Blanket of Doom

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Stop Eating My Yarn!

My cat is a huge fan of my knitting. Why? Because there is always yarn around the house.

Now, I don’t actually mind that much when she plays with it. It’s actually kind of cute how she watches me and waits until I’m distracted to grab the skein I’m working with and run away. Anything not bolted down is a play thing for this cat.

However, the one thing I don’t find cute is when she eats pieces of it.

She doesn’t eat huge chunks of it, but instead takes little bites out of random places. In fact, she’s not as much eating it as severing it into multiple pieces.

She went through this phase where I kept finding pieces about six inches long chewed off of various skeins.

Curious as to why my cat is so fascinated with my yarn I asked the all mighty Google for answers. In doing so I came across this page:

What is it with cats and string?

Why are cats helpless before yarn, string, tinsel, and electrical wires?

We need to understand their natural habitat to unravel this mystery.

Cats have a vision system that is keyed to motion. Nothing is better designed to catch a kitty’s eye that something that twists and turns and offers motion all along its length. Making a string shiny simply multiplies the interest embedded along its length.

Then, there’s snakes. Most of us are fortunate enough to not have snakes appear in our dwelling, and so our cat’s interest remains inexplicable. But for cats in the wild, this would have been a constant worry; well worth being alert to. Strongly Alpha cats, those with an Oriental influence, and thus, more likely to encounter snakes in their more tropical climates; these are cats who can’t leave certain long and twisty shapes alone.

That’s because they are driven by their instincts to either kill or discourage snakes from hunting in their territory. Snakes would eat up the available prey. Snakes would endanger the cat who hunts such prey.

So if we have a cat who won’t get out from behind the stereo or computer equipment, this is a cat who is begging to have a snake substitute made available to them.

Of course, if our cat is happy with a length of yarn, especially with a toddler attached, more power to them. But some cats just adore the chance to wrestle with rubber reptiles of whatever genus, and we should indulge them.”

Well that sort of explains it. Now if only I could convince my cat and my yarn to live in harmony.


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Cat Hoodie

I was about to post yet another update on my progress with the blanket I’m creating, but then I remembered that I never posted the adorable kitty sweater I made for Tigger.

I found this very cute pattern one day when I was searching for pet clothes. I live in the desert, so my kitty gets very cold at night, cold to the point where he drives me crazy trying to sit in my lap while I’m busy. I had been looking for some time for patterns to make for kitties, but until now most of my searches came up with dog clothes.

This pattern was really easy to follow and it turned out darling. I was nervous about it at first because I have never made a sweater at first, and didn’t know if the arm holes would turn our right. One did turn out a little funny looking where I dropped a stitch part way in, but it’s on the inside and therefore not as bad as it could be.

I also love how the variegated yarn worked into a camo pattern. This is exactly why I love variegated yarn, it looks completely different in every pattern.

He doesn’t look pleased in the picture, but at least he’s warm now without having to steal my bed from me.

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Tiger Cat Hat

I spent the weekend finishing my Tiger Cat Hat. It’s a little more snug than I expected it to be, but that’s probably because I used a different yarn than was called for in the pattern.

I modified the original pattern a bit. Besides using a K hook to account for the difference in yarn weight, I also added ten rounds to the hat itself to make it longer. I also added a few increase rows of my own devising to each ear so that they would be larger as well. Th original ear size looked too small now that I had increased the length of the hat.

I’m really enjoying the stripped pattern created by the variegated yarn, which is one of the things I absolutely adore about working with variegated colors.

I started work on a third hat of this type, this time in white. Soon everyone I know will have kitty hats. ^_^

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More Cat Hats

I’ve been working diligently on a scarf lately, but I’ve grown bored. So I’ve decided to start working on more hats.

I’ve decided to start a series of hats inspired by the Crazy Cat Hat pattern that I featured in August.

The second hat in the series, which is still in the process of being created, is inspired by my kitty cat Tigger. Being a tiger cat, I chose to use Zebra yarn from Red Heart.

This yarn is a lot thinner than the one called for in the pattern. In order to make my hat fit, I used a K (6.5mm) hook. I also added to the number of rounds to make the hat long enough.

I’m going to begin working on the ear flaps for the hat today. I’m really excited to see how the patterning works out. I really like the spiral stripes it has right now, and I hope that it is able to continue to some degree.

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Tiny Crab

When browsing through patterns I came across this adorable crab pattern and just had to try it out myself. I thought it would make a cute little companion for my squid. The image made it look complicated, but the pattern is actually very simple. I made my little crab in about twenty minutes.

I really liked this pattern, the crab is basically a circle that is folded in half and stuffed. The only change I would have made is the timing of the eye placement. The pattern says to stitch on the eyes after the crab is finished. The next time I make this one I’m probably going to stitch the eyes on before the body is finished, that way the tails on each end can be safely hidden inside.

The pattern notations said that the finished product would be tiny, but knowing everyone has a different idea of what “tiny” is, I was unsure as the size. The crab was in fact tiny. I placed mine next to a tube of Chap Stick for a size reference.

The description of this pattern offered several suggestions of what to do with these tiny crabs. One was to hang them on a Christmas tree. I was really excited and planning on making several for my tree this year, until Fluffy decided they would make better cat toys.

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Crazy Cat Hat

All this week I’ve been working on making cat themed beanies. This pattern was a little different than what I was looking for, but I decided to take a chance and try it out.

Since the title of this project was “Crazy Cat Hat,” I decided to photograph it in my cat’s favorite place to hang out, on my desk blocking my access to the pen cup.

Like Wednesday’s post, this pattern comes from CrochetMe. At first I was hesitant to try it out because of the ear flaps. They seem to come in and out of style every so often, but they aren’t something I’ve ever worn.

The pattern itself was really easy to follow, and after finishing the base of the hat I loved the way it looked. Yes, even with the ear flaps, the hat was pretty cute.

Once I had finished making the hat, the ears, and the eyes (all separate pieces) I came across a slight problem. At that point the pattern just ends, stating to place the pieces, using the model as a guide. Now, that’s easy enough if you have one of those foam heads, but really difficult if you don’t. I tried placing the pieces on the hat from just having it sit in front of me, but when I tried it on and inspected the placement in the mirror everything was off center. I then tried wearing the hat and pinning the pieces on myself using a mirror. This was the most difficult and stupid thing I have ever tired. For those of you who haven’t tried, it is really hard to pin something holding it above your head, the pieces ended up more crooked than laying the project on the desk. I also couldn’t find a victim  volunteer to wear the hat while I pinned it. In the end I used a stuffed animal as my head model, which worked out much better than I expected. It looks like I don’t need to invest in a Styrofoam head after all.


Kitty Cat Hat

In Monday’s post I mentioned that I was searching for a pattern for a pattern to make a beanie with cat ears. I am pleased to announce that after a momentary distraction with the cat hat, I was able to find and craft a beanie with cat ears.

I found this pattern on Crochetme, which is full of links to some really cool patterns. The only downside is not all of the patterns are free (boo!).

While the hat pictured in the pattern is cute, I did have some issues with the pattern. First of which was the gauge. Ever since the skirt fiasco, I always gauge before beginning anything. However, the gauge for this pattern was too vague to be helpful.  All it said was “8 stitches and 6 rows equals 2 inches.” Two rows of what? I tried half double crochet, since the hat is made using half double crochet, but that was too big. I tried single crochet, which worked, but left me worried that I was supposed to be using half double crochet, and that my my beanie would end up looking funny. Judging from the comments, I wasn’t the only one worrying about the gauge.

I also would have liked to see the number of stitches that each round was supposed to have listed. The pattern stated that the beginning chain didn’t count as a stitch, and I was unsure of what to do with it. Was each round supposed to get one stitch bigger? I wasn’t sure. In the end I just ignored the stitch, which seemed to work out okay as the seem in the back of my hat matched the one pictured.

I did modify the pattern slightly. I was using the left over off white yarn I had bought a couple of years ago when making scarves for the Special Olympics. I had about two thirds of a skein left and didn’t really want to buy more of it, because then I’d still have a part of a skein of off white left over. Instead of doing 29 rounds of the hat, I only did 20, and I only did one round of ribbing around the edge. Short cutting the pattern didn’t make much of a difference in the appearance, at least in my point of view. The pattern states that the bottom ribbing adds warmth to the hat, and since I live in an area where warmth isn’t an issue I figured it wouldn’t make much of a difference.