Bracken Cat Scarf

We had a tortoiseshell coloured cat called Bracken who lived up to the “naughtie tortie” label. It seems tortoiseshell cats (which are always female!!!) have a reputation for being difficult – she had a red star by her name at our Vet’s clinic. I loved her ’though as far as she was concerned I was just warm furniture and the wielder of the tin-opener!

Sadly she died so I decided to knit a scarf in remembrance.

It was fun to make even though it took several tries to get the head as I wanted. Twice I was accosted when out shopping by people demanding to know where I bought it.

This was the first pattern I wrote down trying to remember after it was finished so I have to warn that I can’t guarantee it, reading through it now makes me amazed that it worked!!

NB Please read note and corrections kindly sent by BoatkrazysWife

On 7mm needles with 2 strands of DK yarn, I used Stylecraft Life and changed colour when it seemed appropriate – it was never going to look like Bracken!

The whiskers are strands of  “lash” yarn knotted so that they wouldn’t pull out.

(even though’ I’ve put ‘k’ – I started all rows Sl1 to give a neater edge.


Provisionally, CO 26st.

Row 1: k1, m1, k to last 3st, SKP, k1.

Row 2: k

Rpt until long enough.

To ‘square off’ the end

Row 1 and every odd row: CO 2st, k to last 3st, SKP, k1.

Row 2 and every even row: k.

Continue until 1st remains.


Turn and pick up 14 more st.

Row 1: k1, m1, k1, m1, k11, m1, k1, m1, k1. (19st)

Row 2 and all even rows unless stated: k

Row 3:k1, m1, k1, m1, k15, m1, k1, m1, k1. (23st)

Row 5: k1, m1, k1, m1, k19, m1, k1, m1, k1. (27st)

Row 7: k3, m1, k1, m1, k19, m1, k1, m1, k3. (31st)

Row 9: k10, turn, k5, turn, k21, turn, k5, turn, k10.

Row 11: k8, m1, k2, m1, k10, m1, k2, k8. (35st)

Row 13: k5, KFB 8 times, k9, KFB 8 times, k5. (51st)

Row 14: k13, KFB, k23, KFB, k13 (53st)

Row 15: k5, CO15, k6, m1, k1, m1, k6 CO15, k5. (25st)

Row 16: k4, k2tog tbl, k11, k2tog tbl, k4. (23st)

Row 17: k to last 4st

Row 18: sl 4st onto dpn and turn behind work, k every other from main needle then dpn, k to last 4st, sl last 4st onto dpn and turn behind work, k every other from dpn then main needle. This shapes the ears & provides ‘anchor points’ for front feet.

Row 19: Pick up 1st from previous row and 1 from back of CO edge, k to end,  Pick up 1st from CO edge and 1 from  previous row. (27st)

Row 20: k

Row 21: k1, SKP twice, k17, k4tog twice, k1. (23st)

Row 22: k1, SKP twice, k13, k4tog twice, k1. (19st)

Rows 23: k.

Row 25: k3, p5, k3, p5, k3

Row 27: k7, turn, k3, turn, k? , turn, k3, turn, k7.

Row 28:  k6, turn, k2, turn, k? , turn, k2, turn, k6.

Row 29: k1, SKP twice, p2

k5, p2, k2tog twice, k1. (15st)

Row 31: k1, SKP twice, k5, k2tog twice, k1. (11st)

Row 33: k

Row 35: k1, SKP twice, k1, k2tog twice, k1. (7st)

Row 37: k1, SKP, k1, k2tog, k. (5st)

Row 39: p2tog, k1, p2tog.


Either  pick up & knit 7st from behind ears or CO 7st.

Knit 30-40 rows in main colour.

Join white,

Row 1: k

Row 2: k1, KFB, k3, KFB, k1 (9st)

Row 3: k

Row 4: k7, turn, k5, turn, k to end.

Row 5: k5, turn, k3, turn, k to end.

Rows 6, 7: k.

Row 8: k1, SKP, k3, k2tog, k1.

Row 9: k1, SKP, k1, k2tog, k1. (5st)

Row 10: CO.


Pick up & k 16st.

Rows 1-5: k.

Row 6: k1, m1, k1, m1, k12, m1, k1, m1, k1.  (20st)

Row 7: k

Row 8:k1, m1, k1, m1, k16, m1, k1, m1, k1.  (24st)

Row 9: k10, put on spare needle, put last 10st on sp needle.


Work on centre 4st

Pick up & k a st from between the 4 and 10 st (6st)

Work in stocking st, slipping first st on each row.

Change colours on rt side if required.

About 2in from tip use just 1 strand of yarn, weave all ends in later when sewing seam.


Knit 10st, pick up & k 4st across base of tail, knit across next 10st. (24st)

Row 2: k1, KFB, k16, KFB, k1.

Row 3: k10, slip onto spare needle, CO4, k10,

Row 4: k8, turn, k6, turn, k to end.

Row 5 & all odd rows: k

Row 6: k7, turn, k6, turn, k to end.

Row 8: k8, turn, k6, turn, k to end.

Row 10: k1, SKP, k1, k2tog, k1, SKP, k1. (7st)

Continue until desired length, finish as front legs.

Notes from BoatkrazysWife

I found CO confusing and didn’t realize at first that it was Cast Off and not Cast On.

In Row 16 of the body I think it should be k13 instead of k11.

In Row 18 ‘k to the last 4 st’ should be ‘k to the last 8 sts’.

In Row 21 and 22 k4tog should be K2tog.

In Row 27 and 28 your ? should be 11.

In Row 2 of the back legs k16 I think it should be k20.


19 thoughts on “Bracken Cat Scarf

  1. love the scarf. Sorry about your beautiful cat. I am going to make a black one as my Miss Pee was a black one. It will be awhile as I have other projects to finish. Sorry for your loss.

    Posted by Needlespinner | May 21, 2011, 1:05 am
  2. Here from Ravelry. I just wanted to say how adorable this scarf is! You’ve inspired me to make one that looks like my cat, Sushi. Thank you for sharing :)

    Posted by Alison | May 21, 2011, 5:42 am
  3. Here also from Ravelry. I have a female tortie, GT, who belonged to my brother before he passed. She is also a difficult cat at times though her “star” at the vet is only orange! I am sorry for your loss… but what a wonderful thing to do in her honor!

    Posted by Zanysisters | May 21, 2011, 3:23 pm
  4. I’ll be knitting up a nice, silver one – I had a Korat who used to love hanging over my shoulder like a fur stole. This will be a nice tribute to him!

    Posted by Viviana | May 22, 2011, 12:55 am
  5. Hi. Love your scarf.

    Your cat sounds like she had a lot of personality and independence. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Posted by Patwoman | May 22, 2011, 6:30 pm
  6. Our tortoiseshell had the word CAUTION, underlined three times, at the vet’s. Love this pattern.

    Posted by Sarah | May 23, 2011, 2:13 pm
  7. LOVE your gorgeous pattern. So very sorry for your loss. I’ve gone through this too and it’s tough. Soon after I lost 14 yo Buddy in 2008, my granddaughter came to visit from New York and the next thing I knew I was a new mom to Lily, my Shih Tzu/Bichon or “Bizu” as I like to call her. Best move I every made as I’m now retired and we’re inseparable.

    Will definitely make the Bracken cat scarf and will try to adapt to a Lily dog scarf as well. THANK YOU!

    Posted by Bev Leroux | May 23, 2011, 7:41 pm
  8. Just had a closer look at the Photos. Bracken was certainly a gorgeous girl. Her soul has moved on to better things.

    Also, you did an AMAZING job with the design. It really does look like a cat!

    Posted by Bev Leroux | May 23, 2011, 8:31 pm
  9. i really like your pattern but I have a few questions about some of your abrieviations and how long is the scarf.When you say skp are you skiping stitches? and on row 16 of head what is k2togtbl? i really hope you can answer my questions I am really excited to try again my first one looks like a squashed cat.

    Posted by nancy | June 29, 2011, 1:36 am
    • Hi Nancy,

      How long is the scarf?
      As long as you like – it does tend to grow longer and thinner with wear!

      skp (SKP) is a shortened way of sl1, k1, psso (slip one stitch, knit next stitch, pass first stitch over it) to give a left slanting decrease.


      k2togtbl is knit 2 stitches together through the back of the loops – also giving a left hand slope – I honestly can’t remember why I chose either method!!!


      I hope this is helpful, I wish I’d written the pattern as I knitted with lots more notes, I try to do that now!

      I’ve sent you an e-mail with two pictures from those sites

      Posted by FIFALDE | June 29, 2011, 10:19 am
      • thanks I have another scarf on the needls almost donethen for try 2 of bracken the first one is now a tug toy for my jack russells Desi the Tramp and Lady Diana. he kills anything with stuffing in it and he loves to play tug of war

        Posted by nancy | June 29, 2011, 6:19 pm
  10. I finished my kitty scarf tonight and am excited to start another one. I saw in your pictures a chain scarf but i could’t find the instructions can you e-mail them to me it reminds me of paper chains that I made a child.

    Posted by nancy | July 1, 2011, 3:32 am
    • Sorry I haven’t any instructions, I saw similar ones (probably on Ravelry) and made it up as I went along. I remember knitting stocking stitch rectangles which naturally curl into tubes, sewing the ends of the first together then threading the next through and sewing that up and so on.
      I’m not a good designer I just experiment as I rarely find a pattern that is exactly what I want!
      I would like to see how your Cat scarf turned out – is it on Ravelry?

      Posted by FIFALDE | July 1, 2011, 8:35 am
  11. I posted my kitty scarfs on face book. My account is under Nancy
    Gittings. I made navy blue and white ones for a craft show in Pa. which is for Penn
    State their mascot is the Nittany Lion so I called it a knittney lion scarf.

    Posted by nancy | July 28, 2011, 12:56 am
    • Found them! Well done, I think I’ll have to make another one soon. I want to try to adapt the pattern to crochet but I’m finding the days are too short to fit in all I want!!!

      Posted by FIFALDE | July 28, 2011, 8:37 am
      • thanks for looking at them. I was watching a show on Lifetime last evening and I think one of the designers interviewing for a spot in the sewing show was wearing a scarf that looked a lot like your squashed rat scarf.I thought you would like to know one of your patterns made it to Television. My hubby wants to know what part of Wales are you from.

        Posted by nancy | July 29, 2011, 4:51 pm
  12. I LOVE this idea! I can’t wait to try your pattern. Thanks for sharing it. My 2 kitties also went to heaven and this is a lovely way to remember them. Thanks.

    Posted by noefmist | September 8, 2011, 5:17 pm
  13. How did I miss this till now … Love it ( mother of two naughtie torties )

    Posted by catsmum | September 11, 2012, 4:20 am
  14. Love your cat scarf! I think I will make one after I finish the next 3 projects I have waiting. We have cats and have had callicos (that’s what we call the torties) . one of my favorites had her kittens in my lap, and would nurse them in my lap also. A neighbor’s dog killed her. Needless to say, we were heart broken. We live in the country in KY and keep cats to keep down the mice and the rats that hang around the chicken house. They do a good job! I love every single one of them. Thanks for the pattern.

    Posted by Claudia Scheffler | February 3, 2014, 6:11 pm

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