My current work in progress:

Ottar Hap Shawl, designed by Kate Davies, knit from Buachaille in the Squall, Ptarmigan, and Islay colorways, using a U.S. size 9 (5.5mm) needle.

Minky Mouse 2.0

Today I made Minky Mouse 2.0.

I found on Etsy a set of 5 vintage mink collars and ordered them for the princely sum of $19.95 for all five of them. This one has a fabric backing.

Collar050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

I decided to use this collar first — I would not have to sew fabric on the bottom of the mouse, just cut off mouse-size pieces. I am making 2 mice: one for Loki and one for my colleague’s kitties.

There was a hook and eye closure on the ends, so that had to go.

Ends050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

Those came off easily. I just needed to cut the threads holding them in place with a seam ripper. Then I cut off each end of the collar so I had a 4 or 5″ piece for each mouse.

Cut050717 230x240 Minky Mouse 2.0

You can see that there is some fiberfill stuffing in the collar. I pulled some of that out to make room for the catnip.

Catnip050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

I save old pantyhose and cut off the toes to use as pouches for catnip stuffing. I like putting the catnip in a little bag, so if the kitty manages to rip a mouse open, the catnip has a better chance of staying contained and not going all over the place.

I have leather strips cut for the tails.

Leather050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

I sew the end of the tail to the open end of the mouse using a leather needle and waxed thread.

Tail050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

“Isn’t it ready yet?”

Loki050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

Then I sew up the open end of the mouse. You don’t have to be particularly neat because the fur covers up the stitches.

Sewing050717 240x180 Minky Mouse 2.0

The important thing is making sure you have the opening securely sewn shut. And then finally . . .

MiceTop050717 180x240 Minky Mouse 2.0

Minky Mice! The mouse tummies are the lining fabric of the collar that I didn’t have to remove:

MiceBottom050717 240x160 Minky Mouse 2.0

And Loki is a happy boy!

Loki050717a 240x167 Minky Mouse 2.0

 

 

Minky Mouse

I have another sewing project I recently completed, this one a bit different!

Back story: One of my colleagues purchased at a craft show a few years ago a mink catnip mouse for her kitties. Her boy kitty Jake loved Minky Mouse — it was his all-time favorite toy. He carried it around and loved on it to the point that the fur was wearing off in spots.

Then disaster struck: Jake lost Minky Mouse. His humans searched up and down and back and forth and to and fro to no avail. It recently occurred to me that I could possibly make a replacement.

I searched Etsy for supplies, and found scraps of mink available for sale at a very reasonable price. (Note that I am a bleeding heart animal lover and would never own or wear a mink coat. I am fine with buying scraps of mink that come from vintage coats, stoles, etc. for the sake of deserving kitties.)

I also purchased wool felt, leather needles, waxed thread for sewing on leather, and leather strips to use as mouse tails. Using the needles made specifically for sewing on leather and waxed thread, I was surprised at how easy it was to sew leather to felt. I stuffed with catnip and attached a leather tail.

So Minky Mouse Version 1.0 was created.

MinkyMouse050317 240x147 Minky Mouse

The first Minky Mouse was delivered to Kitty Jake and his sister Sammy. Shortly thereafter I received video of both kitties happily playing with Minky.

I immediately made a second one, for Loki.

LokiandMinky050317 240x172 Minky Mouse

I think he likes it.

LokiandMinky050317a 208x240 Minky Mouse

Don’t you love a happy ending?

Wendy Used to Knit

I’m thinking about changing my online name to Wendy-Used-to_Knit.

It’s not so much that I’ve gone off knitting, more that I’ve rediscovered sewing. I am now knitting maybe one night a week and the rest of the evenings are devoted to handsewing doll clothes. Here are some recent creations.

Stays for Felicity:

StaysFront043017 225x240 Wendy Used to Knit

And the back:

StaysBack043017 240x214 Wendy Used to Knit

A dress for Molly:

MollyDress043017 156x240 Wendy Used to Knit

A dress for Samantha:

SamanthaDress043017 147x240 Wendy Used to Knit

And a dress for Kirsten:

KerstinDress043017 134x240 Wendy Used to Knit

And Loki is keeping up with his nap schedule!

Loki043017 240x179 Wendy Used to Knit

Happy Birthday, Loki!

Today is my sweet boy’s sixth birthday!

Loki041617 240x180 Happy Birthday, Loki!

So far today, he has had his little nose kissed several thousand times and has been told what a good boy he is around 100,000 times.

I did very little knitting over the past week. What I’ve been up to (among other things):

FelicitysDress041617 233x240 Happy Birthday, Loki!

A dress for Felicity!

Felicity041617 169x240 Happy Birthday, Loki!

I think she likes it.

And a dress for Molly:

Molly041617 142x240 Happy Birthday, Loki!

Both of these dresses I sewed by hand rather than by machine. More time-consuming, but a lot more satisfying!

In the comments, there was a request to see the fabric I’m going to use to line my Aspen coat. Here it is:

LibertyTanaLawn041617 240x223 Happy Birthday, Loki!

And here are the buttons:

Buttons041617 240x142 Happy Birthday, Loki!

I am working on the last sleeve, so some progress is being made.

Sleeves

All the sewing I have been doing has put a big dent in my knitting time, but I did finish the first sleeve of Aspen last weekend.

I am planning on lining this coat: I am going to us Liberty Tana Lawn for a nice lightweight lining. In order to do this, I need to construct a pattern for the lining. What I have done is to lay the blocked pieces of the coat on brown paper, and cut around them to create pattern pieces.

Sleeve040917 240x180 Sleeves

The sleeve is lying on top of brown paper which makes a nice sleeve template.

SleevePattern040917 240x180 Sleeves

I am going to do a deep inverted pleat in the center back of the lining for ease of movement. I’ll hem the bottom of the lining so that it is about even with the top of the ribbing, and it will hang free — I’m not going to attach it to the ribbing around the bottom, just around the neck and down the side fronts inside the ribbing, and at the armholes. I’ll tack the lining in place in a couple of spots above the sleeve cuffs.

Do I sound like I know what I’m doing? Yeah, only time will tell.

I still have this sleeve to complete:

WIP040917 240x180 Sleeves

And then miles and miles of ribbing for the neckband and front bands.

But I’m not in a hurry.

Loki040917 240x180 Sleeves