Wednesday, April 30, 2008

International Cat Hat: Japan

The Tilden Park Scarf is an easy ruffled and ruched infinity scarf that adds a feminine touch to any outfit.

Yes, I am aware that technically this is an International Cat Mask, but I couldn't resist the lure of the ninja. Besides, cats are natural ninjas. They are sneaky, stealthy, and when provoked by wild spiders, they are swift assassins.

This mask is knit starting at the eye hole and ending at the ear holes. Much like a toe up sock, the beauty of this ninja mask is that, cat willing, you can try it on your cat as you knit and adjust the pattern as you go. I'll give you an outline of what I did, but unless your cat has the same head size as Fifty-Fifty, you'll have to modify the pattern.

As much as I hated to do it since I was aiming for an easy pattern, I added some short row shaping to the lower part of the mask. Without it, the mask wouldn't lay flat against my cat's head. You can see pictures of my earlier attempt here. Round 2 of this pattern is a doozy, but if you get through it, you'll be rewarded with your very own ninja cat.

Don't forget to check out my other free patterns listed on the sidebar!

• 60 yards of DK or worsted weight yarn. I used Tahki Cotton Classic because it's in my stash.
• 2 US size 8 circular needles, any length, OR size needed to achieve gauge. US size 8 DPNs may also be used instead of 2 circular needles
• 4 stitch markers
• Row counter
• Tapestry needle

Special Skills Needed
• Knitting in the round
• Yarn over short rows
• Making two row button holes
• Whip stitching

• 5.75 stitches = 1 inch on US size 8 needles in stockinette stitch

Finished Measurements
Finished hat circumference is roughly 9 inches near the ear holes and 7 inches near the eye holes. To adjust the hat’s circumference, increase or decrease the cast on number of stitches.

[ ] repeat instructions between brackets
bo bind off
co cast on
k knit
k2tog knit two stitches together
ktbl knit through the back loop
M1L make one left
M1R make one right
p purl
rnd round(s)
ssk slip one stitch knitwise, slip next stitch knitwise, then knit stitches together through their back loops
sts stitch(es)
YO yarn over

CO 40 sts onto one US size 8 circular needle (needle A). Slip 20 sts onto the other needle (needle B). Join to knit in the round.

I used the cable cast on instead of the long tail cast on because it looks better and it is not as stretchy. Remember, this is the mask's eye hole.

rnd 1: k all sts
rnd 2: On needle A, k all sts. The rest of the instructions for rnd 2 are all for needle B.
On needle B, k until 3 sts before the end of this needle, turn. Working yarn is now forward.
YO on the right needle by wrapping the working yarn one full revolution counterclockwise around the right needle.*
P until 3 sts before the end of needle B, turn. Working yarn is now back.
[YO on the right needle, k until 1 sts before the first YO, turn.
YO on the right needle, p until 1 sts before the first YO, turn.] Repeat one more time. You are now on the knit side of needle B with your working yarn in the back.
K until you reach a YO. k2tog 3 times (each time knitting a YO and the sts next to it), k until the end of the needle.

*Um, say what? Just pretend that you're doing a regular YO. Sure, your working yarn is attached to your left needle after the turn, but don't let that confuse you. Some knitting instructions call this a reverse yarn over. I find that term really confusing so I omitted it, but I felt obliged to mention it just in case you are already familiar with this technique and were confused by my lack of "reverse yo" terminology. Carry on, knitters, carry on.
rnd 3: On needle A, k all sts. On needle B, k2 sts, ssk 3 times (each time knitting a regular stitch and a YO), k until the end of the needle.
rnd 4-13: k all sts.
rnd 14: On needle A, k1, M1L, k until 1 sts from end of needle, MIR, k1. On needle B, k all sts.
rnd 15: k all sts.
rnd 16-19: Repeat rnd 14-15 two times. Needle A has 26 sts.
The basic idea here is to knit until your mask reaches the front of your cat's ears when the eye hole is aligned correctly.
rnd 20: On needle A, k3, bo 8 sts, k4, bo 8, k3. On needle B, k all sts.
rnd 21: On needle A, k3, co 8, k4, co 8, k3.
Use backward loop cast on. On needle B, k all sts.
rnd 22: k all sts.
rnd 23: Loosely bo all sts and cut yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail.

For maximum ninja appearance, whip stitch about 1/2 cm of the eye hole at each end. You can skip this step, but I found that the eye hole puckered in quite an unsightly, un-ninja like manner without seaming outer edges. Weave in all ends.

If you make this, as always, I'd love to hear from you and see your ninja cat!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


  1. OMG! I hope this doesn't offend, but I have not laughed this hard in a long time. Then I scrolled to your last blog entry...I am laughing so hard I'm crying!

    I don't have a cat, but I know some who will be furious with me when I give their owners this wicked mask!!!

  2. GAHHH omg. 50 looks sooo funny--her eyes look un-focused! :o)
    congrats on getting the pattern down for this one!
    definitely did not look/sound like an easy task!
    p.s. kudos to your felines for being so patient. i'm sure they were well compensated with edible goodies!

  3. now you need to knit 50 some little ninja stars!

    that turned out wonderful

  4. Awesome! You totally crack me up : )
    I am going to have to make my cats your whole collection at some point.

  5. You are the bravest person I've ever seen, or you have the most placid cats. Our would not stand (or sit or lay down) for having anything on them whilst they are awake!

  6. Wonderful! I love it. Great job. I can't believe how patient your cats are.

  7. i can almost hear Mingus snickering in the corner at Fifty's latest furmiliation! esp seeing the pic of Fifty and the default pic of Mingus side by side here on the blog...(it is mingus in your default/profile pic, right?)...anyway, i am not a knitter but get so many tickles out of your blog that i have become somewhat addicted to checking my rss feed every day to see if you have posted anything new! lol, you (and I) have Trina to thank for that! Have a blessed weekend!

  8. Thank God I don't have a cat. Celeste, however is cowering in a corner at the thought of NINJA DOG.

  9. what a poor cat, Im shocked!


    Sorry....I just HAD to do it!

  10. *gasp* almost a week with no furmiliation of any sort...:) just checking in to let ya know i was prayin that all is well in the world of you :)

  11. You have to check this out! I recently found this craft community and one of the crafts just SCREAMED to be shared with you. This person made a felt ninja and felt ninja kitty!

  12. I love this picture!
    I came to your blog via KNITTING PATTERN CENTRAL and it made me laugh out loud.Thank you for making my day.

  13. Oh my goodness, your cats are so good! My kitties would bite my hands off if I ever tried to put a hat on them! By far the funniest so far, keep it up!

  14. I just came across your pattern on Knitting Central too. I have an orange cat that looks just like yours and I imagine his expression would be similar if I tried to get him to wear this mask!-lol

    What a priceless photo!

  15. OMG...I have three cats and they would hiss the house down if I got them to wear it! In fact, I am thinking of making it just to see them hiss...I know, I know, I'm evil. HAHAHAHA!

  16. You have GOT to come to my new blog! I would love for you to place a link. It's all about crafters and their cats, it's called "Krafty Kitties". Hope to see you there, and tell your friends. :)



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