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August 21, 2006

Ugly

Not ugly in a cute sort of way. Ugly in an ugly sort of way.

Did you ever in your wildest dream imagine that hot off my needles you'd see that?

This warrants an explanation. You see, I'm trying to decide if a certain furry friend would like a felted cat bed.

Hello, I'm Kitty, and I'm fabulous. Contrary to popular belief, my insides are made of chocolate.

Kitty is a kitty, and her name is Kitty. She's not my kitty, but I visit often.

I decided to make a felted kitty "bum mat" to see if it's something she likes, and to experiment with felting (baby's first felting right there, aren't you all proud?). To make it, I rummaged through my stash and fished out any swatch that I believed would felt. I stitched them together, then used single crochet (hi, Maryse! Look what crochet can do!) to fill in one corner and make a border.

Before it went into the machine, the bum mat measured 11" x 13.5", and after one "whites" cycle, it's like 10" x 13". I'm sure it could be felted more, but the machine costs a buck and a quarter, so I'm saving the money in case I get to make an actual kitty bed.

Quick observation: the yarn that felted the most is the brilliant pink in the center, which is KnitPicks Merino Style. Second best was the pink mess in the corner, which is 100% alpaca from elann. Least feltable was the burgundy - Katmandu Aran Tweed.

I'll report back on the Kitty/bum mat interaction.

P.S. My apologies for the sparse blogging this past week. I've been diligently working on the Estonian stocking, and I'm this close to finishing. Every time I get the urge to snap a picture and share it with you, I decide to wait just a bit longer until I'm done. I expect the FO to be the next entry.

Posted by Kathy on August 21, 2006 12:17 AM

Comments

What a cute kitty.... I think it's very individual if cats like the feeling of felted wool or not, my cat didn't like it at all (and clearly showed it), while others love it!

Kitty would love her bed :). I like your idea of knitting a big sample with all different yarns and write down the findings--very clever!

(1) It will get covered (COVERED, I say) in cat hair, anyway. And the cat doesn't care what it looks like.
(2) I, too, have to felt things in a pay-washing-machine, so I understand the extra money pain. I recommend finishing up in your kitchen sink. The advantage of this is that you can concentrate on the sections that didn't felt as much (grab the fabric in both hands and rub it vigorously together. It will shrink perpendicular to the direction of rubbing.) Use HOT water (and gloves) and dishwashing soap. Normally, the drawback of hand-felting is that it takes forever, but you are already most of the way there, so it wouldn't be too much of an investment.

What a cute, lucky kitty!

Maybe the swatches would felt more if knitted at a looser gauge?

Ooo I love Kitty! Maybe a photo of Kitty on the mat next?

I thought this was the start of a beer can hat. Which would make for an altogether differnt can in the hat...

I'm not surprised that the KnitPicks felted the easiest. That's a great feature if your looking for it, but very frustrating if you're not.

oh boy... here go my stats again.

i'm proud of you grumperina. a truly heinous work. ;)

but i'm sure the kitty will love it.

That's such an adorable kitty .. and what a great use for leftover wool! *ponders her stash*

After viewing the, probably, hundreds of cats sitting in their kitty pis on Wendy's site, I went for it, and lo and behold, the cats like it. Of course, I used some insurance by rubbing cat nip on the bottom after felting. The pi takes several trips through the washer to firm up and, as someone mentioned already, it will felt better if made on large needles unlike your swatches. Maybe Kitty's parent could felt the thing after you make it if that person has access to a non-coin-op washer? Felting is so much fun!

We are all glad to see this come off your needles. It makes us feel better. Cats do not care how something looks.

If the cat doesn't like it, you could use it as a mat in front of your bathroom sink.

you can felt in the dryer, too, just put totally wet item in on hot, check it often. it won't get close to completely dry on one cycle, but it's easier to check on it. it's prolly cheaper than the washer, too, our laundromat is one cycle for a quarter.

You can make ugly *pretty* with a trip through the dyepot. One color to blend them all (one ring to rule the world).

Needles are working out fine, a bit of a join problem, but no real issue, thanks!

Kitties, at least my kitties, don't care about color. They like anything wool. My cats will not touch acrylic, but mohair and wool? Yeah, they're all over it.

I don't know if you have seen this but I made one, and I used couple different yarns.
http://wendyknits.net/knit/kittybed.htm

http://wendyknits.net/knit/kittybedgallery.htm

Another advocate of hand felting--I put my gloves on and call it a workout, and it is! It's a lot like kneading bread. I find that felting happens a lot faster when I give it an occasional shock of cold water. I also like to use something to help abrade the item, almost like a washboard. Have fun and save those quarters for actual laundry!

Thanks so much for the information. I'd been thinking about trying felting too.

I love felting! I also agree with Cirilia and Isela, use the sink. Of course if the kitty bed thingy is really big, it might be hard on your hands or arms. I did Wendy's kitty pi, and that was big, so it went in the washer.

If Kitty is as queer for wool as one of mine, she will love her new bum mat. Isela is right - in a matter of hours the whole thing will be cat hair colored, so no worries there. :)

Thanks for the tip about KnitPicks wool felting so easily! I want to make several mobius beds (ala Cat Bordhi) for my not-exactly-petite kitties and this way it won't cost me a bleepin' fortune.

You probably know this, but white yarn doesn't felt much. The bleaching process breaks down the fibers so they don't grab each other. So no surprise on your results.

Love the kitty photo! I made a felted bed for my cat a couple of years ago and he wouldn't go near the thing. Sigh.

Cats like sheep fur. Cats like kitty beds. Trust me, I know about these things.

Kitty Bum Mat - heeeheeeheee. I love it.

I hope Kitty likes the bum mat! Dying to see the finished stockings :)

seriously? wow. i'm wondering how you got to that, um, combination?

laundromats usually turn their hot water down to save money. I would mess with it in the tub or sink.

Wow. Ugly is a harsh word. Perhaps "visually unpleasant" is kinder. But thanks for the felting info! Lucky Kitty!

OH, that scared me! hahahaha Thank goodness it's for Kitty's booty, otherwise I'd rush you to the ER.

Kitty IS fabulous! She'll love that thing for sure. Somewhere in her little head she'll be saying, Thank god I'm color blind. hahaha

I'm another one who felts in the sink by hand. Compared to the time you spent knitting, it really doesn't take that long. Not only do you save quarters, but I've also learned that you have a *lot* more control over the finished item. (Which I *really* like! I suspect you would too...)

By the way, I find that the water needs to be hot, but not so hot that it hurts my hands. A little wool wash and a couple shocks in cold water seem to help the process along.

good luck with the kitty bed!

My kitties love the felt bed I made for them, and I also made a felt insert for their cat carrier (all Kureyon) which I believe makes them feel very comfy-cosy in there. They love to sniff and do that kneading motion on it. Great choice! It also holds catnip well.

Oooh. That is ugly. But a very clever idea!

I don't like my cat enough to knit anything for it, much less anyone else's cat. (Don't worry. My husband likes the cat enough to make up for my disdain.)

I'm excited to see how this turns out! I too have to pay for laundry, and I wasn't sure if the finished product would be enticing enough for my own kitty to make the felting process worthwhile. So maybe I'll follow your lead and offer him a sample before making a whole bed!

I have made several kitty beds and they have all ended up covered in cat fur. THe first one I made was a pink bed for the Queen in Lorna's Laces, and that bed has been used by all the female cats.

Kitty is adorable! And Lamb's Pride Worsted felts really, really well. Of course, the mohair makes it fuzzy, which would probably make it even more likely to grab cat hair.

I made a kitty pi bed for one of our cats, and put it at the foot of my bed where she likes to sleep. It took a few hours, but she absolutely LOVES it now. I've even caught her asleep on the comforter, after it had almost been pushed over the edge, with her claws sunk into it so it couldn't fall off the bed. I used dark gray and black, since she's black, and you can't see the cat hair, either. Good luck!

Being one of those with hand joint pain issues & well, lazy, I felted my farmer's market bag at the laundromat in with my load of dark laundry (the bag is black & grey heather cascade 220). Then I threw it in the dryer with some towels. Contrary to popular belief, the world did not end. The bag turned out great, & so did my clothes. Maybe cascade is forgiving, I chalk it up to my expertise on "felting" all those nice wool sweaters in college. Tee hee. Ahem.
I would warn you tho, wash/felt with like colors, if you're double-timing the machine. Laundry gods anger easily. Can't wait for the Estonian stocking update.

Aw, sweet kitty!

If I remember correctly, occasionally white yarns don't felt well. Something to do with the bleaching process they go through messing up their fibers? So, you almost always get better results with colors. :)

Check out Cat Bordhi's Cat Bliss Beds in her 2nd Treasury of Magical Knitting. It is sooo cool. Cascade felts really well for me. I use short cycle, small load and hot wash, cold rinse. My machine is one of those small twins that fit in a closet and its old, but it does the job. This must be a day for washers- Harlot has a post about Mr. Washie.

Oh. My. God. My eyes, my eyes!

Did the different sections start out at similar guages? I'm just starting some felting exeriments, and want to mix different wools. I was planning to do some research, but I got to your blog first. I think that I'll take the advice of your fabulous readers, and felt it by hand so I'll have control over the different sections. Felting, here I come!

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