Cats made from upcycled knitwear, the new venture

Upcycled Sweater Cat 4

It’s been wet and cold for the last three months or so, normal for this time of year, and there have been no changes in my lampwork space conditions, making beads has been less of a joy and more of a fight with the elements, as well as battling with glass that doesn’t want to behave below 5ºC. I don’t mind dressing in mad layers that make me look like a Wildling extra from Game of Thrones and giving the radiator leg hugs under the table, but this year I thought I’d stay warm indoors and make soft, cat shaped objects out of knitted fabric. Whenever I find myself in shops, I see items of clothing that I want to cut up and make into something else, so this gives me the opportunity to do just that. 

There’s something deliciously naughty about taking a pair of scissors to a newly washed and slightly felted jumper, (especially when it bears the name of a known designer) chopping the sleeves off, spreading them out and seeing how much one has to work with. Of course there have been failures, I’ve found that even washed at 90ºC some wool won’t felt, it stays exactly as it is, and there’s no way to tell if a jumper will shrink, it really does seem to be hit and miss. The label, look and feel of an item of knitwear only holds so many clues. Anyway, it’s ok, that’s how it goes, and having to rethink is part of the fun. It works the other way too, sometimes I have over felted and been left with something from which I could only make a good sturdy doormat (now there’s an idea…). I have so many lovely pieces of knitwear sourced from a variety of places that I had to buy big containers to store them in, my husband, bless him, asked if I’d used them all up yet when he spotted me coveting some cashmere, I don’t think he gets how huge a palette can be, and that there probably isn’t a limit, except the size of the room I work in, and I reckon I could stack a few more giant boxes yet. 


So, I had bit of a shutdown where lampwork was concerned, it was quite a worry this time, it felt Serious. I began to think lampwork had left me for good, just like that. There’s really nothing like it, not even yarn related crafts can replace it even though I could happily play with wool all day long. A couple of weeks ago the inspiration and motivation came back and I got back into it, ideas came flooding in (and then I’d worry that someone else was making that idea in exactly the same way already, what a minefield the copying thing is) so I went back to my ‘Long Haired Cat’ beads to see what happened, here are the two nicest beads that I have made so far.


Rainbow Convert

For as long as I can remember, I didn’t really like anything rainbow except for actual rainbows…but because I had been asked to make a rainbow cat necklace quite a while back, I started looking at glass, trying to find the right colours (indigo is tricky), and gradually I began to enjoy it, and even like what I made. 

Also, I wanted to use Jane Hamill’s rainbow murrini (she’s definitely a rainbow person) on a cat so it was the perfect reason to make this bead and I love it…I’d have to keep it if I didn’t have a photo of it.


Here’s the finished Rainbow Necklace, which I am also delighted with. Good to have some bright colours around : )



So, a while back I made little pig beads…recently someone had the bright idea to suggest I make a pig bead for them, but in the style of my big floral cat beads. I had never thought of doing that


there is definitely a bit of a difference : )


The less cute stuff that I really love to make

Yes, I really do like to step into the world of the surreal and strangeness every now and then, all the pretty kitty cat beads put that side of me on hold, and before you think I’m complaining, I’m not, but I must, must, must remember to visit the more bonkers side sometimes : )

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