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random thoughts from my life & the universe

Crafting for the cats

At the tail end of last year, I did a little bit of crafting for the kittens while using up some yarn on hand…photo heavy post ahead!

Catnip balls :) kitteh Christmas is ready :)
First up were some wee catnip balls – crocheted out of some of the first yarn I ever spun (yes I still have my “first yarn” lingering about after all this time!)  – they are basically little spheres with a stem on the end – there’s a light layer of polyfill to help prevent catnip leakage, but the whole center is solid catnip 🙂

With cat for scale :)
With cat for scale.  I had been hoping that they would decide to play fetch with these, but alas, they don’t bring these back – they do, however, seem to enjoy them – stuffed full of catnip as they are 🙂

Next up for the cats was a rug – made out of the rest of the sabbatical yarn.  I needed something low pressure to test the new loom out on, and it’s generally pretty difficult to find rugs long enough to span the entire length of my sliding glass door where the cats sometimes like to bask in the sunshine so I figured this would be a perfect application.

Kitten approved
Warped randomly using the colors I had on hand and also woven with the yarn randomly wound onto the shuttle – I’m not entirely clear on what I’m supposed to be doing with the yarns at the edges for color changes, and rather than carry a whole bunch of them up the sides due to all the color changes (also due to the way I wound them onto the shuttle), I opted to just cut them at the selvedges – you can kinda see them as rough bits sticking out on the sides above…

Overall, the weaving went smoothly and quite quickly – I had a few “oops” where I missed a warp thread and wound up with some extra raised pattern instead of the straight plain weave (if you look closely in the photo above, you can see a couple examples of this) – part of this was operator error – I only discovered after I finished this project that there is a locked down-shed position on this loom – I wove the whole thing with the heddle kind of just floating in the down-shed position which resulted in some yarns sticking and not getting good separation during the weaving.  Miraculously, I actually ran out of yarn pretty much right at the end of the project…

Hem stitch
I had enough to mostly complete the hemstitch, but wound up having to supplement with some handdyed yarn to finish. Turned out the yarn I had on hand matched really well!  After finishing up the hemstitching, I took out the scissors and cut the project off the loom….and then started in on the endless fringe twisting.  Luckily for me, I have a fringe twister (yes, such things actually exist) – but even so, winding and tying all that fringe took hours!

Now that was a lot of ends!

the pile of final trimmings once the fringe was all twisted and tied

Once all the fringe was tied, it was time to see what the cats thought…I laid the rug out in front of the fireplace to check their reaction….

perched at the very edge
Usually, whenever I leave a finished object on the floor, the cats are right on it…for some reason, this time when I wanted them to get right on it, they proved to be reluctant!  They’d sit to either side of the rug….but they didn’t seem to want to get on top of it for some strange reason.

I eventually had to resort to drastic measures, and stuck my hand underneath the rug, as if playing the blanket game and they couldn’t resist…

heh – when I snapped this shot, I think he realized he may have been tricked and was second guessing being on top of the rug!  I’ll leave you with a shot sans cat – just a detail shot of the weave.  I’m really quite happy with how this turned out and hope to do some more plaid in the future – but first, I suspect I should probably read up on how I’m supposed to be doing color changes…and I also need to figure out another solution for warping paper – in this case, I did have some panic moments when I lost my edge warp threads off the edge of my warping paper while advancing the warp for weaving – it all worked out okay, but it was kinda fiddly while I had to stabilize the selvedges in those sections.


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