We’ve all seen them on the internet and in the pet stores, but when my friend got his cat a lion mane, I thought, “I could make one.” And well, here I am posting this as a fail. Womp womp. Also, there were 2 attempts. marty

As you can see, Marty is grey. No way I’m buying one of those generic lion-colored manes. This has to look legit. I already had some grey wool yarn on hand, score! But how to make it fuzzy without looking like Cabbage Patch Kids hair? I spotted the appropriately named Fun Fur by Lion Brand at Joann’s. Have you ever used this? It’s not the easiest to work with because you can’t see the shit you just did with it. Luckily, no one else can tell what you did either.

I got home and needed to see how big to make the foundation. My plan was to make something out of the grey wool that I could then stitch the fluffy yarn into. Measuring a cat’s head isn’t easy. I quickly gave up on using my measuring tape and resorted to using my hands. Marty was happily chewing on the measuring tape while I was sitting in our basement floor trying not to lose the circumference I so carefully measured, waiting on my husband to come back from the garage so he could then measure my hands. We came up with about 10 inches. Word.

I got to work making a foundation about 10” long. I did three rows of double crochet and then did some chains hanging off each end to act as ties. From there I started using the fluffy yarn. I worked 2 triple crochets into each double crochet post on the first and third row. This is what it looked like from the inside.

little finished

I thought I was getting somewhere. Then I put it on Marty. Reasons why this one sucked:

1- I didn’t trim the strings. He accepted the challenge of trying to kill the strings, of course.

2- I laughed at him the entire time. I think this hurt his feelings.

3- It looked more like a necklace than a mane.

little mane


How could I improve?

 1- Make it much more dense with the fluffy yarn

 2- It needs to be wider

 3- But wait, wider means it needs ear holes.

I began my second attempt. Here is the new, improved foundation:  big foundation

I put this on him without a fight. He didn’t even seem to mind the ear holes, and it fit like a charm. Time to make it fluffy!

The more I worked, the more like a dead animal it looked. That’s a good sign, right? Totally realistic. Yesssss.

big finished

This time I did 2 triple crochet in each post (again), with a single chain between each stitch. Then two chains when moving to the next post, and I finished each row with 3 chains. I didn’t skip a single damn post! Ok, I’m lying. This shit was so hard to work with by the time I was finishing up. I definitely skipped some stitches. But mostly, they were all taken care of. Were there some stitches that were only double crochet? Yeah, probably. Definitely. Can you find them? Me either. I don’t think Marty gives a shit if it’s perfect.

Oh, then I added some ties to the ends using some cheap yarn I had. No more nice wool for this part.

big mane

Not pictured: all the cat treats.

It didn’t turn out well at all. This thing is fucking massive. Those ear holes that I thought were super important? Nope. I couldn’t get it tight enough for the ears to stay in them. I ended up threading the ties through the body of the mane to help make it tighter. At least that kept the thing on… kind of.

So why did it end up being a flop?

big mane roar 1- I didn’t take into account how much the wool base would stretch out while adding the pounds of fluffy yarn.

2- I thought more = better. I went overboard.

3- Did I mention how much this thing weighs?

4- The payoff was not worth the time and resources.

I don’t plan on trying this again (any time soon). At least I had a coupon for the yarn.