Thursday, April 15, 2010

TUTORIAL: Kitty-Cat Afghan - Baby Size



This pattern is available in several places and in several slight variations on the Internet, so I cannot claim it as my original design - the author is unknown. This is a visual tutorial for those of you who, like me, thought this pattern seemed very intimidating at first ... but I quickly discovered that it’s a piece of cake. You only need to chain and DC, and learn how to do a cluster. In the last row you'll also do SC, HDC and TR - but we'll get to that later! This pattern is quick and easy – and very cute.
This pattern is done in American English. British stitch names are given in (brackets) below
Size:
approximately 66cm x 82 cm
H (5 mm) hook

approximately 450 g yarn

Stitches:
  • CH – chain
  • DC – double crochet (treble crochet in British English terms)
  • Cluster - Yarn over, insert hook into the space between shells two rows below, yarn over, draw up the yarn to the working row. Do this THREE times, so you have 7 loops on your hook. Yarn over once more and draw it through the first 6 loops on the hook, yarn over again and draw through the last 2 loops on hook.
Chain 104 stitches
___________________________________________
Foundation (2 Rows)
Row 1:
DC in the 4th chain from hook, DC in the next stitch (3 DC in total), skip 2 stitches, *[2DC in the next stitch, chain 1, 2DC in next stitch = shell]. Skip three stitches!** Repeat from * to ** till five stitches before end. Skip 2 stitches, 1 DC in each of the last three stitches.

Row 2:
3CH (counts as first DC here and throughout), DC in next two stitches. In the chain space created in the shell in the row below, crochet a shell [=2DC-1CH-2DC]. Crochet a shell [=2DC-1CH-2DC] in the chain space in each shell in the previous row. Repeat till you reach the last three stitches, 1DC in each.

___________________________________________
Kitty (3 Rows)
Change colours. From now on, we’re going to crochet cats! You need a new colour every three rows.
Row 3 (kitty body and paws):
After the first three DC, you'll continue with cluster shell cluster shell - cluster etc. Finishing with a cluster before the 3 DC at the end.
What is this in pattern terms?
3CH, DC in next two stitches. * Cluster [=Yarn over, insert hook into the space between shells two rows below, yarn over, draw up the yarn to the working row. Do this THREE times, so you have 7 loops on your hook. Yarn over once more and draw it through the first 6 loops on the hook, yarn over again and draw through the last 2 loops on hook.]. Crochet a shell [=2DC-1CH-2DC] in chain space of shell in the previous row, crochet a cluster between this shell and the next. Repeat from * (cluster - shell - cluster ) till you reach the last three stitches, 1DC in each.


Row 4 (kitty face):
3CH (counts as first DC here and throughout), DC in next two stitches. In the chain space created in the shell in the row below, crochet a shell [=2DC-1CH-2DC]. Crochet a shell [=2DC-1CH-2DC] in the chain space in each shell in the previous row. Repeat till you reach the last three stitches, 1DC in each.

Row 5 (kitty ears):
Repeat row 4.
___________________________________________

Doesn’t look much a like a cat yet, does it? Well, this is where it starts to get interesting... Change colours again and repeat rows 3, 4 and 5. Has your first pussycat appeared yet?
Keep going till the blanket has reached the length you want. I normally do foundation + 21 kitties + finishing rows. This gives me a blanket that’s approximately 66cm x 82 cm
___________________________________________
Finishing (2 Rows)
Second-last row:
Repeat row 3
Last row:
3CH, DC in next two stitches. TR in next stitch (in cluster of previous row), DC, HDC, SC in each of the next three stitches (you should now be at the chain of the shell in the previous row), HDC, DC, TR (in cluster of previous row). Do you see what we’re doing? We’re trying to even it out and create a nice top edge. Continue till the last three stitches, 1DC in each.


Edging:
3 chain, then DC around the edge of the blanket. It's best to use a smaller hook because you'll have to wriggle it through the stitches on the side and bottom of the blanket. I create a corner by simply doing 2DC in the corner of the blanket, 1CH, then 2DC in the same stitch.


You may not reproduce this pattern in print or claim it as your work. You may not sell the pattern. Do not copy and paste pattern to another website, please use a link.
A PDF of this pattern can be made at THIS website: just type in this link
http://www.gingerschatz.blogspot.com/2010/04/kitties-in-row-afghan.html
and it prepares a perfect PDF, ready for print!

How do I make this an adult-sized blanket? How many starting chains do I need?
It's kind of a difficult question to answer because I use a lighter weight yarn than WW, so my blanket would be a little smaller than yours. When I make this blanket for babies, it's about 27 inches / 68 cms across (without the border). So one way to calculate how many starting chains you need is to measure the baby blanket you've done and use that as a basis for your calculations. In other words, if I wanted a blanket that would fit a 200 m-wide bed, I'd do three times as many starting chain as I need for a baby blanket (68 cm x 3 = about 210 cm across)

If you wanted a more precise number, I would do a little gauge test with the yarn you plan to use:
Chain 13 stitches.
Do 1 DC in the 4th chain from hook, 1 DC in each of the next 2 chain stitches. Skip two chain, 2 DC in next chain, ch1, 2DC in next chain, leave the next three chain free. (We're pretending to start the first row)

Take a ruler and measure how long the last five chain are (in the first row of a real blanket, these five chain would be the empty 3ch between shells and the 2 chain each with 2DC - these four DC form the shell - in them). Use this to calculate how wide you want the blanket.

Say, for instance, your bed was 2 metres across. Imagine the width of these five chain was 2.5 cm (just off the top of my head). That means that in order to make a blanket 200 cm across, it'd look like this:
200 cm / 2.5 cm = 80
80 x 5 chain = 400 chain

400 chain
+ 5 chain (for the first 3DC and the two chain between them and the first shell)
+ 3 chain (for the first 'fake' DC at the start of the row.)
+ 5 chain (for the last 3DC and the two empty chain between the last shell and these 3DC)
____
413 chain*
(this number is only a wild example, please take five minutes to check it before starting to crochet a meadow-sized blanket :-))

35 comments:

Cher said...

Oh My! Can I just say that's the cutest thing ever! I can't wait to get started on one!

Suzie said...

Hi! It looks great! I've tried clusters before without much success, but I'm determined to master them with this as my guide! Thanks for making your husband crazy (stitch, photo, stitch, stitch, stitch, photo)! Tell him how much it helps :-)

Suzie

Shawn said...

Oh, that is so cute!! Love it! Love your posts too! Very entertaining!! Have a great day!
Shawn

ashlee said...

I absolutely love this pattern! I made my nephew the most colorful blankie! I was wondering though how exactly to make this pattern more adult size. How many chain stitches do i need?

Thanks,
Ashlee

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello Ashlee,
It's kind of a difficult question to answer because I use a lighter weight yarn than WW, so my blanket would be a little smaller than yours. When I make this blanket for babies, it's about 27 inches / 68 cms across (without the border). So one way to calculate how many starting chains you need is to measure the baby blanket you've done and use that as a basis for your calculations. In other words, if I wanted a blanket that would fit a 200 m-wide bed, I'd do three times as many starting chain as I need for a baby blanket (68 cm x 3 = about 210 cm across)

I have made a blanket for a single bed using this pattern and I think I had about 200 starting chain, but that was a couple of years ago - before I started documenting what I made! - so I'm not 100% sure any more.

If you wanted a more precise number, I would do a little gauge test with the yarn you plan to use:
Chain 13 stitches.
Do 1 DC in the 4th chain from hook, 1 DC in each of the next 2 chain stitches. Skip two chain, 2 DC in next chain, ch1, 2DC in next chain, leave the next three chain free. (We're pretending to start the first row)

Take a ruler and measure how long the last five chain are (in the first row of a real blanket, these five chain would be the empty 3ch between shells and the 2 chain each with 2DC - these four DC form the shell - in them). Use this to calculate how wide you want the blanket.

Say, for instance, your bed was 2 metres across. Imagine the width of these five chain was 2.5 cm (just off the top of my head). That means that in order to make a blanket 200 cm across, it'd look like this:
200 cm / 2.5 cm = 80
80 x 5 chain = 400 chain

400 chain
+ 5 chain (for the first 3DC and the two chain between them and the first shell)
+ 3 chain (for the first 'fake' DC at the start of the row.)
+ 5 chain (for the last 3DC and the two empty chain between the last shell and these 3DC)
____
413 chain

I'm sorry this isn't more exact, but I do hope it's helpful! I'd love to see some photos of your Kitties-in-a-Row blanket! Best wishes and best of luck!

ashlee said...

Thank you so much! As soon as i finish my nephew's christmas stocking, i will get started on the "me" size of this blanket! I really do appreciate it! I will send you some pictures of the Kitties blanket as soon as i can!

Thanks again,
Ashlee

Kristina said...

Hi! I've just finished making this as a car afghan for my son who will be born in January. I absolutely adore this project, and it's one of the most interesting and self-explanatory patterns I've ever had the pleasure of completing. One thing I want to ask, though, is if the finishing directions are accurate. Under the "finishing" instructions, the directions are to "Repeat row 4." I did it differently and repeated row 3, because the cluster-shell-cluster pattern defines the kitty head of the last set of kitty cats, and the direction to "TR in cluster of previous row" seems to validate my deviation from your pattern. I'll send you a photo of my top row if I wrote that in a confusing way. Thanks for sharing this pattern! I think it will be a nice thing to keep my new little one warm!

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello Kristina,
Eeek! You're right of course. That was a bit of a 'duh!' moment, I'm afraid ... I've already changed it and thank you for contacting me. I would LOVE to see a photo of your afghan - I'm so glad you like the pattern. It's not my original creation: it has been around for a while (you'll find it in different variations on the Net, I first found it as a PDF entitled Pussycat Throw for a single bed afghan.) But it's so simple and enjoyable, I'm glad that other people can enjoy it too!

Birdies Pin said...

I am so glad you redid this afghan and made it for a baby. Here is the link to the original, The Purr Afghan by Lincraft in Australia. http://www.lincraft.com.au/view_project.php?id=158
You can get a pdf by selecting the print layout.

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Birdies Pin: Thank you for linking to this pattern! I saw this on the Internet years and years ago but forgot to bookmark the page. This time I'll take the time to download the pattern :-)

Callie's Calico said...

I too saw this pattern years ago! Thank you for sharing it. I can't wait to start one for my niece!

chilly said...

I just love this pattern I have made several of afghans baby and a large one for myself. It is so easy to do.

Dee said...

Do you turn at the end of each row - or do you tie each row off?

Dee said...

I left the last comment about whether or not you turn or tie off at the end of each row.

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello Dee,
When I reach the end of a row where I'll be continuing in the same colour, I just turn the blanket and crochet back the way I came. When I reach the third row in a particular colour and I'm about to change colour, I finish the last stitch, chain two and pull the yarn tight. Then I snip off a tail of about 4 inches. If I'm feeling good and virtuous, I weave in the end, but very often I'm naughty and leave it to weave in at the end! Then I change colour, turn the work and crochet back along the row.

Basically, I turn at the end of every row. That's one of the nice things about this pattern, there's no 'front' or 'back' because every other row is the wrong/right side.

I hope I've answered your question, but if not, just let me know!

Crazy Crafter said...

I just love your pattern!!! I've already made a pink baby blanket (+ a grown-up version for a friend who loves pink) and a purple version. And now I have to start another one for a friend who loves it as well... It's just so beautiful and not difficult to make... So thanks for the pattern and I hope I'll be able to make my own patterns soon as well... ;-)

lifemultithreaded said...

Hi There

Just wanted to let you know that I have linked to this tutorial on my blog.

Love your explanation!

valita said...

thankyou so much for all the pics and time to explain this :) appreciated!

65e061a6-3723-11e2-b169-000bcdcb471e said...

I wrote this pattern down a while back, thought it was cute and that my kids would love it. As I was hunting for ideas for christmas blankets, I came across this pattern again. All excited to get started, I went to walmart, got my yarn, came home and got started on it. On the very first row, my counts were off. After the first color change, I decided it definitely did not work the way I had fudged it. I looked up this tutorial again, which I am so grateful I did. It might just be me misinterpretting it, seeing as no one else has apparently had my issue. When you say to do the dc in 4th chain from hook, dc in next 2 ch, that gives me 4 posts(3 from the dcs, and one from the 3 chs) this is what messed me up. It seems to me the pattern should be dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next stitch, skip 2 and continue as written. This is what I have done and its turning out great, everything lines up! I really do want to thank you for posting this tutorial. I'm loving the pattern, its simple which is exactly what I need after doing a majorly complicated blanket for a friend. Thank you so much!

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Oh my goodness - that's right! Talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees, it's the most obvious mistakes that we overlook! As it's written, you would have 4 DCs at the start of each row, which wouldn't be a tragedy but it wouldn't be symmetrical (a tragedy in my eyes, at least!) Thank you for pointing it out. It has been changed already :-)

dancinflower said...

I am really having a problem with the last 2 rows. It appears like I must have too many stitches because it wants to ruffle on me. If anyone can make it easier for me would appreciate it. I had a stroke a year ago and need to get this finished so I can get the edging on it. Help please!

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello dancinflower,
It's midnight here in Germany and I'm on my way to bed - I'll check my blanket tomorrow and see if I can find a solution for you. I think your stitches might be a bit loose, which causes a wave, so I'll see where you can skip a stitch to tighten this final row. If you write a comment with your email address, I'll write to you directly (but won't publish the comment to keep your email private.)

dancinflower said...

Thank you! I don't think that is the problem. I think I am not understanding the last two rows and where to put the stitches. I have torn it out several times. In the picture it doesn't show the ending rows. If I could see them I probably could figure it out. Thank you again for all your help.

Vickie

The Gingerbread Lady said...

dancinflower: I would generally recommend using a hook one size smaller for the edging. Your stitches have to be really tight and even, and a smaller hook helps. I don't have your email address, so I've posted a picture above. It's not great - but it's a dark January day and I have a small baby to contend with. You're trying to achieve a row where that's more or less straight, as opposed to up-and-down (which is what the pattern of fans and clusters creates when you crochet your kitty cats.)

Donna M. said...

Just to let you know, the link for a printable PDF of the pattern does not work. I get a message that the site closed in January 2013. I'm going to try doing a copy/paste to Microsoft Word so I can print just the pattern and not the comments or sidebar ads. Hoping to do this for a baby shower for a little girl.

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello Donna,
Sorry about the long delay in getting back to you, but I have a baby with a bronchial infection and although I originally thought it was not possible to get less sleep than I was before, I now realise that it actually is :-)

Thank you for letting me know about the "broken" PDFs. Apparently, the site has changed its terms and usage ... without letting the users know. I'm currently looking for a way to host the PDFs somewhere else. When I find one, I'll let you know.

Best wishes and happy crocheting - I've made a number of these as baby gifts and they were always well received. It's just a very cute pattern ... even if it takes the recipient a couple of minutes to discover the cats :-)!
Olivia / The Gingerbread Lady

Jodee M said...

I croched a kittens in a row afghan back in the late 8's, early 90's and lost the pattern. I have been looking everywhere! THANK YOU FOR POSTING!!! My father's care giver is expecting and can't wait to give this to her.

Jodee

Amanda Pepper-Yowell said...

You may have answered this but how much yarn do you use for the baby blanket version you blogged here? I found the link to the original blanket but I like the smaller one better. I know that we have a small amount of yarn that might work for this, but don't want to start the project and end up not having enough of what is needed. Thanks!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

A friend emailed me this pattern, but the pattern suggested fringe on the ends, and no edging. I was not happy with the thought of that, so I googled and landed on your page. I LOVE the way you end the last row, and the edging you suggested. I'm on the last row now, and will follow your instructions. I think it will be a much nicer finish. Thank you so much!

Debbie Florey said...

my mom TAUGHT me to crochet and she taught me how to make this blanket, i made it many times for my new nieces, it has been many years and mom has since passed away and i couldnt remember how to do it, so I went searching, I am so glad to find it.. now i can make one for mmy new granddaughters

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello Debbie,
Thank you very much, I'm glad you like it. I loved this pattern the moment I saw it but I found it really hard to follow some of the written instructions, so I thought it might be helpful for other people to see how it's done with photos as a guide. I'm glad you've found it and I'm sure your mum would be thrilled to see you make one.

Eugenia P. said...

Hi there, I tried to use your PDF link and I couldn't figure it out. So I just copy and pasted it into a word document from there. Thanks for the pattern!!

Harlean Greathouse said...

I am so glad that I found this again. I gave a copy of this to my mother many years ago, and she started one and passed away last year without finishing it. I have it now along with the yarn needed to finish it, but she must have misplaced the pattern. Now I can finish her work. This also makes a very cute Winter scarf by changing the dimensions. I made one for a lady that was approximately 12 inches wide by 60 inches long.

Angela B said...

Found link to your post here via Ravelry. I just finished my afghan totally missed your last row somehow and from the start I didnt do three rows of each color so mine look more like bunnies on a fence. I managed to get a border on the blanket in double crochets around just need to finish mine up a few more rounds and maybe a shell edging. Thank you for the tutorial pics they helped!

Angela B said...

Here is link to my finished blanket.
http://tastecraftiness.blogspot.com/2014/10/baby-girl-afghan.html