On Wednesday 27th January I launched The LOVE Collection - Love inspired Cat and Dog Bow Ties and Accessories. The first Wool & Whiskers mini collection of 2021, these 7 Cat and Dog Bow Ties and collar accessories will be available to order until Sunday 21st February only... Each mini collection will not only be time limited but will only have 10 of every design available too!
Inspired by the love we have and are given in return by our adorable Fur Babies the Cat and Dog Bow Ties feature a repeating pattern of Red Love Hearts while a new pet collar accessory design of a single knitted Pink Love Heart has an optional matching Love Heart Pin for the owner that wants to wear their heart on their sleeve...or coat while on the daily dog walk.
Available for all 3 sizes (Cat/Tiny Dog, Small - Medium and Large Dog) both the Love Bow Tie and Love Hearts attach to your Cat or Dog's collar without any need to remove it first or fuss with them.
Despite bringing these Love Bow Ties out in time for Valentine's Day they are inspired by the unique bond we form with our Cats and Dogs and that lasts much more than an annual novelty day.
I thought it may be nice to share what was involved in bringing the Love collection Pet Accessory designs out of my head and into my hands.
I have had 7 cats and 1 dog throughout my life so far and yet each one is a clear individual in my head. The relationship I have and had with each of them is just as unique. Cooper (the cat) is my feline familiar, maybe more so than any other cat I have been lucky enough to know and as the years roll on I get increasingly aware my time with him is limited and that makes me think about how much I love him and how much he makes me feel loved, special and chosen.
So with this love connection in mind I sat down to sketch the ideas that formed in my head. I wanted the Cat and Dog Bow Tie to be fun, classic and yet contemporary and of course joyous. Everything I do with Wool & Whiskers is fueled by the desire to spark smiles, for you as the owner of your Bow Tie adorned furbaby but also for those who spot you out together or see photos you share. Smiling is contagious and uplifting and we could all do with as much of that as we can get.
As you can see I had several ideas in terms of the Cat and Dog Bow Tie design but ultimately I went with the Off White Lambswool and Red Love Hearts, it felt classic in a whimsical way.
The longest part of making a pattern to work from is the prep. Making sure the Heart motif is readable and clear. I have a small canvas to show it off on a Cat and Dog Bow Tie so it has to communicate what it is clearly and ideally from a distance. Then I have to make the design work in a repetitive pattern, this can feel maddening but somehow I get there. Next I have to test knit it, experimenting with tension and yarn thickness until I find the perfect pairing. Luckily having gone through so many tests and swatches for the Christmas Cat and Dog Bow Tie designs only a few months ago my instincts seemed to kick in, despite my January mindfug.
The Love Heart pet collar accessory was a new design for me, inspired by a much loved customer whose non Bow Tie wearing Dog doesn't like feeling anything on her collar I wondered how I could make something light, graphic and suitable to clip on the side or top of the collar.
One night the idea of a single Love Heart popped into my head and a matching Love Heart Pin/Brooch for owners soon followed. It took 3 drafts of the knitting pattern before I found the right size and shape that felt clear and clean to me. I tested the design out on this beautiful 2 colour Wool yarn, intending to knit the final design in a bold red but after several drafts I had fallen in love with the gradient look this yarn gave the cat and Dog Love Hearts. Having used the same yarn to knit my daughter her annual birthday jumper last year I knew it didn't pill much and kept it's dappled effect after toddler hard wearing.
Following what I hoped would be the final designs, it was time to test them on actual furry citizens. Stitch the lovely French Bulldog gave the Dog versions of the Bow Tie and Love Heart a test drive first and was suitably unaware and unbothered by his love packed collar accessories so next were my cats, Gary and Cooper.
Both Gary and Cooper were again, unaware entirely that they had anything attached to their collars and carried on being their independent, free willed cat-selves, just looking a lot more adorable. Hooray! By now I was so in love with these designs and excited to finish them, photograph and upload them ready to share on a secret link to my newsletter subscribers.
And now here we are, the full collection of Cat and Dog Love packed Bow Ties and Collar Accessories launches tomorrow morning at 10am and will be available to order for all your Cat and Dog loves until Sunday 21st February. So if you want to celebrate your Furry Valentine, have a wedding coming up which you will be attending with your furbaby or if you just love The Love Collection...don't let it be unrequited by missing out!