Thursday, October 29, 2015

LongCat Heating Pad

In honor of the Put A Cat on it! Sewalong I have kitted myself out in several pieces of cat related apparel/accessories! The toasty flannel/fleece cats pajamas make another appearance on the blog (previously talked about in this post); the newest addition is the thing around my neck, discussed below; and I'm even wearing kitty cat studs by Michelle Chang.

I had every intention of making a swishy sundress with a cat/floral cotton. I even went out to Yardage Town and bought some floaty georgette for the skirt. Alas, I moved to a new apartment in the middle of the month, and so my stuff is everywhere, and the sewing table has yet to be set up. (I don't even know where the fabric I bought for this ended up. And you can see the clear plastic bins of yarn and fabric behind my head which tells you what the state of the apartment is like.) I'll still make the aforementioned dress, but it may not get finished until next spring.

LongCat Hotpad | Is As If

However! I have sewn a new cat related thing!

I saw this pin from Sweet Living Magazine and decided that I had to have that. I sometimes get these horrible neck spasms that leave my neck completely immobile for at least an entire day if not multiple days. Hot washcloths seemed to help a little, but they don't stay hot for very long, and they're wet. This seemed like the perfect solution!

Enter LongCat!


There is no printable template in the magazine, so I had to draw my own. Less artistically inclined people may find this somewhat difficult, but I have two suggestions on that front.

1) Print out a line drawing of a cat in similar pose. Use the slash and spread method - cut the paper in half (head and front feet on one side, tail and back feet on other), insert and tape new piece of paper between the two halves and then connect the lines of the body.

2) Make a more 3D type model (like this DeviantArt user) and make a long rectangle with feet on either end. Then attach a stuffed head and tail after filling the main body.

I ended up using half a yard of quilting cotton and something like 3 pounds of rice?  I took the concept one step further though and added scent to my rice!

I used:
- 8 oz. bottle of imitation vanilla (no need to use authentic since we're just here for the scent)
- cinnamon
- nutmeg

I put all the rice into one of those plastic produce bags from the grocery store, but a big ziploc will work too! Then, I added the whole bottle of vanilla, a bunch of cinnamon, and a couple dashes of nutmeg. Mix the whole bag together by mushing everything around and give it a sniff to see if you want more cinnamon or nutmeg. Once everything is pretty well coated, spread out the rice on a rimmed baking sheet in a thin layer. Now you have to patiently wait for it to dry before you can funnel it into your longcat. You could try putting the baking sheet into the oven to dry but I've never tried it and I didn't want to cook my rice.

Tip: don't over-stuff the longcat; it still needs to be flexible enough to drape around your shoulders and neck.

Longcat is perfect for sore muscles but also just to use as a heating pad when it's cold outside. I usually microwave it for about 2 minutes before using.

I don't usually join sewalongs mostly because I never finish anything in a decent amount of time, but I had to join a cat one!  Thank you to Cation Designs for hosting and always providing us with plenty of Walnut pictures :)