My new kitten, Naboo (7 weeks old as of this week!), is a bundle of energy who needs constant play. Her favorite toys are a) small, light toys she can carry in her mouth (whoever invented the sparkle ball is a genius); b) hefty toys she can hold in her front paws and mouth, while rabbit kicking them with her back feet.
We haven't had a kitten in the house for 18 years, and so don't have much in the way of kitten toys. Of course I could just go out and buy some, but where is the fun in that? Thus, an afternoon was given to making toys for Naboo.
The project started with a much loved sweater knit from a pink wool/mohair blend. I wore this sweater all the time for several years, and eventually the underarm area became felted to the point that it needed to be retired from my wardrobe. Not wanting to part with it entirely, I threw the sweater in the washer and felted the heck out of it. The result was a lovely piece of heavy wool felt that could be cut any which way without fraying or raveling. At the time, I had no plans for the felt, so it went into a drawer until the right project came along.
The pink sweater, the early years.
Along came Naboo (be careful if you ever agree to foster an adorable, tiny kitten; you may find yourself with a new cat!), and with her, inspiration for my felt.
Being an impatient crafter, my approach to creating her toy was "make it simple". I played around drawing abstract mouse shapes on paper, until I came up with a satisfying silhouette.
From there, I made a paper template, transferred it to the felt, cut the fabric. Then, stuff with cotton batting and whip stitch closed, and viola!--easiest cat toy ever!
But would Naboo approve? I tossed her the toy, hopeful that it would pass the kitten test:
Naboo now has several felted mousies, and my beloved pink sweater lives on. A good day for all!