Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Hi everyone. It's been a little quiet on our blog for a while. Everyone must be very busy with their own lives. Have you had any time for hooking? How are your current projects going?
For those of you finding it difficult to choose just the right colour for you rug, you might like to have a look at the RugCrafting Aus website here,

I haven't done a great deal for a few weeks now. A little here and a little there on my 'love rug', that's all. 
I had a wonderful time in Tassie with our daughter and her wonderful family. The little ones grow up too fast, but I get to see them again when they all come to visit at the end of September for a week. 

I am looking forward to working on my hubby rug, come Saturday 10th at Joy's home, so this is just
a little reminder that we are not meeting this first Saturday of the month this time but the second.
Happy hooking. :)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Just To Say...

I'm putting progress notes (so I remember what I've learned) over here on my blog. I'm sick of my own voice!
Something I have to say (having said that) I usually learn  headlong...
but just getting together twice with the gals in our group has given me so much information! Let alone new, warm friendships.
Seriously, you can't beat it.
For example, steaming your finished work makes ALL of the difference! And fitting rows together (as in the photo)... and dyeing.
I'm really pleased to have stumbled on this lovely group of ladies. Fanks guys!

OK, Last Post! The Bling Is In Place & The Seat Is In Use.

It's so much nicer in real life.

This is my grandfather's needle case and hook needle. He was an upholsterer for the Victorian Railways. He worked on the Southern Aurora and domestic trains... the old Red Rattlers. It's lovely to use his needle. Dah died when I was 8 but I remember him well. He made things for us all of the time... a shield for my brother, a doll's cot or cradle or a castle or a garage. A lovely man.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

I Blame Joy for Introducing Me To Dyeing

Started the new rug. It's quite long, maybe close to 2 metres? Based on a Uzbekistan historic embroidery (from a book I've had for years).
Below are the wools I've been dyeing lately. It's as much fun doing it and rolling it up as it is using it. Yummy! Cheers Joy!! Look what you've started!


Introducing, the Fabulous... the Ferocious... Kitteeeey... Cat!

Gotta put the Bobble Fringe around the bottom yet.
Firstly I glued extra foam on the top and around the edges, then a couple of layers of cotton wadding on the top, then this double layer to hold it all in place...
Over that I put some old sheeting, so the wadding didn't fluff up through kitty cat...

Kitty in the  winter garden.
The hessian backing is folded under to stop it pulling. I should be able to prize it free if some mishap occurs or if it needs repairing one day. I wrote my name and the year too!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Chris' Dutch version of German Bean Soup

Well, I said I would post the recipe of the Dutch version of German Bean soup so here it is.

Just remember, I'm a woman, and women don't always go exactly by the recipe. Where it says 3 litres water, I just fill up my saucepan...and...yep, that looks about right. It could be 2 1/2 or then again maybe 3 1/2 litres. It's the same with the veges. Be inventive.


about 3 litres water
500g white beans, washed and soaked- e.g haricot beans. [as long as they're white, what does it matter. I've used kidney or borlotti beans before too]
2 bay leaves
2 good sized carrots
1 large leek
1 bunch spring onions
finely chopped parsley
1 large cabbage leaf
1 rook worst [available from most supermarkets]
1 smoked hock [available from most supermarkets]
salt and pepper
pinch nutmeg
1 tbs oil


Wash the hock and place in the saucpan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about  2 1/2 hours [depends on the size of the hock]

While this is simmering away, prepare all the veges. You know, chop them up and all that, that is... the carrots, the leeks and the spring onions. Just wash the cabbage  leaf [as a whole] and keep it separate for now.
Make sure you thoroughly wash the chopped leeks a couple of times as there seems to be a lot of dirt between the leaves. I use all the leek right up to about 2 cms from the end, but you might have to take an extra outside leaf off. I strip off the outside leaf and split down the middle, then chop into 1/2 cm pieces.
About one hour into the cooking time of the hock, add the soaked and drained beans to the pot. Bring back to the boil and continue simmering.
Heat the oil in another pan and gently fry the carrots for 10 minutes. 
At 1 1/2  hours into the cooking time add all the veges, including the whole cabbage leaf. Bring back to the boil and continue simmering. Remove the cabbage leaf after 15 mins. 

About 20 mins before the end of your cooking time add the rook worst. Try not to boil too hard as this will split the rook worst and you will lose your flavour.

After your 2 1/2 hours cooking time, remove the the hock and the rook worst. Let them cool for about 10 mins. You can remove the bay leaves as well. Test the beans to ensure they are cooked and then you can turn the stove off  too.

Remove the skin and fat from the hock and take all the meat off the bone, chop into smallish pieces and return to the soup. Do the same with the rook worst.

Lovely on a cold, wet day with chunky bread and butter or whatever you like best with your soup.

Eet smakelijk
Bon appetit


Cold Wind, Rain & A Warm Fire, Soup and Friendship. Loch in July

Beautiful Loch. Not so far from Melbourne and as lovely as a lovely place will be! Chris opened her house for our third get together and of course we had a terrific time. It doesn't take long to build friendships when we share a joy in creativity.
Joy and Lis expounding the pleasures of hooking, true!
Everyone went home with a new leather rug-frame cover, compliments of a friend of mine, who gave me a huge roll of soft hide (I was glad to find something worthy to use if for). I also managed to offloaded a huge box of woollen fabrics, again compliments of another friend. Everyone gives me things because I'm bound to use them, but they do pile up (and up).
Lis is going great guns on her ...hmmm, I don't know Lis's name for it, but it reminds me of these gorgeous glass paper-weights, or of boiled lollies. We spent a bit of time offering suggestions for a background and hopefully helped, rather than added to the question.
Lis also brought her excellent box of random worms (as she called it). I tried to match some to my new rug, but let it go in the end. I always want everything! Behind the worms you can see Chris's hand made soap drying in the window. She kindly gave us all a neat little box with a piece of it as a gift, just like a lolly bag at a party! It looked edible.
 You can just see Chris's "Portrait of My Husband' and the wool she dyed for its surrounds. I possibly gave the game away when he came into the kitchen and we were all introduced. I said I recognised him from the rug photo. Chris and Joy gave me a sly dig in the ribs, because it's a surprise! Nong! We're not sure if he thought anything of it and we hope he's a typical boy and wasn't paying attention.
Sorry Chris! Sorry boys, to say that's typical!
The day was excellent, not just for the company, the delicious lunch and snacks, the surrounds or the warm fire, but we really did give each other ideas and talked through design solutions, colour or style options and dyeing techniques. I learned how to do little circles (which had been a puzzle to me) and we got to use Joy's smarty pants Townsend cutter! My poor, humble Fraser didn't mind second place and it's been busy since I got home, so I'm not entirely spoiled... 
Next month we'll be meeting on the second Saturday in Lilydale. Please contact us to join in! It's a great craft and so easy to learn, and we're a friendly lot.
Vic Rug Makers email:
Or my email is:
Cheers for now, Robyne

Thursday, 4 July 2013

July Hook-in

Looking forward to seeing you all in Loch on Saturday girls. If you have any problems finding it, bring you mobile and give me a call. We are right on the Sth Gippsland Hwy, 100 metres before the Bass river on the right hand side. Can't miss it. Number is on the fence. Feel free to bring your friends. 
Chris :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What Do You Think Of The Whiskers?

I have yet to finish stitching the darts, and need to build up the stool with foam (I made the cat mat bigger than the present seat cover to that end). My One True Love thinks the whiskers are too busy, but I can't see for looking anymore. Maybe the multi-coloured wool thread with the blue is wrong? Or is it right? He barely glanced at it and was feeling a bit tired and maybe a bit grumpy at the time... and I'm confused.
One friend said that with the whiskers, it looks more grown up and without them it's like a little kitten. I want the kitten! I'll halt for a night or two to decide.
Please pipe up!