Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 28: Nine Lives

When I began looking for quilt patterns using the blocks I had developed, my quilter friend had sketched out this quilt pattern, using the "Snails Trail" block for the four cat tails, 4 solid blocks, and 4 cat heads with collars. 

Another pic I cannot find the source of, let me know if it's yours!

I scoured the internet for this pattern and above is the only example of this particular layout that I could find. The more common "Four Cats" quilt (below) uses a special block for the whole body and head of the cat, but we did not want to add a 29th intarsia block just for the cat, and I prefer the simplicity of this layout. 

Originally I wanted to call this blanket "The Cat Lady's Blanket" for my friend Stephanie Thompson. I first met Stephanie at a Crochet For Cats program she was running at a local used bookstore, making small blankets to donate to the Vancouver Humane Society. She uses the blankets not only to bring comfort to cats, but to encourage kids to read more through the Read Me A Blanket reading program with Kazoodles, a locally owned toy store. A few years ago, we made a bunch of little cat blankets for her project, which is still going strong (though she could use help making blankets to match all the books kids are reading, if you have a little time and yarn).
Flat shot of the whole blanket so you can see the 4 cats.
When I started looking for names from Shakespearean quotes, I was surprised to discover that the phrase "Nine Lives" actually comes from Shakespeare. Who knew! Doesn't everything come from Shakespeare?

Then, during the months I spent working on Reversible Color Crochet, all three of my elderly cats passed away, so I dedicated this one to their memory. The first was Jerry, who sat beside me as I began swatching the squares for the book, but passed away in the spring. Cinnamon, my studio cat, guarded the many boxes of yarn that arrived week after week, but did not make it through the summer. 

Can you see the edge of Outrageous Fortune? I tried to keep
kitty fur out of my work, but had to let her sit where she wanted.
Finally my little Kidget, who I had for the longest, was so lonely without her buddies that she took up residence on the arm of my overstuffed chair, or my lap when I let her, watching over each stitch as I worked. She almost made it to 20 years old, but passed last year on August 9th (the day before Rowan's birthday/anniversary). I am glad this book gave me the chance to just sit and crochet with them for hours in their last few months.


  1. Would you mind sharing the pattern you used or created? I'm trying to recreate the same pattern for a pillow cover in my living room, and the picture I'm working from is really good, but it would still be easier to have written instructions (for me).

    1. The link to my book with this pattern in it is at the bottom of the blog post.