Monday, November 23, 2015

Black and White

After Toro the Kitten was adopted, it was time to decide on his signature colors.  Choosing signature colors for one's cat is a very important decision if you're a sad, crazy person.

Although black and white go with almost anything, red is Toro's signature color.  He's got a little red collar (that is currently behind a bookcase)...and all of his hand-me-downs and random toys which are not red.  Also what's left of a cardboard fire truck he and his sibs got to celebrate their last week in the foster system.

Once Toro had a signature color, he needed a little cat blanket of his own.

I've been using leftover yarn to make Snuggles, but I wanted something that could show off black and white stripes.  Plus, what's the point of a new kitten if you can't use him to practice new stitch patterns?

I decided on the cat crochet stitch in alternating black and white with a red border.  There are a few different versions of the pattern online (you know how the internet is about cats).  Primarily I used Crochet Geek and Loops and Rambling. I used a K hook and chained a multiple of 5 (the second link has a multiple of 5+2, but mine seems to have worked out for giving to a cat or a baby).

Dropstitch: Yarn over, insert hook into stitch two rows down.  Pull up a loop--really pull it so it reaches the top row--yarn over, pull up a loop for 5 loops on the hook.  Yarn over, draw through 4 looks, yarn over, draw through 2 loops

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next ch, sk 4, *2 dc ch 2 dc (shell) in next ch, sk 4 ch, repeat from * until the last 2 ch, dc in each of the last 2 ch

Row 2: Ch 2, dc in next dc, *shell in ch 1 space, repeat from * across row, dc in last dc, dc in turning chain, change to next color

Row 3: Ch 2, dc in next dc, *dropstitch two rows down, shell in ch 1 space, dropstitch, repeat from * across row, dc in last dc, dc in top of ch 2.

Row 4: Ch 2, dc in next dc, *shell in ch 1 space, repeat from * across row, dc in last dc, dc in top of ch 2

Row 5: Ch 2, dc in next dc, *shell in ch 1 space, repeat from * across row, dc in last dc, dc in top of ch 2, change color

Repeat rows 3-5 until the blanket is the desired length, then do one more Row 3.  For the final row: ch 1, sc in first stitch, ch 2, 2 sc in ch 1 space, * ch 3, 2 sc in ch 1 space, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, ch 2, sc in last 2 dc

Skipping the last Row 3 and Final row makes it hard to shape your last row of kitties.  The trade off is that finishing this way gives the top a "severed heads" look.  Especially with a bright red border!

For the border I used sc, then dc for the second row.  Pretty standard border: go down the sides and wonder if you're doing enough stitches, 3 stitches in the corner, feel confident about doing the backside of the foundation ch, and so on.  I thought about doing a crab stitch or something else subdued yet elegant, but then I remembered that this is for somebody who spent October sitting in a plastic bowl.

He looks like this because I had to lure him onto the blanket with a toy.  He only recently learned how to use a bed instead of a grocery bag or a pile of newspapers, so maybe some day he'll sit in it voluntarily.

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