My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

A Felted Kitty Bed?

Yes, I’ve decided that Lucy most definitely needs a felted kitty bed. And of course it must be made from Kureyon.

This will not necessarily make me fall off my yarn diet, as I have an unopened bag of ten balls of Kureyon color #80 for which I had no firm plans. That’s Option Number One. Option Number Two is to fall off the yarn diet and buy Big Kureyon to make her a nice thick very pricey kitty bed indeed. Hmmmmmmmm . . . I did just get a whopping big bonus at work, and I do think Lucy deserves a special gift. And I did decree that yarn purchased to make gifts is not necessarily in violation of the Code of the Yarn Diet.

Or . . . I could knit a bed using regular Kureyon held double and use the yarn I have, thereby not violating the yarn diet in any way, shape, or form.

What do you guys think?

I did an internet search for felted cat bed patterns and found the one I remembered — made from Lamb’s Pride Bulky and knitted in “pie wedges.” That’s not exactly what I want, so I think I’m going to design my own kitty bed.

I could knit it like a big ol’ bucket hat (and thanks to Bonne Marie and her Bucket o’ Chic pattern for giving me this idea) without the brim. Knit the “wall” of the bed first, then knit circularly into the center, decreasing as I go.

An alternative would be to knit it out from the center — make a flat circle (like the start of a Pi shawl) and then knit up sides.

I think I’ll start this after I finish the multidirectional scarf. If my attempt is successful, I’ll write up the pattern. I’m sorry, Bonne Marie, but in my head I’m already thinking of this as “Bucket o’ Chat.”

I promise not to call it that.

lucy120203 A Felted Kitty Bed?

Lucy obviously likes Kureyon.

Fern!

As predicted, not much knitting time last night.

fern1202 A Felted Kitty Bed?

But I did get a start on the back.

Electric Ball Winders

Allana asked yesterday:

A question for you about the electric ball winder — do you find that it stretches the yarn too taught in the ball? I received one as a gift and I find that it spins so quickly that the yarn is stretched and the balled yarn is much thinner looking than it was in the skein. I just wound some of the Hebridean yarn for Rosarie and am concerned that if the yarn has been permanently stretched it is going to affect gauge! I would hate to have wound the lovely springiness out of the yarn. Have you had this experience with your winder? (Mine is the one from Halcyon).

Allana, I took a quick look and saw that Halcyon carries two electric ball winders — one that will wind up to a 4 oz ball and one that will wind up to an 8 oz ball. The larger of the two has an adjustable automatic tension device, while on the smaller one you have to tension the yarn through your hand as you wind. I have the larger one.

When I first got it, I spent a fair amount of time adjusted the tension to get it just right. Once I did that, I’ve had no problems with skeins that are wound too tightly.

In the “Believe It or Not” Department . . .

Tevilla asked:

I noticed on some of your older fo that you put the date started and finished. Your recent ones only have the finished date. I love groaning over how fast you knit–and I guess being inspired by what is possible. Any chance would you include both in future fo’s?

The reason I stopped putting starting dates on my FO pages is because (and this is the truth, I swear) I was getting hate email from people who berated me for bragging about how fast I knit.

Some people are pathetic, huh? This could open up a whole discussion about internet & email etiquette, but I’ll save the tales of what some total strangers think I owe them for another time. When I’m pissed off.

Comments

  1. i say go for the big kureyon, lucy deserves only the best!

  2. I’m making my own multi-directional scarf! I had been looking for a scarf for my mother that was more than ribbing, and was reversible. I’m making mine out of three shades of homespun… Doesn’t show the directions as well, but the colors mesh really nicely.

  3. I was going to say ‘you are joking’,but I know you’re not.The nerve of some people is astounding.

    I think you should go the Big Kureyon route – not least because I want to know it knits up !
    From what little I can tell from the pic. of the Big Kureyon Booga bag on Julie’s gallery page,it makes a nice,thick fabric.Just right for a Lucy nest.Do you think that part of the attraction of her current choice of nest is that the colours match her ? :0)

  4. Breaking your yarn diet for your kitty shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you wanted to use the Kureyon that you have, how about doing double knitting (knit the outer and inner layer at the same time). That way you maintain the stripes but get some thickness.

  5. What do I think of people who berate you for knitting so quickly?

    *BIG raspberry*

    Be proud of your talent, and your speed. Slowpokes like me are inspired by your unbelievable progress. My knitting speed will never change, but I certainly don’t think anyone should put the brakes on for my sake! The nerve of some people…

  6. Stick to that yarn diet!

    The suggestion of using double knitting is interesting, though I find all that slipping painfully slow.

    How about knitting a tube twice the length of the intended cushion, folding it in half back over itself and using some sort of i-cord finish to seam the 4 thicknesses together at one end and the two folds at the other – which could extend into a cord trim all the way round?

  7. I’d like to think that you’re kidding about the hate mail, but I believe it…jealousy is an ugly thing! I think that you should put the start dates in if you want to regardless of what other people think…if they want to be hateful, then you have the option of blocking their comments. Your kitty bed is going to be wonderful…and I hope you share the pattern; I have a spoiled 4 lb. poodle that would love that for xmas ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Big Kureyon! But with my cats, I would be so afraid to bother–as soon as I had gone to the trouble, they would snub it. Not that I’ve ever done that…twice. Ahem.

  9. Sure I’m jealous that you knit so fast and so well, but what really pisses me off is that you got a whopping bonus! ha-ha!! That almost spells disaster for the yarn diet! Keep up the good work Wendy, and remember, without all the *ssh*les out there, the rest of us would just seem normal, as opposed to the extrememly nice people we are! (they’re probably just jealous because Lucy is prettier than their cat . . .)

  10. The nerve of some people! What, do they think you have a sweat shop of knitters in your basement churning out your knitting? Puh-lease!!!

    Do you think Lucy’s attracted to that particular Booga bag? Did she show the same interest in the other bags? Maybe you should consider using the same color for her bed? Then again, you know cats. Once you do something special for them, they turn up their noses. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I just bought a cat bed for our new kitty and he wants nothing to do with it. He sleeps on the top of my knitting bag or on top of the wicker trunk where I keep my yarn…LOL!

  11. I don’t like the idea of holding the two strands of kureyon together–you will lose the self-striping. What could be nice is holding a coordinated worsted and kureyon together. ๐Ÿ™‚ And please!! post the pattern you use–if you create one. I have my Lamb’s Pride bulky and worsted collecting dust as I am so uninspired by the cat cuddler basket. My cat bed is due in 2 days–I bought the yarn ages ago…I contemplated doing a circular out design of my own, loosely based on one of the bags in Folk Bags. I am just not that creative. Keep us informed.

  12. Wendy, I have a feeling you will make them in both kinds of yarn (for design and testing purposes, of course), so choose what intrigues you more for the first one. My real “fast knitting” question is this: do you feel you’ve gotten faster over time? Have you reached your top speed (i.e., you now knit as fast as you would want to)? And most important, do you choose or appreciate projects differently because you know you won’t spend three/six/nine months knitting them?

  13. I bought “Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living” because I liked the looks of the jewel-colored welted baskets that IMO would be perfect for a kitty bed. It is knitted by casting on for the sides and finished with picking up stitches around the bottom and then decreasing to the center of the bottom. I thought I’d just double the number of cast-on stitches to double the size for a kitty bed. The yarn used is doubled Mt. Colors, but now I think Big Kureyon would be just the ticket.

    As for start date negative comments, I’m hopeful that we, your loyal readers, would have more pull. Noticing your start and end dates often helps me resist startitis, so I’m hoping you reverse your decision.

  14. Another comment re kitty bed: I plan to use a hat box to block the bed – will protect the hat box with a kitchen size plastic bag.

    I like using hat boxes for my WIPs and spinning fiber – use one for transporting my spinning to Sit & Spin. They can be found off and on at Linen’s & Things in 3 graduated sizes and fun motifs.

  15. Would I tempt you from your yarn diet? Moi? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lucy should be the exception to the rule and I’d make the decision based on the color. Does she like the color you already have? Or do you need to buy new yarn to get her perfect palette?

  16. Diets are made to go off of…

    Shaking my head at the unmitigated gull of some people. I have three little words for them:

    GET A LIFE!!!!

  17. Can’t wait to see the kitty bed, ‘cos my spoiled 4 lb. poodle would love one too.

    As for the hate mail on your superb knitting skills…I second the *rasberry*. That’s the beauty of a delete key – Be Gone With Your Foolishness. PLEASE reconsider posting your start and finishing dates. The rest of us need something to aspire to.

  18. Try to use something in your stash & get the Big Kureyon when your yarn diet is over… I like Kathleen’s suggestion to either use 2 strands of kureyon together (if you can match them) OR 1 strand of kureyon & 1 strand of a yarn that will look nice (would make a heathery/marl like effect)brown sheep lambs pride or brown sheep top of the lamb…top of the lamb is 100% wool single strand and Lamb’s pride has some mohair in it…

    On the off chance that Lucy snubs your gift, have an idea for an alternate plan for what this piece can be used for, or do a small swatch (that could be a hot pad) and see if Lucy likes it or not…probably ought to if you use a different yarn to test for feltability…

    I have to be careful what I leave out: my cat Dumbledore & his brother Liberty (siamese colored) will find some fleece & get all kneady with yarn or fleece…not to mention what the 2 year old might come up with… he “knits”… he’ll take a strand of yarn & wrap it around the needle…usually the strand I’m holding!

  19. What difference does it make if you knit slow or fast – the main thing is the “love of knitting”. It is very obvious you love handknitting as beautiful as “all” your sweaters, bags, scarves, shawls, etc. turn out.

    Some people are just jealous.

  20. You said it yourself: it’s a gift, so it doesn’t count against the yarn diet. If you do Big Kureyon I suggest color 07, which looks to me (on my crummy gov’t issue monitor) like it would coordinate well with Lucy’s fur the way your big bag does. If you use regular Kureyon, don’t use the #80, buy some in the same color you used (51, right? It looks like 57 might also go well with her coloring).

    But really, doesn’t Lucy deserve cashmere? (*bats eyelashes innocently*)

  21. Correction — I see you used 55 before; I think that 51 would also go. (I made up 57 out of the ether.)

    No caffeine today. ๐Ÿ™

  22. I think Lucy is one spoiled little kitty! But who am I to talk. I have a Lhasa Apso that refuses to sleep on anything other than a handquilted quilt!! Unless of course, it’s my lap. I think I vote for the big Kuryeon – after all, it’s a gift and what better use for a whopping big bonus. I used my last bonus to buy a swift and yarn winder. I, too, am slightly jealous of your speed, but I also vote for putting back in the start and finish dates. It is so inspiring to many of us and I feel like we are all cheerleaders standing on the sidelines and cheering you on. Just because the rest of us can’t match you doesn’t mean that we aren’t pleased as anything to see your success. As for the hate mail, I can see that it would be upsetting, but that’s what delete keys are made for. Please know that for the majority of us you are a wonderful inspiration and I am constantly inspired!

  23. The Big-K is pretty cool stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰ Quite different from the regular Kureyon, I was kind of surprised. I’m fixing to knit the Lily bag from Big-K. I’m wondering how much bigger it will turn out.

    I gotta get a kitty so I can knit him/her a bed too!

  24. I say buy new yarn if you must use Kureyon. Where different colours overlap it will look ‘muddy’ in at least a few places. Lucy would turn her little nose up at the mess it would be were you to offer up something like that for her delicate tooshy. If you’re going to do it like the b.’o’.c., make the wall double thickness or it’ll flop over. I’m thinking I would (if I were nuts enough to knit for animals, that is) start with a provisional cast on, knit around for double the height of the wall, then fold it over with the insides together (like a sweater hem) and keep knitting with one strand decreasing to centre.
    Did I ever mention that I decided to hate you when you trumped my two pairs of socks knit on our vacation with a whole damn sweater? You greedy bitch, share the bragging rights already.
    xo

  25. My vote is for the Big Kureyon. My reasoning: a whole bag of regular Kureyon could possibly make up a sweeater or some similar size item. If you break up the bag to use part of it for a kitty bed, then you’ll be stuck with ‘extra’ skeins that might not match up to newly bought yarn for making a larger item. So use a piece of your bonus and get a good amount of the Big Kureyon to make the kitty bed. (I love rationalizing). Since Lucy likes the Kureyon so well, she might snub a bed made with a different material.

    And I agree: I too am inspired when I see how quickly you can turn out a sweater. As Jack Nickolson once said “it makes me want to be a better (knitter)”.

  26. Sorry about the bad apples who send negative comments. When I’m not steamed off at them, I feel sorry for them – they really must not have much in life.

    Do not double strand the Kureyon with itself. If you decide to do double knitting, it can go fast. Look at the third Hoover blanket in Knitty. If you follow the directions, it takes forever. If you put the second color on another needle and knit the two colors separately, twisting at edge, it goes rapidly. Ask further if this is not clear.

    Can I change my name to Lucy and get a Kureyon bed also?

  27. People never cease to amaze me. They actually believe they have the right to say anything they want to anyone and everyone. “Get a life” is right. Tell them to get lost and keep right on doing whatever you feel comfortable with. Idiots!

    A felted Lucy bed sounds great no matter which yarn you decide to use. If she doesn’t care for it, you can always fill it with her toys.

  28. My two cents, I rather like the cat cushion you’ve (almost) got there, just a booga-bag stuffed and sewn up, but then my cat isn’t big on beds with sides. I’m tempted to make my kitty a big felted cushion and stuff it with either thick quilt batting or a pillow form or something, but she seems so happy already with her pillow with fake lambskin fabric cover that I’m thinking it will have to wait till I finish a few other things first.

  29. Given the capriciousness of felines, I was going to suggest that you just let her have the Booga bag. She likes it, obviously, and you never know how she’ll respond to something new. You could take the straps off and use them for another Booga Bag. I say pretend to buy the Big Kureyon for a gift and wait long enough that you can make the gift one you give to yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰

  30. I suggest you change your decision about posting start and end times. Ignore the dummies that are not inspired by your speed and have the gall to criticize you.

  31. Wendy,

    There is a fantastic cat bed pattern in the new “Stitch and Bitch” Book. Of course designing your own could be much more fun. You’ll have to let us know how Lucy likes it. I have a feeling that if I did one for my kitty, she’d refuse it if only to spite me ๐Ÿ˜‰

    BTW, I am inspired by your knitting speed and only wish I could knit so fast!

  32. Hi Wendy,

    Beware of knitting your cat anything bigger than a catnip mouse! In my experience, the cat will reject the item you *want* it to sleep on (or play with, or eat…) and head directly for the item you’d rather it left alone! My apartment is full of gifts utterly and coldheartedly rejected by Lola. The scratching post, the light-up ball, the fancy can of mushy food… all completely untouched.

  33. Ah, everyone beat me to my comments! Oh well, I’ll say them anyway. hehe Post your start dates. Those of us who aspire to be a knitting goddess like you someday wish to know what our goal is. ๐Ÿ™‚ If people give you trouble, tell them, in the immortal words of Matt at Threadbear Fiberarts, “Bite my @ss!”

    I was going to suggest the kitty bed in “Stitch n Bitch”. It is really nice. Or, I don’t know if this would work, but I’d be tempted to try to knit a HUGE booga bag with big Kureyon or with two strands of regular held together but then just STOP a little ways up the sides. The goal being to make an oblong little “bowl” with a snuggly “edge” around it for HER HIGHNESS to step into. Does that sound feasible? That is a similar look to the one in “S&B” except I think theirs is oval. Their technique for it is probably better than my idea, tho. hehe I’m anxious to see what you come up with.

  34. I think Lucy should just keep the bag she likes so much. My cat Maddie has claimed an old felted hat of mine as her own. The only time she has really hurt the dog is when the dog stole the hat. ๐Ÿ™‚
    As for people who post rude comments, I’ve had my share and my blog is only a couple months old. Do what you like, who cares what they think. I love to my kids about how fast you complete projects.

  35. Wadda think…maybe if people who send hate mail would KNIT instead, they would get more stuff done and FASTER? Yikes, big rasperry to them.

    I am looking forward to the cat bed–or for me–beds. My two male cats don’t share so they will each have to have one.

    Thanks for your constant inspiration

  36. “Bucket o’ Chat” just made me choke on an English muffin! So cute.

    And *please*–people are so sad. Hate mail because you knit quickly? How jealous and pathetic. I say start posting the start dates again; I’ve missd them too! Maybe if people spent less time aggravating bloggers and more time knitting, they’d improve their own speed. Losers.

  37. Come on Wendy….. Big Kureyon all the way! Lucy deserves the best. It’s funny that she chose your Booga bag. Mags loves to use my Kureyon Fuzzy Feet as her personal pillow. (She hides it under her so well, I really thought I was losing my mind for awhile there looking for the other foot).

    I would love the pattern! Perhaps this could be a fun knit-along.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for the rude, and jealous, who can’t stand it when people do better than they do. They have insecurities that need to be addressed and it has nothing to do with you. (Poo poo to those of you!)

  38. I’m not a cat person, but if I understand the concept, what you have there is a living, breathing creature that makes you feel good.

    If the yarn diet is so restrictive that you can’t do something for that creature which offers you love and attention, then you must re-think the yarn diet.

    Get the Big Kureyon.

    Heck, I didn’t even know there WAS such a thing as Big Kureyon.

    But get it. Lucy deserves it.

  39. Off with the Diet!!! Big Kureyon fer sure. Remember the diet thing is all about buying what you’ll stash and never get to in a lifetime, resulting in unsightly poundage. You’re using this Big Kureyon, not stashing it – so go girl.

    The posters are most insightful – I wouldn’t have thought about the double strand muddying up the colors [until I had already cast on 200 stitches and knit 3 inches] and the double knitting suggestion – very smart. I wouldn’t use double just b/c I abhor knitting with double strands – always dropping one when there’s a good movie on TV.

  40. I’m with Sammi and Theresa. I’d made a Knitter’s Companion felted bag (from White Buffalo, FWIW) and the cat slept on it all the time. So I made her a nice felted cat bed from the leftovers. She hated it, and continues to sleep on the bag. So I just decided it’s not a knitting bag, it’s always been a cat bed, with an unconventional shape. YMMV of course.

  41. Perhaps you could take Lucy to your yarn shop and let her choose!:) Seriously, I’d go with the big Kureyon, it sounds lovely to knit with, and like it would felt up very plush. As for the little Miss turning up her nose at it, one of my boys has arthritis and needs a heated bed, so to teach him to sleep in it I sprinkled it with catnip and would gently deposit him in it at naptime – now he loves it.

    As for the hate mail – (deep sigh) I’m sorry to hear people have been so ill-mannered. I enjoy seeing your start and finish dates, they give me hope.

  42. dont let anyone tell you what to do. if you want to post start and end dates, do so.

    thats ridiculous that they complain.

  43. I almost posted yesterday that I think you’ve already knitted the cat bed–what you need to knit now is another bag so you can have one to use!

    And I’m with the crowd about putting the start dates back in. I like seeing them.

  44. Catherine says:

    Re: “If people give you trouble, tell them, in the immortal words of Matt at Threadbear Fiberarts, “Bite my @ss!”

    Er, careful — I think those words were directed at me/KBTH at some point and, well, you had to be there ๐Ÿ˜‰

    -Catherine

  45. I really don’t see how you would be breaking your yarn diet if you bought Big Kureyon for Lucy’s Christmas present. After all, isn’t she the Mouse-a-thon Queen Lucy? If she hadn’t been the mouse-a-thon poster cat we wouldn’t have worked as hard as we did to make all those mice. Let’s hear it for Lucy’s Kureyon bed!!! I’d suggest that we all send you 1 hand of yarn for her bed, so that you could stay on your diet, but then you might end up with enough yarn for all the cat’s in your state!

    Don’t let the hate mail get to you. I am totally interested in how long it takes you to make something. It motivates me to get on with one project INSTEAD OF JUMPING AROUND from one thing to another.

    Hugs to Lucy!

  46. Jenny (in Davis) says:

    Wendy:

    BIG Kureyon! I think it would be better than little Kureyon. I agree with Rebecca about the cat bed in “Stitch and Bitch,” but it is not stuffed, and it’s made with fluffy eyelash yarn, so it might not look so good with a non-novelty yarn. Their cat bed is a knitted fluffy circle with a fluffy edge around it. If you want a more firm bed, it wouldn’t work, unless I guess you knit TWO base circles, sew them, and stuff them…

    Can’t wait to see! Before you answered Tevilla’s comments I was just wondering myself why you didn’t have your start dates… now I see… Bring ’em back I say! Screw those losers who can’t deal with your knitting genius! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  47. another Wendy says:

    I, too, miss your starting and ending dates. Who cares what those fussbudgets whine about? It’s YOUR blog! I certainly haven’t attained your speed in knitting yet, but so what? Your speed, your workmanship, your fabulous choices for projects are nothing short of admirable. Maybe you should post the hate mail in a “Can you believe these people?” section on your blog (insert evil cackling here;). It could be just like those stores that post people’s bad checks for all to see!

  48. Bucket o’ Chat. Hehe. Love that! Lucy is one lucky kitty, oh yes she is.

    P.S. Pathetic, indeed. I think you have an idea on what I think about the types of individuals who just love to peck out those kind of notes ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Hmmm, now there is an idea for stash reduction! I’m trying to figure out a way to keep the cats and the hair off of the sofa…

  50. I agree with the post that you should just give Lucy the bag and make yourself another one – cats nearly always prefer stuff that was not intended for them to stuff that was.

    But really, I want to see you knit some Big Kureyon because I am curious about it. Pictures! Project notes!

  51. First place, it’s impossible to spoil a cat. They’re born pre-spoiled — they already know your mission in life is to serve them, so why worry?

    Second place — I know everyone’s telling you to ignore the sad, sad folk who send you nasty mail. But I wanted to say that if it gets to you, and not posting your start dates keeps them from writing things that get to you — you should do what feels best. Not that you need my permission. Just wanted to lend a little support to it not always being so easy to just ignore mean-spirited people. If that makes sense.

  52. Stick to the diet – you’ve almost inspired me to start one. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I vote knitting the kitty bed from the center outwards – why cast on tons o’ stitches when you only need four or so? Then you can get a better idea of how large to make it. Can’t wait to see how it turns out… I know my kitties would love one.

    Will you knit it with a double-thick bottom, or perhaps have a removable foam insert? Spend that bonus on foam to stuff inside, or a microwaveable (and safe) pet heating disk like I have for my Whippet – Lucy would love it!

Trackbacks

  1. go fish says:

    Go to sleep, shut your big blood shot eyes

    Wendy gave me an amazingly good idea: felted kitty beds. I won’t get around to it until after Christmas, but…