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.