A Love Affair with Wool

One of the reasons I fell in love with knitting is the wool. The texture, colours, feel and even the scent of pure wool were very appealing – and still are. When I was little I used to go and stay with my aunt who was a spinning and weaving teacher. Needless to say she always had a wool-related project to keep me amused. I remember sitting in her garden one summer’s day, handling some raw wool fleece. My job was to loosen the fibres by tossing it into the air, teasing it out, and letting the air in. I loved the feel of the wool under my fingers and the scent of lanolin it left behind.  To this day, handling pure wool is happily evocative of those times.

The giant wool I use for my baskets and cat caves is not that far removed from raw fleece. It’s had minimal processing and still retains its characteristic aroma. I had a lot of fun devising my giant wool baskets and my cats love modelling them.

So I was thrilled this week when my extreme knitting cat baskets were featured on the Ovis-A wool blog.  Many thanks to Katherine for the mention!

Ovis-a.com is a new site which aims to promote and celebrate British wool and wool designs. From their Facebook page – “The overall ethos is to promote a forward thinking and contemporary way to showcase British Wool products, using a directory and showcase service.”  They are also on Twitter.

This is a great idea and I wish them all the best with their venture!

It's not finished yet, Herbie

It’s not finished yet, Herbie

Till next time,

L x

Merlin Loves his Cave!

Looks like Merlin got his Christmas present early!

Cat Cave Merlin

 

“Just opened up Merlin’s parcel and he wont get out !! He loves it 🙂
He only got out of his cave to eat and then snuggled up in it again :-):-)
Honestly, thank you so much for making them for me…you have made us all so happy x”

Cat Cave Merlin 2

It’s wonderful to have such happy customers.  Many thanks to Merlin’s mum for sending these great pictures.

Merlin is a Birman – and doesn’t he make a stunning model for the Cat Cave.  My cats are too big for it. Monty once tried to coil himself snake-like in the Cat Cave, but only managed to roll himself upside-down and out again! How I wish I had that on film, it was priceless.

All for now,

L x

 

 

Cat Cave with personalised label

I just finished a custom order for a Cat Cave and a 14 x 10 inch basket.

The customer’s name was Merlin so I made this special label for him. Too cute!

Personalised label

Personalised label

This is going to be his Christmas present.

Cat-Cave-with-Label

And the basket is for storing all his toys!

14 x 10 in basket

14 x 10 in basket

What a lucky cat Merlin is!

The Cat Cave in all its glory can be viewed on Not On The High Street, along with the cat baskets and other extreme knitting goodies.

I am also adding some cats and knitting-related fine art prints in the coming days!

Hope all your pre-Christmas plans are coming together,

Till next time,

L x

 

Check out this lovely blog

My Giant Cable Knit blanket has been included in Anthea Willis’s blog, Forest Flower Designs.

It’s part of her feature on cable knits. Her blog is absolutely beautiful, so definitely worth a visit, even if it is on ‘the other side’!

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Right now I am trying to type with Larry on my lap. He is really too big to fit there comfortably. I ought to contain him with an arm to stop him sliding off. But he manages to hang on, until he drifts off to sleep. Then I have to catch him before he falls.

Til next time,

L x

Giant Blanket in 14 colours

It’s always good if you can offer choice to your customers. My cat baskets come in three different sizes, but the wool only comes in one colour. Dyeing it is a possibility but on the other hand I really like the wool ‘au naturel’.

However, the yarn I use for the Giant Cable Blanket is a soft courtelle which comes in 14 different colours. So why on earth not offer all those colours to my customers? I put together a colour guide for my listings:

Colour medley jpeg

 

I can also make the blanket to fit any bed: double, queen or kingsize. Then the smallest size, 4ft by 5ft, makes a lovely throw for the sofa.

Giant Cable blanket under construction

Giant Cable blanket under construction

It would be great to work with some of those bright and beautiful colours.

I notice that not all webshops are equipped for multi-choice listings. Etsy and Notonthehighstreet both offer the facility to list one item with variations. Other e-shops are not set up for this, which means you have to make a separate listing for each colour or size. This is a little inefficient, but I know this facility is under development.

Right, I am now going to attempt a giant cable knit cushion. Herbie has established himself on my lap but I think he’ll move when the giant knitting needles come out!

Till next time,

L x

Cat Baskets at Cool For Cats UK!

I was totally thrilled last week to find that Kathy at Cool for Cats UK has devoted an entire blog post to my extreme knitting cat baskets.

Kathy is a cat lover extraordinaire.  She volunteers at the animal rescue charity CHAT in London, and also works in a Cats Protection charity shop.  Her blog is full of great stories and product reviews.  I’m really flattered that she chose to feature my cat baskets and wrote about them so well.

It's not finished yet, Herbie

It’s not finished yet, Herbie

Thanks again Kathy!

Till next time,

L x

Cat Cave coverage in Your Cat

I found out today that my Cat Cave in giant wool is being featured in the October issue of Your Cat magazine.

This is my first ever press coverage and I’m absolutely thrilled. They have done wonders with my picture and I love what they have written. ‘Knitty Kitty Cave’ is great!

Cat Cave in giant wool - or Knitty Kitty Cave

Cat Cave in giant wool – or Knitty Kitty Cave

It looks like the Cat Cave may be my bestseller, so I really should think about making one which is Maine Coon sized….

Till next time,

L x

New designs for Christmas!

I wasn’t intending to start this early but I happened to visit my LYS yesterday and this yarn just jumped out at me.

Tinsel yarn!

Tinsel yarn!

It looks like tinsel and it’s even called ‘Tinsel Chunky’.  There were lots of colours including purple, black and blue, but I chose red, white, gold and silver for now.

And I made a tinselly bauble!

Tinsel bauble!

Tinsel bauble!

I am ridiculously excited about this. I can just imagine a whole treeful of tinsel baubles.

I also made an oversized version of my Christmas Stocking. Instead of a little tree decoration, for holding a chocolate or small gift, I upscaled the pattern. Using 25mm needles and two strands of super chunky yarn, I made a giant stocking for proper presents:

Big stocking and little stocking

Big stocking and little stocking

The giant stocking is 40 x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches), and it has a lot of stretch, which is essential for all those Christmas goodies!

How are your Christmas knitting plans going?

Till next time,

L x

 

New Baskets are Ready

New 100% wool baskets are ready and listed for sale.

9-inch square basket

9-inch square basket

9-inch round basket

9-inch round basket

11-inch round basket

11-inch round basket

18-inch round basket

18-inch round basket

Carefully designed and made over many weeks, these baskets have all manner of uses.  The wool is semi-felted and slightly spun, giving a firm structural finish but retaining its natural softness. As readers of previous posts will know, cats love them. There is a faint scent of fleecy wool about them which seems irresistible to felines. And of course they are snug and warm. If your cat has ever made a little nest on your woolly jumper, your cat will love these baskets.

Larry likes it

Larry likes it

Monty takes 3 in one go

Monty takes 3 in one go

Herbie snuggles down before I've had a chance to cast off

Herbie snuggles down before I’ve even had a chance to cast off

They also make great work baskets, ideal for holding all your bits and pieces for a small project.

Basket will grip your knitting needles and keep them safe

Basket will grip your knitting needles and keep them safe

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I have had a lot of fun making these, and I hope you like them!

Till next time,

L x

Baskets Galore

Fair bit of progress this week as I’ve knitted 4 complete baskets.  I’ve also had a total re-think about the construction which has given me the best result so far – with a nice flat bottom!

Extreme Knitting baskets

Extreme Knitting baskets

Monty is a big fan of the woollen cat basket and I knew he would hop in before long.  I wondered which one he would go for. Spread himself out in the big one, or fold himself up into one of the smaller ones?

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Ah, he went for the big one.

Then he changed his mind.

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I tidied up, and discovered that 3 of the baskets make a nice little ‘basket nest’.

Seems Monty approves of this too.

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Herbie likes a woollen baskets to snooze in.  He squeezed himself into the smallest one so far, before I’d even fastened it off.

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Now for a radical departure: I’m going rectangular.

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Let’s see if I can finish this off before making a start on dinner.

Oh, wait…

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It’s not looking likely.

Till next time,

L x