Category Archives: Kittens and Cats

4-29-2019: Woven Crochet, Dogs on Sweaters + Balcony Gardening

Hi there! How’s it going? I hope all is well with you. Today is 4-29-2019, and I’m having a lovely, productive day so far. I’m just finishing up my workday (which is possible at 2:30 PM because I woke up at 4:00 AM this morning, like I do most days).

New Woven Crochet Examples Posted at KnittingandCrochet.net

Today I have been working on updating my page about the woven crochet technique at KnittingandCrochet.net. In the past, I’ve crocheted about one zillion different swatches using this technique. The only woven crochet project I’ve actually finished is a scarf (except I still have to finish the end weaving — which is going to be a challenge).


Most of the woven crochet I’ve done looks really cool — but it doesn’t look cool enough to justify the crazy amount of work it takes to do it. So instead of sharing what I’ve come up with, I keep starting new swatches, hoping to find some elusive and magical combination of stitches. What I’m trying to find is a combination of stitches that will look spectacular, but actually be worth the substantial effort it takes to create a project using this technique.


I’m getting close to that…


So far, the closest I’ve come is with this swatch:


Woven Crochet Example I posted at KnittingandCrochet.net

Woven Crochet Example I posted at KnittingandCrochet.net


If you want to know how this swatch is made, you can find more details at this page about woven crochet.


This needs re-designing before I design an actual project with it — first of all, because I used yarn that has now been discontinued, and also because my first attempt at this fabric came out waaayyyyyyy too dense and stiff (which you can’t necessarily tell from looking at the picture).


In the actual form you see it, this fabric is practically suitable for making furniture, it’s that dense and stiff. I thought it would make a nice cat bed or basket, but it is so thick that a cat bed or basket would be prohibitively expensive for the average crocheter to make. It would make more sense to create a less dense version of this same sort of fabric.


So, back to the drawing board — but the idea is definitely promising. I think this type of stitch pattern will make a lovely scarf, cowl or pillow. With the right yarn and crochet hook combination, I could also see using it to design other types of projects.


You can see one other new woven crochet example at KnittingandCrochet.net.


I’m still pondering what to do about the scarf. The finished sample I made was far too labor intensive to want to mess around with. Even as I was crocheting it, it was testing my own patience levels. I have more patience than average, so if it took too long for my liking, I’m guessing no one else on earth would want to attempt it. So, I can only conclude that the scarf needs redesigning, too. That’ll be a project for another day — or maybe for never. For now, the scarf will remain in hibernation.

My Current Work-In-Progress Is…

Tunisian Crochet Mesh Accessories: Hat, Fingerless Gloves and Cowl

Tunisian Crochet Mesh Accessories: Hat, Fingerless Gloves and Cowl


…a revised version of this accessories set.


The set you see here in the picture is one I made awhile ago. At the time, I held back on releasing the pattern for a few different reasons.


For starters, the math is a little wonky with these projects as is. Not only that, in real life, each of the pieces is a little too small. I’m a little fuzzy on remembering the details of why, but I think it might be, at least in part, because I stretched them wayyyy too aggressively for blocking. Then after the blocking was complete, they relaxed more than I expected them to. Well, duh, of course they were going to do that. In hindsight, that seems obvious.


The instructions I wrote down at the time would more than likely have you all duplicating the same mistake, if you were to work that pattern. Yikes.


Plus, the main color in this design is a hand dyed color, and the others aren’t.


That’s a few too many problems for me to want to release the pattern exactly as is. But, I’m working on a simplified version that I think is going to be much better. I LOVE IT!

I made a similar hat and fingerless gloves in only 2 yarn colors. In the photographs above, the colorful colors are all Cascade 220. I’m redoing the set so all the yarn colors in the project will be Cascade 220.


I think this time I’m going to skip making the cowl (unless a few thousand of you beg for express interest in the cowl pattern…)


The hat and fingerless gloves have used up less than 2 full skeins of yarn, and there’s enough left over to make something else small. I’m still contemplating what I want that something else to be — perhaps a cell phone pouch or a headband. Would you have a preference on that? If so, I invite your comments below.

Dogs on Sweaters — a New Knitting Pattern Book

Dogs on Sweaters, a knitting pattern book featuring dog-themed projects by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. Trafalgar Square Books is the publisher of this title.

Dogs on Sweaters, a knitting pattern book featuring dog-themed projects by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. Trafalgar Square Books is the publisher of this title.


Trafalgar Square Books has an adorable new book available called Dogs on Sweaters. I just posted a book review of this title at KnittingandCrochet.net. The short version of my review: Thumbs up! The book is absolutely charming. If you knit, and you love dogs, I think you’re likely to enjoy it.

Our Balcony Garden

You: So, Amy. I hear you’ve started a balcony garden. What are you growing this season?


Me: Cats. I’m growing cats. Like this one:


My Balcony Garden, Complete With Cat

My Balcony Garden, Complete With Cat


OK, the honest truth is, I’m attempting to grow herbs — cilantro, dill, holy basil and chives — plus some strawberries. But so far, things with the balcony garden have not gone all that well.


Why is that?


A couple of reasons. The first is because every time a seed has germinated, this naughty little nuisance of a cat has attempted to eat it.


Mike and I know a lot of cats, because we’ve spent substantial amounts of time in Greece and Israel, two countries that have high feral cat populations. We’ve determined that this particular cat, Inky, is the fourth most annoying cat on planet earth. Remind me some other time to tell you about the 3 spectacularly annoying cats ahead of him in line for that distinction.


Anyway…aside from catnip, cats aren’t supposed to like herbs, are they?


But Inky likes herbs. He has a particular affinity for dill, but he’s not picky. He’ll attempt to eat any herb that germinates in my balcony garden.


I came to the conclusion that planting catnip was not optional. I planted some of it in hopes of deterring the cat from eating everything else. The catnip just germinated a couple of days ago. So far Inky has shown zero interest in it, despite me showing it to him repeatedly. So much for that idea…


I suppose what I really need to do is get some cat grass seeds. I used to grow cat grass, and Inky adored that.


Reason #2: I’m not getting many seeds germinating to start with, because I’m planting old seeds that were exposed to heat. Bummer. But I’m working with such a small space that hopefully, even with a low germination rate, I can get enough plants growing to fill the few flower pots I have available. Wish me luck with that…

Today I Ate…

Organic vegetable soup — no recipe available (yet), but you can check out the other organic recipes we’ve posted here.


Mike has some freshly baked organic bread in the oven as we speak. He is trying something weird — sneaking vegetables into the dough to see if we can get some extra nutrition into the three year old, who, like many kids her age, adamantly refuses to eat anything green.


Let’s hope this goes well. The jury is out. There are lots of places this experiment could go waayyyyy wrong, so we’ll see what happens.


Update: The vegetable bread was absolutely delicious. But, the three-year-old ate all of two bites of it. Make that three bites…

Today’s Workout…

…hasn’t happened yet. I was really hoping to go out for a walk with the family this afternoon — but, would you believe, it started snowing. That’s Brian Head for ya. It snows a lot here.

So, that’s how my day is shaping up. I better wrap this up — gotta go get the plants inside.


XOXOXOXOXOXOX,

Amy

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at ArtsWithCrafts.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-4-2019.

My Kittens Learn How to Crochet

12-12-2012 was an important day in history at our place. Why, you might ask? Well, that’s easy: It was the day my kittens learned how to crochet. Here’s how it happened:

Cindy says, Mommy, I'm going to learn how to crochet! She grabs my crochet hook and begins wrestling with my tape measure.

Cindy says, “Mommy, I’m going to learn how to crochet!” She grabs my crochet hook and begins wrestling with my tape measure.

Cute Kitten Grabs Crochet Hook. Then She Says, Can You Pleeze Splain to Me What Is This Thing For?

Then She Says, “Can You Pleeze ‘Splain to Me What Is This Thing For?”

Cute Kitten Bites a Crochet Hook

“I bite it?”

The Kitten Says, Mommy, this crochet book doesn't make any sense! My Response: Honey, you have the book upside down.

Gem says, “Mommy, this crochet book doesn’t make any sense!”
Me: “Honey, you have the book upside down.”

The cute cat says, Show me how to crochet, Mommy!

Izzy says, “Show me how to crochet, Mommy!”

OK Iz, I'll show you how to you crochet. Look here. This is how you make a single crochet stitch...

Me: “OK Iz, I’ll show you how to you crochet. Look here. This is how to do single crochet stitch…”

The cute cat says, I don't care about crochet, Mommy. I just want YARN!

Ginger says, “I don’t care about crochet, Mommy. I just want YARN!”

For anyone who really wants to learn how to crochet, the following pages will help:

May 25, 2015: New Crochet Book Reviews

Today is May, 25, 2015. I’m beginning my notes for this post at 9:55 am local time here in the Med, and it’s already uncomfortably hot and humid here in our sailboat. This sort of intense heat zaps my energy and sucks it right out of me, so I’m hoping today’s post won’t end up reading something like “Today I slept all day. The end!”

Speaking of sleeping: My kitties all got up at some stupid early hour this morning, and they were running around like wildcats. I was awakened by one of them taking a broad leap and landing on my head. I have scratch marks on my face to show for that. 🙁

Now the kitties are all sleeping like little black and white angels. Happiness = 4 adorable sleeping cats.

6:24 PM

I ended up being more productive than expected today. No sleeping for me — not even a little nap.

Today I Crocheted…

…a swatch of “zig-zag lozenge stitch”, from Sarah Hazell’s Crochet Stitch Dictionary.

Today I crocheted this swatch of ZigZag Lozenge Stitch  from Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell.

Today I crocheted this swatch of ZigZag Lozenge Stitch from Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell.

This is an intriguing stitch that I’m interested in trying again, next time in stripes of three different colors.

Today I Published…

The short version of these reviews: I love both these books, and highly recommend them. I invite you to check out the reviews if you’re curious about the details of why.

Thanks for dropping by! I really appreciate your interest.

XOXOXOXOXO

Amy

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at ArtsWithCrafts.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-3-2019.

Cindy the SuperModel Gets in on Our Headband Photo Shoot

Mike Wearing a Crocheted Headband and Holding Cindy the SuperModel Kitten. A free crochet pattern is available online for the headband pattern.

Mike Wearing a Crocheted Headband and Holding Cindy the SuperModel Kitten. A free crochet pattern is available online for the headband pattern.

A few days ago, I made Mike a couple of new, guy-friendly crocheted headbands. I asked him if he’d let me post his picture wearing them on various websites online, and of course, he agreed.

The cockpit of our boat was the most convenient location for the photo shoot, so we headed out there.

Cindy, one of our cute little kittens, just would not leave us alone while we were taking the pictures. She kept trying to climb up Mike’s leg during the entire photo shoot. It’s as if she were trying to say, “hey guys, I’m the supermodel in this family!” (Note: We did name her after Cindy Crawford, and we do jokingly refer to her as “Cindy the SuperModel.”) So what could we do but include her in the pics? Cute cats = lots of website clicks! Er, we hope.

Cindy seems to get prettier every day; I think she is really turning out to be a beautiful cat. And of course, Mike is my favorite model when it comes to guys’ crochet projects.

Our kitties used to be scared of the outside world, and in the past they were content to stay inside the boat. Not anymore; nowadays they are playing outside on top of the boat — with supervision only, because we’re worried that the naughty little cuties will end up in the water if they aren’t careful. Every time they see fish jumping, I get nervous that they are going to dive right in and go fishing.

When we were cruising around California, we knew a guy who lived aboard his boat with several fully-grown cats. He told us that the cats enjoyed fishing from his dinghy. Sometimes we’d see them out there, their little eyes intent on the water, watching for fish. It was really cute. He said the cats actually managed to catch some impressive fish from time to time, although most of the time their catch was basically bait material. Maybe our girls could be taught to fish too…someday. We don’t have actual plans to make that happen any time soon.

If any of you are interested in grabbing the free headband pattern, it’s available online. And for those of you who might like to see more pics of the headband< (or incidentally, more pics of Mike and Cindy,) those are used to be available too. At the time I originally posted this pattern, I also posted an image gallery that shows several different views of the headband plus a couple different colors of the design. I made a green headband first, then made the blue one afterwards to test the pattern. However, the editors at the publishing website have apparently decided that those weren’t worth migrating when they re-branded their website and moved domains.

Hope you’re all well and happy, and enjoying 2013 so far. It’s hard to believe we’re this far into the month of January already!

Related Resources

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since age 16. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, knittingandcrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

My Warmest, Softest Scarf

The nights at our place have been chilly lately.

When my kittens were tiny, if the weather was chilly, they’d sleep piled on top of each other for warmth. Now that they can jump, they sometimes like to jump up into our bed and sleep with us. Sometimes they sleep piled on top of Mike and me, and sometimes they sleep piled on top of each other. Several days ago I awoke with four kittens piled on top of my right arm. I couldn’t move it until I woke up enough to figure out how to get them off. I can’t believe how heavy they’re getting.

On several of the last few mornings, I’ve awoken wearing an IzzyScarf. Meaning that, at some point, in the wee hours of the morning, Izzy climbed onto my neck, stretched herself out across it and fell asleep there.

Izzy is the warmest, softest, furriest scarf I’ve ever worn. I wish I could wear her out and about in cold weather.

But, for that, at least I have my knitted and crocheted scarves which are nice, although they are nowhere near as warm or as soft as my IzzyScarf.

I guess I should just be glad she lets me wear her sometimes while I am sleeping.

Yesterday morning, Mike got to experience the IzzyScarf too. Mike isn’t a big scarf fan, although I did make him a matching crocheted hat and scarf set. He wears the hat pretty often, but the scarf, not so much.

But the IzzyScarf? Well, that made his day! You shoulda seen the grin on his face. He loves his little baby Izzy sooooooooo much.

Wishing I had photos of this to show you! It was the cutest thing.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.