Sunday, October 12, 2008

Working on My Bulky Cardigan Again!

Woo Hoo! I'm finally knitting one of my old projects again.
Bulky Cardigan Yarn and Pattern

I cast on this bulky cardigan over 3 years ago, and set it aside to work on other projects. I got so busy with all the charity knitting projects I was working on, that I didn't think I would ever work on this cardigan again.

This past week, I pulled it out and got to work on it again.

At that time, I had finished the back, and had started working on the left front.
Bulky Cardigan Back and Left Front

In no time at all, I finished the left front and cast on the right front. I think it's gonna go quickly now! :)
Bulky Cardigan Right Front Starting 2

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catnip Toys for Pets of Friends

I'm allergic to cats (and any other furry or feathered animal), so I can't have one of my own.

But, recently I decided that I wanted to make Oddball Pet Snuggles for animal shelters. Now, a group of us in the Knitting Help Forum are taking turns knitting sections of cushy little blankets for the pet cages.

When we each finish knitting our section, we mail the project to the next knitter on the list. We usually include little gifts in our Oddball packages. Since most of our participants have pets of their own, we will sometimes be sending treats to the pets instead of to the knitters.

I needed to send out 3 pet snuggles to the next knitters. All of them have cats as pets, so I decided to make catnip toys for their kitties. :)

Since I've never owned a cat, I had no IDEA what catnip was. I went to Walmart to see if I could find some in the pet section. Lo and behold, there it was!

I already had everything else I needed to make the toys, including a free pattern I found online called "Catnip Mice". So, I gathered everything together in one spot, so I could get going on making them all: Polyester fiberfill, Catnip, Jingle Bells, Yarn, Knitting Needles, Scissors, and a Tapestry Needle.
Stuff to make Catnip Toys

Before I sat down to knit, I put the tea kettle on, and made myself two cups of black tea. I needed the strength! I made one cup of Earl Grey, and one cup of English Breakfast Tea.
Tea for Me while Knitting Catnip Toys

After a few sips, I got to knitting. Pretty soon, I had the body of my first catnip mouse ready to be stuffed.
Beginning of Catnip Toy #1

I put in one jingle bell, then a little fiberfill, then some catnip, and a bit more fiberfill. Then I stiched it closed, and arranged the tail to look like a mouse.
Catnip Toy #1

Not bad! But, I did NOT enjoy making it with two needles. And I wasn't thrilled with the look of garter stitch either.

So, I got out of my comfy knitting chair and found some double pointed needles in the right size. Then sat back down, took another sip of tea, and started in on another mouse.

Much better!
Catnip Toy #2

By now, I knew how to make catnip mice with my eyes closed, so I chose another color of yarn, closed my eyes and started knitting. (tee-hee)
Catnip Toy #3

It turned out even better than the one before! Hey! Maybe I should ALWAYS knit with my eyes closed! Ha!! (just kidding, of course....) :P

Pretty soon, I had four little catnip mice, ready for battle with some kitties.
4 Catnip Toys So Far

After making those four mice, I decided to try a different pattern I found online, called "Kitty Beanbag Zoo". It took a LOT longer to make than the mice, and used a lot more yarn, and a lot more catnip. I didn't really like the look of it either. So, I decided to just make one of those.
Catnip Toy Invention

(I added a tail to mine, so it kinda turned out looking like a stingray!)

After that little tangent, I decided to veer back onto my original path....and made some more Catnip Mice. Besides....they were quick and easy. ;)

After just a couple hours, I had 11 catnip toys, ready to go!
Catnip Toys - Ready to Go

It was fun. Now back to my regular knitting.

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (, and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally