Attention knitters! Battersea dog’s home needs you!

Battersea dogs home in London is appealing to knitters everywhere to help them to knit comfort blankets for their foster dogs. Some of the dogs need to stay with foster carers as they have been through terrible ordeals and do not cope with life in kennels well. Others are recovering from illness, injury or operations and need that extra bit of TLC while they make a full recovery.

10 year old Marcel with his much loved blanket.

Battersea are appealing to those who can knit to help create security blankets for these poorly pooches, as they have been found to help them to feel safe and warm. They’re hoping to have enough blankets to put one in every doggy bag, which also include food, bedding and toys, and are given to foster carers when they look after a dog. When the dog is rehomed, they can then take their blanket with them to their new home. The blanket will help to offer them comfort and familiarity while they recover and adjust to their new environments.

The blanket pattern has been designed especially for Battersea by Lauren O’Farrell from whodunnit.com. She explains: “Most people had a special toy or blanket when they were young which they loved to bits. The plan is to make blankets which Battersea’s foster dogs can love just as much. It will be a woolly treat to put in their doggy bags, and they can take their blanket to their new home, so it will smell really familiar and be a handmade friend in a new place.” She has designed the blanket to be made in patchwork so that you can tackle it in manageable chunks, or even join up with fellow knitters to create a blanket together. If you would like to get involved you can download the knitting pattern here. Alternatively, you could come up with your own blanket design. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just has to be comfy and warm. For more information Battersea’s knitted blanket appeal or fostering opportunities, please visit their website.

So, who’s with me? Does anyone out there fancy joining forces to help create as many blankets as we can? Sometimes the thought of creating an entire knitted blanket can seem like a very daunting task, but if we all combined our efforts we could achieve something truly wonderful. Wether you would like to contribute one square or twenty, I’d like to hear from you. Let’s give this wonderful charity a helping hand and give those pooches something to love and find comfort in.

Finished blankets can be dropped off at any of their centres or can be posted to:

Dog blanket appeal

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

4 Battersea Park Road

London

SW8 4AA

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Eeeeeek! I saw a mouse!

What with our recent epic european adventures, the balls of wool and knitting needles in the little blue knitting case have been left a little abandoned of late. The needles haven’t been performing their usual clickety clickety dance of wool seduction to whip those balls of wool into their destiny of a new creation…. or so I thought…..

I had begun to feel sorry for the deserted needles and wool, and with a head full of new ideas spawned from our incredibly inspiring trip, I went to the cupboard to say hello to my neglected old friends.

I opened the cupboard door, and reached up to grasp the little blue knitting case from the shelf, but as I did, I was greeted with more than a spattering of dust…..

I heard a noise…. a curious noise coming from within the little blue knitting case’s contents….a sort of scuffling noise….

I gently lifted the case from the shelf, and placed it on the floor. With excited anticipation I reached for the little brass latches, carefully lifted the lid and was greeted by a friendly little “squeak!”.

And there, nestled cosily in a bed of wool were Mr and Mrs Mouse! And what a pleasant surprise were they.

 That cheeky little blue knitting case often gets up to curious things when my back is turned! It’s a bad influence of those normally well-behaved needles and balls of wool. Do you remember Tatty Babbit?

He was an unexpected creation spawned of the little blue knitting case too! (You can read all about his birthing by clicking here.)

As always, the new little creations were desperate for an owner of their very own, so I did my usual bit of match making. Mrs Mouse was given to our cat Rosie, and the two of them set about playing happily together. Rosie had recently lost her previous knitted mouse whilst on holiday at the cattery, and had been missing it terribly so she was very pleased to have a new one. Mr mouse was given to my incredibly fabulous friend Charlie’s cat Tommy, and they set about playing happily together too. A happy ending for Mr and Mrs Mouse. They have made two cats very, very happy 🙂 x

A whole lotta Rosie

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Elliot

Amongst all the knitted creations here at Gizmo and Stitch Towers now lives an actual real life cat! And a very sweet cat is she. A few months ago, Mr Sharp and I adopted a dainty little elderly cat and named her Rosie (also affectionately known as “Catface”).

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We adopted her from a local cat rescue charity who had found her wandering the streets, very underweight, very confused and in a very bad way. She was lovingly nursed back to health by the devoted staff at the rescue centre and once she was feeling better they set about finding her a new home. Enter Mr Sharp and I, who once we met her, fell instantly in love with the teeny tiny but very elderly kitty, and took her home to live with us.

She wants for nothing apart from a lap to sit on and something to eat. Her hobbies include sleeping, cuddles, and purring. Oh, and walking up to us, standing by our feet, looking up at us with adorable ‘puss-in-boots-from-shrek‘ big eyes, and giving us a very loud meow for seemingly no other reason than to say hello.

Despite her elderly lady characteristics, every now and again, the kitten in her awakens and she hunts a little knitted mouse that the rescue centre gave her as a goodbye gift.

The little knitted mouse is very cute and lovingly made. I asked the lady at the rescue centre where it came from and she told me that some local little old ladies knit them up for the cats to play with, and sell a few at the local vets to help raise a bit of much-needed cash for the centre. However, the knitted mice where selling quicker than they could be knitted. The knitter in me got incredibly excited, “I could help this cause” thought I.

I contacted the lovely people over at Bustle and Sew to see if they wouldn’t mind me using their lovely knitted mouse pattern for the cause, and they agreed whole heartedly.They have even given me permission to share this pattern on this here blog so that maybe I can find some fellow knitters to help raise funds for animal protection/rescue charities up and down the country. So, are you a knitter? Would you like to help me raise funds for local animal rescue centres?

Ain't they just the cutest?

My plan is to knit as many mice as possible, and sell them at local vet practices, craft fairs, to friends and family, or online at my Folksy and Misi stores. All proceeds made will be given to the rescue centre to help them to continue with their good work.

Maybe you know of a local animal centre that could benefit from a charitable donation (lets face it, they could all use a bit of help). You could whip up some cute little cat toys to sell and raise some cash for them.  If you might be interested in helping to knit for charity you can contact me by leaving a comment below, or by emailing me at gizmoandstitch@live.com. Let’s use our knitting powers for good folks, lets help some charities and some furry friends.