This is for yet another swap bot swap.
The parameters were to make something (anything you wanted) using an embroidery hoop.
My partner mentioned she hasn't been able to do much embroidery type crafting lately because she has two kittens and they get in the way (chasing the thread). That is what inspired my hoop.
It was kind of hard to photograph. The yarn ball kept spinning around. But I guess that was a good thing since that was kind of the idea.
I also had a bit of a concept (if you'd call it that) for this hoop, too. It's all about using what you have and recycling. The entire thing is made from stuff in my craft hoard. I bought nothing for this one (though at one point I thought I might have to buy safety pins for the kitties--but just when I was about to give up I found one more among the detritus on my living room crafting t.v. tray table). A lot of the supplies came from thrift stores, too. The ribbon wrapped around the hoop, the yarn, and the styrofoam ball used for the yarn ball all came from the Goodwill near my house.
I also wanted the whole thing to be easy to disassemble so the supplies could be repurposed into a new craft (if the recipient so desired). Yes, part of that was a way to say to the recipient that it was ok if they didn't like the hoop so much. They can just appreciate it for what it is then take it apart and make it into other things.
So I had to forgo using any glues and the like so I would waste as little supplies as possible. For the ribbon, I just wrapped the starting tail under as I wrapped (sort of tieing it off). For the end, I wrapped it tight around the hoop closure then I used a small piece of clear tape to tape it down on the underside. For the yarn ball I just tied the yarn around the ball then wrapped. I held the yarn steady with a pin as I wrapped then just removed the pins once it was all stable. There is no glue or tape or anything on the ball.
The kitties can even be re-used. The safety pins can easily be removed (and re-used) and the kitties applied to something else.
Now, time for some closeups of the kitties.
I was only going to make two (to mimic the recipient's two cats) but I couldn't find a pic of her cats. I found only one pic of one cat (a tabby). And two cats wasn't enough. The ball demanded at least three (to make it feel well covered).
It wasn't until I was needle felting the calico cat (that's how I got the spotts on) that I realized what I had done. I had made my three cats, Cringer, Monte, and Cecil. Well, I was thinking about Monte when I made the tuxedo cat. I deliberately used the siamese body shape and made it tuxedo. Monte was a siamese-y tuxedo (and the favorite of my cats, though I love them all). None of the cats are exact replicas of my cats, but the similarities are there (Cringer is a calico, Monte was a tuxedo, and Cecil was a tabby).
I've been making these cats for a while now (oh, for the record the pattern is HERE) and I think I'm finally sold on the fact that they need whiskers. It took a while to convince me but seeing the mixed colors on this tabby cat seals the deal for me. Whiskers for everyone from this point forward!
I also really like the effect of the needle felting. I just used tiny felt scraps and needled them on. I'm sure if I played with needle felting more I could get really cool blends. I'm really liking needle felting for adding effects to other projects. I'd like to get more into making needle felted figures/sculptures, but not right now (I've tried it and liked it but it's very time consuming for me, being a beginner).
I hope the recipient likes the hoop. I'm very pleased with the results.