A decade ago this past week when we welcomed our baby girl into the world. I won’t go into all my thoughts on the subject of time passing and how quickly our 5lb 15oz happy little bundle of joy grew into the tough and strong and smart and loyal and loving and goofy young lady who loves all things pink, baking, has a “climbing spirit,” and takes her giant headphones and my old iPod everywhere she can so she can sing at the top of her lungs. Honestly, I’m still processing all those thoughts.
What I will talk about today though is her love of the color pink and cats.
We were never ones to force gender specific colors on our kids. Honestly, with my love of blue, I was constantly seeking blues for my girl. Alas, since the time she could have a preference, she’s always been into pink.
And then there are cats. We can’t actually have a cat because Mr. Knitting Sarah is horribly allergic (we’re talking on the scale of seriously troubled breathing), so we say that we have a “No Cat Policy” in the house. Now we tease and claim it extends to all cat imagery, references, movies, etc, so when we inevitably get her something cat-related Mr KS will dramatically declare, “BUT WE HAVE A NO CAT POLICY.” And she will giggle uncontrollably with glee. It’s our girl’s glorious rebellion, to love cats the way she does. We agree it’s one rebellion we are happy to bear.
Suffice to say when I saw the Parlor Cat on Rachel from Dyeabolical’s Instagram feed, I knew that despite my general distaste for knitting stuffed toys it had to be done and it had to be done in pink for my girl’s birthday. It was in July that Rachel posted it so I knew I had the time. Since I did not have a skein of pink superwash yarn for the job, I popped over to the Dyeabolical site and order a skein of Freedom, Beauty, Truth, and Love on Superwash Merino Worsted — gotta love the dyed-to-order option! A short while later I got the yarn and printed the pattern and set it aside with the deadline set for birthday week last week.
I started in mid-October after I’d finished up with Spinzilla…
It’s just the purrfect pink, if I do say so myself (sorry, I went there, I couldn’t resist). The yarn is totally fab. It’s soft and easy to work with and dyed to perfection. Why do I not have a sweater quantity for my girl yet? In any case, the pattern was well-written and pretty easy to follow. I had some issues centering the neck and head — I’m not sure if the pattern isn’t quite correct, or it was user error (most likely the latter), but after not being centered correctly twice, I literally drew it out on a piece of scrap paper, did the math, and carried on.
It all worked out in the end. Thankfully, I was able to work on it in front of her until I got the second ear on. Then it got a little too obvious and I had to save work on it until everyone else was asleep. My husband joked that his contribution to this cat was lying next to me, snoring rhythmically while I knitted furiously in bed at night. It’s a true story.
In any case, the main body is knit in one piece and you stuff it as you go, which is pretty sweet. When you get to the end of the tail, you’re totally done with it save the two legs and face.
(See how the photo is now on a blanket? Yeah, that’s bedtime!) At this point, time was starting to get a little tight, so I pushed on the next night to make and attach the legs and tack down the tail.
And then I stalled out a bit because everyone was sick (including me) and I needed to get materials for the face.
I bought buttons for eyes and on a whim I grabbed some thick black thread in the check out. I was really dreading the face. It’s not something that comes naturally to me at all and usually it doesn’t turn out very well. I settled into it 2 nights before B-Day in bed next to my snoring mister. I attached the buttons for eyes. I stitched the nose. I tore it out. I stitched it in again and was concerned about it being too big, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t get much better so I left it. In hour number two of the endeavor, I dug into the whiskers and mouth. I went simple there with the plain black thread. As I finished and held it out to admire my handiwork, I cringed. Those eyes were freaky. I ripped them out and, getting exhausted now, I grabbed the same blue yarn I’d used to sew on the buttons and stitched in some eyes.
And there is was, perfectly imperfect and as good as it was going to get.
I haven’t yet mentioned that my girl has never really taken to any of the toys I’ve made for her, so this was a huge gamble. I was hopeful, though, that pink + cat would equal a winner.
Mr. Tinkles is loved so much, that he’s scarcely left her arms. Mr. Tinkles, loved so much he’s already got a claw that needs to be trimmed.
Oh, Mr. Tinkles, the adventures you will have. Welcome to the family, Mr. Tinkles. You are loved.