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Jan 20, 2015

Smelly cat

Finally after soooo much work he is here:

Krawka: Crochet smelly cat, wires inside, eyes and nose made from modeling clay

I am sure everyone remember the wonderful series "Friends". I was a big fan of Phoebe and hers creative musical compositions :) like the one I loved the most: SMELLY CAT:

Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat,

What are they feeding you?
Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat
It's not your fault


You may not be a bed of roses

You're not friend to those with noses
I'll miss you before we're done
Or the world will smell as one

Krawka: Crochet smelly cat, wires inside, eyes and nose made from modeling clay

So by adding my love to cats and Phoebe and Friends and cats :) came this little fellow. I had a black cat when I was a teenager so naturally I wanted to make a black cat firstly, but change my mind. I knew I wanted to finally try painting or shading my work, so with black color it would be that much harder. Maybe next time... Cause I am sure now the one will not be enough

Krawka: Crochet smelly cat, wires inside, eyes and nose made from modeling clay

Krawka: Crochet smelly cat, wires inside, eyes and nose made from modeling clay

This time there wont be any direct patterns. Why? Because it was so many tries and corrections and elements and adds that making a pattern from this would be impossible. But I would like to make sort of tutorial how I made my cat to give the idea to those who are a bit experienced in crocheting how to make one for themselves.

You have to know the process is long.

First step for my is to draw the designed toy on paper. The best idea is to already draw it in a desired size, this way after making the part You can fit it to the drawing. When fitting remember the parts will be stuffed a bit so try not to flatten them but imagine how they would look like when stuffed. Also plan how much stuffing and where You want to put. For example my cats lags are stuffed only where the feets and knees are. The rest of leg is empty (except for the wire).

Okay, so we have the main concept and the drawing what to do next? My advice is: HEAD. I always start with head and than measure and fit other parts to it. It may be hard sometimes but I assure You want regret it.

I made head and stuffed it firmly than mouth, which is also stuffed a bit.
Ears are a bit tricky. I wanted them to have the exact shape I planned. so I crocheted  the desired shape, than put a thin wire in shape of reverse "V" inside every ear. Ends of wire are pressed into the head. Thanks to the wire ears are adjustable. Sewing them to the head is also not that easy if You would look at them from the top they would be sewn in shape of bean, where the concave part is in front. You can see that on the pictures what I mean.

So the head is ready, well almost. I actually added a few loose hair on top of the head and ears.

Next step for me was making a body which was soooooo hard. The beginning  is on the bottom I made a bit, stuffed, made more stuff and ended where the neck is. I have two thoughts about this body. Although I a very pleased about how it looks like now it took me a lot of time to think about a way to do it in one piece. If it's taking You too much time just stop and make a few pieces You will sew together. Don't waste the time it's still a long way ahead :D
Second thought is about the wire - IT has to be thick, also when sewing head and body try to pull a long part of the wire to the head, that the both parts are firmly connected and can be easily manipulated.

Tail is basic and simple with wire inside.

Back legs and front ones are almost the same, the back ones are a bit longer and wider in place You will sew them to the body. Every finger or toe is the separate part. As I wrote before legs are empty inside - not stuffed except for the feet and knee. Put the wire in every leg and sew them to the body.

Below You can see the photo of the crocheted parts.

Here You can see him sewn together. One alteration  I made between this two photos are shoulders. When I sewed front legs they were a bit too short and didn't look that good I also felt they aren't properly placed. That is why I made shoulders.

From the modelling clay I made nose and eyes for my kitty. I don't want to write much about that cause a separate post is in plan.

I can say I painted them after finishing. I tried like six or seven pairs of different eyes. It was a nightmare. I didn't like a single one all different shape and sizes. I finally decided on the blue ones turned upside down :) as You can see.
I also added eyebrows.
Krawka: Crochet smelly cat, wires inside, eyes and nose made from modeling clay

Before adding nose and eyes I decided it was time to paint him.

From my yarn I made a big sample on which I tested a different techniques. My first thought was to paint it with eye shadows, but it didn't work for me. I even sprayed it with hair spray to make it more lasting, but it actually even made it worst. I don't know if it's about yarn or shadows. Anyway I decided to do it with my husband's paints to models and figurines. I chose black and white paint and made only shadows and highlights.

I think when painting You need to think about the purpose of Your....hmmm... not toy... artistic crochet instalation :) (Nice, right?) If the main purpose is for the pictures You have to paint it very very distinctly. I thought I made mine like that but still You almost can't see it on the pictures. For sure he is not all in one color but still I would prefer it would be more clearly visible.

Last step is gluing nose and eyes and maybe other parts to Your artistic crochet installation :)

I almost forgot about whiskers. It's just a part of fishing line glued to the mouth. Mine was white but I would definitely prefer transparent one.

Krawka: Crochet smelly cat, wires inside, eyes and nose made from modeling clay

What do You think about the cat? Is painting Your crochet against Your rules? I was thinking like that but I had to try. He is not a toy now with all that paint and I have to hide him all around the house from my son. But I like to think of it as, I don't know, sculpture maybe..some kind of just ART. I would love to hear what You think.

Also If anyone have any questions about the making process, please don't be shy. I will try to answer everyone of them.

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