that long. And when he washes it, he probably won't block it anyway. I am a bit concerned about it stretching. I do intend stress that he shouldn't store the scarf hanging around his coat collar on the hanger but to store it flat, if possible when it's not actually being worn. That'll cut down on the stretching. I do plan on washing and blocking the heck out of the swatch to get an idea of how much it could stretch if he doesn't store it flat.

I have a hair appointment THIS Friday (so soon?!?). And No I haven't sewn the button on the Lacy Beret yet and I don't have any decent photos of the blocked Good Luck Lace Scarf. Got to get that done so I can take her the hat and scarf THIS Friday. By the time I see her again, it'll be November!!! OMG! NOVEMBER?? Hopefully, it'll be sunny one day this week BEFORE Friday and I can get that part accomplished. I just went and pulled the hat out of the bag where I had it stored and laid it and the yarn I need on top of the Red Lace Scarf basket.

blogging to: a quiet house (too cold to open the windows)

reading: Terror Town by Stuart Kaminsky (an Abe Liberman mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. That ripple builds others. Those ripples — crossing each other from a million different centers of energy — build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice." ~ Senator Robert F. Kennedy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

M4 Carbine: It's Like Barbie for Guys

Yeah. Well. Still all about the guns and the knitting.

I have been knitting ... some. Mostly negative knitting. I had the Flemish Braid Red Lace Scarf (yet another long name) up to row 22 then frogged when I screwed up on the row count and messed up even more tinking it back. I cast back on and it's now back up to row 11 or so. I Will put a life line in this time at the end of the center panel, which is row 16.

And since I had to frog it I changed it up, just a little. The garter stitch ends are now moss stitch. Same number of four stitches on each end but moss stitch and I'm not slippin' the first stitch. I also cut back on the number of stitches between the panels. It was five; now it's three. Overall, there are now only 59 stitches instead of 67. When I took it off the needles, I measured it. Unblocked, it was 15" wide and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d it was 20-24" wide depending on how severely it would be blocked. I decided to cut it back a bit.

I haven't done much on either sock so they remain about the same.

I have made some research progress on the Dr Who scarf for my shooting friend. I decided to go with the Cascade 220 yarn as my friend liked the way it felt. I decided on the colors and made notes of what color numbers were closest to the suggested colors. I e-mailed him a preliminary yarn cost estimate based on two hanks for each color except for the gold/yellow. With his approval I'll get the yarn before this Thursday's IDPA match and get his final approval on the colors then.

I also told him I don't want any money until the scarf's been knit. That way any unused hanks can be returned. And unless he wants other items knit from the leftover yarn, I'll only charge him for the yarn used based on the weight of the scarf.

My "plan" is to finish my Hey! Hey! It's the Monkees Sock and this will be my passenger knitting ... maybe. The various balls of yarn hanging off it may make it strictly couch knitting. I'll have to see.

And the shooting. Ah, yes. As we're taking the carbine course taught by our active military fellow-IDPA'r in a few weeks I didn't want to shoot the target rifle we own with the 20" barrel. And I didn't want to have to borrow the instructor's rifle. So now I have my own rifle . . . which looks very much like his carbine. With his help I sighted it in this past Wednesday and today Mr WK & I sighted in the inexpensive red dot sight I got for it.

Oh. Yes. The left target is sighting it in at 25 yards and the right target is Mission. Accomplished. I was also able to do pretty well at 50 yards and hit the hanging gong on the 200 yard range that, really, I couldn't even see, I just sorta knew where it was up there. Mostly I want the red dot sight for close in work, 100, 50 and 25 yards and under. The iron sights are sighted in at 300 yards.

As I said in my last post, Mr WK and I are learning how to fight with our rifles. Wednesday night, among other things we learned how to scan for the midget. According to statistics, (lies and damned lies) most attacks consist of 2.5 bad guys. We learned how to keep our rifle at the ready, an eye on the two bad guys we just disabled and look for other threats to either side and behind us ... the .5 . . . the midget. We also learned and practiced a bit on malfunction drills with snap caps. All Very. Cool. Stuff. And things we can practice at home.

blogging to: night sounds through the open windows

reading: Terror Town by Stuart Kaminsky (an Abe Liberman mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, September 14, 2009

Knitting in a Progressively Aggressive Posture

I've frogged the entire Flemish Braid Red Lace Scarf — all three rows including the cast on row a few days ago. I tweaked the pattern (again!) and forgot to knit enough stitches at the beginning of the first actual pattern row before starting the pattern stitches.

Now the pattern is 67 stitches wide:
  • 4 garter stitches with the first stitch slipped as if to knit at the beginning of each row.
  • k5
  • right twist "cable" ~ 7 stitches
  • k5
  • Flemish Braid center motif ~ 25 stitches
  • k5
  • left twist "cable" ~ 7 stitches
  • k5
  • 4 garter stitches with the first stitch slipped as if to knit at the beginning of each row.
I cast on with a US 11 needle and the pattern will be knit with a 4½mm Addi Lace Turbo circ. I WILL be doing lifelines at first. As the end of the side panels don't match up with the end of the center panel I think I'll put them at the end of both unless one end is only a few rows from the other. I'll see how it goes as I knit.

Anyway, I cast on again and have completed 1
½ side panels and 1 center panel no further issues. Several rows back the thin yarn was feeling rather fussy. Part of that was the transition from the HUGE needle I used to cast on with and the cast on row was rather loose and loopy and that made the next few rows wonky. Now that I'm several rows past the cast on edge, it's settled down quite a bit. I'm back into my couch lace scarf mode — knit a row, read a chapter.

On the Dr Who Scarf for my shooting friend, I bought some yarn at my LYS as samples. We met up last Thursday night at the IDPA shoot (more on that below) for a yarn feel-in. The Cascade 220 is in the running as is the Berroco Alpaca. They are both the same price. My next steps will be to check to make sure that I can get all the right colors in both yarns then use the yarn calculator and figure out how expensive this scarf will be and how many skeins I'll need to purchase. I'll go back to my friend with the pricing and see if that's OK.

On the mate to the Christmas Hey! Hey! It's The Monkees Sock I've just finished the third pattern repeat on the leg, which means the leg is half done. I can't believe how quickly this knits up.

The Spring Flower Socks are also s-l-o-w-l-y moving along. A needle knit here, a round finished there. I'm on round 16 of the leg of the first sock.

We got our scores for the last IDPA match. I felt like I did poorly and overall and in every stage I had the most points down and was usually the slowest shooter. HOWEVER!!! My overall score was 115, which (to refresh the memories of the non-shooters and non-IDPA readers) is your raw time plus points for every hit not in the zero zone [covered in more detail here
scroll down to the picture of the target on the right and read the text, opposite.] That's the second best score I've ever had. What helped was speed, what suffered was accuracy. As in many things, it's difficult at times, to find the balance that works best for you.

I do have some good info that I picked up this past weekend that will help. We went shooting with the fellow who's active military wbo helped us sight in our rifle about a month ago. He's going to be teaching a carbine course to some of our IDPA group in about a month. He's been "casually" teaching us what's in the course. Anyway, Saturday afternoon among other things we worked on hammer drills (aka double tap) and controlled pairs. A double tap is two shots with one site picture and controlled pairs are two site pictures, two shots. I've been shooting controlled pairs. I knew that was not what I wanted to be doing and wasn't right but I didn't know how or why it wasn't right. An explanation, demo of both and then doing both hammered it home.

AND BEST OF ALL!! I did double taps in the zero and -1 zones standing still, moving forward and backward all from a progressively aggressive posture ... farthest away was maybe 15 yards? I had a couple of flyers but only at the end because I was tired and his carbine, although lighter than our target rifle was still heavy for me.

What we're really learning is how to fight with a rifle. If you have a gun for defensive purposes it doesn't do you any good unloaded and locked up and away. It's also not much better (in my opinion) even if it's accessible and loaded not to know how to use it defensively.

Now I realize the shooting a rifle with a red dot sight is different that shooting my Glock 19 but at least I now know what I'm supposed to be doing and how to do it. And I know that I can do it.

blogging to: Rush Limbaugh

reading: The Cutting Room by Laurence Klavan (a mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-Six


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Flemish Braid

While I was at my LYS last week "researching" yarn for the Dr Who scarf I'm making for a fellow IDPA'r I picked up Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Today I decided that with all the books, magazines and patterns I've collected from the Internet, I have to limit my search. Most of that is because I've found several possibilities for the Red Lace Scarf in both of Barbara Walkers books, mostly the one I just got. And I've only looked through the lace sections. (There are other sections?) The wool is lace weight so I could even put some "real" cables in with the lace if I were so inclined, which I'm not, particularly. I'm drawn to many of the all over lace patterns but not for this scarf. I want to do a wide, longish, non-directional (looks the same up or down), central motif, some stockinette on each side and then some kind of non-directional (as with the central motif) pattern on each side.

I really like this one and Barbara Walker has already matched the central and side motifs for me. The center one is Flemish Braid and the two side panels are Miniature Openwork Cables, the one on the left has a right "twist" and the one on the right has a left "twist". All three panels together are 39 stitches wide as written. If I added five stitches between every panel, that would give me 59 stitches wide. In addition I could widen each of the side panels by two stitches (which would also lengthen it by two rows) [I think] and that would give me 64 stitches wide. I'd rather have a wider lacy panel and less stockinette.

I'd like to stay with the 4mm Addi Lace Turbos I have so I'm going to mess with the pattern instead of getting a different sized needle. I want this to be an easy knit so that I can tell where I am and easy to fix. Hence, the pattern is stockinette, all the wrong side rows are purled.
(Yea!) There are two rows in the central motif where there is one k3 tog but that is the only thing I can see that I haven't done before. And the cables in the Miniature Openwork Cables aren't really cables, although the "holes" intertwine. It's just artfully arranged k2tog's, yo's and ssks.

As I'm using lace weight wool held doubled with size 4 needles, it ought to be warm when wrapped yet lightweight and lofty. I was thrilled with how my SIL's Paws to Remember Shawl blocked out and it was knit with lace weight yarn held double.

These past few weeks, I've missed sitting on the couch and knitting a lace shawl or scarf. The Christmas Hey! Hey! It's The Monkees Sock is great but now I'm ready to dive back into the weight lace. I still have to carefully and slowly wind the yarn. I have two hanks but I think I'll just wind one and divide it in two. As this stuff is so thin I'll probably end up with more than two yarn cakes.

From what I've seen on-line not many lace scarves have a top and bottom border and they look just fine. So no border on this one. Gee, if I had the yarn wound, I could cast on right now!!

blogging to: various Mambo YouTube videos such as Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

reading: The Skeleton Man 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:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fifteen May Get You Twenty But Only If You Hit What You're Aiming At ... or something

Hubby and I shot the IDPA classifier again! this afternoon. I KNOW did better than I did the first time but I don't think I did well enough to move up from Novice to Marksman. The strong hand / weak hand part really did me in. The good thing is that I don't think I did any better or worse than anyone else on any of the other CoF's (Course of Fire).

There are three CoF's where you have to shoot several shots with either your strong or weak hand. The good/bad part is that two of the CoF's are with your strong hand. The bad/bad part is that one of the CoF's is with your weak hand.

And each CoF WAS timed so I didn't get a chance to take my time and aim like I wanted. The scores will be up late tonight or sometime tomorrow. I'll let ya know how I did. During the classifier, I discovered that if I aimed higher more of my shots ended up center mass rather than . . . um . . . lower.

I'll be using this info at this Thursday's shoot which includes our monthly Benchmark. I think this will really help in the moving and shooting sequences and possibly even the standing and shooting ones. Even when we're not moving and shooting we're usually not just standing there like you do when you target shoot. We're usually leaning out from behind tall cover, on one or two knees behind low cover and either leaning out and shooting or shooting over the top of the low cover, sitting down, drawing and shooting or if we are standing upright with no cover we're usually shooting from retention.*

Shooting from retention is drawing your gun but keeping it close to your body (your gun forearm close to your body with your gun pointed slightly up toward center mass of your target) and low (about waist level) and shooting a close target — three (or so) yards away. In that situation if you'd hold the gun like you would normally shoot a target (both hands extended) the BG (Bad Guy) could grab the gun. It might work for the BG and it might not. Best not to give the BG the opportunity.

blogging to: night sounds outside the open window

reading: The Killing Way by Tony Hays (an Arthurian mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years." ~ Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

Saturday, September 5, 2009

As You See Yourself

We went target shooting last night at the indoor range. We haven't been in over a week. That's not to say that we haven't been shooting, however. I took around 150 9mm's and man they felt good. It took 10-15 rounds to "warm up" and then I was ON!!! There's a drill I do occasionally (now), which seemed to take forever to master. It involves shooting a target at three yards and putting all six shots so that the holes are touching. I've been slowly moving the target out, a yard at a time. I'm now at seven yards and last night I finally nailed it that distance. Six 9mm rounds, at seven yards, all the holes touching — and not just barely either.

I went on in my drills. My favorite target distance is ten yards. I even managed to stay in the light-colored center part of the target, which is 2½" in diameter. Even while pushing myself to pull the trigger more quickly and moving from one target circle to another.

Monday I'm reclassifying for IDPA. I currently shoot as a Novice in the SSP class (Stock Service Pistol). My score at the first classifier was terrible, 293.9. Points are added for misses. You have to score at least 152.74 to get Marksman and at least 120.1 to be a Sharpshooter. Here's a link to
how the targets are scored—scroll down until you see the "target" on the right and read the text opposite. I can't remember if all the stages are timed. I know the first stage isn't but I can't remember if any of the rest are. If not, I plan to take my time on all non-timed aspects of the classifier. I plan to feel the sear on each shot.* Here's a link to the classifier Course of Fire for the non-IDPA and non-shooters readers. I'm hoping to move up from Novice to Marksman or beyond. I rushed the second stage last time and that really hurt me. I also have a new gun, Glock 19 vs Glock 26 and a new way to hold it as the grip on the G19 is longer. I've been practicing drills every single time we go target shooting (at least once a week for two months now). And my IDPA scores, in time and accuracy are improving and not just the Benchmark (which we shoot this Thursday). I'm not the least accurate shooter anymore. Overall, I'm still only three or four from the bottom but that's not last. Also, there's room at this classifier. I wouldn't reclassify Monday if the schedule was full of folks who needed to classify.

* The active military fellow IDPA'r that helped us sight in the iron sights on our rifle a few weeks ago also taught us about feeling the sear on the trigger as you release it. After you pull the trigger don't just release it, slowly relax your finger and let up on the pressure until you can feel the click of the sear as the trigger "resets". From a short distance even with muffs on you can hear it click. This can keep you relaxed and focused when not in a timed event. It does work for me but it also takes some practice. *

I also did some long range, (20 yards) practice as the last CoF is at 15 and 20 yards. Not all of these were in the light-colored middle zone, but all were well in the 4" target circle.

As to the knitting, I've not only cast on for the mate to my Christmas Hey! Hey! It's the Monkees sock but the 15 round twisted 1x1 ribbed cuff is done and I'm on round four of the leg. We're heading off late this afternoon to celebrate my BIL's birthday so I'll get to knit all the way there. Unfortunately, it'll be too dark to knit on the way home.

blogging to: Sky.FM~Smooth Jazz

reading: The Killing Way by Tony Hays (an Arthurian mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political. ~ Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Thursday, September 3, 2009


reposted from my post at KSCCW forum

I stopped in at Cabela's this afternoon to get a gift card for my BIL's birthday. While was there I decided to see if I could find some large pistol primers (No!), a holster for my Sig P238 (Yes!), 9mm Tap ammo to replace what I shot through the windshield during Saturday's class (yes), 9mm bullets (YES! 250 147gn Berry's — getting desperate, will buy almost anything at this point), .223 bullets (YES! 500 55gr Sierra — not as desperate ... yet) and some other not as important items.

#1: This female clerk should have known better
I was standing by the optics counter and a woman (mid 30's?) pushing a pricing cart came by and asked if she could help. I said I needed primers and after she admonished me that they weren't at the optics counter but back with the guns, told me to follow her. I KNEW that. Why in the heck did she think I was standing up there! That's where this Cabela's wants you to ask for them.

I gave her the benefit of the doubt and followed her back to the gun counter. I asked for large pistol primers and had to restate it a couple of times, not to mention point out other places on the shelves where primers were sitting when they weren't in the first or second place she looked. She handed me three boxes of small pistol primers. I politely told her (again) I needed large (slight emphasis on the the word large) pistol primers. She told me they didn't have any but that these would work just as well, "the bang just wouldn't be as loud." It was a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment if ever there was one. I politely told her that they are NOT interchangeable. The small pistol primers were too small for the primer pocket. "Are you sure?" she asked. I don't think she believed me or thought I knew what I was talking about. After all, SHE was the expert behind the counter.

At this point I already had the holster for the Sig in my basket and would have liked to have one of the gun clerks try it on a similarly sized pistol. But she sorta followed me around for a bit and I just didn't want to deal with her and any issues she might have with my holster or gun choice, which was probably all wrong.

#2 ~ I get so bloody tired of this one
As I said above I was looking for 9mm tap ammo and was standing near the end of an aisle in front of what little 9mm ammo there was on the shelf. I'd already opened a few boxes to look at the bullets (ask the owner at the range -- I like pretty ammo [but Officer, I shot the BG with the pretty ammo!]). I was weighing price vs brand vs whatever when a guy stepped around the corner into the aisle. He saw what I was looking at and suggested that I'd like the .32 or .380 ammo better. Second Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment. I politely (yeah, sometimes I think I am way too polite) told him that 9mm was what I wanted. He wanted to know why. I smiled, looked him straight in the eye and said, "That's what my gun shoots." I didn't pat my carry gun (although I was tempted) or allude in any way that I was carrying. I either scared or shocked him and he turned around and scurried off.

#3 He was probably trying to be funny but after the first two . . .
About 30 seconds later, another guy came around the same corner. I had a box of 9mm TAP ammo in my hand, looking (again) at the weight on the side and the cartridge count on the front. This one told me with a chuckle, "Don't drop that. It might go off." I didn't even look at this one. I just said, "No. It won't."

I took my two boxes of 9mm Speer Gold Dot and didn't exactly chuck them into my cart* at the end of the aisle from 10 paces but I didn't gently place them in the bottom either. Take That!

And y'all gotta remembe, I was a "woman" in the "gun" section of the store with no male guidance. I couldn't possibly have any idea what it was I wanted. In fact, it's quite conceivable I wandered in there by mistake from the "ladies" clothing area, Nebraska Furniture Mart or Russell Stover's.

* The folks that push empty carts up and down the narrow aisles annoy me (a bit).** I don't get a cart unless I'm not with Sweetie and have 1,000 (or more) pieces of lead projectiles to haul around.

Stepping off my ammo can (again) and going to practice combat reloading the shotgun with the duds (aka as 12 ga snap caps) I also got today. And maybe practice firing with retention with the 9mm duds we picked up a few months ago.

** You kids get off my lawn!

blogging to: Sky.FM~Smooth Jazz

reading: The Killing Way by Tony Hays (an Arthurian mystery)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "You can't fix stupid." ~ Ron White

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Saturday in the Park

Fighting From a Vehicle. I hope I NEVER have to do it. But I am more prepared as of a few days ago than I was. I took a class that taught me some techniques and strategies, other than running the bad guy (BG) over with my vehicle and/or gettin' the heck outta Dodge. I also like the way the class is titled Fighting From A Vehicle instead of Defending Yourself in/around a Vehicle. Because if I have to pull my gun, I am fighting for my life.

We had an excellent teacher who didn't differentiate between a 5' 160 lb mid-50's woman (the only one in the class) and a 6' mid-30's male firefighter in excellent shape or an "elderly" pipe smoking gentleman who is wicked accurate with his bone-stock 1911 .45. Didn't matter if you were right-handed or left handed, although in some instances depending on which side of the vehicle you had to exit from, it was easier or more difficult. Everyone did the same drills the same way to the best of their ability. We did each drill three or four times. We went through a lot of windshields. The first time everyone shot though a windshield each shooter got a new windshield. For subsequent drills, we used the same one which is what I have pictured below looking out from the inside (top) and from the outside (below).

I took away so much but in general we covered the best way to shoot a BG through the windshield and/or the driver and/or passenger window, how to exit your vehicle while engaging multiple BG's, how to use the vehicle as cover while engaging multiple BG's, how to shoot with a partner using the vehicle as cover while engaging multiple BG's. A tap, rack, bang drill was also included. You handed your magazine to the instructor who replaced* one of your rounds with a snap cap which would cause the gun to "jam" or not load the next round into the chamber and effectively made your gun not able to shoot until you cleared the "jam". The link explains it better than I could along with how to clear a double feed which we did not do.

Saturday afternoon Sweetie took a Basic Tactical Shotgun class. Some of the things it covered were handling and loading your shotgun, best defensive load (00 buckshot), combat/tactical (re)loading while moving, and several drills: walking forward and shooting at targets in front of you, walking backward and shooting at targets in front of you, crossing forward and shooting (walk forward and turn your body and the gun to the right or left where ever the target is and shooting), and crossing backward (same as crossing forward except you're walking backwards). As with my class, these drills were done three for four times.

looking forward to taking more classes from the SRT Group.

* Every time I read this I think of the Folgers ad where a fine restaurant's coffee was "secretly replaced" with Folgers Coffee Crystals. I REALLY had to resist the urge to type it that way.

blogging to: night sounds though the open windows

reading: The Hi Lo Country by Max Evans (a western)

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

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: ""The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour." ~ George Washington in address to the 2nd session of United States Congress.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

FO! & Dr Who Scarf

As I said in my last brief post the first Christmas Hey! Hey! It's the Monkees sock is done but I still haven't woven in the ends. I'm going to try to cast on for the second one either today or tomorrow. I loved knitting it and I love how it feels and looks. The yarn colors are great and this pattern really shows them off. I'm glad I added the extra pattern repeat and I'm pleased with the heel flap heel. It looks in proportion to the rest of the sock. The sock feels dense and warm. I have two little ears on each side of my kitchnered toe which sometimes happen. I don't mind. They "may" block out. I don't normally block my socks, but Cookie A recommends it on these.

I'm making a little headway on my cotton Spring Flower socks. I have
about 10 rounds done on the leg. Yeah, slow going as these are my stoplight knitting socks. I did get a few extra rounds in yesterday while we sat and waited while Itsock (our ubiquitous gray Buick Century) got his oil changed.

I now have two projects in the offing. One, of course, is the red lace scarf. Still haven't done anything with that pattern-wise. The other is a request from a shooting friend. Y'all know I don't normally take requests.

The one time I did, a pair of socks for my SIL's principal I ended up knitting almost four socks instead of one pair. I'd knit one sock down through the heel and a few rounds on the foot, put the live stitches on waste yarn then set it off for a fitting. It was a bit too tight in the instep and she wanted it longer in the leg. I figured if the instep stitches were too tight the leg stitches were probably a little snug, too. At that time I'd also requested her to tell me how many inches it was from where the sock stopped on her foot to the end of her foot and to where her toes began. When I got the sock back, I left it intact while I knit the mate with the changes (bigger, longer leg and I picked up more gusset stitches to ease it even more there), so I could use the half knit sock for a length measurement. When both socks were done I sent them along to my SIL to give to her principal. Well, they were both about 3" too short. So, I unpicked the kitchnered toe on each one, frogged back the toe decreases and knit 3" more inches on each sock, then reknit the toe decreases and grafted the toes closed on both socks. This time they fit. My SIL has never asked me to knit another sock for someone else. She has asked for two baby blankets and that was OK. Baby Blankets don't have to be fitted.

So, if I choose to knit something for someone it's usually MY idea and it's usually a scarf. This is a scarf and what a scarf. A Dr Who scarf. I'm not a Dr Who fan but I have heard of the scarf. Although this will be a long scarf, about 14½ feet—my friend is tall, it will only be about 10" wide and all garter stitch, which to the non-knitting among us ALL knitting, no fancy stitches and reversible
—it will look the same on both sides. Some of that length will be tassels. The challenge on a Dr Who scarf, besides the length is all the colors. My friend pointed me to this site which has all kinds of helpful things. Such as how many rows for each color and a yarn estimator which also has color suggestions for the knitter who is not a fan. My friend wants the Season 12 scarf as he says, "It's the most colorful, and used for the most years."

Now to find some yarn, preferably all the same kind/brand so that when it's washed all the yarn will react the same way. This scarf will require a lot of yarn and as I'm not paying the bill for the yarn I want to give my friend a low, medium and luxury choice. I haven't started looking yet but I plan a trip to two LYS's this Thursday. I plan to use Plymouth Encore for the low end choice. Although not 100% wool, it is soft, inexpensive and comes in lots of colors. As to the other two, I'll have to see what's out there. The site suggest DK or sport weight yarn. I'd rather buy the yarn from a LYS but I'll go mailorder if I have to.

Needles and gauge? The site suggests size 5 needles (US, I suppose) and I'll start with that, knit a dozen or so 60 stitch rows and see what my guage is. That'll also tell me if I need to cast on more or less stitches. By that time, I should have a good amount hanging off the needles.

blogging to: sounds of the afternoon through the open windows

reading: The Hi Lo Country by Max Evans (a western)
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Self-defense is Nature's eldest law." ~ John Dryden