Cat Hair by My Big Toe

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Cat Hair by My Big Toe

Copyright My Big Toe, 2005.

Cat Hair is a Specialty Fibre My Big Toe

Cat Hair by My Big Toe

Chart: This small chart is printed on A4/Letter sized heavy card stock. Most of the chart is clear and easy to see – except for the partial stitches. Unfortunately the quarter and three-quarter stitches are rendered in lightly coloured symbols which are small and difficult to see.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, partial cross stitches and backstitch.

Materials: Weeks Dye Works, DMC stranded cotton, and Rainbow Gallery Whisper thread. Stitched on Zweigart 28ct “Lambswool” Jobelan.

Designer’s Notes: None. The Design has a companion piece Dog Hair for the canine lovers.

Why I was attracted to this design: For 17 years my constant furry companion Trouble would sleep on my lap under my stitching.  Although she would never interfere with the stitching, even though the thread constantly looped down and hit her on the head, her hair got everywhere.  Like stitchers with pets everywhere, this chart was written for me.

So why haven’t I stitched it? As usual, I haven’t gathered the specialty threads and fabric for the piece.  I also had vague thoughts of making a bell pull like the one in the model but didn’t seriously go searching for the bellpull hardware.  In short, I think I was just lazy.

Also I had a cat that constantly shedded on my stitching, to simulate that with Rainbow Gallery Whisper thread just seemed silly. Now that Trubs is gone, I wish I had stitched that while she was here so I did have some of her hair in this piece.  I think I will finish kitting this up soon (when my stash diet ends) and then stitch it slowly when I can have my two current cats on my lap, so I can incorporate their hair in the piece.  Then I will frame it behind glass.  A memento.  But not quite a memento mori.

Where can you buy it? Both Cat Hair and Dog Hair are still in print and can be easily bought through your LNS or ONS for $US6.

Discussion questions:  Lots of us have “specialty fibers” on our stitching. Would you stitch a chart like this? Why or why not? Remember, there are no wrong answers and I am interested in viewpoints that differ from mine 🙂

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5 Responses to Cat Hair by My Big Toe

  1. Sisu says:

    No, I would probably not stitch something like this. I am weird like that. I can change a design 67 different ways to make it mine, from charting, to fabric, colors, wording, etc…, but I can’t stand hairs in it. Mine or pets, LOL.

  2. Mel says:

    I know, right? I think this must still be some stage of the grieving process. I was always fastidious about getting all the cat hair off my work before sending it on to other people or framing it and here I am talking about deliberately keeping it in a project.

    I know one piece I stiched and sent to a friend accidently had one one Trub’s hairs left under the glass and the friend kept it there. I would too if a piece came to me the same way from a stitcher who had a constant furry stitching companion. I guess this is one of those situations that makes you think.

  3. Jeanne says:

    I have that chart too and my stitching buddy is Trouble. He sits on my lap and behaves while I am stitching or crocheting. Any other time he is busy living up to his name. I do my best to not have hair in projects that I am stitching, especially if they are for someone else, but with 5 cats it is hard. My cat Jasper put a hole in a picture I had been working on – I was on part 22 of 25. I put it away for months, but then decided to finish it and figure it will always be a reminder of him.

    • Mel says:

      Wow Jeanne, I’ve not heard of anyone else who actually named their cat Trouble 🙂 Mine was a girl cat 🙂 Do you have a link to a picture of Jasper’s “special” piece. Well done on taking such a positive attitude to what other people would consider a disaster!

  4. Lana says:

    Hi, Mel!

    I would do the dog one and try to have our current furry friend’s “specialty thread” incorporated. Actually, my mom has bits of shed fur from each of the three dogs, including the current one, we have had. I think it is a pet owner thing, perhaps.


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