Meet Boots

This is Boots:

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Look at those eyes! How could I refuse those eyes?

She is the newest member of our little family.

Just chillin'

“Did you want to use this chair? That’s too bad, it’s my chair.”

I found her by using the BCSCPA pet search over a month before we were able to bring her home. She had been surrendered with her brother. They were 10 years old, considered senior cats. I wanted them both. For the first time ever, my partner agreed–instead of his usual (somewhat eye-roll-y) “oh honey”. So we set to work getting our apartment ready for a cat. As hard as it was, we knew we wouldn’t be ready until after Christmas, so it was entirely possible they would be adopted beforehand. Which was why we waited to go meet them. I didn’t want to get attached only to lose them. And, after a few weeks, her brother was adopted. It was a bit disappointing, but mostly okay, since I wanted Boots more anyway (based only on some pictures and a bio…yeah). We’d just get a different second cat.

Finally, we made it to the big day, and met Boots. She was lovely, and we agreed she was a great cat. The caveat: she’s better being the only cat. Oh yeah, and getting her into the cat carrier was a messy (and bloody) affair. She meowed pitifully the whole way home.

We put her in a smaller room, for the first week, and visited her frequently. She clawed and bit more than we’d like–mostly because she had a very low petting threshold before she became overstimulated. But as time went on, she came out of her shell. Her stress levels went down and we get clawed and/or bitten very rarely now (partially because we have better reflexes, I’m sure).

She loves blankets, cuddles, and running after a thrown cork only to wait for you to throw it again. But she loves things on her terms. If she gets tired of something–you’ll know. She meows for attention, then you bend down to pet her for a few seconds and she’s off to go have a bite to eat.

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“No, I will not get out of my house to play, that wasn’t in the contract I signed”

As my partner said just last night, “Boots is the exact cat I wanted”. I couldn’t agree more.

Fan Friday #14 – Kicking Cones

This week, I bring to you some adorable. Some people just think in cute-o-vision. And an even smaller portion of those people are able to translate it into images the rest of the world can enjoy. I am extremely grateful for those people.

Fan Friday Presents…Kicking Cones!

When my husband (eee!) sent me a link to this website, I was overwhelmed (and overjoyed) with cuteness.

From the genius over at Kicking Cones

C’mon! Didn’t your heart just melt a bit? I know mine did. And the artwork over there doesn’t just cover penguins. There’s some Dr. Who art (okay, still penguins), elephants, and, well, isn’t it about time you just head over there and see for yourself?

What’s your favourite full-of-cute website? Don’t hold back, cute makes my day!

Tiny Red Panda!

It’s the long awaited for (mostly by me) tiny red panda! The knitting project I alluded to back in early may finally came to fruition.

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The most exciting part about this project is that I came up with the pattern entirely on my own. However, I can’t take all the credit, the idea came from two different places. Firstly was the adorable Mozilla red panda cubs webcam, that is unfortunately no longer on the air. Watching them play, cuddle and plank (see picture below) made every day just that bit better.

My other inspiration is from Anna Hrachovec over at mochimochiland whose variety of adorable small cute knits gave me the ability to even conceive of such a small pattern. I also learned (and used here) several techniques from making tiny penguins.

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Tiny Red Panda Pattern
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Using size 1 DPNs, a tapestry needle, stuffing and 3 colours of lightweight yarn: white (W), medium red/brown (M), dark brown (D). Number of stitches at the end of each row is indicated in brackets.

Body:

Starting with the nose, in W

CO 2 stitches

1: kfb x 2 (i-cord style) (4)

Switch to M

2: k, kfb x 2, k (6)

3: k, kfb, k, kfb, k2 (8)

4: k

5: k, kfb, k, kfb, k, kfb, k2 (11)

6,7: k

8: k, {k2tog, k} x 3, k (8)

(beginning of main body, using M & D)

For main body, after each row, flip (sew later). Switch colours as indicated. For long stretches of M, you can wrap the D to keep it tight. (Technique from Anna Hrachovec’s tiny penguin)

9: D: kfb; M: k, kfb, k, kfb, k; D: kfb, k (12)

10: D: p3; M: p7; D: p2

11: D: k2; M: k, kfb, k3, kfb, k; D: k2, kfb (15)

12: D: p4; M: p9; D: p2

13: D: k2; M: k9; D: k4

14: D: p4; M: p9; D: p2

15: D: k2; M: k, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k; D: k2, k2tog (12)

16: D: p3; M: p7; D: p2

17: D: k2; M: k7; D: k3

18: D: p3; M: p7; D: p2

19: D: k2tog; M: k, k2tog, k, k2tog, k; D: k2tog, k (8)

20: D: p1; M: p5; D: p2

(beginning of tail)

21: M: k, k2tog, k, k2tog, k2 (6)

continue in the round

22,24,26,28: D: k6

21,23,25,27: M: k6

29: D: k6

30: D: k2tog x 3 (3)

Bind off by threading yarn through remaining stitches and pulling tight.

Through hole, stuff body, head and tail (can use tapestry needle to poke the stuffing into the tail). Then sew up hole using mattress stitch. Instructions available in many formats, but one I found by googling is here.

Legs:

CO 4 stitches in D

Knit i-cord style until length is approximately 4 cm

Bind off by threading yarn through remaining stitches and pulling tight.

Make 2 – use tapestry needly to pull through body for front and back sets of legs

Ears:

Holding with head facing towards you

Pick up 3 stitches on top-left of head, to the left

1: p3

turn over

2: k, kfb, k (4)

turn over

3: p2tog x 2 (2)

Bind off by threading yarn through remaining stitches and pulling tight.

Repeat on right side of head

Face:

With W, embroider 2 st each for cheeks and 1 for each eyebrow

Use D for 1 st for nose and eyes

© 2012 Sarah Allan

It is not perfect, there are little things I would like to change about it, but I’m pretty proud for my very first pattern! Feel free to try it and if you do, let me know how it works out!

Happy knitting!

UPDATE: For Ravelry users out there, you can find tiny red panda here!