Tuesday, May 5, 2009

House Mouse Mat

Say that three times fast!

I just couldn't resist knitting this up for my folks two new kittens, Omar and Foxy. It's been years since they had a kitten in the house let alone two feline youngsters. From what I hear this is quite an energetic duo. Quite the contrast with the 18 and 15 year old's that passed earlier in the year. At least I won't have Sophie giving me the evil stare for two days. She liked to sleep on the guest room bed at night and I guess I was a terrible imposition. She would warm up though and all in all was a very sweet cat. She would have liked this warm woolly mat to sleep on I know.

The pattern came out of this wonderfully fun book, Pet Projects The Animal Knits Bible by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne.

 Not only does it have some very nice patterns for dogs and cats, but also a hamster hut, a turtle tent, some horsey things and  water lilies knitted from plastic bags to name a few. This book has moved up to one of my favorites. The writing is quite witty and at $17.95 retail a bargain too.

The cashmere warp made it over to the loom and got spread in the raddle but that's about it. I was finishing up ears yesterday and sewing it all together. I finally got some socks on the needles after a long break. I have some camel and wool yarn that my Dad liked when he saw it. After starting and frogging it 3 times I put socks away for a while.
The yarn has no elasticity and each pattern I tried would stretch and then stay stretched. I found a lovely ball of yarn a few weeks ago that I think will be just as nice as the camel and has the appropriate spring and memory to make a nice sock. I'm using a pattern out of Cookie A's new book Sock Innovation, Cauchy is the pattern for those that might have the book. The yarn is Schoppel Wolle Zauberball in chocolate creme, although they have many other brighter colors. This yarn has very long color repeats and the sock they show on the label is quite lovely without all the business of the typical variegated yarn. Wool and nylon blend so you don't need a reinforcement yarn at heels and toes.

It has been raining for two plus days. Sunday morning the temps dropped and we had snow. I  had 4 out of 5 shivering cold horses. The guys are 75% into their summer slicks, the winter coat left is shedding and providing no insulation and they had been wet for about 24 hours when the snow started. Rather than blanket, since I don't have 4 anyway (and that in itself can be a royal mess), I brought another hay helping up. The boys got second breakfast! For grazing animals the act of digestion produces body heat. On a cold day you will see the horses backs producing steam into the air as they eat. It's a good thing and just what they needed to get them through. Yesterday during the heaviest rain they were all tucked into their shelter. Hungry but dry when they came down for their evening meal. Looks like nice weather is on the way but taking it's good sweet time about it.


  1. Oh my gosh - that mat is so cute! Did it knit up fast? What is the actual size?

  2. How cute! Will cats really sleep on that? Bailey (a dog) would love to tear the ears off of that (not to mention the whiskers, nose and eyes), shake it around to "kill" it, and then carry it around proudly.

    Thanks for the book recommendation!! I might have to find that. I have friends who'd love it also!! (What does it have for dogs in it??)

    That sock yarn looks great! Nice colors! (For a guy.....)

    And now that the camel has been liberated from life as a sock, it can live on in weaving, right???

    We're having a rainy week too - started yesterday and will continue all week....but fortunately for us, all danger of snow is past!

    I totally wish that I could justify eating more because I'm cold!! It's about 50 outside, and our house is in the low 60's now....I refuse to have the heat on in May!!! (But I did have to put on a warmer sweater this afternoon.)

    The rain now will just make everything prettier and greener for your arrival!!


  3. I've knitted a couple pair of socks with the Schoppel and liked it very much. I like those colors a lot and not just for a guy.

    Hmmm, now that Sue said that, I realize that I need to tear out the silk lace scarf that just isn't working and free the yarn for the loom. I love how these ideas just kind of flow.

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  5. Dawn,
    The mat is 24 inches long from the nose down to the end of the body. I didn't count the tail, by 19 inches wide excluding the legs. It was a quick knit all in garter stitch. Very cushy in the lightly spun single yarn I used.

    Sue, of course the cats will use it! Throw it in a favorite sunny spot and they will come. Jack likes it too as do a few of the other dogs. They love curling up on wool blankets. Having said that though, you're right, the ears might just beg for a good chew. I wouldn't do buttons on it for a dog mat. The book has some really pretty dog coats in color work, some nice collar covers, soft toys to knit and a balaclava. I'm going to knit one for Peter to keep his ears warm and the pugs they show it on...well cute enough to buy the book alone.

    Sharon, Thank you for the comment on the sock yarn. Good to know! Now get that silk scarf out and start planning that weaving project. :-)

  6. Thanks for the scoop about the book!! Bailey would love a knitted dog toy.....I might have to find that book. One of my knitting buddies has a little princess dog that would love a dog coat too. Bailey doesn't like garments so much....he likes chewing!

    I'll have to hunt that book down (er, order it.....although I might check the library first!).