Monday, June 04, 2007

Fun With Fulling

It was a hot and humid weekend. Hmm. That sounds like the beginning of a mystery novel. Oh well, it was a hot and humid weekend! I hung out in the basement and, believe it or not, was comfortable enough to knit my little heart out. I had some motivation. Our little black and white cat, Checkers, has begun to lick her hair off. In particular, she’s made very short work of the hair on her back legs and haunches, her belly and is starting on her front legs. She hasn’t started on the skin yet – thank goodness – but, as you can imagine, we’re a little concerned. This started before we left to purchase our house in NS and about the same time as the new carpet was installed. At the time, I was thinking it was caused by seasonal, air-born allergies as she had had an allergic reaction to the plastic bowls at the pet store/Humane Society that had caused really bad mouth sores. Thinking that allergies was the culprit again, I brought her to the vet before we left for a steroid allergy shot which had worked wonders before.

The shot isn’t working so it might not be allergies. Or, she is being so highly and frequently exposed to the allergen, that the shot isn’t able to work. It could also be stress (e.g. our moving and packing and getting ready for a baby). We’ve decided to wait until after our move to NS to look into other avenues (e.g. getting her into see a pet psychologist) but both think that Checkers is allergic to our new carpet. She loves to lie on the carpet and, seeing as she is licking off the hair on the areas usually touching the carpet, we think this type of allergy is quite likely. There is no new carpet – just beautiful 54 year old hardwood floors – in our new house. We’re hoping that the allergy will go away after we move.

This was a long story to tell you that I was very motivated to get the Kitty Pi bed completed so that I can put it on one of Checkers’ favourite places on the new carpet in hopes that she will sleep on it and not directly on the carpet.

Here is a finished side view, before fulling.

The bottom diameter view, before fulling.

The is a photograph of my very first fulling attempt (The Knitter’s Bible tells me that "fulling is the process of washing woollen fabric to produce a felt-like fabric. It is often mistakenly called felting, which is worked on carded unspun wool, whilst fulling is worked on a finished fabric." You learn something new every day as I would have call the process ‘felting’). I am very proud! I didn't have anything large and round enough to use for blocking so am using the plastic drum protector from the washing machine (you put it back in your washer when you move it) and it seems to work.

The first wash cycle didn’t make a bed as small as I wanted so here is the bed after its second adventure in hot water in my washer (safe in a zippered pillowcase as directed by the pattern and my Knitter’s Bible).

I’m just waiting for it to dry which, unfortunately, may take a couple of days as it’s very humid in my house and raining outside. I have it stuck on top of the dryer (which is running as Monday is laundry day) in hopes that the ambient heat will speed up the drying process.

This is my second project completed in a very short period of time – yeah me! Let the nesting knitting continue!


JustApril said...

It looks really great. I also have the Knitters Bible and read that as well about fulling. I hope your kitty gets better, that's a sad little problem.

Mrs. H said...

Very pretty. :)

My oldest cat has started doing this, too. She's also dropped a lot of weight really fast. :(

Hope your kitty feels better soon.

Elizabeth said...

Can't wait to see it right side up with a hopefully allergy free kitty in it! Congrats on being so productive!