Sunday 18 August 2019

Knitted Cat Pattern Review


I saw this pattern for a knitted cat on Ravelry and as I just adore cats I couldn't resist having a go.

I thought I would share my journey and experience in case you want to knit a cat yourself.

The pattern is by Claire Garland and can be found on Ravelry:

So to begin..... I looked at the recommended yarn and realised I could neither afford or justify spending nearly £30 on yarn to make a toy cat :(

So I popped up to my local yarn shop and there found a lovely variegated yarn by Cygnet yarns, called Prism. The colours looked lovely in a variety of browns, creams and blacks. Perfect to look a little bit like my own cat.

The pattern uses several strands of 4ply and lace yarns worked together so I hoped a double knit would suffice, if not it will just come out a different size to the pattern. I bought one ball (100g) and so far I think it will be enough. I also bought 100g of a plain beige DK "Baby Pato" for the muzzle and paws but now having started the pattern I realise maybe a smaller ball would be enough or scraps from my stash, but never mind the rest will come in for something else. In total I spent just under £5.00. I still have to buy eyes but have found some on Etsy for around £2.50 for a pair of cats eyes.

I'm using 4mm knitting needles.

The pattern is really well written and I am now at the back legs and have had no problems at all understanding what to do. There are very, very detailed instructions and lots of photos, plus video help but I've not come to that part yet.

My advice would be to read through the first few pages and the special stitch instructions before you get started.

I think if you can get through the first part you won't have any problems at all.

I think the muzzle is the trickiest part, not that it is difficult or hard to understand, it just needs some patience and dexterous hands to twist and turn the work. This is my muzzle completed.

Another tip if you decide to use a different yarn to that suggested in the pattern and it is a variegated one, make sure when rejoining the yarn that you find the same colour within the ball, even if it means winding off some of the other colours. As you can see above I have a definite line between the dark brown and the beige colours - I should have found the same brown and rejoined that, not the beige. Never mind I'm sure it will look fine when done, I might even sew a few long and short stitches to blend it in and break up the line when finished.

Here you can see the head (minus its ears) and the shoulders. The colours spread softly so I'm happy with how it is working out.

Here the body with start of back legs is beginning to take shape, you can see how this time I rejoined the yarn for the legs by finding the colour match and you cannot see the join.

I am pressing on with this cat. Knitting isn't my favourite pastime these days, I much prefer crochet,  but I wanted it so much that I'm prepared to do it.

Update 22nd August 2019.

Well we now have a full body! I changed my mind and decided to use the beige for the inner back legs and will also use it for the underside tummy. Again the pattern was easy to understand and as you can see we have a cat, albeit flat :)

The back legs fold in so that the inner beige is inside and joins with the under body colour. Just the ears, belly and eyes to do now.

Here is the back leg folded, you can see how it now forms a ticker thigh with narrow legs.
The front legs fold the same

You then knit in the belly by picking up stitches, don't be worried if it looks too small, you need to stretch and it it around the body edges:

The eyes require 15mm toy cats eyes, however it was bank holiday here and I was so desperate to get it finished that I made my own using 10mm toy safety eyes in black which I already had. I then crocheted a small circle by making a magic ring into which I crochet 8 dc (sc in US terms) then joined the round. I didn't pull the magic circle too tight so that I could put the stem of the eye into it. See following photos.

As part of the eye making process you knit a square 7sts x 7 rows and fold in half to form a rectangle. I  had trouble understanding this part as it talked about a 'boat' shape but after chatting with someone else who is making it I found I was indeed doing it correctly. (Thanks J)

Here is one eye in position:

Now both:

Now came the making up. I got a bit stumped in one part where it talked about using vach stitch to join some pieces, after a bit of googling and not finding anything I realised it was actually a typo and should be back stitch! LOL

I don't think I got the face right but I'm happy with how it come out.

I love how he has turned out but in hindsight would have made it in all variegated yarn and used only the beige for the paws which had been my original intention. I'm disappointed in the thickness of the yarns, they are both supposed to be double knit but the plain beige is much thicker than the other and it did have an effect on how it sewed together. The Prism variegated yart is more like a 4 ply.

I only stuffed the head and feet really well, the body is fairly well stuffed but only enough to keep it's shape allowing for some movement in positioning the cat, the legs were very sparsely stuffed.

I love the attention to detail on the cat, the little ear flaps just like a cat has, the little mouth and whisker pouches, knee bends too. So much work has gone into this pattern, it is unbelievable.

The pattern is really well written and you can't go wrong if you take it step by step. There are also lots of videos of individual steps for making up.

Well done Claire you are amazing.

I do hope you have a go at this cat, I won't say it is easy but if you like a challenge then go for it.

Would I make it again? Maybe. To be honest knitting isn't my favourite craft, I much prefer crochet and it is rare for me to do any pattern twice anyway. But I love cats and just had to make him :)

Happy knitting!



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