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Hug Me, Sock Kitten!

Turquoise Polka Dot Hug Me! Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingI was trying to get my act together this morning, intending to head out for a while, but nothing came together properly. So, I stayed home and sewed up this sock kitten! I took some tips from the two sock doll books I have by Daniel, which are great books for anyone wanting to experiment with free-form toy creation. It’s fun, like making balloon animals. I say that not remembering if I’ve ever made balloon animals, but what they have in common is the idea of taking a tube shape and seeing where you can go with it.

Turquoise Polka Dot Hug Me! Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingI was debating over adding the fleece heart, but once I’d thought of it, I felt I needed to give him one. You can’t go back on giving someone a heart.

I took him outside to photograph him, and of course, he ran right up a tree.

Turquoise Polka Dot Hug Me! Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingOnce I got him back inside, he stretched out for a nap, taunting all the slugs a little first, by waving his paws around. They haven’t got any appendages, and so, he was doing some showing off.

Turquoise Polka Dot Hug Me! Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingI think I will make some more kittens, and call them “Hug Me! Kittens”. This sock kitten is in my Etsy shop.

My own, much larger kitten helped me with another project, removing the overly-scratched carpet from the legs of our cat gym. The plan is to cover the legs with new carpeting and sisal rope. The legs were looking very disreputable. This is only a human opinion.

Kitty investigates cat gym reupholstering projectThe feline consensus of opinion was that they looked perfect, as they were. Here is one of the mournful looks I was given after removing the beloved carpeting. She got over it quickly and found something else to do. She’ll be happy when she sees the new carpeting and the sisal rope. I was joking with my mom, saying the cats would be just as happy if I threw the rope and a piece of carpet on the floor. But that wouldn’t look nice. Again, just a human opinion.

Kitty investigates cat gym reupholstering projectOne sorry note for the week…my Viking sewing machine made a return trip from California, where it went for repair, having never been claimed at the Post Office. I have no idea why the seller had his repair technician call me to go over the repairs, and then sent me the address to which he wanted me to ship my machine, and then never picked it up. I’ve received no reply, so far, if indeed I ever will. I’ve had issues before, as you may have already read on my blog, and I’ve had him not answer for a long time, because he’s been in and out of the country. But you would think someone would be there to claim packages at least. Not looking good. Not that it has been looking good, at all, ever, but that is the current status on my Viking sewing machine nightmare. I’ve heard from people who have had similar problems. I don’t know what to say other than I’ll never be getting a Viking sewing machine again.

Using my Kenmore sewing machineI’m still using my Kenmore, pictured above, that I got as a spare. It’s been behaving very well. Once I have some extra money, I’ll ask around some more, to see if I can find someone honest who might be able to replace the faulty and broken parts on my Viking. A friend has suggested a Viking Funeral for the machine, but I’ll wait to see what develops.

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Handmade catnip pouches

Fleece catnip pouchesI made some catnip-filled fleece toys for my kitty, who was a very brave boy at the vet’s this week. He needed to have four teeth and one root of a tooth, that had dissolved on its own, extracted! He’s done very well, and as nerve-wracking as it was for him and for us, I’m glad we brought him in. No one could have anticipated what was going on in there, since he wouldn’t let anyone look. After having these extractions, and the seven he had done before, I think he’s got about eleven teeth left. The vet assured me that he had a great white cat who, after age twelve, had no teeth at all. He lived to be twenty, and he ate dry food. So, even though this may be a genetic problem that may likely continue, the prognosis is excellent for his continuing to happily eat whatever he likes.

Kitty playing with a fleece catnip pouchI waited for his grogginess to wear off before giving him one of the catnip pouches I made, and he dove right on his. I just drew a shape on some fleece, knotted and inserted a finished cotton strip (a sewn piece of folded bias tape would work just fine) into the seam line (the end of the strip goes inside the toy before you sew), and sewed around the shape, leaving a small opening for turning and stuffing. I then filled each pouch with organic catnip that I got at Target, and sewed up the opening on each one with a needle and thread.

Envelope for the Kitty Tooth FairyOur vet tech gave me his teeth in this envelope for the Kitty Tooth Fairy. She even drew a cute winged tooth on it. So, in addition to a catnip pouch, he may have received something special from the Kitty Tooth Fairy’s visit. If it was food, I think he ate it before I woke up. He was very hungry the next day after his surgery, and very cheerful too. He’s been on pain medication and antibiotics, and he’s not to have any dry food for a few days, so it won’t disturb his stitches, which will dissolve on their own.

Kitty playing with a fleece catnip pouchCatnip pouches also make great pillows on which to rest your chin while napping. He’s been doing a lot of that.

Kitties playing with catnipThe rest of the crew was a bit upset I didn’t make enough catnip pouches for everyone, and I am planning to rectify that as soon as possible. In the meantime, they all got some catnip to roll around on and sniff. I just put a few teaspoons of it on the carpet. They all react differently, playing or just zoning out and falling asleep. Either way, the catnip was a big hit.

Kitty taking a catnip nap

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Hybrid Slugs

12 inch Fleece Super Slug and Elizabeth RuffingI was asked if I could make a fleece Super Slug, and I wasn’t entirely sure I could. Mixing stretchy fabrics with non-stretchy fabrics seemed like asking for trouble. I usually make my “Hug Me! Slugs” out of either fleece or cotton, but I’d never tried both together. I used a mini iron to fuse the “super” emblem onto his chest, and then machine appliqu├ęd it in place. I did the same for his eyes. I wish I had an even smaller mini iron, for the smaller slugs. I can’t touch the iron to the fleece, because it could melt, which makes the process a bit tricky.

I hand-basted his cape in place before sewing it, but really had no problems overall. This opens up some new possibilities in my toy-making. More hybrid slugs are soon to be born.

Fleece Hug Me! Slugs in progressFirst, I have to finish these. I’ll be hand sewing their eyes and hearts and smiles.

Sleeping BeautySpeaking of smiles, my fur-kid here needs to have his worked on this week. He wasn’t happy at all about people trying to look at his teeth, but he might need a couple of them taken out. I’m nervous about this, but hopefully all will go great and he’ll feel much better afterward.