Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 2

This chair seat is called “Nap Time” and features Sandy and Rori napping against the night sky.  The design is based on my photos of the two napping on my bed.  I’m experimenting with different colors and textures of yarn to find the best for picturing the cats.

I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton Monk’s Cloth.  I used 8×8 epi cloth since I’d already washed the fabric and drawn the design on this cloth found in my stash.  The next chair seat will use the new 13 epi cloth I ordered as it is designed for rug hooking and should make the hooking go more quickly and efficiently.

I designed Starry Nights roving with various blues, purple and black with bits of yellow to look like the night sky in weaving and rug hooking.  This “rug” used a lot of it as I went with a fairly simple background so the one skein I had spun was not enough!  Had to stop and spin another skein when I was nearly finished.  Oh well, it means I’ll have some ready for another fiber project.

Nap Time - Chair Seat

“Nap Time” in progress. Moon, sky and part of Sandy shown.

 

Starry Nights Roving

Starry Nights roving and 1 ply on bobbin.

 

“Nap Time” Completed

Back Side Showing Closeup of Modified Cat Faces

Sandy and Rori

Sandy and Rori – the cats being depicted

Closeup of Cat Faces on Right Side Before Re-hooking

Learnings

For this size “rug” (roughly 16″ x 14″), the subjects need to fill the space as much as possible for any detail to show and look right.  I’m trying to find an easier way to enlarge my drawings than redrawing from scratch based on a grid.  I looked at buying on overhead projector or enlarger but they are fairly expensive and my scanner/ copier doesn’t enlarge.  Still working on this.

Cats aren’t brown, but orange isn’t right either.  I may have to design a roving or yarn that will give me the greyed orange with cream stripes that says tiger cat to me. In the first chair seat I used tweed yarn and it gave a nice random tan and white color to the cat.  In this one I used a hand spun with random brown and white color changes.  The way the colors fell gave a stripe to Sandy’s back and mostly brown elsewhere.  With some planning I could create stripes where they are wanted but it would take a bit of work.

Black is also tough to re-create as mohair isn’t really black except in new born kids, it turns to grey, so it would have to be dyed to get that color.  Additionally, shades of black would be needed to allow any details of the cat to be seen.  The size of the rug makes the addition of whiskers pointless – they would either not be visible or take up a disproportional amount of space versus the rest of the body.  The eyes were an issue too because of their proper size in relation to the entire body.  Since the smallest object that can be hooked is 3 punches with the needle, that fixes the eye size in relation to the rest of the design.  In this case the eyes seem too big for the body.

On to Chair Seat number 3!

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Sky: Starry Nights Roving Starry Nights hand dyed (before carding) roving. Designed to look like the night sky (variegated blues, purples, black and bits of yellow) for use in weaving and rug hooking.
 Moon: Coreopsis Yarn  Coreopsis hand dyed (after spinning) millspun.  This yarn is shades of yellow with sections of yellow and white designed to stripe.  I used a small amount from a section of yellows.
 Cats: Brown and white random color hand spun skein from a (stash) roving grab bag for Sandy.

Since natural black isn’t readily available in mohair, I bought a skein of  Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted Onyx from Alpaca Direct as they had the best price when I was shopping.  It is a USA made 15% mohair/ 85% wool single ply yarn.  I used this yarn for the black cat (Rori).

Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I also used a mall amount hand spun natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for Rori’s white paws and stomach patches. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound A small amount of  Natural Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool was used to create depth in Rori, around the chin line and the inside of the ears.
  Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun
 Lettering:  A small amount of hand spun, turkey baster hand dyed roving (white with small amounts of orange and blue) was used.

A ball of roving was soaked in water for an hour, then injected with colors using a turkey baster, heated to boiling for 30 minutes to set the colors, then washed before hand spinning.

 

 

 

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