Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Double ended needles (appropriate size for yarn weight)
- 2 stitch holders or large bobby pins
- Tapestry needle
- Pen and paper
Nature provides most cats with thick fur to keep them warm in cold weather. However if you have a hairless breed, an aged or sick cat, or have recently moved to as colder climate, your cat may appreciate the added warmth of a sweater. You can make a no-sew cat sweater from a sock, but if you can knit or crochet you can create something in a style and color that suits your moggy.
Measure around your cat behind his front legs unless he has a fat stomach – in this case measure him around his widest part. Write this measurement down as circumference. Measure the length between the front and back legs and write this measurement down as bottom. Measure the width between the front legs and write this down as chest. Measure the width of a front leg at the widest part and write this down as leg. Measure the cat from the neck to where you want the sweater to stop and write this down as length. Measure the cat around the neck and write this measurement as neck.
Knit a test swatch by casting on 20 to 30 stitches and knitting several rows of stocking stitch. Knit one row then purl the next and keep repeating to create a stocking stitch. Make your test swatch at least 1 inch then measure how many rows to the inch your have made and measure how many stitches to the inch you have used. Write these two measures down.
Cast on the number of stitches that will give you the “circumference” measure of your cat and join to work in a circle. Knit in stocking stitch until you have completed the “bottom” measurement.
Calculate the number of stitches to give the “chest” measurement and work enough rows in stocking stitch to give the “leg” measurement. Use stitch holders to keep the other stitches together as the section you have just knitted will be the chest piece that goes between the cat's front legs. Cut the yarn leaving a long tail to weave in at the end. Rejoin the yarn and work the other stitches in stocking stitch to give the “leg measurement” so that all the work is the same length.
Resume working in a circle with all stitches for one row. Measure the length of what you have knitted and compare it to the “length” measurement. Calculate how many stitches you will need for the “neck” measurement and compare it to the number of stitches you currently have. Work out how many stitches you will need to lose per row to taper to the neck. In general this will be one or two stitches a row. Double check your calculations. Reduce by knitting two stitches together at the start and/or end of a row.
Continue in stocking stitch for the required length then cast off loosely. Weave in the loose ends with a tapestry needle and the vest part is now finished.
Knit sleeves as simple stocking stitch tubes to fit the widest part of the front leg and join to the body of the sweater. Make the sleeves as short or long as you choose.