Friday, January 21, 2011

Days Go By

I've not only cast on for second of Mr WK's Deep Blue Something Socks the day I finished the first one (1/17) but I'm in the process of turning the heel!!! Already! And apparently, either the double moss stitch or two 80 round legs attached to a size ten foot are yarn eaters. I felt SURE that 121 gr of yarn would do two socks for Mr WK. But it's not in the cards. I'll probably run out about a quarter of the way into the foot. So the next time I'm out, I'll scoot down to my LYS and pick up another hank. While I'm there I'll look to see if there is another hank of this yarn that would compliment the Deep Blue colorway. If so, I'll get it, and do another pair of socks for Mr WK using the Deep Blue as I used the light gray in this one.

As threatened, here's a photo of the first Deep Blue Something Sock. The yarn is Barefoot by Mountain Colors and the colorway is Deep Blue. The pattern on the leg is the double moss stitch. Look how much it spreads out! I still cannot get over that I started with 84 stitches at the top of the sock where the stitching changes, it's only 62 stitches! He says it fits and feels fine.




blogging to: Memories 89 1

reading: Love Me If You Must by Nicole Young (a Tish Amble mystery)
and
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

I am TJIC




Tammy says it more eloquently than I ever could. View from the Porch

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Double Rainbow. All the Way

Things are most excellent on Mr WK's Deep Blue Something Socks. I had him try the sock on when the cuff was finished, at round 20, round 40, round 60, a few rounds after the heel and into the foot, about 10 rounds before the toe decreases and finally when it was finished, yesterday. This photo was taken at round 53 just after I put a lifeline in when I still wasn't sure he'd be able to get it on over his heel much past round 40 if I continued the decreases. I took it out after he tried it on to see where I was for the toe decreases. Yes, this sock fits and it was worth all the trouble. Double rainbow all the way.

I did 80 rounds on the leg, stockinette heel flap and a shallow Dutch heel. I'd decreased so much; 22 rounds — from 84 stitches down to 62 — that instead of doing the heel with 42 stitches, it was 31 stitches. After I turned the heel, following the same pattern I did for all the other socks — even the decreases at the bottom of the heel flap, I picked up enough extra gusset stitches so that the foot had 89 stitches which I decreased down to 80, same as the other socks. I did 65 rounds on foot and 35 toe decrease rounds.

As to the toe decrease rounds, normally, I do a decrease round where I decrease 4 stitches then a knit even round with no decreases so that the narrowing to the end of the toes won't be steep. On this sock, there were 10 more stitches on each of the bottom of foot needles than there were on the top of the foot needles — 25 stitches vs 15 stitches. I knit decrease rounds only on the bottom of foot needles, two decrease rounds then one knit even round until all the needles had 15 stitches then I proceeded as I usually do.

I'll get some photos of the FO! when the sun comes out — someday — and try to show the leg pattern. Meanwhile, I've cast on for the mate.


The weather guessers were forecasting all kinds of freezing rain, drizzle, sleet and then snow for Sunday evening and on into Monday but we got nothing really. Sometimes it's good when they're wrong.


Thursday we shot our first IDPA match of the year at the indoor range in Topeka. We had only 13 shooters and so were able to shoot six courses of fire, a few of which were long. My newly acquired
target acquisition skills are very perishable as shown by my match performance. It was the worst I'd done in a while.

So Monday afternoon we headed to the indoor range in Topeka for some practice.
I worked the 22LR for 200 rounds interspersed with some .45 1911 work and a couple of mags of 115gn 9mm — the more accurate loads with Universal Clays. I finally shot up all the HP-38 loads. Anyway by the time we were finished shooting, I felt I was at least close to where I was but not there yet. I was getting the controlled pairs with the .22LR but not so much with the .45 or my 9mm. At least practice is fun.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Death Roll by Marilyn Victor & Michael Allan Mallory (a Lavender 'Snake' Jones mystery)
and
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mambo No. 2

I had Mr WK try on his Deep Blue Something Socks Friday morning. At around 53 or so rounds the leg was looking good but a bit loose as his calf narrowed down to his heel. This sock is nubby — this stitch does not draw in at all — it has no flexibility — and in fact seems to expand as wide as it can. I decreased eight stitches over several rounds in the back of the leg, mid-point of where the heel flap will be.

I had him try it on again later in the day at around round 65. Still a huge amount of fabric and as I knit further down the leg the calf was going to narrow even further. So I took a finger pinch of stitches and estimated 20 stitches. I helped him off with the sock, took a deep breath and frogged it all the way back to the cuff. I've increased the cuff length from 20 rounds to 25. As the stitch will not help to hold the sock up, the cuff will have to do all the heavy lifting. I'm also going to do a decrease every 4 rounds to work in a 20 stitch decrease in 80 rounds, which is how long I decided the leg is going to be. I'm not sure he'll be able to get his foot into it but we'll see. By Saturday evening I'd re-knit 20 rounds working in five decreases. I had Mr WK try it on and so far so good. Not a lot of extra fabric and no problem getting it on. I'll continue.

Worse case scenario if he can't get his foot into it: a) frog back to where can and just knit straight with no decreases and hang the sloppy heel or b) frog back to the cuff again and choose a different pattern.

Whatever pattern happens with the leg I've still pretty much decided on doing a Dutch Heel for this sock but I have decided that I'm not doing the double moss stitch (if that's still the pattern when I get there) on the top of the foot.


It snowed about an inch last night and we're supposed to get 4-6" more by the time it stops late Monday night. It's a few degrees above freezing. Earlier when there was a weak sun I scrapped the inch or so of snow off the driveway. Now it's not only snow free but drying. We won't have a layer of frozen snow and ice under the new snow.

We knew we were in for some kind of "bad" weather. When the deer come to our yard early that's a sure sign of it. Last night we had a pair at dusk before it started to snow. It'll be interesting to see if we get early deer this evening. I'll have to remember to look.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Hunter's Dance by Kathleen Hills (a Constable John McIntire mystery)
and

Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cool Like Dat

Mr WK's Deep Blue Something Socks are screamin' along. No where as quickly as his Combat Socks (2 socks in 24 days) but considering I have to keep strict track of where I am so I don't screw up the pattern I'm doing OK. I'm figuring on a 70-80 round leg and I'm on round 40 so the leg is at least half knit. Overall a 70-80 round leg plus the 20 round cuff will make the part above the heel 90-100 rounds long. I'll have him try it on when it get to round 70 and see where on his calf it hits.

The pattern is the double moss stitch which is:
rounds 1 & 2: k2, p2, ~rounds 3 & 4: p2, k2. Not a big deal but not easy to fix if you have to ladder down more than a few rounds. The pattern just looks like a garbled mess except in a bright light; bright sunlight is best. Then you can see the texture and that there really is a pattern. I'll try to get some shots in the next day or so but with dark yarn I'm not holdin' my breath you'll be able to see it. I've been surprised how easy it's been to not get lost.

My notes are a huge help there. I keep round counts of each section so I can knit the mate as close to the first sock as possible. I've been keeping round counts since I began knitting again, 7½ years ago so it's no biggie to finish a row or round and remember to mark down a number. I use blank 3x5 or 5x7 note cards and draw my own lines. When I do a heel turn I like a wider line so I can track not only the row but how many stitches I knit to get to the end after the turn. At the end of a pattern repeat I draw a thick vertical line so at a glance when I've put the WIP (work in progress) down in the middle of a needle I can pick it right up and know whether I need to be k2, p2 or p2, k2 instead of trying to divide the number of rounds knit by 4. Little tricks to make something tricky or potentially frustrating less so.

I've been thinking about the heel and I have three heels in my bag of heel tricks. I've done the Dutch Heel twice now and like it so I think I will cement it further into my pea brain by doing it again. Still gotta pick up those gusset stitches. Still gotta do short rows. Still gotta do a heel flap but I like it. Better than the short row heel, which does look neat. The short row heel shines with a self-patterning yarn.



Mr WK and I took a trip to the outdoor range Monday afternoon. Mr WK has been studying-up on the scope on my DPMS. He took it OFF!! a few days ago, re-aligned it then bore-sighted it. We took it to the high-power range, started at the fifty yard targets then went immediately to the 200 yard targets. As with the last time we were out with the DPMS in the cold none of us, could get any of the ammo to group, including our Sharpshooter Rifle Buddy aka as my shooting coach. I shot the gun very accurately (or so I posted) in late spring, early summer but couldn't group with anything in late summer and when it got cold. Hmmm. Our
Sharpshooter Rifle Buddy was also puzzled. We're going to try to different powders and bullets and go from there.

On a more positive note, I put 24 rounds down range with my carbine at the 25 yard target, all but two rounds off-hand. It was cold, I was cold, I had gloves on and several layers including my heavy barn coat so it was tough (for me) to move easily. I'd shoot four or five rounds, move the muzzle to low ready, scan for the midget then up again for four or five more rounds, etc. ALL were on the paper, most were in the upper and lower abdomen (aiming for the zero zone, most ended up in the -1 zone with just a few in the on the -3 zone line) or the neck area of the head/torso (aiming for the head).

Next time out, I'm going to adjust my red dot up slightly. I am VERY pleased that ALL of my off-hand rounds were on paper. And although the majority were in a largish group, 4" at 25 yards off-hand, for me that is fantastic. It means I'm holding the rifle steadier for longer periods. That is a huge improvement. In the past, I would get only maybe two-thirds my rounds on paper and those would be widely spaced. It seems the target acquisition drills I'm doing with my pistol along with some increased forearm strength are doing the trick.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: Sherlock Holmes in America edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Daniel Stashower and Jon Lellenberg
and

Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cast Off ~ Cast On!

I have the first FO! of 2011 completed. Mr WK's Combat Socks. I finished the second sock wove in the ends on both socks and even fixed a dropped stitch on the heel of the first sock. They are ready for their close-up.

Stats:
Pattern: Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel from Nancy Bush's book Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Louet Gems
Colorway: charcoal ~ but it looks more like a dark olive greenish-gray, hence the name
Timeline: I cast on for the first sock on 12/10/10 and bound off the mate on 1/2/11, 24 days and I didn't knit on them every day.
Needles: cast on with 3mm bamboo dpns and knit the body of each sock with Suzanne's 2.5mm rosewood dpns


I've already cast on for the second of Mr WK's trio of new socks. The yarn is Barefoot from Mountain Colors and the colorway is called deep blue. The pattern is Double Moss Stitch from Charlene's Schurch's first book Sensational Knitted Socks, page 37. The stitch pattern is also out there in the public domain so I can chat about it. Thanks to a FB post from a friend who posted that she was listening to a Deep Blue Something CD [they sang Breakfast at Tiffany's] I have named the socks Deep Blue Something. The yarn is so dark that the stitch pattern looks like a deep blue something.

And I'm not sure about that pattern yet either. I've got the 20 round 2x2 ribbed cuff done and I've knit 15 or so rounds of the double moss stitch which is for the first two rounds; k2, p2 and for rounds 3 and 4; p2, k2 so it all looks kind of garbled. In bright daylight it still looks garbled. It's also going to be a real pain in the derrière should I have to fix something. I'll knit on for a while longer and see. Frogging is ALWAYS an option.


Monday evening we headed into KC to an indoor range to continue testing loads for our .45's. I'd ordered some round nose instead of the flat nose projectiles I'd ordered in the past. I tend to order whatever is cheapest for plinkin' ammo and for some reason the rn were a few pennies per each cheaper than the fn bullet this last time. It had been awhile since we looked at our .45 loads and we'd added a new gun to the stable and a new powder to the selection so it was time for a reassessment.

We have two 1911's and an M&P. The powders we tested the first time with medium hot loads were Tite Group (5.2 gn ~ NOT accurate, wouldn't group), Bullseye (5.6 gn ~ accurate but a HARD! whack), Universal Clays (6.2 gn ~ accurate ~ my old fireball load! [scroll down to photo]), HP 38 (5.8 gn ~ accurate and soft) and a the new kid on the block, Red Dot (5.0 ~ accurate and soft).

The second time out, we tested only the last four powders and cut the loads back. Both of these were shot at around ten yards by the same shooter, two rounds each time from each gun, on the top one and I think only one round from one of the 1911's on a couple of the ones on the bottom one.

1st test
upper left ~ 5.1 gn Alliant Bullseye ~ HOT!!!

lower left ~ 5.2 gn Hodgdon HP 38
lower right ~ 5.9 gn Universal Clays
center ~ 4.5 gn Alliant Red Dot

2nd test
upper left ~ 5.1 gn Alliant Bullseye ~ HOT!!!

lower left ~ 5.2 gn Hodgdon HP 38
lower right ~ 5.9 gn Universal Clays
center ~ 4.5 gn Alliant Red Dot

We did two tests.The most accurate both times was the Red Dot. We wouldn't have considered Red Dot if it weren't for a tip from a long-time fellow reloader and IDPA'r. The Universal Clays and HP 38 were more accurate on the first test than the second but both were more accurate both times than the Bullseye. Which is fine because I don't like the WHACK! I get from the Bullseye. Mr WK doesn't mind but then he likes to shoot .40, too. It's nice to have a choice. And Red Dot seems to be one of the less expensive of all the powders we tested.

We usually don't compete with our .45's except for IDPA-like events so it's just for plinkin' and having a bit of fun and recoil therapy. It is nice to have accurate fun, however.

blogging to: Memories 89 1

reading: Sherlock Holmes in America edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Daniel Stashower and Jon Lellenberg

and

Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot: “Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go.” ~ Nancy Pelosi at her final press conference as House Speaker 1/4/11

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Whatcha Gonna Do

H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !

No final FO! of 2010 but there will most likely be one the first or second day of 2011.

I finished the 50 round cuff on Mr WK's Combat Socks driving to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day family activities and up until last Monday I'd knit a measly five rounds on the 55 round leg. Now I've completed the leg, the heel, the 65 round foot and have around 10 rounds knit on the toe decreases. Quite a change from a week or so ago.

If I would have gotten my knitting mojo in gear earlier in the day instead of doing dishes (twice!), folding laundry, fixing a bang-up meatloaf dinner and taking a long nap, Mr WK would probably be wearing a new pair of socks this morning.

As I'm so close to the end of these socks I put some thought in this morning on the next pattern. I already know the yarn. It's the Mountain Colors Barefoot in a deep blue and the socks will be for Mr WK. After leafing through several sock books and looking at the patterns I've found on-line, I decided to do a double moss pattern on the leg and maybe the top of the foot depending on how aggressive it is. I found the pattern in Charlene Schurch's first book, Sensational Knitted Socks. The stitch is also out there in the wild so I won't be giving anything away talking about it. I don't know how ribby it will be so I'll do a nice cuff that'll hold the sock up. Now all I need to do is wind the yarn and finish the second Combat Sock.

With Mr WK's Combat Socks complete I won't be in such a tearing hurry to finish the next pair. Just that extra pair gives me a bit more breathing room to make sure he always has a clean pair to wear on a service call. All of his wool socks get hand washed, spun for a bit in the washer to get out most of the water then air dried. When it's windy and in the 50's I can lay them outside on the glider and they dry in an afternoon. Otherwise it takes a day or so.


And lest you think Mr WK was shirking while I toiled, he was prepping .223 brass and reclaiming bullets and brass from some .308 military surplus ammo. Our recently retired active military buddy had given us several hundred rounds of this ammo. Not knowing what kind of primers, how old the ammo was, etc we decided to pull the bullets, fertilize the yard with the powder, carefully deprime then polish the brass. The bullets are FMJ and weigh in at 150 gn. Most of the .308 ammo came on 5 round stripper clips in olive green pouches. When we load 'em back up we're going to be putting them back on the clips and back into clean pouches.

blogging to: Memories 89 1

reading: Twelve Mile Limit by Randy Wayne White (a Doc Ford mystery)

Parting Shot: