Friday, December 25, 2015

O, Christmas Tree


From base to summit, gay and bright, 
There's only splendor for the sight.
 Ernst Anschutz, 1824

Merry Christmas to All from SLO Yarns.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

SnapShots: Good Cheer

(Snapshot: an informal photograph that is taken quickly, a quick view, or a small amount of information.)



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Plan B

Last week I finally mailed off a couple of baby hats.

The too cute hats were completed in September; Erin's twin girls were born in October.  I had not gifted the hats then because I was hoping to knit two baby blankets as well.

In early September, I found a great pattern and bought soft and cozy yarn in baby colors. I casted on right away as soon as I received the yarn in the mail.

So, it's been three months and I've completed seven chevron stripes.

Sheesh, what was I thinking? It's a great pattern but I've stalled (i.e., I want to poke my eyes out with my Addi turbo needles) and it's only the first blanket.

It certainly doesn't help that instead of cutting the yarn of the completed green stripe, I cut the blue yarn by mistake. Oops. Perhaps that was my sign that the yarn wants to be turned into a rainbow of soft and cozy hats for the too adorable babies.

Plan B, not a bad option.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Out and About: Oh, Twinkly Lights

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Sunken Gardens Park
 December 4, 2015


The nice part of small-town living is to gather with the community, neighbors, and friends (Hey, Sandee and Vince) to "usher in the Holiday spirit".

Standing beneath the big oak trees, garlanded with twinkly lights, we waited for one more special light to appear. A few moments later, the International Space Station (ISS) came into view to briefly race across our night sky.

After saying goodbye to Sandee and Vince, The Man and I strolled a block over to the downtown area. Many of the shops were open and participating in the "Atascadero Main Street Art and Wine Tour". There were quite a few very happy folks walking around with their wine glasses in hand. The Man remarked, "If you were visiting here for the first time you'd think it was a cool little town." You know what? Maybe it's been too long since we've visited, there were quite a few new shops, even a bookseller, maybe it is a cool little downtown; day or night.

Speaking of cool, I peeked in the window of Alana Dakos', Never Not Knitting, cute little storefront. Although I have her Botanical Knit 1 and 2 books, several individual patterns, and an FO or two,  I haven't been inside her yarn shop. It would be too tempting, too dangerous for me; best to just press my face to her shop window for now.


Musical Holiday
Walk Around the Lake
December 5, 2015

Last night we ventured out for the annual walk around Atascadero Lake.


Lotsa folks had their kids, dogs, and miniature ponies festively lit for the evening. Hmmm, wonder if leash-trained Bitsy would like to take a stroll next year?

The Man didn't want to stand in the long lines for the refreshments offered by the City Council and the Homeowners: hot apple cider, cotton candy, or the freshly popped popcorn. Bah Humbug.

 Next year I'll ask Z. to come along. I'm sure he'll stand in line with me.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ke Aloha Nō: Greetings From Scotland

It's very nice to receive an email from a friend you haven't heard from in awhile.
It's extra very nice to receive a handwritten letter in the mail.
It's super extra very nice when the letter is mailed from Scotland.
Aye, lucky me, I received all of the above from our Island neighbor and friend, Lei.

Imbued with the spectacular Scottish landscape, the luxurious Inverlochy Castle Hotel, and two glasses of wine, Lei sent us a lovely letter filled with news of travel, the ol' neighborhood, family, and the future. Very good stuff.

But wait, there's more, a few days later another envelope arrived, this one mailed from Hawaii. This package was large and squishy. Ooooo, I knew what it was!

Behold: Two skeins of hand-dyed fingering weight (sock) yarn - Scotland Highlands souvenir yarn. And here's what I did: first I squeezed, then I slowly inhaled the sheepy wooly fragrance, and then I rubbed the yarny softness around my face. Ahhhhh, delicious.

Lei's accompanying note read: "Hand Dyed Sock Wool from the Landscapes of Scotland. Add this to your stash. Enjoy!" 

Add this to your stash? What? No way, I would never find it again.

I decided to cast on immediately. So, while the yarn spent a little quality time in quarantine, I searched Ravelry's patterns and found a free pattern called Downtown Cowl by Christy Becker. Christy's pattern was designed "to bring out the best in a multicolored skein". Perfect.

After several weeks of enjoyable knitting the cowl was completed and bound off. Just to be on the safe side, I used the citric acid soak to "fix" the dye with the hand-dyed yarn. 

I didn't have to worry, there was no excess dye and my rinse water ran clear. I washed it again with wool wash (SOAK) and then loosely blocked out the lace pattern by hand.

The cowl was plenty long with the gentle blocking (three drapey loops here).

I searched online for "Scottish Highland landscape colors" that were captured in the yarn but wasn't satisfied with the photos I came across. Then I remembered Lei had mentioned she was on Instagram and found her perfect pics from her trip.

Our thoughtful friend, Lei, will be able to remember her Scottish Highlands adventure every time she wraps her lovely gifted yarn - regifted to her as a knitted cowl, a knitted lei - around her lovely neck.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Critter Cam

September 10, 2015 - November 13, 2015

I don't know about you
but I'm thinking
just maybe
it's better
not to know
what's going
bump in the night.


A little learning is a dangerous thing.  Alexander Pope

 (Trail Camera: Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Transition Time

Daylight Savings Time. Spring forward, fall back - so strange and perplexing - the very concept eludes me. In Hawaii, time is constant; we don't fiddle with our clocks nilly-willy.

Last Saturday, Halloween, before going to bed we changed our clocks. Before the fated day I plied The Man with scenario questions, "So, it's 6 pm now, what time is it going to be next Sunday? Is it going to be daytime or night-time?" (After a few days The Man stopped sitting next to me in the early evenings.)

Anyway, the problem was the goats were still being housed in the garage during the night. Zeke had been sleeping in the garage since his brothers were killed in August.

It's still hard to believe - even to us - but we were able to train Zeke and Bitsy to "go pee" before they bedded down in the garage and remain house-broken through the night. Sure there was the occasional accident, most often because we had over-slept and didn't let them out in time. We found out that goats are only house-broken for 11.45 hours, after that grab the paper towels.

Baby Jack, was still being potty-trained, and kept separate in a wire crate with a - usually dry - XL absorbent puppy pee pad. The crate also gave him a break from Goaty (pecking order) training. As the newest and littlest goat he was getting the brunt of the "pecks".

So, here's the thing: The goats get locked up by nightfall and with the time change it would be dark by 5:30 pm. Neither The Man nor I was going to get out of bed at 5 am to let the goats out of the garage.

It was time to move the goats back to the pen.

Remember, The Man had installed a heavy-duty metal and wire gate to keep the goats enclosed in the goat house at night. The Man's monitoring of the game camera has turned up no (none, zero, zilch) mountain lion sightings.

Last Friday, we brought the big pet carrier down to the pen. It was the heavy-duty dog carrier we used to transport Mele from Hawaii to California. It still had the Live Animal labels taped on, well, till Bitsy tried to eat them. For Jack, the crate provided a head-butting-and-baby-battering-free zone. He could sleep in peace, comfort, and safety. Bitsy, smart girl, promptly jumped on top of the crate and claimed the higher spot for herself.

No surprise here: The goats have adjusted to their new sleeping arrangements quicker than I've adjusted to the willy-nilly time change.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Trails

I gifted a woven scarf to a co-worker this week: Janet is an excellent RN/RNFA, a very hard-worker, and a kind, gentle person. I'm sorry to see her leave.

Janet's scarf was woven on the 10" Cricket loom. I used the lovely (and plentiful) Leche yarn in the colorway Denim. Thin strands of Mohair Multi created texture and a block of fuzzy goodness in self-striping colors of rust, fuschia, teal, and pine green. After washing, the scarf measured 5"x72".

It's a narrow scarf, I know, but I've woven many hugs into it.

Happy Trails to you, until we meet again.  Dale Evans Rogers

Friday, October 23, 2015