continuing cat saga

Are you tired of kittens yet? I hope not because here comes a post with my wonky left-handed knitting and eliminating sewed seams. Ok this doesn’t change the pattern at all — it is just visualizing how your pattern will go together and knitting it that way. Who knows the original designer may have knitted her bonnet this way and then wrote it flat because it was easier.

I once read that Elizabeth Zimmermann submitted a pattern for a sweater to be knit in the round and the magazine publishing it changed it to be knit in flat pieces and sewn together at the end. The publisher thought that this was easier for a knitter to understand and it was how patterns were commonly written.

But if you enjoy a challenge there is nothing stopping you from knitting pieces together on any pattern. Once you read through a pattern you can combine the front and back and knit in the round until you reach the arms. Or you can start at the neck and work your way down to the bottom if that is what you prefer.

But that is neither here nor there because I am working on a bonnet. So… need to think about the shape of the cap you are making. In a previous post I showed pictures of what the bonnet looked like knit and laid out flat. basically you have 2 sides a top and a back.after knitting this T shape  the sides will be sewn to the back forming the finished bonnetsimple right. And there is nothing wrong with knitting this exactly as the pattern says.

Well unless you are a lazy knitter who loves to eliminate steps to get the same result. Or maybe I  should say if you are a knitter like me who has knitted so many of these caps that her mind starts to wander and think of new ways to knit it. Before I start to tell you how I knit this I have to warn you my favorite computer game of all time is TETRIS I could spend(waste) hours flipping those cubes around to make them fit together. And basically that is what you are doing when you look at a patterns for a sweater or hat or toy and eliminate seams. You are thinking about your knitting as a 3d object instead of a flat one. You are flipping and manipulating the knits and purls to shape your finished products.In the above picture I have finished all the increase rows and have 125 sts on my needles I put a marker in the center of the ear where I increased. I also placed a marker where I would need to sew up the ear if I had cast off the 52 sts on each side  Instead of sewing I am going to knit 2 sts together using a 3 needle bind off. (Now I took a few pictures of my bonnet as I was knitting but there are always lots of good tutorials and youtube videos out there to follow so if you prefer google –3 Needle Bind Off –and watch the technique.)

*****edited to add a site that explains 3 needle bind off. Knitty: Fall 2006  there are great pictures on many sites–much better than I could hope to take so if this one doesn’t help please google and find a film clip or something to help ; )And while you are on Knitty browse a little there are great patterns and tutorials here. have fun!*****

What I do is line my needles side by side and then take a 3rd needle and take the first st from each needle and knit those together. Now I take the next 2 sts and do the same thing. Now there are 2 sts on that 3rd needle and I slip the 1st st over the 2nd st.

Then I start again and take one st from each needle and knit them together. Again 2 sts on the 3rd needle and I slip the 1st over the 2nd. I continue to do this until I have knit and bound off all the ear increase sts I made.

One ear done now knit to the 2nd marker and do your 2nd ear the same way.When the 2nd ear is finished turn your knitting and purl back to the 1st ear. When you reach your marker decrease the last st with the first st of the side sts on either side of the ears. Attach the lighter stripe color if you are doing a 2 tone kitty.

Turn and decrease the 1st 2 sts and knit back to the second ear and once again knit 2 tog at the end of the row.

Continue to knit short rows between the 2 ears decreasing at the beginning and the end of each row. Also change the yarn color ever other row if you are making a striped kitten.

See how a nice line forms between the back and the side of the bonnet.

Now when you read the directions you can see that you also need to shape the back. This is where I fudged a little because the directions tell you to decrease on the 1st and  last st but I moved this in 4 stsOk you stuck with me this far and I know this has been long. keep going until you have finished knitting all the sts between the kitty’s ears to the side sts. if you have down it correctly you should have 11 sts at this point.
now for the big finish pick up and 22 sts on each side. Now you have 55 sts back on your needles. You can cast on the extra 12 sts and have a chin strap with a button like the original. I fudged a bit again because I was nervous about fit. Its been so long since I have been around little babies I was worried about size. So I knitted a couple of rows of garter and threw in a row of k2tog YO and then a couple more rows of garter. 

This way I can lace a ribbon through the yo holes and tie a bow.I wish there was a baby to model this for you — but I think you get the idea.

Now maybe you noticed the book in a couple of my photos. It is

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

And the little boy is Max. Before you write and tell me — I know that Max is not a kitty. But this was a favorite book when my son was small. And I think that this hat might be for a boy and boys are not little cute pink kitties they are WILD THINGS.

If you decide knit a hat for a baby think about including a book along with it. Even a baby fresh from the hospital enjoys being read to and you will be giving the baby a gift that will fit them long after the bonnet doesn’t — the enjoyment of reading.

Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday. I have a little left over yarn ….I might need to cast on a little kitty toy before I finish my sock or my sweater.


  1. Mary, Tx. said,

    April 24, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I made it to the 125 sts but I think I am going to have to finish it with the pattern so I can have a sample bonnet to look at.
    I don’t know how to get to the 3 needle bind off but I am sure I will understand your instructions once I knit through the pattern for the first time. 🙂
    I love the Tabby Cat color too!

    • whatzitknitz said,

      April 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      I am glad you like it. If you can use 2 hats(and really who couldn’t use 2 of these cute bonnets) it is an interesting exersize to knit one the original way and one with shortcuts. It really helps to see the hat flat and then sewn up to understand how to make short cuts in your knitting and then you can put your own ideas to work to change a pattern you love but want to knit as a cardigan or change a sweater to knit from the top on a circular needle instead of from the bottom on straight needles.

    • whatzitknitz said,

      April 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      ps. I wasnt sure I liked the lighter color on my tabby cat but now that it is done I really love it. now if only I could find a cute ribbon maybe with paw prints on it……

  2. baamekniits said,

    April 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    That is such a cute bonnet! Did you make a little kitty toy? Can we see it 🙂

    • whatzitknitz said,

      April 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      it just so happens I knit a cat toy this week and there just may be a picture or 2 coming soon ; )

  3. May 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    […] and the finish is a lot like the finish on the no sew finish to the kitten bonnet here – continuing cat saga « whatzitknitz – so I am thinking of it as the pussy toe sock. Or no pussy footing around. Or …. […]

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