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Tag Archives: cats

A Little Distraction Needed

Just thought I’d do a little post with one of my previous finished objects since I’m in need of some distraction from my worry and guilt.  My youngest cat Lilly, a ‘petite’, as the vet put it, black and white cat with the sweetest nature had to be left at the vet this morning for possible spaying.  We’re not sure if she’s neutered or not since we know nothing of her history and sometimes even if a cat has been neutered, the scar is not visible so they have to go in and look.  I love most animals but cats occupy a special place in the hearts of Mr & Mrs Lauren.  Lilly turned up in the garden last spring and decided that she liked the lay of the land and just never left.  We weren’t looking for another cat as the one we adopted, Poppy (grey, claims my unfinished projects for herself) was very much an ‘only child’.  Hostile to other cats and sometimes us, not overtly affectionate and very much full of cupboard love, we had come to love and accept Poppy as the Grumbliest Cat in all of Grumble Town.  Lilly is the polar opposite of Poppy and when she arrived, although  we knew she probably had owners, try as we might, she just wouldn’t leave.  She camped outside our kitchen door mewling for days, never moving anywhere where she couldn’t see the door.  So we caved in and let her adopt us.  A year later and here we are.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve betrayed her sweet, trusting nature.  I know the operation is utterly routine and she will most likely be absolutely fine, but I still feel so anxious and guilty for putting her through it.  I have to phone in this afternoon and she should hopefully be home by tonight.  Fingers crossed that all is well, and that she will forgive me.

Meanwhile, in more crochet related matters; I made a little bear around Easter as my friend had a baby boy in November last year and she and her little family came up to Norwich to visit us on the Easter weekend.  I wanted to make him something but not clothes as I was sure he had enough of those and I saw the pattern for the bear in a crochet magazine I had bought that month using the very same Rooster Almerino DK yarn, so I didn’t even need to buy yarn, which was good because I was of course skint.  I love that the instructions for stuffing the arms and legs was not to overstuff them to make them a little squishy so they’re highly grabbable (it is so a word!) for little hands.  As the first toy I’d ever made, I was rather pleased with the results.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture myself, my friend sent me this one that she took when I presented him in the restaurant we were meeting in.  Don’t be alarmed – those are my hands emerging from the gloom, looking a little like a face crab from Alien.

crochetbear

My friend kindly sent along with the photo an update on Mr Bear’s and Baby Boy’s relationship.  Apparently baby finds him very soothing and especially holds on to him when he’s in his pram and falling asleep and the arms and legs are indeed very easy for him to hold on to.  This was lovely to know and I discovered just how much I love the feeling of making for others.  I have another gift in mind, but it will have to wait until payday before I can start on that.  As for the bear, I think the crocheted ears were my absolute favourite part.  I tried to embroider a traditional looking face on him as they’re always the sweetest in my opinion.  I look forward to making one for my own baby one day.

In the meantime, I have my cats to unload my maternal feelings on.  I feel awful when I have to take the cats in just to be vaccinated and today had been very tough with Lilly and her operation and it’s only 10:30am!  I dread to think how much of a worrier I’ll be as a mother.  Lord help my future children!

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The Knitty Kitty

Well WIP Wednesday may have to wait until a) I’m paid and can afford materials for a new project and b) my camera resurfaces from the depths of its hiding place.  Fortunately, I have outsmarted my camera’s intentions for I have pictures of my first ever knitting project.  Let me explain: knitting has always been a big bug bear for me.  Although I never had any parental tuition in crochet despite both my parents apparently being able to, although I never saw either of them crocheting, when I started teaching myself it just seemed to come naturally. I understood fairly quickly how to read patterns, but more than this I quickly and easily found my own way of controlling the yarn, holding the needle.  I still made mistakes, but more often than (k)not, I could seem where I had gone wrong and correct it.  Knitting, however, is an entirely different matter.  My mum tried to teach me on several occasions, but I never got beyond knitting scarves that were far too small for even the smallest human being and they were too big even for my dolls, essentially straggly, holey swatches.  I couldn’t find a comfortable way to hold the needles or control the yarn, and mistakes appeared out of the blue and it just took so bloody long to produce anything.  I never tried to knit again for another 20 years and then I discovered crochet.

Knitting and crochet seem to be inextricably intertwined.  As I got more into crochet, the more I saw about knitting.  I’d be searching out patterns for crochet and find knitting patterns that I prefered.  Not being able to knit had me feeling left out: all those beautiful thing that I could make if only I could knit!   I even owned knitting needles, after expressing my desire to learn I was given some for Christmas presents.  So a couple of months ago, mired in the frustration of the poverty portion of the month where there is not enough month to buy lovely yarns, I decided to have a look through my stash and found a pair of still packaged 5mm needles.  “Enough is enough” said the inner voice, so I grabbed some needles, some aran yarn and a knitting tuition book (also a gift), marched downstairs and began, once again, to teach myself to knit.  Within a couple of hours, somehow, I had picked it up.  I had to work at it much more than I did crochet and mistakes were frequent, but the tuition book really helped me to see what I’d done wrong, and came with a the sage advice ‘never be afraid to undo your work and start again’.  I discovered that I knit tightly, a problem I had when I was 8.  I just couldn’t get the needle through the stitches after my first row so I had to force myself to knit loosely.   After a couple of holey, and subsequently unpicked, swatches later a perfect one emerged.  Oh the pride, the joy!

In a flurry of excitement, I bought my first knitting magazine.  After flicking through various patterns for sweet little baby clothes, a beautiful fair isle type red dress for a little girl (that I will make one day!) I realised I still didn’t really know how to follow a complex knitting pattern.  Tucked in the last pages through was a pattern for a toy,  a sweet little cat.  All stocking stitch with a few increases and decreases.  The yarn was Drops Baby Merino which is so soft and quite fine so I bought new needles, and set about the pattern.  The magazine had conveniently come with a free row counter, a piece of kit I’ve never had cause to use before.  It was like it was meant to be!  I discovered that I enjoyed knitting with finer needles and yarn.  I can understand why chunky needles and yarn are recommended for beginners, so that mistakes can be seen and whatever you’re knitting knits up quickly, but I found I much preferred the opposite.  Little knitted stripey legs and arms appeared on the side of the sofa and not long after I started I was ready to assemble and stuff the knitty kitty, as he came to be known in my home.

knittykitty

Here he is.  I’m so pleased with him.  After not being able to knit for so long, and feeling almost left out, I’ve begun to make inroads into knitting.  I’m also quite pleased with my fairly ropey embroidery skills as the mice, claws and facial features, apart from the eyes are all embroidered.  I’m desperate to improve my skills though, and I’m not particularly a scarf person, but I think I’ll have a go at some mittens and a blanket, and then hopefully progress on to knitting some clothes.  I’ve read that local knitting groups can be a good place to learn new skills, but I feel a bit bad just turning up to mooch instruction, so I’m going to try working on it by myself for a while.  I love cardigans and I’m rarely spotted not wearing one so would love to knit my own selection of cardis.  I also love knowing that when I eventually get round to having children, I’m sure I’ll be able to knit them something.  Indeed my first child will be the one to have the Knitty Kitty.