Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FO!ish

The knitting on the second Dr Who Scarf is complete. Now all I gotta do is all that other stuff. I've set myself a hard deadline of the fourth Sunday in May, our monthly Corndodger IPDA shoot. Right now, I want to get the third scarf established so it can be my passenger and TV knitting. Once that's done, I can set it aside and can concentrate on weaving in all ends on the second scarf.

I've officially cast on for the third Dr Who Scarf.

I've officially cast on for the third Dr Who Scarf.

I've officially cast on for the third Dr Who Scarf.

Yep, three times and counting. I'm using 4.5mm needles. Those needles give me nine rows per inch x 112" (scarf length) is 1,008 rows. I need 1,042 and I want it to be a bit short so that's OK.

40 stitches across is too narrow—from gauge swatches. 55 stitches is too wide; 45 stitches is too narrow. So maybe 50 stitches will be just right. I cast on each time with a 9mm / US 11 needle so the cast on edge doesn't draw the end in and I'll bind off with that same needle. Also, I want to have nice big holes in the cast on and cast off edge to insert the tassels. I've also cast on from the opposite end that I've started the other two scarves. This one is the same pattern but different. Different yarn, acrylic, colors are slightly different, smaller needles and more stitches on each row. By the time I get five stripes knit will it make a difference? No, but it's fun to change it up.

This scarf at 50 stitches across will be more knitting than the previous 2 scarves. There will even be more rows as I won't have to cheat on the rows. It's designed at 112" to be short and with 4.5mm needles that will also make it short. Even if I end up a "bit" long in one of those calculations, hopefully the other will be enough to compensate. We'll find out, many, many, many rows and stitches from now.


The weather here as been so nice, high 70's, sunny and breezy. I've started the outside Spring chores. I trimmed trees the other day and now I need to pare down all the trimmings so I can bundle them neatly for kindling on the wood pile. I SWEAR I will re-do the fabric weed barrier and mulch around the day lilies at the back of the house this spring—before the lilies get unwieldy. I hope I'll be able to afford several liriope plants for the side of the house. I took up the mulch and fabric last summer but never planted anything. I don't really want grass around the Wichita Junipers because I don't want to have to mow between the house and the trees and between the trees. It's tight in there now that the trees are bigger. I MAY ignore the north side of the house again this year. I'll see how my energy and money hold out.

blogging to: night sounds through the open window

reading: Bad Karma by Dave Zeltserman (a Bill Shannon mystery)
and
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "I am Spartacus." from the 1960 Stanley Kubrick movie Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas

Monday, March 29, 2010

We Can Work It Out

The knitting on the second Dr Who Scarf is slowing crawling to a finish. I've almost three stripes left to knit, two longish ones and a short one. Starting from the end with the wider purple stripe, I'm six rows into the brown stripe, which is the third stripe from the end.

I have spent some time today working on the gauge swatch for the third Dr Who Scarf—the acrylic one.

8mm needles give me 6¼ rows per inch x 112" (scarf length) would be only 700 rows instead of 1,042. I want to make this one shorter but not THAT much shorter.

5mm needles are better and give me 8½ rows per inch x 112" is 952 rows. Still 90 rows short.

Just to see, I'm doing a swatch with 4.5mm needles. It's easier to "fix" it now than later.

Once I have the row gauge I need, I'll experiment with how many I need to cast on to get the 10-11" width I want. Currently, I'm working with 40 stitches across and that's 6½" wide with the 4.5mm needles and 6¾" with the 5mm needles
so 20-30 more stitches. This one will take a lot more yarn and knitting. Thank goodness that the Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn comes in such large 7oz, 198 gr skeins. Once I start knitting, it probably won't seem so big.


I need to figure out how to repair the holes in hand knit socks. I just found a hole in the bottom of the foot on one of Mr WK's socks that I finished in June of last year. Not even a year old. I'm a good enough knitter. I SHOULD be able to do this.


With the longer days, warmer and sunnier weather I'm able to employ my solar dryer again. I really missed it this winter and how good it makes the laundry smell. You can't bottle that. Occasionally, I was able to hang sheets out or small items I normally air dry as they dry quickly in the colder air and short days.

Today I did some heavier stuff
jeans and sweatshirts along with some lighter items, dress pants and shirts, etc. If the weather holds Tuesday I'll tackle the bed spread and the electric blanket.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Black Tower by P D James (an Adam Dalgliesh mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: NSFW

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Achoo!

Both Mr WK and I have been down with colds about the same severity, which is unusual for us. IF we both get the same cold, I usually have a very mild one, a minor sore throat for a morning or two and a runny nose for a day or two and Mr WK has the more serious cold. This time, the colds were not bad but not mild either—we're both taking cold medicine. The house is littered with tissue boxes (NOT tissues) and partial containers of Sucrets, Cepacol, Chloraseptic and Breezers lozenges of various flavors. Mr WK is pretty much done with his, not taking cold meds every 4-6 hours but as he needs them; he's not even as tired as he was earlier in the week. I'm a few days behind, still taking meds like clockwork and sleeping / resting more.


The Spring Flower Sock re-knit is coming along. It's now back to stoplight knitting status. I'm on round five or so of the foot. And the solid green heel looks OK. Now it'll be interesting to see exactly how far down the foot the Schachenmayr Nomotta Crazy Cotton will go. I don't think it'll finish the foot. Anyway, the photo on the left is the before heel with the striped yarn that I'm going to run out of and photo above on the right is the heel with the solid green Fortissima yarn.

I haven't done much more with either of the Dr Who Scarves. From the end with the wider purple stripe, I have five more stripes to knit and I haven't touched the gauge swatch for the third scarf.


We haven't been shooting or reloaded anything this past week. However, we did score 8 lbs of H-335 powder cheap enough to warrant me driving 150 miles each way for it Friday afternoon /evening. Now we can reload around 2,240 .223s or 1,244 30 cal. Sweet.

blogging to: Memories 89

reading: Earthway by Aimée & David Thurlo (an Ella Clah mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "When is the last time you can recall a bunch of conservatives having a riot, disrupting a congressional hearing, or coming out with books and movies on how to assassinate a president?" ~ Rush Limbaugh from the 3/25/10 show

Monday, March 22, 2010

Born to be Wild

I've been knitting and un-knitting. (sigh) The knitting has mostly been on the second Dr Who Scarf. It's within striking distance of being complete. I've got only seven more stripes to knit (starting from the end with the wider purple stripe) — pretty much the last stripe of each color . . . then all that other stuff. I found out that I don't need to have this scarf complete until June so I've stepped back just a bit on it. The recipient of the first Dr Who Scarf I knit is giving this one as a gift to his friend with Dr Who Scarf envy for his birthday.

The gauge swatches on the acrylic Dr Who Scarf (scarf #3) are slowly coming along. I'm working on 6mm needles right now.

What I have been working on is the first Spring Flower Sock. I ripped the 28 rounds on the foot, the heel turn and heel flap out. I think with the different yarn for the heel and toe I'll have enough for the foot . . . or most of it anyway. I looked at all the leftover cotton yarn I
have, which is not many varieties but lots of different colors and decided on Fortissima cotton in a forest green. It's pretty close to the green already there. It's not a mercerized cotton so it doesn't that have sheen but I think it'll be OK. If these were for someone else I would probably go out and buy some so it would match better. I don't know how these two cottons will get along if they'll shrink at the same rate.

Anyway, I have the sock back on the needles and the heel flap almost done (again!) with the solid green yarn. Once I turn the heel, pick up the gusset stitches with the striped yarn
and establish the foot rounds, it'll go back to being my stoplight knitting. It will be interesting to see how far the yarn goes. I don't think I'll be able to finish the foot but I'll come darned close. When I run out I'll switch to the solid green yarn.

Then I'll carry on with the second Dr Who Scarf until it's complete.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Thank God I Had a Gun by Chris Bird
and
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen." ~ House Minority Leader John Boehner 3/21/10

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Ya know, sometimes ya leave something long enough, it happens, it's good and then it goes away until next year. Every time SIL and BIL come over to celebrate either Mr WK's birthday or SIL's birthday, I stress out about the house a little. Each year and each time it's a little less and very single time it's OK. They show up, the house is tidy, we all have a great time talking guns, they go home. I never stress about the food I'm fixing.

And I never look at the stuff I'm concerned about when I visit other folks' home.
Mr WK and I don't entertain. We don't have folks over. We are non-social social people. We can meet folks at the range, at the boat, etc and it's always hunky dory. I suppose if we "entertained" at home more I wouldn't so hinky, but there it is.


I found Mr WK two new belts reversible dress belts. I noticed that the dressier belts have stitching at the edges with makes the edges of the belt thinner and not as good for supporting a holster. Yeah, he noticed that right off with these new belts, too.


We went to the outdoor range just west of Topeka, KS with the active military shooty buddy over a week ago. I took my .308 and my .223 carbine, Mr WK took his Mossberg 30-06 and his .223 target rifle and our military buddy brought his .223 carbine and his new (to him) 12 ga pump shotgun.

I finished the 25 rounds I had to shoot with my .308—I only had six more to go
and then cleaned the barrel after each round. It was great to be able to shoot TEN!!! rounds in a row and then clean the barrel. The scope is pretty well sighted in for 100 yards. I want to check it again the next time we go but if that turns out OK, I'll move to the 200 yard range. My goal is to have the scope sighted in at 200 yards then use the mil-dots on the scope for 300 yards (when I qualify for that) and 100 yards. Some days there won't be a suitable target up at 200 or 300 yards and we won't feel like taking the time to hike up there.

I enjoyed taking the occasional break from my .308 and shooting my carbine off-hand. I'm rusty with that skill. All in the torso area just not grouped very well.

Our military buddy had a new Eotech optic to sight in. Very. Nice. We all got to play with that once it was sighted in.

Mr WK and our military buddy shot Mr WK's 30-06 for most of the afternoon. None of us likes the 180 gn cartridges for sustained shooting. I don't particularly like any of them but we'll probably settle on the 150 gr bullets for the load. We'll load the heavier bullets for occasional fun but not for general plinkin'.

We all had a shot (or more) with our buddy's new pump shotgun. After shooting 26+ rounds with my .308, three with the 30-06 and then two with the shot gun I was done with the big stuff. I had a bit of a sore shoulder the next couple of days.

Thursday, we had an IDPA match. I was the Safety Officer on several CoF's. I like doing that. It adds another dimension to the match. Mr WK took a video of me SOing. All the shooters are so tall next to me. I look like a little kid but I look like I know what I'm doing. And after all, an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.


I've been doing some knitting, too. Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock[s] with Dutch Heel are complete. In fact they've been worn and already washed once. He says he can't feel the heel. He likes 'em and that's what counts. Until other of his handknit socks bite the dust, he's good for handknit wool socks for awhile. This pair gives him five pairs that fit great and one so-so.

Since I finished Mr WK's socks the second Dr Who scarf has been getting all of my attention. It's almost complete. Starting from the end with the wider purple stripe, I've got only eleven more stripes to knit. Then, of course, there is still the weaving in of all the ends from the color changes, washing, a light blocking and then the tassels. Easy-Peasy. I'm on the downhill run.

In fact, I've now started working on the gauge swatches for the third Dr Who scarf
—the acrylic one. The recipient of this third one is almost a foot shorter than the previous recipients; so a much shorter scarf. I'm going to make this one even shorter so that instead of the scarf and tassels draping to the ground, I'm going to stop about 5" shy of the floor on each side. From my notes on the first scarf, I'm evidently going to use really big needles. The Cascade 220 on 8mm needles was 25 rows = 4" and 6¼ rows per inch which was 937½ and I needed 1,042. So the first gauge swatch is with 8mm straights. I don't have any circs that big. I knit both of the wool scarves on 7mm circs. I'll start this one one straights and if it's too much I'll pick up some circs.

If I put this in my blog I'll know where to find it later. The
recipient is 5'6" which is 66"; subtract 10" for her head, 56" then double that, 112" for the scarf length. The gauge swatches are my TV knitting.

And once the third and hopefully final (for a good long while) Dr Who Scarf is complete, I'll cast on for SIL's Monkey Socks.

My Spring Flower Socks are still going along. Yes I WILL run out of yarn in the middle of the foot. Now I'm contemplating ripping out the 20 or so rounds of the foot I have done along with the heel. I could put in a solid color heel that matches the toe. Still thinking about that. Would I care that half the foot is some other yarn and a solid complementary or contrasting color? Not really. Who would see? Evidently, I do care some or I wouldn't be wasting any energy even thinking about froggin' part of the sock.

It's been a slow start to spring, a bit like last year. We are wanting to work on the boat because we WILL put her in the water this year. But it's been too cold. We need to wash then wax the deck and the hull. We also need to renew the anti-fouling paint on the bottom. For that the temperature of the hull needs to be at least in the mid-50's for at least 24 hours prior to application. It also can't rain for at least 16 hours after that either. It'll probably be late April or May before we'll be able to paint. There are a few other things but they're minor. We've talking about re-doing the waterline stripe this year, but we'll see.


blogging to: Memories 89

reading: The Dog Who Bit a Policeman by Stuart Kaminsky (an Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov mystery)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "You have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it." ~ Nancy Pelosi 3/9/10

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gonna Fly Now

Except for the ends on the second sock, Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel is complete. I finished it Wednesday evening while reading blogs. I persuaded Mr WK to try them on before he went to bed and he ended up wearing them all night. At least they are comfortable sleeping socks. Hopefully photos and the particulars next post.

I'm tooling along on the second Dr Who Scarf. It's now 63% complete. Starting from the end with the wider purple stripe, I've just started on the fourth tan stripe. At least I'm now counting from the finished end of the scarf instead of the end I started. There will be more ends to weave in in this scarf. I'm using up the skeins I started on the first scarf. I think that except for the yellow and the tan colors I'm on the second skein of each color. The yellow I still have quite a bit left but probably not enough to finish and also do all of the tassels. I will probably break into the new yellow skein on the tassels. I have for sure one more row left in the second tan skein but maybe two before I start the third skein of tan. Not including the current tan stripe, I have 22 more stripes to knit and I have already knit 31 stripes. And I get to do this all over again when this scarf is complete.

As to the third Dr Who Scarf, I will need to experiment with different sized needles to get the correct length, then then the width. I have the recipient's height and from that I will calculate the length of the scarf. I've learned enough about the scarf in making of over 1½ Dr Who scarves to know how to do the neck loop and that it's somewhat adjustable. I do intend to make this third one shorter so that it doesn't drape to the floor even with the tassels. I'm thinking at least five inches of clearance with a loose but not over-sized neck loop.

Friday is going to be a busy day. I'm getting my hair trimmed first thing then splurge on coffee and a pastry at a coffee shop, hit the recycle place, the grocery store for the this weekend's celebration feast, come home and cook the brisket so all I need to do is reheat it Saturday afternoon and put some finishing touches on the house cleaning, namely run vacuum and broom around various floorings and tidy up my desk area a bit.

It's supposed to rain during most of the daylight hours on Saturday leaving Sunday dry with a high in the mid 50's. That'll work out good. The day we can't shoot will be wet and the day we can will be dry. We'll see if that actually happens. And it's supposed to rain Monday and Tuesday then be dry through next weekend. Hmmm.

The Dead Hand of History by Sally Spencer (a DCI Monika Paniatowski mystery)
and
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "Are there really people out there so dumb that they’re going to support Obama because people with white coats are standing behind him? And don’t those dumb people already support Obama?

If terrorists dressed a grizzly bear in a lab coat, it would easily be able to attack the president from behind during a photo-op.

So is a lab coat from practical purposes or is it a status symbol?

I’ve use[d] a lab coat in my job before, but it was light blue so I don’t know if that makes me as smart as others.

Obama makes me really look forward to our second black president since he/she won’t be Obama."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plain and Simple

I am in the midst of spring cleaning otherwise known as the BIL and SIL are coming this weekend to celebrate Mr WK's birthday. I'm a *lot* more relaxed about it than I used to be. If they don't like the state of the fairly clean house, they can have the celebration at their house. Yes, the carpet is old and needs to be replaced but it's fairly clean — especially after I cleaned all the tea, coffee and cola drops in a broken trail from the kitchen to the office.

I picked up one of those Woolite Rug Sticks, an extra can of cleaner and am cleaning the high traffic areas. Seems to work OK. Beats shampooing the whole carpet or crawling around on your hands and knees for a couple of hours with a spray bottle of carpet cleaner, a damp cloth and a dry towel. An invitation to achy fingers, hands and arms for me doing it by hand. Most of the crap and clutter has been banished to their proper places. The reloading press is still on the kitchen table but that's not crap or clutter; besides, we're not eating in there anyway.

So, while that is well in hand, I've been getting some knitting done. The foot on the second of Mr WK's Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel is almost complete. I've only four more rounds on the foot to knit then it's on to the toe decreases. The pattern is from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks
. I've knit several from this book and many of her socks from other books. The yarn is Reynolds Soft Sea Wool in a dark slate blue. It's the plainest sock I've ever knit. There are about 50 rounds of a ribbed cuff and the rest is all stockinette in a solid color. It's not boring. It's comforting and calming. That's a photo of the first sock.

I've also been whizzing along on the second Dr Who Scarf. It's officially more than 50% complete now. From either end I'm on the fifth red stripe, it's the widest red stripe in the scarf. I've knit through row 18 on that stripe so it's just under half finished.

The other day I received e-mails from Hobby Lobby that more of the acrylic I Love This Yarn yarn was in. So Tuesday afternoon I took myself off to my local Hobby Lobby and came back with all the rest of the colors I need for the acrylic Dr Who Scarf. At last. I don't think the colors are as close as the Cascade 220 I found but they're pretty good. The recipient of the acrylic scarf I don't think is as big a fan as the two who have and are getting the wool scarves.

So I have the next project lined up. I was going to cast on for a pair of Cookie A's Monkey Socks for my SIL when Mr WK's socks were complete, but I think I'll hold off until I get these scarves done. I hauled around the first scarf so I can take these two on the road. I have a very large lightweight tote bag that very nicely holds all the yarn and the scarf-in-progress. As it's all just stockinette and counting the number of rows for each stripe, no biggie.

In fact, the Monkey Socks will probably not be a travel project. I'll revert back to my cotton Spring Flower Socks. Each time I pull them out for stoplight knitting I just know I'm going to run out of yarn for the foot and toe. I will be amazed if I don't. As far as what to substitute . . . I'll fling myself off that bridge when I get there. I have plenty of cotton yarn leftovers that will work.

blogging to: Memories 89

reading: The Dead Hand of History by Sally Spencer (a DCI Monika Paniatowski mystery)
and
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot:

photo from Michelle Malkin's blog