Tag: cats

So last week, I very briefly mentioned that I had spun some dog hair. Allow me to go into a little bit more detail now. So, my work colleague who has now left has the most gorgeous collie, Holly:

And we had previously had a few conversations about my spinning and trying some interesting fibres, like reindeer, and how I wanted to try more types. She commented that her dog Holly had hair with a lot of the qualities I was speaking about – a good long staple, a fine crimp… And so:

This is 13 meters of pure, unblended, collie fur. I was given a ‘small’ quantity and was very pleased with the softness, staple and crimp. It spun beautifully, those due to the softness of it, I had to go quite slow compared to most sheep fleece. So, goal achieved, what do I do with it?

Knit a teeny tiny Holly of course! I very loosely followed the free pattern Small Sausage Dog by Amanda Berry – it was the smallest I could find and given I only had 13 meters…well, a bit of tweaking and voila, a collie! The white detailing is some white Jacobs fleece I have spun previously, and the brown eyes is some suffolk-texel fleece that I had dyed with fresh coffee grounds.

I have to say, I am super impressed with how this whole project has come out from start to finish. It’s not often that an experiment done completely on a whim with no planning actually works out!

I’m going to give the wool count here, and then finish off with some sad news, as I feel it’s more respectful that way.

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 21 (5 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 7 (3 this week)

Total – 882 (a net total of 2 down)

On a much sadder note, my eldest and very beloved cat Crumble crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday morning. She has always been a fighter and had a habit of defeating the odds. Going from an incredibly awful start, she was deemed too emotionally damaged to be rehomed, and so we took her in as our first and only foster fail. In October she was badly injured after going missing for two weeks, the vets didn’t expect her to survive but she did. And out of sheer stubbornness she got an extra four and a bit months of love and cuddles.

May she enjoy herself across the rainbow bridge, eating all the boiled eggs she wants and continuing to be Queen.

RIP Crumble.

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It’s been an interesting week, half term and being in furlough for half a week meant I got up to a lot of mischief with the kids. Well, as much as you can given the current time of plague.

There’s been baking, bike rides, dancing, colouring and painting, building dens and other activities. Between this, I managed a little spinning (need more for my big project, it’s eating the handspun!) and a bit of penguin knitting. Yes, they are still marching.

I do however have one new knit to show, a little good bye and good luck gift for a colleague whom I’ve worked with on and off for eight years…

This is Cat in a Life Preserver by Anna Hrachovec, in this case, the black cat is for the fact that she gave me the loveable kitty Dashie, the life preserver as it’s joked that when it rains we need them for our work, and a little four leaf clover for good luck.

I left that in her desk and in exchange, she left me a bag of her collies hair, which I had mentioned I wanted to try and spin. And I have. But more on that next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 16 (2 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 4

Total – 884

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So Inkling has taken to watching a show in Netflix called Gabby’s Dollhouse, which is very much cats, cats cats! His favourite character is MerCat:

Yes, she’s a cat mermaid, or a purrmaid? He likes her best as she’s A) Pretty and B) a scientist like mummy. Too cute! So when he asked if I could make him one…how could I refuse? I modified the free pattern My Little Purrmaid by Myka Watson to create:

Inklings very own MerCat!

In other knitting news, the penguins are still matching in to 60 of them, and my other big project is in time out whilst I work out the maths for the border…

No spinning and not much else happening, lockdown is still on so between that and the poor weather, we’ve not managed much here other than some baking, kids craft and playing games of all descriptions! Oh, speaking of games, I now have two Cthulhu groups – double the death and double the insanity, loving it!

Till next week, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 13 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 4

Total – 888

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After the jealousy Crumble, Queen of the kitties in this house, showed towards the knitted Siamese flamingo float kitties, it was decided she needed her own knitted version.

But it wasn’t going to be as simple as just digging out some wool and following the pattern, oh no, Crumble needed, after also showing jealousy at the special Missy colourway that I dyed and hand spun, she needed her own tiny Crumble in her own Crumble colourway hand spun.

I only filled one bobbin with single ply, took it off on the ballwinder then made a 2 ply from that to create just one skein – that’s all I would need for one tiny knitted Crumble, right?

Engel commented that he couldn’t wait for his tiny Crumble for his desk at work. So, two tiny Crumbles.

Then Rabbis commented that the Crumble wool was just the perfect match of her friends mums cat who is going through a really hard time and maybe I could…?

And so, two Crumbles and a look a like where knitted in hands-on Crumble inspired wool and put into little boxes also knit from hand spun.

The Queen herself seemed somewhat surprised at the sudden appearance of so many tiny versions of herself, but they all received her sniff of approval. (For those asking, she is doing much better after her little fright and there’s been no long lasting restriction of movement to her back leg. She is still on double dinners though, and loving it).

Oh, and never let it be said that I don’t block! In this instance, Duplo blocks where just what was needed!

I have already begun spinning some wool (Suffolk texel dyed in beetroot and some more dyed with fresh coffee) to start getting ready for the next invasion of tiny kitties – Lockdown and Outbreak inspired ones!

In other knitting news, I finished a rather large challenge yesterday but need to get some good photos first – so you can see that next week!

In non knitting news, we did a Halloween trail today! My enthusiasm to life has increased drastically knowing that I can still have my Halloween – it’ll be different, like everything has been in 2020 – but it’s not cancelled!!!

Till next week, stay safe.

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 136 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 28 (There was a ‘yarncident’ and I ‘accidentally’ bought an adorable hand dyed mini skeins set to make myself something cute! 10 mini skeins in total)
Wool given to me – 303 (gained two, as well as half an old project and two bottles of cider as a thank you for repairing a person’s favourite hat…with some embellishment of course!)
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 16 (Up 1 with the Crumble wool)

Total – 901 (no change…)

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This is Octocat, the mascot for GitHub, a software version control provider.

I don’t know quite what that is either, but Engel wanted it, and playfully pointed out that it has been a year or so since I last knit something for him… (he isn’t counting the slippers he stole, seeing as he stole them, they weren’t made for him.) So I relented and…

Not a bad likeness, eh? He’s based on the free pattern Octopuss by Bethany Hendrickson. You can’t see it so well in this photo, but he has suckers on his tentacles!

Here he is chilling at Engels work – there’s no one in his office at the moment so I like to think it’s keeping him company at least!

In other knitting news, my spinning is coming along! Engel jokes every time I ply my singles together I level up – when I finished plying balls 5 & 6, I could literally hear the Final Fantasy VII level up mysic…

So as you can guess, I’ve added to the wool stash, and decreased the fluff stash. That balances out, right? Course it does. And I was super good and gave three balls of my stash away this week to a pair of my friends who want to try knitting as something to help with the lockdown monotomy. (Lockdown is lifting, yes, but my friends and myself are being very cautious and treating life as if in still full lockdown for the most part.)

So yeah, the wool count was looking good, even more so after using 6 balls of wool this week. And then Ratman (a Nerf friend of mine) who does IT for a hospice, told me they were chucking out all the wool in the little charity shop they have, and the little cafe too where they encouraged people previously to craft whilst waiting on loved ones. Now, Mrs Ratman knits, so I figured once she had her share there wouldn’t be that much left, so yeah, I’ll take it, can’t have good wool just thrown in the bin.

283 balls.

Yes, that’s not a typo, 283 balls from 10g to 500g have been added to my stash. And on top of that, 5 more from a different friend who wants me to make him a dice bag with them…and keep the leftovers as payment…

Want to see the damage in numbers?

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 63 (6 this week)
Wool bought – 11
Wool given to me – 296 (up 288)
Wool gifted to others – 3 (Up 3!)
Wool handspun – 6 (Up 4!)

Total – 950 (it’s gone up, a lot…not had this much in my stash for a few years…)

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Literally!

This is based on the pattern Charlie’s Checkers by Sophia Minakais – the only changes in made was the choice of colours and adding details to make the pieces ladybirds and bumblebees!

And the bag. I decided I wanted to give helical knitting a try – and it worked. It gives the effects of single coloured stripes but your actually working all the colours at once across the round, and the stripes spiral up the bag.

It’s supposed to be a great way of using up scrap wool in hats and things, which I may try at some point.

Another thing I’ve been trying is my spinning wheel. I managed to fill two bobbins and ply them together to make two balls of my own handspun wool! I’ve also just finished filling a third bobbin to make even more!

My wool is bumpy, and goes thick to thin, but it’s my wool! And by the second bobbin I could see a marked improvement with my drafting. I have a project lines up to use it, but need to do a few more colours first – all shall be revealed in time!

In non Knitting news not a lot has happened apart from dying from the heat. I don’t like it above 20C, and to have several days of near and over 30C has just about killed me.

But it has rained! And it’s cooled down! And I am so very happy!

On that note, I shall leave you with just one last photo from my checker board photo shoot as it sums up my knitting attempts to a T.

(That’s Outbreaks paw btw)

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 57 (Just 1 this week)
Wool bought – 11 (Up by 4 – they were half price and colours I use a lot!)
Wool given – 8
Wool gifted – 0
Wool handspun – 2 (New category!!!!)

Total – 667 (this is going to go up a fair bit as I work through all my sheep fleece…)

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And the clocks were striking thirteen…

Ok, not quite, but I couldn’t resist. Something did happen yesterday, on a bright cold day in April, which was the addition of two new members to the family.

Please all say hello to Lockdown and Outbreak! They are 8 weeks old and adorable. Outbreak is very outgoing, into everything and itching to explore. Lockdown just wants quiet and cuddles. I feel they suit their names well!

As a thank you for the kittens, I made these:

Little ginger kittens! The patter used was Happy Family – Mother Cat & Kittens by Sue Stratford from her book ‘Knitted Cats and Kittens’

That’s all from me this week, I have adorable kittens to coo over, and beautiful cats to give love and cuddles too also.

I will say this, the world seems a lot brighter and friendlier this weekend, I hope it lasts!

Till next week!

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Following in from the last post, kitty beans, Engel and the kids won the argument and now the table has knitted kitty paws.

But not any paws. A big table needs big kitty paws.

Big jaguar kitty paws!

This is combination of two free patterns, Chair Paws: Cat by Nicola Valiji and 0-401 Wrist warmer with jaguar pattern by DROPS design.

And of course, they needed beans!

Just a short post as I’ve been very poorly as of late (one of the reasons for the missed post last week) and I’ve pretty much not done anything but sleep. Like 12-16 hours of sleep a day type sleep.

I’m feeling better, not brilliant, but the doctors have told me it’ll be weeks, if not months before I’m back up and running at full speed.

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 95 (3 used)
Wool bought – 30 (Up by 11, I thought I bought two skeins of gradient wool, turns out, they were 5 balls of wool braided together to look like one skein. Hence my cheeky purchase of 3 suddenly became 11…)
Wool given – 162 (5 get better soon balls of wool appeared…)
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 644 (net gain of 2)

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How could anyone resist such cute squishy toes on such dainty paws?

And thus began the madness.

Long story short, I have laminate flooring, and wooden chairs. The felt on the bottom of the chairs had worn off and they were beginning to scuff the floor. I was going to replace the felt but…

They look so much cuter than plain chair legs! But I couldn’t do one chair, oh no, all six chairs had to have them. And they all had to be different cats too.

Tabby, British blue, tuxedo, Calico, mackerel tabby, Siamese. Of course everyone had to pick their favourite for their chair, but once done I now have chairs that don’t scratch the floor!

For those curious, I used the free pattern Chair Paws: Cat by Nicola Valiji but on larger needles and a few extra stitches as my chair legs are obviously chunkier than what the pattern was designed for!

That’s all this week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 92 (2 used)
Wool bought – 30 (Up by 11, I thought I bought two skeins of gradient wool, turns out, they were 5 balls of wool braided together to look like one skein. Hence my cheeky purchase of 3 suddenly became 11…)
Wool given – 157 (2 as birthday presents!)
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 642

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As mentioned area weeks ago, I’m trying to take up spinning and make my own wool. It’s slow going, mainly as I have a lot of fleece that needs washing and carding before I can try spinning, but it’s there.

One thing I need to do all this though is a drop spindle. Before going to the wool experience where I ended up picking up three, I organised a trade:


A beautiful, 3D printed drop spindle (this photo was taken before I attached the hook) in exchange for:

A little knitted replica of his recently deceased kitty, Minnie.

(Pattern used is Tortoiseshell Cat by Sally Muir and Joanna from the book Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat)

Even though I used a pattern, the markings where all done by eye to match up, as best at I could with wool, the markings on the actual cat. I had six very cute reference photos for the job!

And even though I now have four drop spindles, this newest addition is just lovely to work with…well worth the effort! Though I don’t fancy trying to match Calico cat markings again any time soon!

In other news, I got a little table top loom for Felix, which has been surprisingly fun! She’s finished a bag on it, though I have yet to cut it off, and currently starting a wash cloth for her grandmama! Looks like creativity is running in the family! Photos will come soon once I’ve got them off the loom and all the ends weaved in.

That’s it for now, has been a very busy week at work and at home and an absolutely manic weekend with playdates, christenings and birthday parties all to attend…

Oh, and as I’ve had a few private enquiries regarding last week’s blog post, my sister’s brother in law survived the operation so it’s now just the long road to recovery. He’s not fully out of the woods yet, but definitely over the worst! And the knitted hugs went down well, and didn’t over step any boundaries, so very, very pleased with how it’s all worked out!

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 59 (1 used)
Wool bought – 16 (3 more, mentioned above)
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 660

Fleece bought/own – 13 lots, varying quantities…in process of being cleaned  (just three little bags left! The big fleeces have been washed!), carded and combined by sheep breed.

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