Fiber & Cats

When looking through my digitized slides and photographs the other day, I came across a bunch of silly cat pictures… If you have cat/s, you know that they love fiber and must be in the center of it all, supervising or testing. For you cat lovers, here are some of our kitties over the years including a bit of history of my life creating textiles…

These are the kittens we called Big Boy, Little Boy and Caraway. We brought their mother, who was hugely pregnant, in from our apartment complex parking lot and she had these 3 before we’d even decided what to do! (Kept Caraway, and gave away the other three.) This is vintage 1970’s fiber, showing a latch hooked rug of my own design as well as a wool coiled basket. The basket was appropriated by Sassafrass (below) and never was completed.

Three kittens

And here is the very naughty Sassafrass, who was the first kitten we adopted who survived, sleeping on some wool shawls that were just off the loom. She was the Queen Bee for 19 years! She took it upon herself to nip every kitten we got after her in the ear – a sort of a I-guess-I’ll-let-you-stay marking.

Sassafrass on a shawl

We’ve had many cats who like to sit on the loom on whatever piece is in progress. This is Caraway on my first set of looper rugs. She was always a tiny girl because her mother was so malnourished.

Caraway & looper rug

Basil was one of our dearest cats. He was a stray who wandered to our back door one cold November night and was one of the most affectionate cuddlers we’ve ever had. He is napping on a Peter Collingswood double corduroy rug in progress. Yow – whatever was I thinking??? It was a gorgeous rug but how was I planning to keep it clean with four cats? I made it to replace the latch hooked rug and it only lasted a few years until it was just too catty. (That dragging the rug on new fallen snow business didn’t work for cleaning this rug.)

Basil on double corduroy rug

Widget is sitting on the diningroom table in Shanghai, China (a poor scan of a poor photo!). On the wall behind her is one of my entirely hand-made quilts. The pattern is called nosegay and is a favorite of mine. The plain colors were dyed to match the printed fabrics, which you cannot see. The shiny bits are buttons. Widget was a wonderful cat and was good company for me (along with Schminky) when we lived in Asia. She lived in three counties and three states and spent 17 years with us.


Jasmine just likes to be in the middle of whatever project I am working on.

Jasmine quilting

Gizmo is  more of an equipment and procedure guy. He likes to get in things and sleep in them. This is a rug hooking frame!

Gizmo framed!

He also likes to make sure that I get my dyeing recipes done correctly and clean up well after I’m done.

Gizmo dyeing

This last picture has nothing to do with fiber, but I had to include it. This is Kascha, our only dog, sleeping with Schminky, her best friend. Schminky grew up with Kascha and we were fairly sure that she thought she was a dog. Kascha would run after the frisbee and Schminky would run after her and they would end up in a flying heap as Kascha tripped over her. Most nights they slept together. It was a sad day for Schminky and Peter and I when we had to give Kascha up before we moved to Asia. Schminky was never quite the same.


I know many of you have animal helpers and couldn’t manage without their aid. I hope you’ll add a comment or link to your post of animals and fiber in your life.

8 thoughts on “Fiber & Cats

    • Ha! I knew some of you would be interested in my earliest hooking! I hooked a good bit and my mother got my father and brother doing it for years. I loved those little packages of wool…. I hooked a tiger rug for my pregnant friend and I bet she threw it out the minute she got it. It really was cute but not her style…. My brother thought he’d like to try rug hooking a few yeasr ago but it was too hard for him – pulling those little pieces of wool out of the package is very mindless I think. (And he was a poor student – he really didn’t try very hard!!!)


      • Tom and I did an artists’ studio tour last week. HIt up a fused glass studio (I swear, I thought it was pottery which Tom is much more tolerant of) and as soon as I walked in spied a rug in the corner on a futon. Turned out to be an old latch hook rug by the glass artist who used to be a quilter!


      • And they still had it….wow! The latch hook in the kitten picture was given to Peter’s boss at work. He LOVED it! I also quilted a Marimekko floral fabric to go over the couch and coordinate with the rug. VERY 1970″s hip! ;-D I still love that M print. They are timeless designs.


  1. Well, I LOVE this post! I love seeing all your cats from over the years and it made me sit back and think of all of mine and the ways they’ve wanted to help with whatever I was doing. I have photos, if I knew where to find the, of several cats sitting on a quilt in the frame as I did hand quilting. And on looms and on the top on my big old computer monitor, etc., etc. Right now, only one of our cats is really an issue and that’s this kitten, Gigi. She is hell on wheels around fibers!


    • Oh thank you!!! You know how so many people are mean spirited about those of us who adore our animals. But they are really in the middle of things. I was thinking of your naughty kitty when I wrote it! Oh yes – the computer monitor was one big draw and Peter had a big Ham Radio station with Big Metal boxes with Big Tubes and transformers in them and the cats loved that as well. And eating the African Violet blossoms… Oh my. I could not live without them.


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