Happy National Pet Day!

Many crafters are accompanied during craft time by a four-legged friend who keeps them company and makes the crafting process a whole lot more fun. But every once and a while, these little furries want to “help.” Their definition of help doesn’t always match ours, but we love them anyway. In celebration of our furry helpers, let’s herald in National Pet Day with pet stories from a few Interweavers!

It makes sense that Pete’s attracted to fiber: I brought him home from a fiber retreat! I was in Wisconsin with spinners and weavers Sara Lamb, Deb Menz, and John Mullarkey when a kitten came around and stayed. We couldn’t find where he’d come from, and the local shelter didn’t take strays, so the next thing I knew he was under the seat in front of me on a plane headed for Colorado.

Not long after I brought him home, the annual Spinzilla competition began, so he spent a lot of time watching me at the wheel. Sometimes he wanted to help; sometimes he wanted me to stop spinning and pet him.

He really likes to help me direct warp on my rigid heddle loom. I often draw through a loop and find out that Pete has chewed it on the way. He gets locked up when I’m measuring the warp, but here he’s helping me thread the holes.

Anne Merrow
Editor of Spin Off
Content Strategist, Spinning and Weaving

My husband and I recently adopted Lily (our younger cat, in the foreground) and have discovered that she loves yarn. Her older sister, Thistle, has never shown anything but the mildest interest, but Lily is on a yarn mission. She’ll dive head-first into my knitting bag, and she knows the closet upstairs where I keep my stash. Knowing that cats and yarn don’t mix, I have to be very careful about never leaving any yarn out on any surface, no matter how high.

But one day, I forgot to close the stash closet door and came home to yarn chaos. The yarn trail led from the yarn closet, down the stairs, and around every single chair and table leg in the living room and dining room. It took forever to clean it all up, mostly because Lily thought it was just more yarn fun!

Joni Coniglio
Senior Project Editor, Interweave Knits and knitscene

Timmy and Momo are definite yarn helpers. One day while crocheting, I had my project bag on the floor and was surprised when I came upon the end of the yarn. I glanced down and Momo was staring innocently up at me whilst sitting on my yarn bag with a freshly chewed ball of yarn underneath her paws! I suppose she wanted to help me fasten off—she was just about 400 yards too early!

Another time (documented in the photos), Timmy was trying to help me untangle some yarn, but I quickly discovered that this wasn’t his forte. To prevent any yarn ingestion, I quickly reassigned him to cuddle duty instead. He was very happy to nestle by my side while I crocheted (and I’m sure my yarn was happy to be away from pointy kitty teeth).

Lisa Espinosa
Editorial Coordinator, Crafts Books

These are cat stories, but there are plenty of puppy stories as well! Sara Dudek, associate editor of Interweave Crochet, has an energetic pooch named Archie who believes that being a yarn helper means testing the sturdiness of the yarn: Tug-of-war is a favorite testing method. To protect both her yarn and Archie, Sara is careful to keep her yarn packed away in storage bins or in a secure project bag when not in use.

Deb Gerish, editor of Love of Knitting proud and cat mommy of seven adorable felines, would like to remind pet and yarn lovers to be sure our loveable furries don’t swallow yarn because it can be dangerous for their health. “Keep yarn in secure storage containers or project bags when not in use to prevent any accidental swallowing. Please don’t encourage pets to play with yarn. Instead, keep them nearby during crafting time as your dearest friends and cuddle buddies!”

Do any of you have fun pet helper stories? Please let us know in the comments below!

Handmade Fun for National Pet Day



  1. Elizabeth J at 1:58 pm April 19, 2017

    Quite a few years ago, I had a cat that never messed with my yarn — except…
    If I left her in the house longer than she thought was appropriate to be alone, she would pile all the yarn from my weaving room in the middle of the living room and sit next to the pile as I can home. The look on her face was :”Just think what I COULD do to all this yarn.” She was trying to train me to stay home more!

  2. Ellen C at 3:19 pm April 19, 2017

    I love this article, and especially the photo montages…and the topic is near and dear to my heart! I have two cats: Luci likes to lie low in my table top loom, under the warp. Loki loves to spin my wheels–he’s been blind since birth and seems to crave the sensation of spinning the wheel…not sure if it’s the predictability of the wheel’s motion or the air it generates (he also loves blow driers and heating vents!) but he has become a spinner extraordinaire! He spins numerous times per day and often 5 minutes at a time. So fun sharing fiber arts with the felines!

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