kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Out of the House....At Last!

This has been a busy week!
It started by my going out to dinner with my friends Willa and Diane. Both are 'fiber people'- weavers, spinners, knitters, etc. We try to get together once a month and have dinner at any new and interesting restaurant we can find.

This month we went to Bombay, an Indian restaurant on Wayne Ave. in Chambersburg. In the past we've had to go to Harrisburg for Indian food, but now we are happy to have one close by. And a good one too! Very dignified atmosphere and so nice and CLEAN!!!

This is an appetizer called bhelpuri, a deep fried fritter with onions, tomatoes, potatoes and spinach. They were yummy.

I forgot my camera, so Willa kindly provided the pictures from when she and her husband had eaten there. This is an entree featuring lamb (I forget what it is called) with a serving of naan, the traditional Indian bread baked in the tandoor oven. The tandoor originally was a large oval shaped earthenware crock with an open bottom. A fire was made in the bottom, heating the pot hot enough to roast meat and bake bread. Nowdays, of course, tandoors are electric and look like a ceramic kiln.
We had a wonderfully friendly waitress named Vanessa (ask for her if you eat there!). If you have never tried Indian cuisine, there is a buffet lunch every day where you can sample the different menu items.
I will never travel the world, sad to say. I would really like to!!! But in the meantime, I plan to at least get the flavor of exotic places by enjoying the food!
Now back to home!
Thursday was the hook-in at Grant Street. It's beginning to look like Easter! Look at these wonderful pastel wools that Kathy and Linda have dyed to make those bunny rugs!

The dyepots have been bubbling! Linda overdyed some heathery gray wool and the result is these beautiful deep colors. The picture is too bright and does not do justice to the depth of color. You have to see them in person to appreciate how nice these wools are!

And here is the worm basket. This is the place where you can dig through and find that little spark of color. That very small piece of wool needed to do a flower center, the vein in a leaf, the band on a snowman's hat.

This is the rug Linda is working on. Didn't get a picture of Linda herself. She was pretty busy in the sewing room working on uniforms and supervising Barb and Sarah.
This is a nice big rug that looks like an appliques quilt with log cabin blocks between the flower squares.
Doris came and brought her wonderful PA German inspired rug. I wanted to steal it!!! Doris, if this rug is ever missing, you know where to look! I haven't seen nearly all of Doris's rugs but I know this has to be my favorite!
The colors are just stunning!!!

Kathy is happily working on a circular piece in big wide strips. Nice colors!

Jill is almost finished her sheep and is looking forward to starting on her next design. She and Bath are both looking very serious in the pictures.

See what I mean!
Beth's bird and cherry brancy is looking great!

This is Miriam. She's new to our group and a new hooker. Look how well she's doing for her first time! If you checked Jill's blog, you would have seen that she got both her sheep done and they looked very nice.

Yesterday Zip and I went to the Mannings near East Berlin. For those of you who have never been there, it is like spinners and weaver's Heaven! More yarn than a person can imagine!!! Plus books, magazines, equipment of all kinds! Looms, spinning wheels, knitting needles, and anything you would ever need for the fiber crafts.
And what did I get??? A cone of natural wool to dye to bind my rug! Yep, that's all.
Because it's done...the hooking, that is!

Horay!!! Now I can put away all the strips and scraps that have been littering my kitchen table while I was finishing the final area of the border. And I ended up with less than a dozen worms! I HATE LEFTOVER WORMS!!!! I've tried to teach myself not to cut ahead very far. For the first time it has worked out well!
I think I've written enough. It's time to get out the dyepot and do some wool for whipping!
Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


No, not the scent created by the famous designer. It's the compulsive need to keep working on this sunflower piece. I just can't keep my hands off it!!! I just can't wait to work on the next area to see how it will work out. I am really loving working on this!

It is really out-of-the-box for me. I usually don't like yellows and oranges, but that's what came with the workshop kit. And amazingly, it's kinda cool! This is what I got done yesterday.

I did get to Chambersburg to the meeting of the Cumberland Valley hookers. It was a small but cozy group. Lots of hooking getting done and plenty of talking. Marjorie is working on a miniature rug.

Wouldn't it look great in a doll house? Or as a small table mat?

My pictures aren't the best. I was too busy working and waited till the last minute. Thelma is working on the border of a large oval floral rug. Sandy's checkerboard is in the foreground.

Everyone is seriously hooking. We hardly took time to have lunch!

Ruth has just started on a huge poinsetta rug. Karen's rug (on the floor) is a geometric with native American motifs on soft muted colors. It's absolutely lovely!

It was a nice relaxed opportunity to get some hooking done while sharing ideas with friends.
Speaking of friends, I recently received two lovely gift packages from my Secret Friend. We exchanged secret friend names at Grant Street Woolworks at our Christmas hook-in. And mine must know me Very Well, because I have received gifts that are just perfect!
Handwoven Magazine!!! Whoo-hoo! And coffee to drink while I'm reading! And sweet pea seeds to keep me dreaming of spring. My grandmother used to grow sweet peas on her fence, so I am especially fond of them.
And then she sent me a lovely soft cable knit scarf because winter really isn't over yet! LOL!
And some interesting weaving and quilting articles. Now my dear Secret Friend! Do you notice that the Hershey's Bliss Raspberry Chocolates are missing from the picture??? Now I wonder where they have gotten to! I must have put them somewhere to keep them safe! hehehe!!!

Thank you so much, my dear Secret Friend! You have been so very generous! And I appreciate all of it!!!
Once again, I've worked all day on the sunflower pillow top. Today was not quite as successful as yesterday. Those big leaves are driving me crazy! I've done them over half a dozen times and am still not sure i like the effect. I've always had a terrible time shading leaves. Is that why I usually don't do florals???
Anyone have any suggestions for hooking a better leaf? I like the little ones, but those big ones need improvement! I don't want to ruin the whole thing with lousy leaves!!!

Any suggestions will be appreciated!
Happy Hooking!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finally....Something Worth Writing About

It's been a while since I updated. No sense writing about sitting at the kitchen table staring out the window at the vast whiteness, wearing a flannel nightie, listening to books on CD and hooking for hours at a time. Just too demoralizing!

Haven't even wanted to go out of the house lately.

But today I was up at the crack of dawn and ready to go to the Jane Halliwell Green workshop in Shepherdstown, West Va. Linda Keller of Grant Street Woolworks did the driving and Doris and I went along as copilots. And a fun day it was!

The purpose of the class was to use wide strips to do shading. We had some time before the class to socialize and meet and talk to Jane.

She made this huge grape rug using very wide strips. This technique gives you the realistic effect of fine hooking but in much less time.

She brought some lovely hand dyed wools for us to covet.

Several tables full of temptation!

We were each given a kit which we had selected beforehand. I chose a sunflower design with a color pallette of yellows blending into reds. I decided to use a 6 cut to get a more detailed shading effect. Many other people used pices that thay had torn into approx. 3/4 inch strips.

Everyone seems to be hard at work.

Doris is working on a sunflower with a color scheme very much like mine.
On the table is a magnolia pillow cover created by Jane.

I've only just begun! And now that I am at home, I may change a few things. Will have to play with it a little to see if I can improve some of the contrast.

I am so grateful to Doris for inviting Linda and I to attend this class! Thank you!!!
I had a wonderful time and can't wait to continue expanding on the techniques I learned.

Since I've been doing not one useful thing besides hooking, I've gotten a lot done on my album quilt rug. This is what it looked like at the beginning of the week. It is almost finished now!

I walked into the kitchen yesterday and noticed a LUMP under my hoop which was lying on the table. I took a peek underneath and there SURPRISE!!! was Deiter. Looks like he was ready to do some reverse hooking.

That's what I love about cats. We share the same interests!
Until next time, happy hooking!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Those of you who live in the northeast know that we have had one frustrating week!

The snow started last Thursday, continued into Saturday with an accumulation in our area of about 24 inches. This is just after sunrise on Sunday.

It was even deep on the front porch!

This is just before sunset out my back kitchen window. Beautiful!

But not so beautiful out front where the vehicles are covered till you can hardly see them and we can't get out of our parking spaces. Thank goodness we have a farmer down the road who kindly uses his tractor to plow out our driveway area.

This is just before sunrise on Tuesday morning. Isn't there an old saying about 'red in the morning, travelers take warning'???

Well, about three hours later the snow started all over again!

And here it is, Wednesday afternoon and we are still experiencing blizzard conditions! YUCK!!!

One good thing that's happened during all this mess is that we have had to stay home and I have gotten a lot of hooking done. I've worked on my SMILE challenge rug and have it completed out to the border. I got up to answer the phone and when I returned, there was Deiter, snuggled up on my work. I'm really having a good time with this project. Can't wait to show it, but must wait till everyone is finished, with a projected unveiling at the end of March. Since you really can't see the design, I thought it would be OK to show it adorned by Deiter.

He has been spending his time alternately sleeping and watching the flakes fall outside.

I don't have enough wool of the right color to do the border, so I'm kind of stuck until I get out to get some more dye.

I've worked on the album quilt rug too. I didn't take any pictures because it looks pretty much as it did the last time I posted about it.

I really haven't felt like doing much besides hooking. I'm sick of cooking, the dishes are piling up in the sink, I just can't function with the weather being such a mess. After four solid days of hooking and listening to books on CD, I feel like my brain is MUSH!!!

I hope we can get dug out before Saturday. I am supposed to be going to a rug hooking workshop given by Jane Halliwell Green on shading with wider strips. Hope there is not a cancellation!

And just for fun (we gotta get some enjoyment out of this mess!) I'm posting a recipe for snow ice cream. Mom used to make this when we were kids. I know, the fear of all the junk in the atmosphere is a concern, but don't you think after 24 inches of this stuff, the pollution should be cleaned out??? LOL!
I sit a 9 x 13 pan in a sheltered place where the snow is still able to blow in. When you have a pan full,
Put snow in a large mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 cup sugar (or less if you don't like too sweet)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Add about 1/2 cup milk, and begin stirring.
Keep adding milk and stirring till it is the consistency of ice cream.

As I am sitting here typing the wind is blowing, the snow is flying, and I can hardly see the house across the road.

Do you remember me mentioning before Christmas that I love to see the snow falling???
Just shoot me!!!

Until next time, I hope you are safe and warm!