At the end of Summer my friend, Karyn, honoured me with a custom design of her much loved and sadly departed cat, Marley. I myself have two cats, Nike and Artemis. That is them in the side picture. I work out of my home and my cats keep me company (and entertained) during the day. Being a cat lover, this project was very special to me. And because of that, I really procrastinated making this tabby. There were just so many options for shapes and poses!
Research was easy. Over the next few months I studied my cats to figure out what about them caught my eye – their faces. And that was where I began this project. The snout and face are disproportionally large compared to the body. Sort of similar to drawing eyes a bit larger in portraits. Next, I studied the eyes. Wow, cats are so expressive. How do they look when happy and content? They squint and close their eyes.
That left me with two final hurdles before I could began crocheting. Tabby cats are striped, but it is difficult to create, natural, random striping. I also wanted to give this cat a bit of fluffiness. Rarely do I create test swatches, but I don’t test new techniques on completed projects. I created a mottled fabric and brushed it out using a slicker pet brush to break some yarn fibres and creating fur. I ended up buying a second, smaller brush at my local PetValu. When I explained that I was using it for crafting, the employee offered a 25% discount! While the pet store is part of a larger chain, I support smaller stores whenever possible as they tend to give their employees more discretion.
My final consideration was the pose. When they are not hyper and running around the house, cats are sleepers! Nike and Artemis when they are relaxed stretch out their front paws. I drew a few sketches and go started crocheting.
Thank you so much, Karyn, for trusting me with such a special request! She makes the best scones and peanut butter balls Saturdays at the Dartmouth Farmers’ Market