Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started “The Kitty Couches” Pattern Sold by Annie’s Crochet

Designer Candy Clayton

This is the most adorable pattern and I was so excited to try it. Especially since one of our cats had been diagnosed with Diabetes and I wanted to do something nice for her. But unfortunately, until last weekend, I had abandoned the project and it sat in my yarn room since 2020. I had gotten so frustrated and intimidated due to the instructions, I couldn’t marshal the energy or confidence to go back to it. But lately, I’ve gotten some motivation from somewhere to tackle roadblocks. (Also, my cat went in my yarn room, sniffed the project, meowed, and looked at me in what seemed to be an accusing manner.) Hopefully, someone else will benefit from my newfound resolve as I’ve decided to provide some tips so maybe, others who have bought the pattern will have a better experience.

  • Tip #1—Check your gauge. If you don’t know how to do this, there’s a great tutorial here: Bella Coco  (Her YouTube channel is great!) I know this is an extra step that is hard to do when you’re excited to start a pattern. But I have avoided a lot of heartache and extra work by doing this. For me, if I put in all the effort, I want to be reasonably happy with the finished product. Process is great, but it’s certainly not all for me. I always make a gauge swatch. However, for some reason, that didn’t work this time. I adjusted my hook size to make gauge, but the finished pieces didn’t fit the foam size listed in the pattern. This is where the process broke down for me. I tried twice to assemble it and it looked awful. I couldn’t bear to take it apart a 3rd time.
  • Tip #2—After you finish crocheting the couch pieces, wet block them. This is left out of the pattern instructions. If you want the pieces to come out in neat rectangles that will hug the foam pieces in a tailored rather than tortured way, this is an important and so worthwhile step. Here is a good tutorial on blocking: Sewrella. (You don’t need to use the products she is recommending. Find ones that work for you. I use old yoga mats and non-rust T pins.)
Wet blocking Kitty Couch pieces
  • Tip #3—Once blocked and dry, you know what size to cut the foam and can purchase accordingly. (I couldn’t follow the size recommendations in the directions, even though I technically made gauge. Foam can be expensive and I wound up spending more than I should have because I can’t use some of the pieces I cut.) You will need foam for the base/seat, the backrest and the arms.

For the couch base/seat, the instructions advise to purchase 1” tall pieces of foam and stack 4 of them on top of one another. This was unwieldy and hard to work with for me. I recommend purchasing foam that has a depth of 4”, (not the length or width) for the base/seat. The length and width will need to be sufficient to accommodate the blocked size of your finished pieces.

For the backrest and arms, you will need foam that has a depth of 1”. The foam’s width measurement will be the same as your finished crocheted piece, but the height should be double as the directions advise to fold in the piece in half lengthwise.  For example, if my crocheted backrest is 21” wide and 14” tall, I would cut my foam piece 21” wide and 28” tall.

The same is true for the arms as the foam will be folded in half, lengthwise. For example, if the crocheted arm is 8” wide and 4.5” tall, I would cut the foam piece 8” wide and 9” tall.

I hope this is clear. But if not, pop a question in the comments section below or you are welcome to email me at . Which brings me to my last tip.

  • Tip #4—Consider buying a pattern that has support. This pattern says it does, but not really. On the last page of the pattern in a font size that’s about 3, you are directed to visit to look for a pattern update if you need help. I went to the page, and received the message that there were no updates to the pattern.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me when I’ve purchased a pattern from Annie’s. Although they have some very cute ones, it’s just not worth the frustration to me to buy something and get horribly stuck or waste money on supplies because the instructions weren’t clear or accurate. So, unfortunately, I won’t be buying any more from them, especially since there are so many great indie designers out there that do respond when you need to ask a question.  

I don’t have a picture of the finished piece yet, but I plan to add it when I do. Stay tuned!

Craft Buddies for Friendship and Mental Health

I’ve been absent for a few weeks due to the demands of my private practice as a mental health therapist and an unseasonable snow storm last week. We got 6-8 inches of snow which knocked our power out for hours. It unfortunately also claimed our beautiful lilac tree. Here is a pic of some of the blooms I snipped off the downed beauty. 😦

Last blooms from our lilac tree.

A snowstorm can feel so isolating. But thankfully, the weather cleared in a couple of days. I was able to get together with a good friend for some talk and crafting time.

Although I appreciate my solitary crafting time, it is so rewarding to share it with another creative person who shares a passion for making. Crafting and art activities have been shown to reduce cortisol (stress hormones), improve self-esteem, reduce anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure and generally improve mood.

Starla Butler

Once a month, I get together with my friend, Starla Butler. I met Starla in about 2017 when we worked in community mental health as assessment specialists. Since then, we have both gone on to create our private practices as Licensed Mental Health Therapists. But we have stayed in touch and schedule regular time to catch up or consult on challenging cases.

Starla suggested we enrich our time together with working on our craft projects. Although she doesn’t crochet or work with fiber arts, she creates amazing miniatures. I was fortunate to receive the following from her for Christmas last year.

She had looked through all my crochet posts on Facebook and had made tiny replicas of my projects along with a replica of my favorite crochet space, my couch. I was so blown away when she gave it to me. I couldn’t stop talking about it!  The lamp even lights!

I wanted to reciprocate so I found a cute crochet pattern for wicker type patio furniture which I am working on for one of her miniature houses. She thinks she can create a resin top for it. Our first collaboration!

With the times being what they are and our practices bursting due to the increased demands for mental health providers, I am thankful for my get togethers with Starla. Our mental loads are lightened when we visit.

Do you get together with family or friends to crochet or craft? If you know of any groups in SW Washington, I would love to know as I have been looking for a crochet group for awhile.

Until next time, I hope you are well and enjoying many moments of creating and friendship!