Every since I was a kid I loved working with my hands. At age 6 I taught myself how to knit looking at diagrams from a knitting book my aunt gave me. At the time I didn’t understand all the terminology and shorthand but pictures were easily understood.
I remember my friends wouldn’t believe me when I said I made it. For some reason now knitting and crocheting is “in style” and it seems less surprisingly that in my 30’s I know how to knit.
I believe that anyone is capable of anything if they have the willingness to learn.
Many of you have probably seen Dragon sporting some nifty knits, but today I’m going to show you the Basic Dragon Vest to get you started.
What You Will Need
1. Measuring tape.
2. 1-2 Balls of yarn. (Dragon weighs about 3 lbs and it takes less than half of a small ball of yarn to make him a sweater.)
3. Crochet hook sizes 4-6mm
5. A Cat.
Step 1 : Measure the Cat.
It only takes 3 measurements to make a cool sweater for your cat. Normally I guess and just measure him as I go, but for those that like exact references this is what you need.
Always over estimate and round up. It’s better that the sweater fits a little bigger than too tight.
Step 2. Time to learn the basics of crocheting. (Youtubing videos after reading my instructions will help.)
1. Start the chain by making a slip knot. This is done by making a loop and pulling a loop through. See below.
2. Now continue to pull loops through the previous loop to form a “chain” of loops. Yes chain can be referred to singular as well as the entire thing. Or sometimes they’re called stitches. (Sts) It’s confusing I know.
Ideally it should look like an even braid. **Keep the loops relatively loose. (This means maintainin a consistent “tension“.) It will be easier to work with. Beginners tend to pull everthing tight and it gets really difficult later.
Checkpoint** before we continue let’s make sure you haven’t done this very common mistake.
5. Now to begin the single crochet stitch. (SC) . We will now be working in the round (in a circle) for the body section.
* you should always begin with a single loop on the hook and finish with a single loop when doing any stitch.
To do the SC, in the next chain find that “V” again and insert the hook and pull the yarn through.
6. Now repeat that all the way around and do a slip stitch each time you’ve finished the round. ( This just keeps everthing even but honestly if that’s too confusing just keep going in circles. ) Remember when I told you to keep track of how many chains you had ? Since you’re essentially just making a cyclinder that number shouldn’t change as you go around each time. (Often times people end up with more or less because they miss one or somehow add one. If you keep track every round then you won’t have that problem.)
8. Now we’re going to Decrease. This means reduce the number of stitches in your round. This tapers the sweater because if you look at your kitty their upper body is probably smaller than their belly… Probably.
How to decrease.
Pull a loop in the next chain like you normally would when doing a SC. Now instead of pulling through both loops to complete the stitch you’re going to move to the next chain and pull another loop. You should have three loops on your hook now.
Now continue SC until you’re around 1/3 of the round and decrease again. Repeat until you’ve decreased 3 times evenly around the round. ( This can be customized as you like, sometimes I’ll decrease 4 times within the round of the sweater seems big. If you have a big chested kitty maybe you won’t decrease at all. )
9. Armhole part 1: the back piece. Now we’re going to make the arm holes.
Now we’re going to work back and forth instead of in the round. To do that Ch. 1 (this is what you do when you “turn”/flip the piece) and then start working your SC in the second Ch. and go all the way across. Keep turning/flipping the piece as you go back and forth to like a typewriter until it reaches the length of the third measurement . (Biceps measurement, Dragon’s was 2”).
10. Armhole part 2: chest piece. I used a different colour in hopes of making it easier to see.
Work SC all the way across until you’re two Ch. from the base of the other side of the back piece. Count your stitches.
* remember to add a Ch. when turning. (In my case each row should have 6 sts. )
11. Now choose to either continue from the chest piece or from the back piece. Whichever one you decide, cut the yarn from the other loop and pull through to tie it off.
For up to date photos on Dragons adventures find him on Instagram @HowToTrainMyDragon .