Sunday, January 27, 2008

Doris' Shawl, with Feline Seal of Approval

Here's the shawl I just finished making for Gary's mom, who's had some health issues lately: a simple 63-stitch cast-on in Paton's Shetland Chunky, with three different colors (her favorites) and three different textures. As always, click on any of these thumbnails if you want more detail. The beige outside panels are k3 p3 (trinity stitch); the second and fourth panels are variegated brown yarn in k9 p9, and the center panel is solid orange in straight garter stitch. Gary likes it, so I hope Doris will too! She sounded genuinely touched when I told her I wanted to make it for her.

And the cats like it a lot. As you can see, Harley and Bali wasted no time climbing on the shawl and snuggling into it. It's a machine-washable acrylic/wool blend, but they don't appear to mind the fact that it isn't 100% natural. Come to think of it, the piece of yarn that Bali ate a few weeks ago -- with no untoward effects, thank goodness! -- was 100% acrylic. He's obviously not a yarn snob!

Bali spent most of his time on the shawl napping, but -- by dint of lots of whistling and finger-snapping -- I did manage to get this shot of him with his eyes open!

Of course, the cat thought I was crazy, but that's nothing new. All cats know that humans have lots of problems, but they take pity on us and our bizarre ways.

As you can see, Harley was sorely tempted to go the nap route too, but he managed to stay awake! We have a relatively inexpensive camera with a slow shutter speed -- not ideal for taking photos of perpetual-motion pets -- so I was very pleased to have gotten this shot.

If you're wondering about that bald spot on his right leg, it's where the vet set up an IV when he had his teeth cleaned. No, he doesn't have mange!

Harley ("that's Sir Harlequin the Magnificent to you," quoth the cat) was very annoyed that I'd captured him at such an undignified moment. Here he is giving me the Haughty Cat Glare to reestablish his royal reputation.

By the way, the print in the background is by my friend Terri Windling, who's an amazing artist (she's amazing in any number of ways, but that's one of them). I wanted to buy it from her, and instead she gave it to me! It's a very dramatic piece, and Gary and I both love it.

While the other two cats were luxuriating in the new shawl, Figaro stayed in the special sheepskin-lined kitty box in the family room. Obviously, he is a yarn snob: only 100% wool will do!

Pity, too, since he'd look particularly lovely on Doris' shawl. The colors would be perfect for him. But I'm currently working on my friend Alex's shawl, also in earthtones, and that's pure wool, so maybe I can coax Figgy into posing on it when it's done.


  1. Susan,
    the shawl is simply splendid !
    What size needles are you using, out of curiosity ?

  2. Great kitty shots, Susan! The shawl looks lovely. I'm so glad you're having fun with knitting.

    You have fascinating friends, Susan. I love Terri Windling's work and have read and admired a lot of it. Her Endicott website introduced me to pre-raphaelite art and a lot of other good stuff.

    I've got a few more kitty pix up and posted a response to David McMahon's (authorblog) Weekend Wandering which earned me a place on his Post of the Day list.


  3. Thanks, Elizabeth! The needles are US size 10. (I love your profile, by the way; GalaxyQuest is one of my favorite movies, too, and I share your interest in medicine.)

    And thanks, Lee! I'll head over to your blog to see your new cat shots!


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