kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hooking with the Blue and Gray

Nothing exciting has happened here for quite a while.  It rains, we sit at home!  Thus there isn't much to post about.

On Monday the sun was shining and it was a glorious day for a road trip down through the Adams county orchards to Biglerville where the Blue and Gray Rug Hookers meet.  When I first walked in there didn't seem to be much of a crowd, but by lunch time the room had filled up.

Of course we had 'show and tell'!  This beauty was hooked by Marian who as you can see is an expert hooker.

Here is a closeup of some of the center portion.

She just creates one masterpiece after another.  This is what she's working on now.

Doris is another of our expert hookers.  Usually she works in the very fine wool strips, but her primitive lion is done in 8 and 8.5 with some smaller cuts used for detain in the face.  Isn't he a joy!?

Here is Marian M. with her fall rug featuring pumpkins, leaves and a cute squirrel.

I think Brenda hooked this cute little guy.  If I'm wrong about whose rug this is, I'm sorry!

Here is Joan, hiding under her new wig!  Her rug is a large abstract that is actually a hugely enlarged FINGER PRINT!  It really makes a fun rug.

Violet is working on this lovely old-fashioned pictorial.

I especially liked the effect of the tiny little flowers.

Violet also brings some of her luscious hand dyed wools for us to enjoy (and purchase) each month.  It's very hard not to leave without at least one special piece!

There were so many rugs that I did not get to photograph, all of them unique and interesting.  I just couldn't resist this primitive kitty!

Our featured Hooker of the Month was Naomi.  This dear lady has been hooking since before I was born and so you know how long that's been!!!  Most of her rugs, and there have been MANY, have gone to family members and friends.  Here is just a small sampling of all her work.

Thank you, Naomi, for sharing your wonderful rugs with us!

At the moment I'm rugless.  On Sunday Joan is hosting her annual 'Fill the Truck' hooking event in support of her local animal shelter. Hopefully we'll get a great group of hookers and lots of donations for the critters. And I need to get a rug drawn off so I have something to work on.  Though I guess in a pinch, I could just sit and talk!!!  Haha!

I have not been totally idle.  I have tried making the mango mousse cake with some success.  This is not the pretty version, only trying to get the flavors right at this attempt.

Here's what I did.  I used a regular yellow cake mix and added a can of coconut milk instead of the water, plus an extra half cup of sugar, mixed it up and baked as directed on the box.  The cake came out moist and with a slightly denser crumb that normal.  I did not want a crumbly cake and the coconut milk did the trick and did not add too much coconut flavor.

For the mousse, I used a bag of frozen mango, thawed and pureed in the blender.  I whipped up a pack of Dream Whip topping, but a small container of Cool Whip or about 2 cups of real whipped cream would work as well.  I used 2 packs of plain gelatin in a small saucepan with about 3/4 cups water.  Let it soften for about 5 minutes and then heat and stir till it all dissolves.  Let cool and then pour into the mango puree.  Fold in the whipped cream.  Let cool in fridge till starting to jell before putting between cake layers.

I used a 9 by 13 pan for the cake.  
NEXT TIME will be the prettier version, I hope.
 I think I'll use a springform pan and if there's excess cake batter, make cupcakes.
I'd like to cut the cake into three layers.
I may also try a different cake.  Maybe a chiffon.  Several recipes I read used pound cake.
The mousse was a little more jellified that I hoped.  Next time I'll try one envelope of gelatin.
And to make the lovely topping that I didn't bother with this time, I'll hold out about 3/4 cup of the mango puree with the gelatin in it and spread it on top of the cake.

All in all it was a successful first effort.  The flavor was good, just not as pretty as I would like.

My sweater is finished!
No, Kathy, I didn't put a label on it!  LOL!  Or buttons yet.  Haven't gotten out to get any.  And there are a few ends that need woven in, but the knitting is done....I think.
I'm still debating taking out the sleeves and making them not-so-snug.  When I started on the sleeves they were wider and I took them out and made them fit tighter.  Now I think I may want the wider sleeves after all.  The joy of knitting is that it can be ripped out and redone without any ill effects to the finished project.

I posted this picture on Ravelry and someone commented that I have no head!  I was so excited to have finished that I had to try it on right away and take a picture so I didn't take time to put my wig on.  In fact I had just gotten up in the morning and done the binding off.  So....major bedhead!

The beauty of this pattern from Cabin Fever is that it was knit from the top down and there were no seams to finish, NO sewing together!

I love this pattern and want to make another one.

Did you make it all the way to the end of this looooong post???
Maybe I should just post more often and keep them shorter.


  1. I enjoyed reading every bit of your post... and love all the pictures. I have not tried hooking with yarn but after seeing Marion's work I just might give it a try. Amazing stuff.

  2. Pat, what do you mean nothing exiting happened for quite a while? Your amazing sweater is all finished, that's a lot of work, great gathering of hookers with all those beautiful rugs and replicating this great Mango Mousse Cake recipe so I can try to make it. These are all great happenings. Thanks for sharing.

    Now I have to put frozen mango and Dream Whip on my grocery list and try this tempting recipe.

    I hope that you and Zip and all your spoiled furry feline friends have a great weekend. We are expecting rain today. I'm going to bring a few pieces of wood in for the stove. Think of me when you eat some of that cake. Hugs, JB

  3. Labels... Ha! They are sooooo over-rated! lol! Great looking rugs! Were you able to get in touch with Deirdre for the cat rug? Beautiful sweater and so quick!

  4. Hi Pat,
    It's been raining here too off and on the past few days...... and chilly! You are going to be able to get lots of use from that awesome sweater! Your work is meticulous! It makes me want to get out my old knitting needles and try again!
    One can tell those Blue and Gray rug hookers have been hooking many years! What gorgeous rugs! It's always a treat to see them here on your blog!
    Hope you and Zip are feeling well and those fur babies are behaving themselves!
    Cathy G

  5. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful rugs, the gals are really good hookers! ;-)

    I could eat a piece of that cake, right now, looks fine!!!

    Love your sweater, think maybe I would like a wider sleeve myself. Great job!

  6. Yes I did get to the end are so easy to read.
    Those rugs are amazing ...thanks for showing us them all. I love how all the rug makers have such beautiful and individual styles ... and that fingerprint one is so clever.

    The cake looks yummy but the recipe is confusing as we dont have cake mixes like you ...yellow cake mix ?????. We either bake from scratch ..or our mixes are for specific cakes and are a bit rubbish ...although I believe catering mixes in huge bags are OK ...if you can find them ...or just buy the ready made item which is hit or miss for quality but does not depend on price lol ... mostly I and the girls bake from scratch.
    Great job on the cardigan/jacket ... maybe a zipper would work. looking forward to the next post ...Hugs to you both ...hope Zip is still a non smoker xx

  7. I made it to the end. the rugs are amazing I am just so over whelmed with the small strips I don't think I could do them. Love the cake and your sweater is a beauty head or no head.

  8. Hi Pat
    I was just beginning to wonder where you were, looked back and saw how long it had been from when you last posted.
    It's going to be a long winter isn't it and we have to get our heads right to get through it.
    My mouth was watering reading about the mango mousse cake it looks delicious, not good for the hips though, lol
    Your sweater looks fine to me, I don't think I could bear to rip it out and redo the sleeves, if you do that you're a better man than me. lol


  9. Hi Pat,
    Very beautiful rugs. A fingerprint that is one clever lady! I hope you can show us another photo when it's finished. I'm intrigued. Now you grab a piece of linen and draw out a rug for your next event. Well, have a piece of cake first (to build up your artistic energy)
    You can wear that great new sweater!

  10. Of course I made it to the end! I love catching up with you! Your sweater is just stunning. I can't believe that you can alter the sleeve width at will like that! I thought I was so cool to tell someone I could pick up a dropped stitch several rows down! Hee, hee! Those rugs are just too amazing. I think I'd go blind trying to get in all that detail. But, they are stunning! Have a great weekend.

    p.s. My Sophie is doing well and bonding with us a lot!

  11. The sweater is beautiful! I can't believe that it is finished already - seems just yesterday I saw half a sweater!!! Your rug pics are so much better than mine - the rugs look great. We do have some wonderful hookers in B&G.

    I was getting worried that you had not posted for so long. Glad you are OK, Regards to Zip and the fur people.

  12. maybe not much to post about lately, but you sure have been busy! your sweater turned out wonderful Pat! I like the color. Cracked up about the label comment lol ;).
    Love the rug show from B&G. Not sure if the room would have been big enough with all the rugs that Naomi has done over the years. Glad she gifts them out to family members! Doris' rug has always been a favorite pattern of mine. Great job!
    Hoping to see you Sunday at Joans. I won't be staying long... Bridal shower that day!

  13. What a beautiful rug! Pat, if someone (like me) wanted to get into hooking, how should we best learn? Do you have a favorite book on the subject? What about suppliers?

  14. Pat ~
    Wonderful post! I loved it. Beautiful sweater. You are so darned talented!!!
    Hugs :)

  15. I loved your post! The rugs are amazing, the cake looked so good, mango! I love your sweater! Loved the long post!

  16. Hi Pat, wow those are all such beautiful rugs!!!

    I laugh at the ease with which you say your knitting can be ripped out...that is the sign of a truly confident knitter! Every stitch that I knit is so hard come by that I would never dream of ripping it out once I was finished - LOL!!!

    I love your mango mousse cake, I think your blog might be fattening for me :-)


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