Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

And the weather has been beautiful. Warm enough to have windows open all day!!

I'm on the downhill ride to the finish of the first of Mr WK's Vertical Striped Socks. I've just started the toe decrease rounds, in fair isle I might add. I had him try it on again!! five rounds from the toe decreases. It's a bit tight but the needles, even way down by the toes are still a bit of a hindrance when putting this sock on. If these socks shrink at all — even a little bit — I don't think he'll be able to get them on. But I don't think any of the wool socks I've hand washed in tepid water and air dried have shrunk; the cotton ones, yes; wool socks, no.

To recap: I cast on 100 stitches; the cuff was 25 rounds, the leg was 60 rounds, the heel flap was 30 rows, turning the heel was 37 short rows, I picked up 28 gusset stitches on each side which gave me 104 stitches — no gusset decreases and the foot was 65 rounds. Depending on how much time I have / take this weekend I may have the first sock done by Sunday night.

Mr WK had a very busy week last week which left me with lots of time to do housework and knit. This week's kind of shaping up to be the same thing for Mr WK but I'm more busy and don't have as much time to knit. I'm hoping to get the first sock finished sometime this week.

I'm still mulling over my next project. More socks for me or should I go for that lace scarf. Maybe a pair of wool lace socks. I haven't done any lace since I finished the Cranberry Monkey Socks for my SIL last August. My lace fingers are getting itchy.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert L Wolke
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Get Out Much

As you see, I've been knitting on Mr Wk's Vertical Striped sock. The photo was taken on round 30 of the foot. I did manage to pick up the gusset stitches in fair isle setting the groundwork for the foot to have all around vertical stripes — and no gusset decreases. I picked up enough stitches to have a total of 104. As stiff as the fabric is I decided not to do any gusset decreases. The original cast on was 100 stitches. I had him try the sock on again Saturday evening when I had seven rounds finished on the foot and with the needles in the way it was a bit of a struggle to get it on but I think it'll be easier when it's done. This is going to be one warm and thick pair of socks. Most likely just for house shoes, but that's OK.

Last Thursday, we shot an IDPA match. I did pretty good for me on the first two stages but fell down, accuracy-wise on the last two (I'm the third shooter). I get tired. I tend to spend the entire three hour match on my feet moving around. I'm usually filming each shooter and picking up brass or SOing. During the 30-45 minutes before the match I'm registering participants. Most everyone else takes a break and sits down for awhile. I can rest the next day. I want to get each one on film and I like helping.

I know it's a game but to me it's also valuable casual training. I don't have to think about how to properly use high or low cover now. I stand back from cover so that my gun doesn't protrude past cover so in real life it would be difficult for a bad guy to grab my gun from the other side of cover. I can recover quickly from a stovepipe with a rack, bang! although I don't get them much in competition. I can also do quick tap, rack bang! if necessary! I can reload from slide lock quickly and think ahead enough (most times) to do a tactical reload when I want to and not have to always shoot to slide-lock. When given the opportunity to do a some things free-style, I'm trying to always do them in a tactical manner; equal threats get tactical sequence and tactical reloads before moving from cover. I'm so slow anyway, doing away with these isn't going to affect my overall score much. I'm trying to concentrate on being more accurate and when I can get to the range I tend to work on target acquisition or controlled pairs practice.

blogging to: a quiet house

reading: The Vanished Priestess by Meredith Blevins (an Annie Szabo mystery)
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

According to

The leg on the first Mr WK's Vertical Stripped sock is now finished, the heel flap is done and even the Dutch heel has been turned in black held double. I kept the vertical stripes on the heel flap. The decreases messed with the striping just a bit in the middle on the bottom but that's OK — it's on the bottom of the foot and only a few rows. The vertical fair isle stripes were pretty straight forward on the flap which is knit back and forth rather than in the round. Next step is to pick up gusset stitches. I'm going to try to pick them up in fair isle. I don't know if that'll work. The gusset decreases will mess a bit with the striping but I'm pretty sure I can get them to end up a seamless all around stripe and still fit properly.

As Mr WK will have plenty of socks and back-up socks for a while, I may take a Mr WK sock break and cast on something else as my stay at home project when these are finished. I do want to eventually knit myself a fancy lace scarf/shawl but I'm not feelin' that mojo right now. I could also, I suppose, pick the up the White Caps Afghan. I did pick it up for a while yesterday evening and put 4½ more rows on it. I stopped knitting on it in late December when I was pushing to finish more socks for Mr WK. That's one project that would feel good to finish and begin to use. I cast on for it in February 2008. But ya know? I would just cast on for another one or some other EPIC project. "But it would be a new project," whispered the tiny project knitter voice.

This past Sunday we finally made it to the outdoor range for an afternoon of fun! fun! fun! I shot some .22LR and 9mm and Mr WK had fun with his M&P .40 cal. We also broke out a couple of the .357s and put some .357 and .38 specials downrange. Then we moved down to the high power range. Mr WK had the scope off my .308 and it was just bore sighted. He got it sighted in properly at 100 yards. After a little experimentation we figured out that the 150 gn fmj Hornady's 45 gn of Varget was the ticket. Both of us were getting 1" groups at 100 yards. Neither of us could get that projectile to group with H-335 our go-to powder or the IMR 4895. We couldn't do any better than 2-3" groups with either powder. I haven't been able to find any .30 cal 110 gn V-max projectiles. I still have 45 or so left but that's also one that last summer would group well.

blogging to: Memories 89

reading: Everglades by Randy Wayne White (a Doc Ford mystery)
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Twisting the Night Away

Things are rolling as ever they roll around here. I've been knitting up a storm. I've cast on again!! for Mr WK's Vertical Striped Socks. I got the stitch idea from Barbara Walker's first book, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. As before I'm doing it in fair isle where I carry both colors around and knit them as presented. I've gotten quite good at manipulating both strands and having the one I need when I need it. I am already tired of untwisting the yarn from the sock to bag.

When I cast on for the last attempt I cast on 84 stitches and this time I have one hundred stitches. He's tried the sock on when the 25 round cuff was complete, at round 25 of the leg and again at round 45 and it fit just fine every time. The photo is the sock when the leg was around half finished.

Often knitters and I'm sure other crafters and even some DIYers have a built in pair of rose-colored glasses. I
should have expected it but I am a bit disappointed by how stiff the sock fabric is. As I mentioned in my last post it has plenty of vertical stretch but horizontal stretch, not so much. The fabric is thick and dense and feels like it's been felted. It should be very warm. Because of that if I can manage it, I've decided to carry the vertical striping not only through the heel flap, but hold the yarn double for the heel turn and when picking up the gusset stitches then carry the vertical stripes down through the foot and the toe decreases. That way the entire sock is essentially doubled in thickness and woolly warmth.

I'm liking the vertical striping but just short of halfway through the first sock I am ready for it to be done. But I pick it up and knit on it at every opportunity and soon it will be done and I can begin thinking about the next pair, whatever that is and whomever they shall be for.

I was able to give the Out of the Blue Watch Cap to it's recipient this past week. He loves it and I think a bit surprised by it's weight, softness and how good it looked. He may not be able to wear it much or at all during what remains of this winter but with reasonable care it'll last for many, many winters to come.

Double Tap Defensive Shooting Club (DTDSC) [our IDPA club] along with Godfrey's Indoor Ranges have started monthly Women only IDPA matches. Godfrey's had been talking for a few months about holding a women only event. Many of the women who had taken one of their new shooter courses or a CCW class wanted something more than standing at the shooting bench and shooting. But they were a bit intimidated about signing up to shoot with a bunch of guys they didn't know to do something they'd never done before. I could have told any one of them that our guys are among best as far as new shooter and new-to-IDPA support.

We held the first one on Feb 23. We had ten women altogether and seven of the women had never shot an IDPA match. One woman from our club who shoots with us when school and work allow, another woman who's been shooting on and off for a dozen years had shot IDPA but not recently and myself were the other three. The IDPA newbies were fantastic. As new shooters they listened to the CoF descriptions better than some of our long time male shooters. Not once was there a lengthy discussion of the CoF after the SO asked, "Any questions?"

Most of the women have to shoot controlled pairs (two sight pictures, two shots) rather than double taps (one sight picture, two shots) because we have less hand and arm strength than most of the guys. Some of the woman shot .22LR which I know isn't an "official" IDPA caliber but you can do those things at club level. Besides it got them there and shooting which was the whole point.

Most of the woman had never drawn from a holster, never shot from cover let alone moved from point a to b while shooting at a threat target. We shot five CoFs, the first of which was very basic, draw and fire two rounds each at three threat targets in tactical priority (near to far) and no non-threat targets. The second one involved shooting while moving forward to high cover and then three threat targets in tactical priority (slicing the pie) with a non-threat target partially shielding the final threat target.
CoF number three really opened things up; multiple threat targets and non-threat targets, more than 11 rounds which meant either shooting to slide lock or a tactical reload (reload with retention); shooting at threat targets while movin across to high cover, then engaging more threat targets. CoF number four involved shooting while moving forward then some strong hand, support hand work from high cover. The final CoF was shooting from high cover in tactical priority (slicing the pie); mandatory tactical reload before leaving cover, moving across the range while engaging two threat targets, then take a knee at low cover and engage the final threat target.

The first match was going to be a one off event to gauge interest. They all had a great time and at the finish were asking when the next one would be. So now there are three more monthly events scheduled. I do think some will shoot matches with the rest of us simply because they want to shoot a match more than once a month but will continue to shoot at the Women's only matches to support the newbies. I also think that a great many will only shoot IDPA at the Women's only matches.

And I found out why at least one more reason why I couldn't hit anything the last couple of matches. I'm left eye dominant and the left lens my in glasses was twisted slighlty in the frame throwing off not only my close vision (which I already knew) but my far seeing vision, too. At least that's the "reason" I'm using now.

reading: A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read, a Madeline Dare mystery
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies by Michelle Malkin

Parting Shot