Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.
I mentioned in my last post that I started making sweaters for our Siamese mix, Coco, because she seemed to be perpetually cold for most of this past fall and winter. Despite having very efficient indoor heating and piles of blankets to snuggle into, she’s a California kitty at heart and is having a hard time adjusting to our new Nordic environment. Having a pathetic-looking furball with ice-cold extremities trying to burrow into your armpit at 2AM every night is both sad and extremely annoying. Cat sweaters it was.
The problem I found with most crocheted cat sweaters I tried, however, was that they seemed to be made for medium-sized cats of stockier builds — I had to make lots of adjustments to get them to fit Coco, who falls somewhere between the oriental and foreign body types. That means long and lanky, with much more surface area than mass, legs like a deer and a tubular torso. By the time I finished sizing a typical garment down for her, she’d look like she was wearing an early-career Britney crop top. This pattern is my first attempt at making something more suited to the needs of all those long cats out there.
Note — Alas, I do not yet knit, so cannot avail myself of the many adorable knit patterns for sweaters. I am an avid crocheter, though, and I’m guessing you are as well if you’re reading this.
* Ribbed mock turtleneck expands and contracts, making it easier to slip on and off the cat while still maintaining its shape when worn. It also provides more coverage for cats with long necks.
* A bit of shaping in the first rows of the back provides widening to accommodate shoulder movement when cat is in different positions.
* One large armhole instead of individual sleeves allows more freedom of movement for the front legs. It also makes it tons easier to put on the cat. This seems to be the only style of sweater that Coco will tolerate for long periods of time.
* A bit of shaping in the lower half of the sweater widens the “belt” to better accommodate full bellies
* The uniform single crochet background is great for attaching decorative appliqués, should the mood hit you.
This was made to fit an 11-pound long cat. Will probably work for a 10-14 pounder of similar body type. Adjust according to your animal — I find that the top-down approach makes it easier to try on the cat as you go so you end up with fewer sizing errors at the end. Larger hook for a bigger cat, smaller for a wee one, etc.
* around 164 yards (150 meters) of Aran-weight yarn (10 ply/8wpi) — or, y’know, whatever you want as long as you adjust the pattern accordingly. I used a 75% Wool, 25% Nylon blend, since I figure she’ll probably ingest some of the fibers at some point and I’d prefer they be mostly of animal origin.
* size G-6 (4mm) crochet hook — or whatever you need for the size of your animal and your personal gauge.
* yarn needle for finishing
I did 19 sc = 4″ with the 4mm hook. I crocheted on the tighter side for this sweater, since I wanted it to be thick, sturdy, and insulating. However, since I typically run towards loose, my idea of “tighter” probably isn’t quite as extreme as some other people’s.
Standard stuff. ch = chain, sc = single crochet, ss = slip stitch. All instructions are in US terms.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each chain across (10 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Rows 2-42: Sc in back loops only, working in each sc (10 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 43: Align beginning and end edges to make seam and sc through both loops of both layers to attach them (10 sc total). Ch 1. Do not finish.
Row 44: Turn piece 90 degrees clockwise so you are now working perpendicular to the ribbing. Sc at the end of each row for the next 34 rows (34 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 45: Sc in the first 15 sc, 2 sc in the middle 4 sc, sc in the last 15 sc (38 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Rows 46-48: Sc in each sc across (38 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 49: Sc in first 18 sc, 2 sc in the middle 2 sc, sc in the last 18 sc (40 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Rows 50-60: Sc in each sc across (40 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 61: Sc in each sc across, ch 15, ss to connect with beginning of round on other side of arm hole. Ch 1, turn.
Row 62: Sc in each of 15 ch, sc in each of 40 sc, ss closed (55 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Rows 63-67: Sc in each sc across (55 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 68: Sc in first 47 sc, 2 sc in the next sc, sc in the next 7 sc, ss closed (56 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 69: Sc in first 7 sc, 2 sc in next 2 sc, sc in next 47 sc, ss closed (58 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 70: Sc in first 44 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last 4 sc (60 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Rows 71-75: Sc in each sc across (60 sc total). Ch 1, turn.
Row 76: Ss in each sc across (60 ss total). Fasten off and weave in ends.
© 2011 Angela Lai and Velvet Kerfuffle, all rights reserved. The content of this pattern is copyrighted. You may print out pages for your own use or to share as long as appropriate credit is included on each page. You may sell items handmade (but not mass-produced) with this pattern, but if you sell them online, you must link to this pattern. You may not sell, publish in any form, or otherwise claim this pattern as your own.