kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Hooks, More Yarn....Get a Life!

Monday was Kami's birthday so we took her out to eat last evening. She had injured her ankle over the weekend at the WW2 re-enactment by walking over frozen icy ground in high heels. Now she is hobbling around in pain! The doctor told her to stay off the foot and rest it. She needs a project so we went to Hobby Lobby after dinner.

We went in to get a ball of crochet cotton, a hook, and a book of patterns. You all know the story!!! She ended up with quite a few different colors of cotton thread and several skeins of yarn. I hadn't planned on buying ANYTHING! What is this box of sock yarn!!!

I LOVE SOCK YARN!!! Not that I knit that many socks. I just love the colors and those cute little skeins! OK! I'm gonna knit socks with this. Really I am!!!

We drove home from Brad and Kami's in a snowstorm! That groundhog should have stayed in his hole!

Then I got my new hooks in the mail. I saw the sponge handled hook on Cathy's blog Orange Sink. She said they seemed to work well so I decided to get one (or two). The wooden handled hook is my trusty old #3 Moshimer hook that I've used exclusively for twenty years.

If the new hooks suit me even half as well, I'll be happy.

This morning I've been working on my next weaving project. The loom is empty and looking lonely. I spent several hours with my weaving software, trying to get my draft entered and making sure everything is correct.
This is a wonderful tool for weavers! You enter your information and it simulates what your fabric will look like when it's woven. If there are parts that you don't like, you can change them. Or if a thread is placed wrong you can see the boo-boo before you thread the loom.
Next I will print a copy of my draft (I keep a notebook of them) and get ready to crank on the threads. I have a lot of spools to wind in the meantime! I'll show the next step in a future post.
Zip is working hard this morning cleaning the stovepipes for the woodstove and taking out the ashes. And here I am fiddling around on the computer like a lazy person.
Maybe I should do something USEFUL! LOL!!!

Lazy Weekend

My week started out being a bummer. I had nosebleeds several times a day for several days. Kinda scared the crap out of me! I think it came from the dry air in the house since we're using the woodstove continually. We have now put a LARGE pan of water nearby and that seems to help.

And it has been COLD!!! Miserably cold! Cold to the point where I-won't-go-out-of-the-house cold! But I guess all of you have noticed that the weather is less than desirable!!! Between the frigid outdoors and the chance that my nose might spout a gusher, I decided not to go to Grant Street for the hook-in this week.

Also Brad and Kami were at Fort Indiantown Gap for a WW2 reenactment this week. The only place Zip and I went all week was up to their place to feed the cats. And of course, this event always happens during the coldest weather of the winter so I have to worry about their water pipes freezing while they're gone. They didn't, the water pipes. I did, worry! Thank goodness they are at home safely with their woodstove going.

I decided to get out of misery mode (but not out of my flannel nightgown!) and do some hooking this weekend. It was marathon hooking! Listening to books on CD, ordering out for pizza hooking. Not to be outdone, Zip had a nothing but play the guitar and watch TV weekend.

I think I'm past the halfway mark!

I also drew up a new rug that I will be doing for the S-M-I-L-E Challenge on Rug Hooking Daily. The challengees were given a design component (which included the word 'smile') and are to design a rug or mat, or whatever hooked project using the component. We have till the end of March to complete our project. Then all the projects will be featured on the RHD website. So I can't show you anything till then.

Tomorrow is Kami's birthday. Tuesday evening we're taking her out to dinner to celebrate.
I need to put a new warp on the loom but am still deciding which pattern I want to do next. Now I think it's time to wander off to bed.
Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Rained...and then it Rained Some More!

I still haven't heard an official report on how much rain fell from Sunday into Monday, but I'm guessing about two inches or more. It just poured!

For a while on Monday morning I was ready to go whitewater rafting in the front yard. Usually we have a nice little trickle of water in what we call 'the ditch' that runs through our property. Sometimes in the spring it's a tiny stream, in the summer it almost dries up. Yesterday we had a very nice trout stream (Zip wishes!!!).

Only a mile away between Newburg and Shippensburg, things were getting close to out of hand. The Conodoguinet Creek (pronounced con-o-go-in-it), which usually meanders down through the middle of that tree line was way beyond the banks, into the adjoining fields.
And just beneath the bottom of the bridge. The water level is uaually a good 10 feet below the bridge. Only once since I have lived here (40 years) has the water ever gone up over the bridge. That was an awesome sight!

We had to go to Fayetteville to take a finished sewing order to Brad and Kami. They are going to a WW2 event this week and needed to take it along.

Whoo-hoo! Some of these places looked a little scary! You can see how the edge of the road is washing away.

This little stream is usually only a few feet wide.
Yesterday it was right up under the bridge and had flowed up out of the banks and into the surrounding woods.

Coming into Fayetteville we passed a row of houses with flooded yards. The park and baseball fields beyond these homes was completely under water.
Brad and Kami live on the main street which is on higher ground, so didn't have a problem.

Amazingly, there weren't any roads that were completely closed. I guess it was 'travel at your own risk'!

And afterward.....
Look at that beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds drifting by!
The temperature was warm and you could almost imagine that Spring was here!

Now that my stressful sewing project is over, I'm looking forward to getting some hooking accomplished. But first I have a few chores that I've been neglecting.
Like a big sink full of dishes and bills that need paid. Oh well!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Out and About

The weather has been a little bit warmer, not that awful below freezing windy stuff. So on Wednesday Zip and I decided to venture out.
I had just gotten in the mail a 50% off flyer from the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet in Lemoyne. I must admit that I look forward to these sales! Gets me out of the immediate local area and there's usually a good restaurant involved!
The Outlet is in an old factory building. The owner has some cool antique sewing equipment decorating the window area. During the daytime the light comes streaming in through the windows along one wall. My pictures look a little dark because we were there at night. There really is good lighting, but the space is so huge that my flash didn't reach that far. This is just a general view of some fabric with the zipper wall in the background.

This wall of trim, ribbon, lace, etc. runs almost the whole length of the building.

This is largest wall of buttons. There's another shorter one, too!

They are getting a nice collection of calico for quilting.

There are lots of bridal and formal wear fabrics, a huge home dec area, and just lots of interesting stuff all at reasonable prices. There is a 99 cent table and a $1.99 a yard table. With the 50% off flyer, you can get some very inexpensive fabric! The only trouble is that being an outlet, when it's gone, it's really GONE!
My big purchase was 45 yards of interfacing. I think that should last nearly a lifetime! LOL!!! But I really like this particular kind and like I said, the chance may never come again.
Yes, there was a meal involved! We went to Carrabba's in Mechanicsburg. This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. Zip had the most delicious pasta with spinach, mushrooms, and tomato sauce with cream, topped with crabmeat. I had seafood cannelloni, also yummy. They have delightful little desserts in shot glasses. Just the few bites, but the right amount to finish off a lovely meal.
On Thursday I went to the hook-in at Grant Street Woolworks.
As usual we had a fun time. Here's the afternoon group working and talking, of course.

Linda, Joanne, Marian and Donna
Joanne drove the whole way from eastern PA. Then lost her wallet when she made a stop in Shippensburg. Her adventures are posted in her blog Snippets and Scraps of My Mind. All ended well!!! And we were so glad she joined us for the hook-in!

Joanne always finishes rugs while she's here. And after I left she finished a little tree skirt.
I wonder if I drove 2 1/2 hours to a hook-in if I'd get something finished!!! LOL!

Marian is working on her heart rug. It's a big one! Her friend Donna came with her. She's a knitter. I'm sorry I didn't get a good picture of her work.
Joanne and Linda are discussing the colors on Linda's rug. Once again Linda provided us with a lovely selection of food to ward off starvation. Hooking and talking take a lot of energy.
Thank you, Linda!!!

Kathy and Tonya
Tonya and Kathy are in another hooking group together. Tonya came up from York, another long distance traveler. She was doing some beautiful primitive rugs.
I just love this one! She also had a star rug in progress, but the picture flew off into cyberspace while I was typing.

Just before I packed up to leave, Nancy arrived. Wish I had gotten a better picture. It's a nice large rug.
I've been hooking, but my rug doesn't look that much different than the last time I posted it. I was getting really tired of working on it. I joined the new rug hooking site My Front Porch and became inspired by one of the women, Cotton Eyed Jo mentioning that she didn't use a hoop or frame a lot of the time. Well, lately sitting at the frame has made my neck and shoulders stiff (along with being cold all the time!). I decided to lay the rug on the kitchen table and work on it. It took a little practice, but I like doing it that way. Amazingly, I don't seem to have the tendancy to pack as much. And anchored down by Deiter laying on the other end, it's working well! Now maybe I'll get moving on it.
That was a long one! If you made it to the end, ask yourself-
Don't I have anything more interesting to do???
Like Hooking???

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm At The End of My Warp!

Is that like being at the end of my rope? Nope! It's a good feeling!

I wove all day yesterday. A good eight hours of work.

I started out by winding the pirns in a few new colors. This one will be for my dining room table to match my yellow ware bowls with the blue stripe.

The work in progress. It's good we had food leftover from the previous day or Zip would have gone hungry (he CAN microwave leftovers!) I had a huge mug of coffee and my book on CD right beside me. No excuse for getting up and wandering off.

Finally late in the afternoon I'm seeing the knots that tie the thread onto the loom coming up over the back beam! A few more throws of the shuttle and I am ready to cut off the fabric.

I've had this warp on the loom so long I can't remember how many yards of linens I was planning to make. As I'm pulling it off, it seems like a nice amount.
Oh! I love this part when the project is OVER!

I wish I had a room long enough to stretch the whole length out for a picture. I measured, and I have ten plus yards of napkins, table runners, and one dish towel. Now I need to serge across the raw edges so they don't ravel and throw it in the washer and dryer. Then I will cut the individual pieces apart and hem them.

And plan the next project!
I'm debating between some twill napkins that I particularly enjoy doing in different colors and the white-on-white runners and towels with lots of texture like this one.

Deiter has been sitting on the chair behind the loom all day waiting for Mommy to pay attention to HIM! Or maybe he was listening to the story on the CD.

I feel like I finally accomplished something!
Now if I can just get some hooking done....

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Big Fat Nothing Week


I'm feeling really guilty about my blog. It's just sitting here not being updated because I haven't done a darn thing worth talking about this week. I have been so lazy and worthless.
OK, there have been several large sinks full of dishes that I've waded through. You didn't want to see pictures of that, did you? And I didn't even cook anything good enough to merit the whole mess!
I did finish up a WW2 tunic for Brad and Kami. One of those jobs that I should never have agreed to in the first place. No Pattern, very sketchy body measurements, A few not that great pictures, and I'm supposed to make it FIT??? Now all I have to do is make the trousers this weekend.
I went out to eat on Wed. evening with my friends Willa and Diane. That was the highlight of the week. We hadn't gotten together for quite a while so had lots of catching up to do. Diane had on this lovely sweater in reds, orange, and gold with a wide collar truimmed in fringe. This got me to thinking that I needed to upgrade my wardrobe. Those of you who know me well, know that my idea of clothing shopping is stopping at KMart and grabbing a pair of jeans (yeah, the old lady kind with the elastic in the waist!) and a sweatshirt. Today I went to a real clothing store, tried on more tops than I am old, and came home with 3 tops and a shawl. I guess that's a start!
I have done a little bit of weaving, but it's the same pattern that I've shown before, only in a different color. I haven't been hooking at all. I think I have the winter blaaaaahs!
Even though I don't sound like it right this moment, I AM grateful for having a good life. There is so much tragedy in the world. It just really depresses me when I don't have anything creative to show for my week. I guess my identity is too dependent on what I DO.
The happy thought is that it was 40+ degrees today! And the days are getting longer.
We are looking forward to receiving our seed catalog.
Spring isn't that far away is it???

Friday, January 8, 2010

It Looks Like a Mess

And it is!

About five years ago I had a website for selling my weaving and thought I would like to do it again now that I'm back at the loom. I needed to do some inventory and see what I have left from the time when I was going to shows. That way I could decide what my next project should be.

I am primarily a weaver of table linens. Love those dishtowels, placemats, napkins and runners! Whew!!! Didn't realize I had so much stuff!

Since the last time I had a weaving website all my pictures were taken with my old Nikkon 35mm, I will have to do all the photography over with the new digital. That will probably take about a week to haul out all the props- the redware, yellow ware, the 1950's green stuff, etc.

Am I going to have to revise my colors??? What do you all think. I try to stick to rather traditional stuff. I'm not sure I can do the lime green and turquoise thing that younger people seem to like nowdays.

These white on white textured linens are some of my favorites. Not exactly prim though. I love the really nubby ones for bathroom hand towels.

Better get back to work before the little heathens get fur all over everything!

Speaking of which....

I got these lovely fake-o poinsettas on sale at Joann Fabrics yesterday for only a dollar! Real poinsettas are poisonous to cats (and probably dogs too). Every year I wish I could decorate with them but just know that Someone will just have to take a bite. These are the perfect answer!

Do I see your lips on the edge of the leaf, Deiter???

And here is Deiter saying 'Elvis! Eat your heart out!'
Or maybe he's learning new tricks from Joanne!

I want to thank all of you for the kind emails and comments on the passing of our dear Sophie. I so much appreciate your support. I can't believe that someone so small can rip such a hole in our lives.

When I finally get my weaving inventory sorted out you will find me here, in my little corner of the living room in my comfy chair thinking about hooking and throwing the shuttle. But probably taking a nap!!!

Until next time, keep on hookin'!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

She's With the Angels...

Our dear little Sophie passed away yesterday morning.
She was diagnosed with heart disease when she was two years old. She was expected to live only about two more years. Her feisty spirit kept her going for six and a half years. She was a little fighter, who loved life, had a wonderful sense of humor, and a gentle soul.
Six months ago she was diagnosed with diabetes. I knew then that this was too much for a little one to bear for long. But she accepted her insulin shots and went on. I could see that for the past month since her brother, Robbie died that she was getting thinner and didn't have her usual amount of energy.
Over the weekend she went downhill quickly.
Zip is especially heartbroken. She was his 'Little Princess'.
She is terribly missed by all of us!