kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Monday, May 31, 2010

And the Winners Are....

Zip did the picking the names from the hat.  His Amish hat!

First is Jacque-  please email me with your name and mailing address and which item you would like to receive.

Second is Kathy (not the woolfind Kathy)-  please email me with your name, mailing address and with your first and second choice of items you would like to receive.

Third is Lauren from Rugs and Pugs-  please email me with your mailing address.

And just for fun we pulled a fourth person, Cathy from Orange Sink.  Cathy, I have no idea yet when I'm going to send you, but email me with your mailing address and you'll get 'something'.

Thank you everyone for participating in my 99th post giveaway!
Please, winners, get back to me as soon as possible so I can send out your items!
Please put 'give away' in the subject so I don't delete you!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Post Number 99 Give Away

Having posted 99 times, I think I've done my thing!  That's just too much talking from someone who really doesn't have that much to say.

Over the past week while I've been suffering through the flu and having lots of delusional thoughts, I've decided I spend too much time on the puter reading blogs and writing about things that I didn't start out to blather on about.  This was supposed to be a rughooking blog.  So then I either have to be on stage with rughooking excitement every week, or.......wander off into other areas where I didn't plan to go.   Lately the rughooking news has been ZILCH!  NADA!  THE BIG ZERO!!!  And I have no idea when I will get back to it.

That said, I will probably be updating my blog only about once a month with whatever foolishness I've been up to.  I need to quit writing about what I'm GOING to do and get to some DOING IT!!!  Feeling that I need to have a hooked piece on the go to hold show and tell once a week is blocking me from lots of other things I want to try.

And I'm running out of brilliant ideas!

I want to thank all of you who have faithfully followed, read and left comments.  I certainly appreciate your support.   I want to thank you by offering a Give Away.

Easy Rules:

1.  Only within the U.S. and Canada, please

2.  From now until midnight Saturday eastern standard time.

3.  Leave me a comment
     If you do not belong to Blogger, you may email me with 'give away' in the subject line.
4.  You DO NOT have to be a follower!

That's it!

Prize #1
Small handwoven apple table mat approx. 13 1/2 x 16 1/2
Set of 4

Prize #2
Small Shaker style berry basket  approx. 6 inches in diameter

Prize #3
Handwoven dishtowel approx. 14 x 30

You have three chances to win.  Names will be put into a hat and Zip will pick the winners on Memorial Day, Monday morning.  The first person picked will chose the item they want, then the second person will choose, with the third person getting the remaining item.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

AWOL and the Post # 99 Giveaway

Missing in inaction.  Just plain SICK!

What a week!
It started out being cold and rainy.  I thought that was why I had Chills.  Zip cranked up the woodstove and I put on heavy duty sweats and I still had chills.
Then the congestion and hacking started.  Then to add insult to injury, the 'intestinal destress' began.
Oh misery!!!

My whole week has been wasted sleeping sitting upright in my favorite chair because if I lay down, I can't breathe.  And I'm Tired, SO TIRED!

The cats have been going nuts, running and jumping and getting into trouble.  They just don't understand the Mommy Zombie.  I don't know her either.

Today is the first day that I've felt like doing anything.  Maybe the worst is over.  Hopefully in a few days I'll have the strength to pull a few loops!

Anyhow, my next post will be number 99 and I will be having a giveaway.
Details to follow...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Finishing the Edge

If there's anything I can do well, it's make a wavy edge when I'm whipping with yarn.  After doing several rugs, especially ones with a curved edge that needed a lot of steaming to get them to lay flat, I came up with a solution. 

This may not be the 'Right' way to finish, but it works for me.  It can be used on small mats or wall hangings where the piece will not get a lot of wear and tear.  I use a more conventional method on rugs that may be used on the floor. 

First I steam my finished piece to get it to lay flat.  Then I carefully measure around the mat and mark it 1/2 inch from the hooked loops.  Make marks every inch or inch and a half and then connect the dots to make a circle.  I then cut on the line.  I serge or zigzag with the machine to finish the edge.  If you don't have a machine available, you could use glue on the edge. would have to be a glue that stays flexible, because the edge is going to be turned up.

I usually use yarn to whip the edge, doubled in a large needle.  Now for the solution part- I put a piece of cord in the edge under the whipping.  This is cotton cord that I buy in the hardware store in the section where 'packing supplies' are sold. 

I cut the cord three times the diameter of the rug (if it's round) plus 10 to 12 inches.  My mat is 10 inches across:  10 inches X 3 is 30 plus an extra 10 inches makes my cord 40 inches long.

I then lay it on the edge of the mat and roll the serged edge up over it.  I then take my first stitch with my yarn, going down from the top, right against the edge of the hooked loops.  Leave a 5 inch tail of cord.

Pull your yarn through until there are short tails.  Trim them to about 3/4 of an inch.  Tuck them to the left against the cord.  Iwork from right to left toward my fingers as they are holding the edge.  If you are left handed, you will probably be working in the opposite direction.  Right???

Roll the serged edge up over the cord and the tails and take another stitch right on top of the first one.

Pull your stitch taut and continue on in this manner.  After I get about 5 or 6 inches done, I get to the Not Laying Flat Anymore part!  See how it's starting to get wavy!

This is where the string saves the day.  Holding the mat flat , gently pull on the left end of the string.  DO NOT pull the right end of the string through the edge by tugging too hard!  Just ease the edge along the string until the mat lays flat.

Continue whipping and pulling the string.

When you get to the end of your yarn, flip your mat to the underside and take a long stitch back under the yarn you just whipped and cut it off.

Begin the next piece of yarn in the same way you started at the beginning by tucking the tails in with the cord and stitching over the turned edge.

Continue in this manner until about 2 1/2 inches of unwhipped edge remain.  Pull the cord if necessary to make the edge lay perfectly flat.  I'm sorry I forgot to take a picture of this part!!! 

The cord I used has 3 or 4 strands twisted together.  I separate one strand out on each end and tie these two strands together with a square knot.  I do it this way to eliminate bulk where I tie the knot.  I clip the tied ends off to about 1/4 inch and clip the remaining strands off so they lay flat but not overlapping inside the rolled edge.  Continue whipping until the whole edge is covered.  Then flip the mat and take a long stitch back through the already whipped yarn and cut off the ends.

You're done!

Happy Hooking!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Greeks Bearing Gifts

  About five years ago I was at the greenhouse looking to buy a clematis plant.  I saw a picture of a stunning white one with a dark center.  It came home with me.  I planted it so it's roots were in a cool place at the foundation of my summer kitchen, but it would still get enough sunlight.  Visions of snowy white flowere were dancing in my head.  A few days later I noticed that all the growing shoots were gone on my lovely plant.  It soon withered to nothing!
  The next spring, to my amazement, a few shoots came up again.  And once again the growing tips were missing after several days.  I checked for insects.  Not a bug in sight.  And the plant died, for good this time.
  But I kept trying!  I bought those less expensive, end of the season bargain clematis and they grew!  Then I got another white one and it died!  Then one day I was looking out the window in early spring when one of my vines were just starting to sprout it's new shoots, and there was a BIRD!  And that darn BIRD was nipping off the new tender shoots and eating them!!!  AAAh-ha!  The mystery has been solved.  But I still don't have a snowy white clematis....

On Friday Zip and I and our friends Chuck and Willa went to the Greek Festival at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill.  This is an annual event that becomes more popular every year.  These people are indeed bearing gifts:  authentic Greek food, a celebration of their heritage, and a generous sense of community spirit.

They have this lovely European style square in front of the cathedral.  Several times throughout the day dancers perforn in traditional dress.  Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of the performances this year.  Check the banner over the entrance.  The inside of the sanctuary is lavishly decorated with similar artwork.  Just beautiful!!!

  A closer view of the fountain.

But, OH!  The FOOD!!!  It's worth the traffic, the parking problems, the crowds of people to enjoy the food!  There are outdoor stands with the grilled stuff.  And the indoor sit-down meal area.

Zip and Chuck are chowing down on the moussaka (portions large enough to feed a family for several days!) and the Greek style meatballs.  They also offered chicken, leg of lamb, salad, and rice pudding plus lots more.  And a great assortment of yummy pastries.
  My favorite dessert is the chocolate covered strawberries and a cup of Greek coffee.  Each tiny cup of coffee is individually made in a little pot over an open flame, with the espresso grounds and sugar.  Then the whole concoction is poured directly into a demitasse cup.  Very sweet, very strong, and just delicious!!!

Here are two happy campers (Zip and Will) with their take home bags of left-over food and pastries.

That's the news van right behond Willa.  I didn't stay up late enough to see the footage at 11.

Then we went on to the PA Fabric Outlet and Borders bookstore.  Somehow in our travels we missed the severe storms that were blowing through the area.  Brad and Kami were in Carlisle only 30 miles away at the Military Heritage Center in the midst of a hailstorm! 

This past week I did manage to finish a few small things.  The star mat goes really well with my Pottery Shed pitcher.
I need to start something new!  My Forest Secrets challenge rug is on the backing and ready to go but haven't taken time to pull out any wool and start planning colors.  And I thought up a new Hook, Heart and Hand logo that I'd like to work on.
I don't know where the time goes!  Maybe off into cyberspace while I'm sitting here at the keyboard???

Friday, May 14, 2010

Social Gatherings.....with Hooking

What's better than getting together with friends???
Getting together with friends to hook or eat, or both!

The week started with a meeting of the Blue and Gray hookers.  What a great group of happy ladies chatting and showing their work!  I was so busy talking that I didn't get any pictures and Doris's camera batteries went dead so we have to depend on Kathy from 'Rugs of Mine in Time' for the visual delights.  Check out her blog, she did a great job!

On Wednesday evening my friends Willa and Diane and I got together for our monthly women's dining out night.  We went to Montezuma's Mexican Restaurant on Wayne Ave. in Chambersburg.  We were fairly early so I had a chance to take this shot be fore all the tables began filling up.

 Love the funky decor!
The food was very good, as usual.  I had made whole wheat breat earlier in the day, and will admit to 'testing' it more than I should have!  So I wasn't very hungry and ended up getting an order of guacamole and a spinach and cheese quesadilla.  Quite yummy!  Wish I would have gotten a shot of the food BEFORE we had almost devoured it!

Yesterday was the weekly hookin at Grant Street Woolworks.  Not a lot of people there during the day, but we had a good time talking and checking out each other's work.  Ellen came up from Virginia and joined us.  She also brought a tin of scrumptious brownies!!!  Thank you Ellen!!!

Doris is taking a picture of Ellen and Jill discussing hooking frames.  And here is Ellen's lovely rug.  It's a Gene Shephard pattern.  Arent the colors delightful?

Kathy was working on her house sampler rug.  I don't want that bird landing on my house!!!  LOL!

This is Doris's beautifully hooked Kris Kringle.  She's doing it in a #3 cut.  Look at that wonderful swirly sky.  I wish the sculpting of the fur trim and beard had shown up better.

This is Jill's delightful colorful rug.  It's like Jill herself- Happy and Energetic!

Nancy was there working on her 'Liberty' rug, but left before I got the camera out.  Linda is making great progress on her big floral rug.  Sorry I didn't get a picture!!!

In June Doris will be teaching a sculpting class featuring these lovely strawberries.  I'm signed up and ready for the challenge!  If you are interested in joining us, contact Linda at Grant Street to see if there are still openings.

I worked on whipping the edges of my small circular star mats.  I want to give a tutorial in a future post on how I do them if anyone is interested.

I'm glad this post is almost finished because the uploading of the pictures is going kind of wacky and the text is slow when I'm trying to type.  I hate it when you get almost done and then the whole thing gets lost!!!  Yeesh!

I'm coming up on my 100th post in the near future.  There will be a give-away at number 99.

Until next time, Happy Hooking!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Busy, but Nothing Exciting....

I can't believe a whole week had gone by since I last posted.
I've been working on things, but nothing exciting enough to merit a photograph.

I finished my design for the Forest Secrets challenge on Rug Hooking Daily, but that has to be kept under wraps until the end of July.  Darn!  I hope to start hooking this week.  I need to start a take-along project for hook-ins.  Tomorrow I will be going to the Blue and Gray meeting and will have to take some 'finishing' to work on for lack of anything else.

Now that I'm sitting here attempting to write about my week, maybe I wasn't as productive as I thought!  LOL!  No wonder I don't have anything to show.  So let's go on to Zip's week....

He worked in the garden!

After lounging around on the grass in the sun, he did finish planting all the corn, beans, beets, chard, and the tomatoes and herbs we got at the greenhouse.

He caught fish!

Zip is a strictly 'catch and release' fly-fisherman.  The hooks are 'barbless' so they come out easily without permanent injury to the fish.  All the fish he catches go directly back into the stream.  He only held this one long enough for his friend Greg to take the picture.

 He had lunch with Deiter.

The strange thing- Deiter does not like 'people food', he isn't begging, he just likes to be close to Zip when he's eating, playing the guitar, working around the house or whatever.

And here's Deiter, playing in water.

He's so big that he can't get his head positioned to drink directly from the stream of water, so he licks it as it runs down his paw.  Of course we have to be ready at all times to turn the faucet on and off!

Saturday evening, along with our friends Chuck and Willa, we went to the Old Country Auction House for an evening of bluegrass music and a demonstration of clogging.  The dancing looks like so much fun.  I wish I were younger and not so darn fat!!!  It certainly would be good exercise.

Today for Mother's Day, Brad and Kami invited us for a barbeque rib feast.  They are both excellent cooks!  Food always seems soooo much better when someone else does the cooking!  LOL!!!
We had a nice relaxing time after the meal listening to old records on the Victrola that they recently found at a yard sale.  Brad has the best luck when it comes to great yard sale finds.  All I ever seem to find is baby clothes!!!!

They gave me a cute card they made themselves and Kami croched this lovely handbag for me.

She's becoming an excellent seamstress and craftsperson.  It's such a gift to have a daughter-in-law who is a woman after my own heart!

Deiter was trying to sit on the handbag while I was taking the picture.  Check out the tail at the top.

Now, after a week of good weather, the seeds in the garden have sprouted and the little plants have emerged.  And what happens?!?!  It gets cold!!!  So now there is the possibility (likelyhood!) of FROST tonight.  Every bucket, crate, and big flowerpot we own is out there covering plants!
My fingers are crossed and I'm praying....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Too Much Cat Hair!

Today was the community yard sale in Newburg.  Everyone was out including the Amish.  We were out, too.  As in Out Of Town!  A good day not to be at home!

We traveled to York to the Lancaster chapter of the CFA sponsored cat show.  There didn't seem to be as many participants as the last time, and fewer breeds were represented.  I am shopping for a kitten.

The view as you walk in the door.

Here's a lovely little Himalayan kitten.

Several very fluffy Persians.  VERY high maintenance!

I know this little guy has had more hairdresser experiences than I have!

A beautiful tall Maine coon.

This handsome one is either a Maine coon or a Norwegian forest cat.  What a cute face!

This little Tonkinese came over to the bars and held a conversation with Zip.  Then returned to his cat box to rest.

Two lovely silver tabby American shorthairs.

The judges doing their job.  Cats are not judged against each other.  They are compared to the written breed standard provided by the Cat Fancier's Association.  The cats who best exemplify this standard are chosen as the champions.  It's the search for the perfect cat.

After all the excitement, attention, and noise, it's a relief to take a cat nap.

My search for a new kitten ended well.  After looking over all the available breeds, I decided on a Manx.  They are the tailless cats from the Isle of Man off the coast of England.  They are cute, round, sturdy cats, with open friendly faces.

Mine has not yet been born.  The breeder had just bred her one female in the last few days, so had no idea yet if it was successful.  I will be keeping in touch with her to see what develops.  Meanwhile, here is a picture of one of their cats that they were showing at York.  This little darling is six months old.  I am hoping to get a kitten with similar markings.
Thank you for bearing with me through all the cat pictures.  Or have you already gone running through the house screaming, "waaaah!  too many cats"???

Yesterday Kami and I went to the 50% off sale at the PA Fabric Outlet.  I got two really nice pieces of fabric.  (they are magnified to show detail)  LOL!  You know, like on the box of packaged food how nice and big the portion looks, and then when you open it, the serving is about half the size of the picture!  I burn tested them to make sure they were telling the truth about the fiber content.

This jacket fabric is 100% silk and only cost $3.50 per yard on sale!

This shirt fabric is 100% linen and it was less than $5 per yard.  It is a very fine light weight linen that will make a nice tailored shirt.

After two busy days of traveling around, I think a quiet evening reading on the porch is in order.