Real life cats in hats
Real life cats in hats This photo provided by Running Press and Quarto, Inc. shows I Heart You from the book, "Cats in Hats," published by Running Press (AP photos)
Real life cats in hats
Lexile: 1110L

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It's not enough to knit sweaters for our children and grandchildren. Dexterous fingers need more. They need to knit something smaller, faster. They need to knit hats for cats.

What started as a lark and to honor the grandmother who taught her to knit has turned into steady work for Sara Thomas, author of "Cats in Hats: 30 Knit and Crochet Patterns for Your Kitty" (Running Press, March 2015).

Thomas hopes the book, with quick knitting and crochet patterns for a dinosaur, chicken, bunny, turkey, cupcake, extraterrestrial, banana, Santa, elf, lion, fox, dog, baby bear and more, will free up time so she can knit and crochet something else.

"As much as I love the cat hat, I do want to do other things," admits Thomas, of Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2009, Thomas launched her Etsy shop, Scooter Knits, with disparate handmade items, including one hand-knit kitty hat, which quickly sold.

She's been crocheting tiny hats for feline companions ever since. In 2012 she had her biggest year, selling 300 kitty chapeaus (the holiday hats sold best). Thomas sometimes crocheted until 4 a.m. to fill the orders.

Hannah Milman, editorial director of Crafts at Martha Stewart Living, isn't surprised.

"People love their pets it's 'the new baby' so it's no wonder people want to create personalized, wearable gifts for their pets," Milman says. "A large part of it is also social media .... Who doesn't love seeing cats or dogs on Instagram in cute homemade outfits or accessories?"

At least one of the patterns in the book the Happy Birthday Cat Hat pattern is free at Thomas' blog.

Her two cats are first to try out her admittedly kitschy creations and while Dorothy has proven agreeable, Sinclair has not.

"Sinclair does not enjoy modeling the hats. In fact, he likes to attack them," says Thomas.

A pattern book of hats for dogs isn't out of the question and Thomas also would like to rework her grandmother's vintage patterns for a book. "She was a beautiful knitter who grew up in Germany, so I'd want to make the patterns era-appropriate."

But first, she'll probably embark on a holiday-themed book that puts more cats in outlandish hats, because she has learned that hats for cats sell.

Critical thinking challenge: Etsy is an online store. In what other way has the Internet helped Sara Thomas grow her business?

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Assigned 22 times

  • marier-Che
    4/27/2015 - 11:44 a.m.

    This is amazing. Cats probably hate it, but it's so adorable. :3 i want a kitty just so i can use this. Not only cute for the kitty but can also keep them a bit warmer if needed. I think that this is an amazing product and should be spread out.

  • TreyvaunT
    4/27/2015 - 01:27 p.m.

    Kittens are the best creatures in the world. Now they have hats for them! I cannot even take it anymore. My heart can't take too much cuteness.

  • Haley Patterson
    4/27/2015 - 01:33 p.m.

    I think that this is so cute and I really want to get my cats one because it makes them look adorable. It would be really hard to make though and I'm not sure if the cats would keep them on.

  • vancer-Che
    4/27/2015 - 01:47 p.m.

    We cant just let them be cats, they don't need hats they just need care and there good. The extra stuff is cool but unnecessary.

  • jacobm-Che
    4/27/2015 - 01:48 p.m.

    this is very cute and all but i'm parity sure the cat would rather not have them on that and cat shouldn't be dressed up in cute outfits cats should just be loved and be taken care of like they should

  • rositap-Che
    4/27/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    I don't know why cats need hats but they look nice in them. I'm really not a cat person but they should knit hats for other animals like dogs, bunnies, etc. I would see why they would knit hats cause the owner pets would take care of they like babies.

  • rhiannag-Goo
    4/28/2015 - 09:29 a.m.

    Sara Thomas has been making a profit of selling knitted cat hats made by her. The text states that the cat hats quickly sold when she put them on Etsy. The text also states that in 2012, she had sold over 300 cat hats, making it her biggest year. The evidence from the text illustrates that the Internet helps Thomas's business grow because when people buy her stuff, they might suggest her to other people. This would cause more and more people to buy the cat hats.

  • Christopherb-Pav
    4/28/2015 - 10:01 a.m.

    i think this is a cool and cute idea so i would definetily
    get one of these my cat would where a hat i think.

  • kateduffy27
    4/28/2015 - 01:18 p.m.

    I think that hats on cats is an adorable idea! Some other clothes I've seen on pets include shoes, shirts, dresses, jackets, and even wigs. I've noticed that lots of people have been dressing their pets up in cute costumes and posting pictures of them online, in hopes that lots of people will like them. This works, because people love seeing cute animals, and what's cuter than a pet wearing a hat? There's also the fact that pets in general have become extremely popular, not just in real life, but on the internet too. There is almost always some kind of viral video about a cute kitten going around Youtube, and on Vine there are hundreds of funny pet videos. This article made me want to buy a hat for my cat!

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    4/29/2015 - 09:24 a.m.

    I think that this is actually rather unique and creative. It is nice that people are taking their time to knit hats for cats or any pets for that matter.

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