Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Marley the Cat

IMG_0732At 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!

 

IMG_0622Research 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.

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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. 

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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

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