Custom works

I love custom work. I find the challenge of creating something tangible from someone else’s imagination or an image they send pretty thrilling. And their ideas can be pretty fun!

A little less than 2 weeks ago I got an email request wondering if I could mcat hat mockup from clientake a cat hat from a schematic. It was perfect, and the new customer even included the colours she wanted from my existing products. Even better.

This was the schematic >

It turns out the schematic was made by a mutual friend of the customer’s and mine, so she knew my work and what I might need from her.  I finally finished it last night and I’m quite pleased with the result!

Lynn's Lids custom wool hat - cat toque hand knit and felted wool Lynn's Lids hand knit felted wool warm winter hat bespoke cat beanie

The other custom order I’ve been working on came from someone who had bought one of my tea cosies last year. She was drinking a coffee and thought she could use a cosy for her French press as well. And wouldn’t you know it, that was already in this year’s plan (as I mentioned the other day). So we planned colour and a custom image for her (since she already has the Toronto skyline) and I’m pretty pleased with this result as well! I even gave it a test run today, leaving my coffee in there for half an hour before I drank it and it was still steaming. Hurrah!

Lynn's Lids handmade coffee cosy Lynn's Lids custom hand knit, felted wool coffee cosy

Lynn's Lids custom hand knit, felted wool coffee cosy with Kitchener clock tower Lynn's Lids custom hand knit, felted wool French press coffee cozy with Kitchener clock tower

They were both mailed today and will hopefully get to their destinations tomorrow or Friday.

Happy cat!

Just a quick note to post some photos of the happy cat, Jammie Dodgers, when introduced to the new bed (which is pretty good camouflage, I must say). I love happy customers. And I’m so pleased that this was a successful first attempt.

Cat in the new custom Lynn's Lids cat bed
Jammie Dodgers checking out the new bed about 30 seconds after I tossed it on the floor…
Cat relaxing in the new custom Lynn's Lids cat bed
A few minutes later, Jammie Dodgers gets comfortable.

And the client seems pretty happy:

And because I love my client’s work, I managed to pick up a couple of things for myself, including a dragonfly necklace, much like these gorgeous buttons:

Dragonfly buttons by The Vexed Muddler on Etsy
Dragonfly buttons by The Vexed Muddler on Etsy

And a butterfly button (to be sewn to a hat – I’m just not sure if it will be my hat or one that is for sale), much like this lovely necklace (which, incidentally, is currently available on Etsy):

Butterfly necklace from The Vexed Muddler on Etsy
Butterfly necklace from The Vexed Muddler on Etsy

And a late addition to the blog post, the other cat (I didn’t meet the shy one) loves the bed, too!

The making of a cat bed

Recently a fellow Toronto Etsy Street Team artisan asked if I could make a cat bed for her two cats. New challenges keep things interesting, so I accepted.

Based on the diameter (15″) and height (4-6″) I was given  (great usage of 2πR from math of the old school days), I calculated the circumference and, based on my pattern for a basic toque, the number of stitches needed. Something totally new like this, and of this size, is always a bit of a crap shoot, however. 

Here’s a shot of the work in knitting progress:

Once I had finished knitting it, I felted it with some dryer balls (I often form dryer balls and get them set for felting and then wait until I have a hat or something else that needs felting as they help with the agitation). It took well over an hour in the machine (90 minutes, I think) to shrink down to a dense and thick fulled fabric. (Oh, and if you decide to follow the link above to wikipedia’s explanation of fulling, I use soap, not urine. Just in case you were wondering.)

After it was fulled (and yes, it’s about 15″ in diameter!), I rolled it in a towel to get the excess water out, and then it was time to block it. However, I don’t have a designated cat bed block, so I had to find something in my home upon which to block it. It needed to be round, and rather large. I ended up using a big plastic storage container with a thick towel wrapped around it. I’d rather use something that is firm all the way around, but sometimes you’ve got to use whatever is available on hand:

After setting it up on the block, it was time to leave it alone. I know I’ve said it before, but that’s the part I hate. It’s usually 48 hours minimum to dry anything on a block, depending on the season and humidity. Here it is, blocking, bottom up:

Lynn's Lids commissioned cat bed blocking

 

And today, finally, I pulled it off and had a look to make sure it would stand up and that it looks okay. It worked!

View this post on Instagram

It worked! Custom hand knit & felted cat bed!

A post shared by Lynn W (@lynnslids) on

So I sent the photos to the client, posted a custom listing on Etsy, and it’s to be delivered tomorrow. (That’s the only downside to something as big as a 15″ wide x 4″ high cat bed: shipping could be astronomical, especially in this country.)

There are a few things that I might do differently next time, but all in all I feel good about the finished product, and the client is happy. Now we just need to see if the cats like it, too. Here’s hoping!