kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Monday, June 22, 2009

Grant Street Woolworks Hook-in News!

Linda is back from vacation and she's ready to hook!

She will now be having hook-ins every Thursday. You may arrive any time after 10 a.m. and stay till 9 p.m., or if the conversation is good maybe even longer. She and I may still have to do some sewing now and then, but you're welcome to bring friends, lunch, your current project (or the ten-years-ago-it's-time-to-finish-this project!) , and work and talk, talk, talk. If you aren't into packing lunch, there are plenty of nearby restaurants.

Come and have a hooker's day out!

Grant Street Woolworks is located at 240 Grant Street in Chambersburg, PA. If you have questions or need directions, please call Linda's cell a 717 860-4628, or call the building number 717 264-6834. The guys will answer the phone for "Great War Militaria", just ask for Linda or Pat.

Happy Hooking!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Choosing and Dying the Background

After attending Doris's dye class on Friday I had to dye SOMETHING!

Since my Santa piece needs a background, that became my incentive. Brad used to work for a printing ink manufactury, and he had given me this wonderful book with every color imaginable in it. I like to use it to get ideas of what colors may work together. Of course, I couldn't find it!!! I finally found my color wheel, but that didn't have big enough swatches to be useful. we went to Lowe's to get paint color swatches. I had decided that anything from green to blue to purple to gray would be acceptable. I did not want a light background because the snowflakes would not stand out. I came home with lots of swatches, some totally off the wall (hey, sometimes they DO work!) and others that seemed to be what I wanted.

Since red is the predominating color, I tested my swatches along the edge of Santa's coat. I ended up not liking the purple shades at all. Some of the brighter blues went well with the red, but they weren't the effect I was looking for. What seemed to work best were the very deep teal shades with a gray tint to them.

I had three different textured fat quarters, two in shades of light gray and one in tan and light brown. I started my dye solution with 1/4 tsp. each of navy and dark green plus 1/23 of silver gray. The navy turned out to be predominant so I added another 1/2 tsp. of dark green. I scrunched up the wool in the pot and didn't stir it so that I would get a mottled effect. It doesn't show on the picture, but there is variation in shades on the finished wool.

I had time to hook in a tiny bit around Santa's hat and the tree. I think it's going to work!

Santa's pants are the final decision. I have a funky plaid that i'm going to try. I had started them in a maroon color, but decided it was too flat with the large expanse of red in the coat. Yanked it out!

We are off to have a Father's Day noon meal at the Fayetteville Firehouse. Then on to Gettysgurg for miniature golf and the new Civil War visitor's center. A Dad kind of day!

And yes, I'm taking the camera! And yes, I'm gonna bore you with the details! hehehe!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dying with Doris!

What an educational day!
I have been dying wool for years and just did not realize how lacking in proper technique I am! As a 'hit or miss' dyer, sometimes I got the result I wanted and sometimes...oh, well! Doris Aymar has perfected the technique of dying so that if you follow her guidelines, your wool will consistently come out right.

Here on the countertop between the stove and the kitchen sink she has all her supplies laid out in an orderly manner within easy reach.

First we did casserole dying: we scrunched up the wool

and Ruth applied the dye. Later it will be heated in the oven to set the color.

Doris is demonstrating the next technique: coat hanger dying.

This results in either strips of graduated coordinating colors or strips with several different colors blending into each other. She uses these color combinations for leaves, shaded flowers, scrolls, etc.

Here are Doris, Joan Linda, Jill and Linda discussing the effects of the 'abrashing' technique which can be done with one color as this piece was done, or using a second color for more depth.

Since it was a hot day and Doris did not want to overheat the kitchen while we were having lunch, she will be heat setting the wool in the oven later. So! You will have to tune in later to see the finished products! And I'm sure they will be stunning!!!

Thank you, Doris, for inviting us into your home and providing us with this expert instruction. And as a bonus, we got to enjoy looking at Doris' wool room and many of her lovely rugs!

The only thing missing here is a picture of Eloise. What was I thinking not to have taken a photo of the dear little girl?! She was so good and patient with us tall folks. But her excellent manners paid off with some treats at lunch time!

Anyone who is hoping to increase their dying skills should really take this class. Doris is planning to spend the summer working on new and interesting dye techniques. She will be offering classes again in the fall.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain...and MORE RAIN!!!

Yesterday we drove to Carlisle to Joann Fabrics and several other the rain! I've always wanted to get a picture of this old spring house way out on the far end of Spring Garden Street. Would rather have done it on a nice sunny day, but nooooo! Had to rain!!! It was a nice trip any how.

When I had been at Mannings last week, I tried to get a new drive band for my spinning wheel, but they were backordered. Two days later I get the phone call that they have arrived. Another trip to Mannings! As we passed the farm where you turn for their shop I saw these creatures. Now this is a test for Kathy! What are they??? I'll give you a few clues. They are NOT 'bulls'! Though the black one with the long neck may be the Loc Ness monster. OK, Kathy, what do you think??? LOL!

Here is the spinning wheel with it's new drive band on and ready to go. Now to find time to do some spinning. Our Fiber Guild is participating in a solstice festival on Saturday in Shippensburg at the township park on Britton Road. If the weather is decent, I may join them. The summer solstice is something I usually don't like to celebrate because it means that already the days will begin to get shorter. As a person who is highly affected by seasonal depression and lack of sunlight, even the thought of shorter days is upsetting, even though winter is a loooong way off!

Or I may take my Santa piece if I decide to go. He's coming along nicely. I haven't decided yet on a background color. Tomorrow Linda and I will be taking the dying workshop with Doris. That should give me some ideas on what will be most effective. Better take my color wheel!

Now I just can't let Joanne have all the kitty fun! Since the outdoors is so uncooperative for photography, I have had to do it indoors. This is Robbie. Linda says Robbie is an imaginary cat because when she comes to visit he is nowhere to be found! Isn't it amazing how realistically cut and paste works! LOL!

This is Robbie's sister Sophie. She is real, Linda has seen her! She's laying on the official 'scratching chair'. Check the chair legs!!! She is Zip's little darling! He says sweeter things to her than he does to me. Maybe because she puts up with his guitar playing better than I do. hehehe!

And here she is with Mommy at the cumputer. First she lays on the mouse hand.

Then she lays on the keyboard. I think she loves Mommy just as much as Daddy! Is this why I never seem to get anything done???

I better get to work around here. My vacation is almost over. Boo-hoo!
Have a great Father's Day weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Hooking!

Kathy invited me to go with her to hook with the Blue and Gray on Monday since I'm currently a woman of leisure. We had a wonderful time! You can check out most of the rugs on her blog, Rugs of Time. What a great group! Lots of ladies, lots of beautiful rugs, and lots of talk. It is so nice to get out and exchange information and ideas with other hookers.

I knew she wasn't going to post any pictures of HERSELF so I thought I should do the honor. When I said Happy Hooking, I really meant it! Have you ever seen a happier hooker???

Her rug is looking quite stunning! I think it's all done but the background.

Since she did such a great job of photographing everyone's work, I decided not to repeat the pictures on my blog. But here's one she didn't show that I thought was particularly cute. I just love the little bird on top of the house. Nice job, Ruth!

I was so tired from all the excitement (and the heat!) that I went home and took a nap. Then with renewed energy and all the inspiration from the morning, I finished putting the binding on my flower basket rug. In the past I have dyed yarn to match or coordinate with my rug to use for the whipping. I knew it was going to be hard to dye a yarn to match the background on this one so I used my leftover wool strips. It worked out nicely, and made it easier to cover when doing the corners.

Then yesterday I started my Santa piece. I may be changing the color of the fur trim on his coat, but think I'll let it sit for a while until I get more done. Maybe some tea dyed mottled natural would be better. Looked through my stash of greens and none are quite right for the tree. Will have to dye or get in to the shop and find something textured.

It's moving along a lot faster than I expected. Should be finished in time for Christmas! LOL!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Having Too Much Fun!

Here we go again! Give that woman a camera, put her in a car, and she'll bore you with all the details!

Zip and I spent last evening out having a good time with our friends Willa and Chuck. We drove to Harrisburg to dine at Mitaka, a dim sum/sushi restaurant. All of us love Adventures in Eating! Also Chuck and Willa were celebrating their 32nd anniversary.

I don't know what year it was (don't have my calculator) but don't they look cool!

OK, back to the food....

This is the aged tofu, which is fried tofu with a sauce of sweetened saki and soy sauce. On top are bonito flakes, tissue paper thin slices of fish that undulate from the heat of the tofu. Should have taken a video!

Willa and Chuck ordered several sushi rolls which were artfully presented. We all tried the dim sum, which is an assortment of small treats and dumplings that are traditionally eaten while drinking tea. None of us were brave enough to order the Phoenix Claw with Black Bean Sauce, which the waitress translated to be chicken feet!

Zip is eating the hibachi grilled shrimp, chicken and veggies, while Chuck very seriously considers his next move.

Willa and I are finished and discussing how we wIsh we could get hired as food critics. LOL! Oh, the ideal job! Traveling from restaurant to restaurant, tasting, evaluating, and writing about our experiences!

Afterward we stopped at Ashcomb near Williams Grove. Yes, another greenhouse! They were closing in 30 minutes so we didn't have much time. We were all fascinated by the bee hive they have in the store. The bees come and go through a pipe in the wall. You can watch them making their honey comb inside a glass and wooden frame. Shoulda gotten a picture!

And here they are (no, guys! they are NOT the Three Stooges!!! well, maybe the one on the right...) after a fun evening out. Hope we can do it again soon.

I promise, everyone! I will stay home for the rest of the weekend! And if I DO happen to go anywhere, I'll leave the camera at home!


Friday, June 5, 2009

More Time Off!

Yesterday, rainy and dreary again, we went to Lurgan greenhouse. It's hard to feel depressed about the weather among all the lovely plants and flowers. It's a cheerful burst of color everywhere you look!

These fountains, which didn't come out as well as I hoped are near the entrance. The other pictures are of several of the different greenhouse areas.

Look at these lovely fat koi! Someday I would like to have a pond large enough to house fish like those.

We got two small goldfish and a few snails for our little container water garden that we set up each year on the porch. It will look a lot better when the plants grow and the rocks and brick get covered with algae. The fish are unavailable for comment. They are under a broken flower pot because it's too cold and dreary to face the day.

I am saving the rest of the binding on my flower basket rug to take along Monday when Kathy and I go to Blue and Gray hooking. This weekend I plan to start on the Santa in a Snowstorm piece. Thought that way I may have it done by Christmas.

I know you are all amazed that after not writing for so long, here I am making two blog entries in a row. Could it be that I don't have enough to do since I'm off work??? hehehe! I'm enjoying every minute of it!

This evening we are dining out with friends at a dim sum and sushi restaurant in Harrisburg. It should be an interesting experience. Tomorrow there may be pictures and a blog entry about that, too!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Aaaaaahhh! Time Off!

Linda is off on her Hawaiian vacation. And I am not going to work during the two weeks that she'll be gone. Oh, Heavenly time off!! I intend to do exactly as I please and not a thing more!

Yesterday Zip and I took a little road trip, Mannings for me and the Yellow Breeches Shop for him. Mannings is off of route 234 before you get to East Berlin. This is the view from the bridge before turning into their property.

For those of you who have never been there, it is a spinning and weaving shop, featuring everything you would ever need to pursue these passtimes. Yesterday evening I was hoping to put binding on my flower basket rug but couldn't find my big yarn needle. I must have put it away somewhere SAFE! Mannings had many different yarn and darning needles to choose from. I bought eight of them and plan to put them each away in different safe places. I probably won't be able to find any of them!

And this is one small view of the yarn room at Mannings. Look at all of those lovely colors! And this is only a tiny part of the whole thing. There's loads more yarn, a huge collection of books and magazines, another room full of spinning wheels and one of looms too! Just too tempting! I did buy a few cones of weaving thread in anticipation of weaving again sometime in the future.

We ate lunch at Pomodora's/The Gettysburg Baking Company in Biglerville. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside.....! They make the most luscious pasteries and artisan breads! And they have a tiny restaurant section that only seats about 24 people. It's very gourmet and classy. We had pizza with asparagus and lemon and lavender goat cheese. Delish! The crust was thin like a pita and crispy. I want to be able to make pizza crust like that!

Then on to the Yellow Breeches Shop in Boiling Springs. Check it out! The flyfishing shop looks a lot like the yarn shop! LOL! Lots of threads, beads, fur and feathers!

While Zip was shopping, I walked around the Boiling Springs lake. It's a very small town with a lot of lovely old houses and the ones on the street that runs along the water are particularly nice. The have the area along the lake landscaped and mowed into a park area with benches under huge old trees. Here come the geese!

This Mother Goose had made her nest right beside the bridge that crosses the end of the lake where the spring enters. She didn't seem at all intimadated by my being only a few feet away. She did hiss when a woman and a dog walked by.

This is one of the lovely old homes that are built on the lakeshore.

This is a view of the whole lake. It was beginning to get stormy! It rained as we returned home along the Walnut Bottom road.

The remainder of the day was spent resting up. Never did start the rug binding! Too many needles, can't decide which one to use! LOL!