Indie designer of the week: Sara Thomas
This week, we caught up with Sara Thomas, author of the extremely popular and hilarious Cats in Hats book, a runaway success in the realm of feline fashion.
Hi Sara, we’re thrilled to be talking to you today! Could you tell us more about your models, those furry felines?
I always love to talk more about my cats! Dorothy is 5 (she will be 6 in June), and I adopted her in 2009 from a couple that had rescued she and her siblings. She was the sweetest, tiniest kitten and would let me dress her up. I used to make her tiny playhouses, pillows, etc. Her disposition is just the best – she’s very loving, patient (obviously), and cautious (which is pretty funny in a cat!). The minute I sit down to knit, she is on my lap, which is hilarious because she isn’t much of a lap cat in general. She was my inspiration for making hats. I raised her with another kitten, named Winston. He lives with one of my close friends, but the two of them are my original cat hat muses and models. Two years ago I adopted a second cat from a local animal shelter and named him Sinclair. He’s a very fluffy, talkative, quirky guy that loves water and getting into my yarn stash.
When and why did you decide to design cat hats?
Well, it all started in 2009 when I launched Scooter Knits. Initially I was knitting accessories for women and selling them in the boutique that I worked in at the time. After adopting Dorothy, I began making her tiny hats. I quickly developed a pattern that I could use as the “base” for other designs, and at that point I began listing them in my Etsy shop. They were by far the most popular thing I made, so gradually it became the focus of Scooter Knits. It helped that, at the time, there were only a couple of people making feline headwear, and no one was knitting anything.
What are the cats’ opinions of the hats – which is their favorite?
Dorothy will wear almost any of the hats. She prefers the Strawberry Hat because the green looks good with her eyes! Sinclair refuses to wear the hats – he’s not a fan! Of any cat that I’ve ever tried a hat on, Winston is the real star. He will wear any of the hats without bother. I think he knows he looks cute in them. Early on, I made him a Mohawk cat hat, and it’s probably his favorite because he can be a bit of a rebel.
Tell us a bit about your book – what kind of patterns are in it, where we can get it, etc
Cats in Hats is the culmination of 5 years experience knitting cat hats. I always had rough patterns for my favorite styles, as well as ideas for others. The book was an opportunity for me to share some of the designs I’d made personally but hadn’t offered on Etsy for various reasons. I also got to conceptualize and create brand new designs which was my favorite part of writing the book. The book is available on Amazon (there’s a link on the front page of my website but full disclosure – it is an affiliate link!). It’s also at Barnes and Noble, and locally in the Middle Tennessee area at Tin Cottage in downtown Franklin, TN.
What projects are on the horizon?
Right now I’m developing a series of sea-inspired Cat Hats, to sell both as finished products and patterns on Etsy and Ravelry. Aside from cat hats, I’m delving back into knitting accessories and garments. My Nani, who I mention in the book, was a phenomenal knitter and I’ve been blessed to inherit some of her vintage handmade garments. I’d love to recreate them. She actually sold her hand knitted clothing in Nashville in the 1970s to local celebrities and TV personalities, so I’d like for the patterns to be in homage to that.
What is your favorite yarn?
I used Lion Brand yarns exclusively for Cats in Hats, and have used their yarns for my cat hats for a long time. I love the range of colors and textures they offer, and they knit up beautifully.
For personal projects, DROPS has a great selection. I also love to find handmade, locally spun yarns. We have a few great fiber artists in the Nashville area, like Camellia Fiber Co and Mistletoe Farms.
If you were a yarn, what would you be?
Ohh, that’s a fun question. I’d be a Mohair Silk blend yarn in an earth tone!
To purchase the designs featured here: click on the image of the design you wish to purchase; this will take you to the page where you can add the downloadable pattern to your basket. You can then continue shopping or check out using the normal checkout process. Happy knitting!
Yesterday, Sara took over the reigns of our Instagram and Pinterest pages to show us what inspires her this spring! From gorgeous inspiration pictures to cute cats in hats, it’s one not to be missed! Click on the picture above to discover more!
Last updated: May 22nd, 2015.