Showing posts with label Cats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cats. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cartridge Rib Stitch in the Round + Cat = Cat Leg Warmer



Cartridge Rib Stitch in the Round + Cat = Cat Leg Warmer

The blog seems to have received a number of search queries for instructions to the cartridge rib stitch motif knitted in the round. This is potentially the result of an earlier entry, in which I posted the stitch sequence for the basic cartridge rib stitch. This is available here.


Catridge Rib Stitch Sample in the Round

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tidying Up The Knitting Cupboard

Sifting through my yarn stash, organising knitting needles, taking stock of (un-) finished projects and being amused by my (neglected) collection of vintage knitting patterns... 

I am, of course, talking about tidying up the knitting cupboard - a vault of treasures.



Saturday, 14 June 2014

This Afternoon's Yarnographic Outtakes

Featuring Mietze and one skein of Araucanía Botany Lace.

One could get the impression Mietze enjoys having her photo taken...
















Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Another Project: The Knitted Cat Tunnel

When visiting a friend, I observed her cats diving in and out of a polyester / nylon cat tunnel. Our cats can also be found playing in enclosed spaces, especially underneath duvets and  blankets. When I saw how much her cats enjoyed playing in the tunnel, I contemplated purchasing one for ours, but on second thoughts I found  the material of the so-called cat caves, which are either made from nylon or polyester, somewhat off - putting. Given the choice, I knew that Pickle et al. would prefer hiding and resting in a cozy, knitted object. After all, they choose to fall asleep on my knitting projects. And so the idea for a knitted cat tunnel was born.

Cat Tunnel in Sirdar Big Softie

The following is not so much a knitting pattern, rather a description of my project in stages. It is suitable for the beginner knitter, as it only requires knowledge of a few knitting basics:
  • You will need to be able to cast on and off.
  • You should feel reasonably comfortable knitting on circular needles.
  • You need to be familar with the knit stitch.


Cat Tunnel in progress.


I used the following materials:

  • Bulky yarn of your choice. For my project I used approximately 10 skeins of Sirdar Big Softie. This included the yarn needed to sew in the plastic tubing at either end of the tunnel. As this project is a great exercise in stash busting, you could use yarn leftovers, provided they are of similar thickness.


    Knitted Cat Tunnel in Sirdar Big Softie

  • 10mm circular knitting needles (US size 15).

  • 10mm crochet hook (US size N/15) for finishing, sewing in yarn ends and incorporating the plastic tubing. (This can also be done with a large darning needle.)

  • Plastic tubing approximately as thick as a standard garden hose (see picture below), available at hardware stores. The length of the tubing is dependent on the circumference at the openings of the tunnel, and I would recommend buying the tubing, once you have completed knitting the tunnel and taken actual measurements of the openings.

  • Tape measure, scissors and a Stanley knife (for cutting the plastic tubing).

  • Two wooden plugs or sturdy parcel tape to join the plastic tubing

  • At least one playful feline, who will appreciate your crafting efforts.


    Pebble checking on progress


Instructions for a giant slouchy cat tunnel (40cm wide and 70cm long):

Begin by casting on 90 stitches using whichever method you prefer. (I used the cable cast on.) If you want a wider tunnel, cast on more stitches. If you want a smaller tunnel, reduce the amount of cast on stitches accordingly.

Place marker to mark the beginning of the round and join. 

Knit mindlessly until the tunnel has the desired length. My tunnel is approximately 70cm long and 40cm wide.

Proceed to bind off all stitches and weave in ends.

After you have finished knitting, you may wish to block the piece in order to stretch and straighten the material. I skipped this part.

Measure the circumference of the tunnel openings at either end to determine the required length of the plastic tubing. The plastic tubing I have chosen has the thickness of a domestic garden hose. 

Once you have cut the tubing to size with a Stanley knife, the ends of the tube have to be joined to form a circle. This can be achieved by glueing the ends together with sturdy parcel tape. Alternatively, you can join the ends with the help of a wooden plug, which will ensure a snug fit. (See picture below.) Before fitting the plug, briefly insert the tubes into hot water. This will cause the plastic to expand and the plug can be inserted easily. When the plastic has cooled down, the plug should fit tightly.






When the ends of the tube have been joined, proceed to sew the tube circles into the edges of the knitted tube, using the rolled up edges of the fabric as a guide.  








Having followed these steps, your cat tunnel is ready to be enjoyed destroyed (for your cats' safety obviously only under the supervision of a responsible human).


And here are a few impressions of how the tunnel was received by Pickle, Mietze and Pebble: 


Mietze enjoyed it as a seating facility until she was disturbed by Pebble.














    Saturday, 22 October 2011

    Pebble's Parasites

    In my last post I introduced Pebble, our kitten of approximately fifteen weeks. Here she is again, because a blog of any kind can never have enough pictures of cute kittens:




    Pebble went to the Vet's this week for her  vaccinations, chipping and a general check - up, which includes treatment against potential parasites such as fleas, mites and worms.

    The vet confirmed that everything was as it should be; and she is a healthy little kitten. So far, so good.


    Roundworm


    When I cleaned her litter tray the morning after the vet visit, I was greeted by the usual presents. However, over night the worm treatment got to work and she also released the above. 

    I do appreciate that not everyone wants to look at poo, but, let's face it, every cat owner will have to do it to ensure that everything is in order with their furry friend.

    Without confirmation from the vet, we believe this was a roundworm, which she must have picked up from her mum, as our two other cats don't go out and are routinely treated for / against parasites.

    According to our research on the matter, roundworm in kittens is quite common, but also highlights the importance of getting your cat checked out and routinely treated, even if everything appears to be ok and there are no symptoms of infestation. 

    Wednesday, 19 October 2011

    Not Knitting (due to Pebble)


    Not much has happened on the knitting front recently. This is mainly due to one factor: Pebble.


    Pebble 


    Pebble is the most recent addition to the feline division of the household. She joined Pickle and Mietze on 1st September 2011 and ever since we have been busy “managing” her gradual integration. I guess the last few weeks taught us that the introduction of a new kitten into a household with established cats is a slow and gradual process, requiring constant human supervision and, at times, intervention. Whilst there may be examples of instant acceptance of the newcomer by the senior cats, this rarely, if ever, happens.

    What’s more, there is no failsafe method and cat owners’ experiences and methods facilitating the integration of the newcomer vary greatly.

    Pebble disrupting the weekly clean

    Just in case anyone is interested, here is what we did:

    Pebble spent her first twenty four hours locked away in our bedroom. (We obviously spent the night with her and paid her numerous visits during the day.) She was equipped with food, water, her very own litter tray and an eclectic selection of toys. Knowing that there was another cat somewhere in the house, both Pickle and Mietze occasionally came up to the bedroom door and a had a good sniff. In the evening of the second day, when we were still living in hope that Pickle and Mietze might just accept the newcomer, we decided to let the cats encounter each other briefly.

    Mietze
    Mietze hissed, growled, ran away in fear, jumped onto the fridge and spent the best part of the next week sitting on the highest surfaces she could reach. Pickle, though slightly more confident, did much the same. Oblivious to all this, the kitten was just eager to meet both of them. Following the first meeting, we stopped all further face – to – face encounters and only showed the kitten to the adults when it was safely sitting on our arms and only for very short periods.

    Whilst I was swapping blankets and toys from room to room to disperse Pebble's smell across the house, Steve built a cat cage (which the cats are now using a a new seating facility). Every evening, we inserted Pebble together with a ping pong ball and let her run wild in her pen for twenty minutes or until she grew tired of being confined. The cage enabled the others to take a closer look without being directly exposed to Pebble; and it gave us piece of mind. If Pickle or Mietze really wanted to take a swipe at Pebble, she was at least not in danger of being injured. Thankfully, the adults only hissed and growled at her but refrained from swiping.

    Pickle (during a rare quiet moment)
    Another week passed and it was time to abandon the cage and open the bedroom again. This time, one of us sat and played with Pebble whilst the other remained with the adult cats, who were by then interested in watching the little one from a safe distance. A few more sessions of this kind and Pickle eventually ventured towards the kitten. She still hissed at Pebble, but she didn’t overtly threaten her. At this point, we decided to introduce a cardboard box and see whether Pebble and Pickle would start playing with it together. As hoped for, the cardboard box was an ice breaker.

    Fast forward a further seven days and the kitten is now spending longer stretches with the big cats. Being the more social of our two senior cats, Pickle is naturally more involved with Pebble, but Mietze is slowly coming to terms with the presence of the kitten. Whilst Mietze makes it abundantly clear that she doesn’t wish to engage in play of any sort, she now seems interested in watching the interaction between Pebble and Pickle.

    Pickle and Pebble sharing the coveted kitchen sink
    When we are not at home we continue to keep Pebble in the bedroom as she is still quite boisterous. Over a prolonged period of time and without us there to intervene if need be, it might come to clashes, which we are keen to avoid. However, when human company is at hand, Pebble is now roaming freely throughout the house.

    Considering that Pebble’s integration into the household has taken us nearly two months and is technically still ongoing, it’s no surprise that my knitting time has been severely curtailed. When I get a precious moment to sit down with a pair of needles and a skein, Pebble excels at disrupting the process. Being a kitten, this was to be expected.

    Having said that, I have managed to continue my work on two projects. Both of these are my own designs: a bulky Raglan cardigan and a shawlette. As regards the shawlette, this project only exists as a rough sketch on paper accompanied with a few notes. I am hoping to begin swatching during the upcoming weekend. The Raglan cardigan has progressed a bit further and I am hoping to be able to wear it by mid – November....Pebble permitting.

    Raglan Cardigan in Wendy Zena
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