Knitting Maya

This is Maya.

Maya is the last cat that I need to knit in the family. There is a big technical problem with Maya… she is excessively fluffy!!

Maya was adopted a few years ago from a cat shelter to be a companion to my son’s cat Daxter. “She’s a firecracker,” my son was told when he looked at her in the kitten room. She certainly is! She pretty much ruled the kitten room at the shelter, and now she pretty much rules the roost at my son’s place.  Of course I need to knit her up too.

Maya’s coloration is what is referred to as “tuxedo” , a beautiful black and white pattern. Her extreme fluffiness is the Maine coon part. Her attitude is all her own… do you see she was swatting at the camera with her paw while this picture was being taken?

I’ve been collecting black and white mohair yarn to create a knitted Maya for weeks now. I plan to use the usual pattern: Cat by Claire Garland. Once I had the yarn collected I still kind of worried about how all that black would look on the finished cat.

Here’s the problem: there is a lot of shaping in the cat’s face, and I also learned that it was important to use shading with different combinations of yarn to make the face more realistic. Hard to do with all black and all white patches…

I spend more time than I want to admit to watching videos on Facebook. I also watch an artist create paintings of pets… DawgArt Pet Portraits. She paints live on Facebook and it is so interesting to see how she creates realistic pet portraits using unusual colors. One of her tricks is to use purple and other dark hues instead of black.  My son suggested that I use purple yarn in Maya’s black patches. Oh. I have purple yarn in the stash…

I swatched lots of ideas. Purple mohair with black yarn. Black mohair with purple yarn. Purple yarn with clumps of knitted in black wool from a fleece. The Black mohair with purple yarn works the best and is what I plan to use. Once the black halo develops the purple will just shine through and will add the texture that I need.

Still worried about getting the fluff affect I went digging through the stash hunting for really fuzzy mohair that could be dyed black.

Oh, this is really fuzzy yarn. Into the dye pot it went!!
Mohair yarn dyed black.
The dyed yarn is mostly black with some pink highlights in it… perfect for a tuxedo cat with purple undertones in the black sections!
Here is all of the yarn that I plan to use to create knitted Maya.

I’m going to use two strands of mohair (Rowan and Shibui) with purple for her face and will add in the strand of dyed mohair on her body; with a little brushing I’m hoping that the finished knitted cat will have the illusion of long hair. All of the black portions will use purple yarn with the mohair, and the white is staying white. I will need to do a little embroidery with white on her nose, and some trickery to get her lips just right, but I think that I know what to do now.

Whew! All of that planning is now out of the way and I’m looking forward to finally start knitting.

Hurry up Nana! I’m waiting for my knitted twin to arrive!

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

50 thoughts on “Knitting Maya”

      1. Yes .. female mogs are more bossy, I think. But I know only from others’ cats, as I have never had aught but males, in all my life ! 🙂

  1. Maya is very gorgeous. The tilt of the head, those gold almond eyes. Very intriguing! She might like to visit me. Not sure what my laid back Scottish fold would do. Hide forever I think! Your yarn colours are very suitable. The flashes of colour certainly match those flashes of attitude and the black mohair looks very soft and pattable. How are you going over there? We’ve heard some food is running low. Hope your state is ok. Keep well. We’re having some hot weather here. Not supposed to but things are very topsy turvy all round.

    1. Today was nice and sunny, but it had been frigid and snowing the rest of the week. It’s hard to stay upbeat with so much wind and misery outside. I think that there are food shortages, but a lot of people need food from food banks right now since they have lost their jobs and there is no money. I went to the store really early last week and managed to get some meat and fresh food so I’m doing pretty well for myself.

      Maya is always just beautiful… my son calls her a princess. She isn’t aggressive at all, but she sure does stand her ground when there’s a take over attempt on the cat tree. The kitten usually wears her down, but she doesn’t leave without some hissing and paw wraps! I’m sure she would love to visit except for the transport involved. 🙂

  2. We used to have a black and white cat with those tuxedo colours called Gatsby…as in The Great Gatsby, and another Tortoiseshell one called Daisy (Gatsby’s girlfriend). In the sun Gatsby would sometimes look purple, sometimes green and sometimes blue. I’m looking forward to seeing how this next one progresses.

    I think I’ve mentioned before, but Gatsby would hide under book cases and when you walked past he’d stick his claws out and rip a bit of your leg! He wasn’t quite in line with Robert Redford’s character 😂

    1. I love your cat names! What stinker Gatsby was to be a secret slasher… my son’s kitten Jonesy likes to dive under the bed and will attack any feet that are nearby. It makes changing the bed linens especially exciting!

  3. She is so cute!💜 I am looking forward to seeing how this comes out. I had a black and white kitty. Her name was Chloe. She didn’t have as much fur though. She was the gentlest cat I ever meant. Not aggressive at all like you said. But if she would see a car in the driveway, she will stand at the glass door and growl at it until it leaves.

    1. Your sweet girl growled?! Maya has mastered the threatening hiss… in the first weeks after the kitten came home she hissed so much she actually got a little hoarse. Maya isn’t a lap sitter, but she is very attached to my son and follows him from room to room while he is working at home.

      1. Yes. It was a strange sound. It sounded like “wooo”. I would try to calm her, but she stood her ground and would growl at the cars. Chloe was a lap cat. The only thing is that she sometimes forgot to slow down. So sometimes she landed on my lap with a running leap. It was like being tackled. She was my best girl always by me. Her kitten is still around. Her name is Maggie. She isn’t a lap sitter, but she loves my Dad.

      2. What a good cat she was! My last two cats didn’t want to sit on my lap and wouldn’t let me pick them up until the end of their lives. I did have a wonderful cat named Morgan who was huge about being held and sitting in laps. He would suddenly jump up onto my chest without warning to be held… talk about a tackle! Cats like that are priceless. This cat was so wonderful that my ex and I fought over his ownership during the divorce. I got the cat!

      3. Aw! He sounds like such a nice cat. Did he try to get your yarn while he was on your lap?

      4. Chloe would. But, I got her so she wouldn’t. She would just watch me quietly. Then I wouldn’t pay attention and the next thing I know she would grab whatever I was working on and start kicking it like crazy.😂 I just think she couldn’t take any more.

  4. Wow! I’m so impressed with all your thoughtful planning, swatch-making, and even yarn-dying. You’re amazing. I’ve loved watching these knitted cats come to life so to speak. What lovely, lovely gifts. We adopted a tuxedo cat named Lindy from our local humane society when my son was 8. Lindy turns 18 this year. She also likes to sit on the backs of things with her head and feet dangling, much like a tree limb I imagine. The other two cats don’t do that, so I wonder if it’s a unique characteristic to this type of cat. I’m looking forward to observing your progress.

    1. Maya is the only cat that I’ve seen who does this, but I used to have a wall calendar that featured a cat draped across a fence exactly the same way. I thought that it might be a Maine coon trait, but who knows? I think that she can do this because she is really long and then there is that gigantic tail!

    1. She is an absolutely beautiful cat. As a little kitten there was no clue how much hair and grace the adult cat would have. She is quite the girl. I forgot to mention that she is so vocal that she practically talks!

      1. Teddy would have to understand that she considers herself royalty… quite the girl she it! I don’t think that she ever talks to other cats (other than a hiss to keep the kitten under control… he is now bigger than her and has a lot of rambunctious energy), but uses it to talk to her “dad.” I have even heard her meow “outside” at the front door when she wants out.

  5. That is art. I love it. Your cat is beautiful as well. I have a long haired bobtail with Maine Coon characteristics, so I know what you mean by the appearance. I think she will make a wonderful knitted version.

    1. I just finished knitting her! I got the character and the look, but there was no way to get the extreme fluffiness without adding little bits of yarn. I am thinking out doing that…

      I used to have a bobtailed cat with Maine Coon characteristics!! He was so much fun! Mine was yellow colored.

      1. My girl is Lily. She is tiger with a bit of orange in her. Her attitude, oh my, she is lucky I love her sometimes. LOL

      2. She does sound interesting to knit. MacKenzie was just dripping with attitude and pretty much pushed me around all the time. But I loved him.
        I hate to talk about promising to knit your girl right now, but if things calm down in the fall that might be a time to make some plans. 🙂

      3. Lily is the boss of my house, lol. If you would ever like to knit my girl, just contact me. I would love to see how it turned out.

  6. This is amazing! I can’t wait to see how she turns out. Maya sounds like a lady after my own heart,

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