Sometimes when I design, I begin with an idea in my head and it tends to morph as it progresses. I may get an idea part way through, suddenly change course and the design changes.
This was very much the case with this design. I had already begun to make the Tote when I decided it needed beads. I found myself thinking of ways to stiffen the edges of the Tote by thinking a little bit outside the square. I ended up using plastic clothes line, inside the edges, and I added stiffness to the base of the design with a layer of pvc plastic, sandwiched between the crochet.
I am very happy with the end results!
I chose to use Patons cotton blend DK simply as I had some in my stash and I rather liked the idea of using black. I also wanted my beads to shine through and be a contrast to the black.
My only complaint with using black is the horror it is, trying to get decent clear pictures. The pattern has pictures of most rows to help with stitch placement and count.
I spent a bit of time looking at the Tote and trying to think of a name for it. Nothing was really jumping out at me and then I thought about the colour cotton I had used. This prompted me to choose a name.
So introducing the ‘Billy Thunder Tote’. Named as a tribute to a squatter who decided to move into our house a few years ago.
The following is the story behind the name:
One very cold winter a few years ago we discovered that a stray cat had been sneaking into our house and curling up on one of the beds in one of our now grown childrens rooms. It was caught sneaking back out the door, which was promptly locked in an attempt to keep this interloper out.
The cat had a collar on, so we assumed she had owners. We discovered soon enough that she did not.
Over the next couple of weeks, we had a number of sleepless nights due to this cat crying outside our bedroom window. I vividly recall one night when the men in the family were away racing motocross, that I resorted to banging a saucepan outside the house in an attempt to get the cat to stop. The cat had no intention of doing so. It had already decided it now lived in our house and was letting us know, she did not approve of being locked out of her home.
My husband and I have always loved animals and at one stage in our lives had, two horses, three dogs, over a hundred very large goldfish and our property was and is the home of a mob of kangaroos. But we were now at a stage where we really only had the one dog and the fish (and the mob) and were happy with that.
I found myself leaving food outside for this cat without telling my husband. I then discovered my husband was doing the same. Both of us are softies when it comes to animals, and neither of us wanted the cat hungry.
Slowly the cat moved in! She already felt she owned the place and was allowing us to reside there with her.
She didn’t have a name and my husband kept suggesting some pretty terrible names for her. I believe one of his first suggestions was ‘Pushkas’. I remember just looking at him with a ‘what the’ expression on my face with that one!
We couldn’t call her any of the names I had yelled at her during the sleepless nights and the saucepan banging. This name choosing went on for a number of weeks with me vetoing the suggestions put forward. I kept telling my husband that I refused to be seen calling out some of his suggested cat names. He eventually decided to name her ‘Billy’ as she would now come up and rub her head against him. He said it was like a billy goat head butting him.
I was still not totally wrapped with this suggestion until I remembered a children’s novel all my kids had read named ‘Billy Thunder and the Night Gate’. This is a brilliant book by Isobelle Carmody!
So I began calling our cat ‘Billy Thunder’ and the name caught on. It slowly got extended to ‘Billy Thunder Cat’.
It also suits her as she was very vocal with her necessity (demand) to live with us.
Billy is a very plain, all black cat with a lovely nature and so the black yarn made me think of her.
So this one is for Billy Thunder! Interloper, squatter and now (in her opinion) ruler of our house!
And yes I am quite happy to be seen calling out ‘Billy Thunder Cat’, it just seems right!
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