Disclaimer: I am not a pattern writer by trade and this pattern is free. This pattern has only been test knit by me and as the author, I have tunnel vision.
Update: 1/8/10 Thanks to Phrensy on Ravelry I have made some small corrections in the pattern.
The cat starts off knit in the round, from the bottom up. The intarsia portion is knit back and forth and leaves an opening in the back for stuffing. The top of the head and ears finish up the cat and are knit in the round.
Yarn: Brown is Malabrigo worsted for his back and chunky in white for his chest. Using different gauges changes his looks. Reverse the sizing if you want a cat with more color and a smaller white chest.
Needles: Size 5 dpns, set of 4 or 5. I knit on the tight side. Uses a needle a couple of sizes smaller then stated for the yarn, so the stuffing doesn't show through.
Gauge: really doesn't matter.
Materials to finish: 6-7 inch circle of fabric for weight beads. Stuffing of choice. I like wool roving or corn stuffing. Fiberfill makes a much softer cat, which is nice, too.
Techniques: Intarsia, Knitting in the Round, Kitchener. I knit from the same ball using both ends for my intarsia. I only go nuts for a short time, kind of like raising kids:)
Inc.1 is the same as a M1. Pick up strand between stitches with left needle front to back and knit through the back. (I've attempted to replace all the inc.1 with M1 in this first revision)
1. CO 5 stitches with chest color. (cc)
2. Slide stitches down to opposite end of DPN and bring working yarn around the back of work. Kf&b of the first CO stitch. Place a marker to mark the beginning. This joins the work to knit in the round. Kf&b of remaining stitches added two other needles. (10 st)
4. K2, Kf&b to end (18 st)
6. K1, Kf&b of next 5 stitches. K7, Kf&b to end. (28 st)
9. Join main color. K2. Change to cc. K3, M1, K19, M1, K3. Join second ball of mc, and K1. Turn work and start knitting back and forth in stockinette stitch. When changing colors twist colors and snug up to avoid holes. (30 st)
10. P1 with mc. Change to cc. P to last two stitches. Change to mc, P2. Turn
11. K3 with mc. Change to cc. K3, M1, K19, M1, K3. Change to mc, K2. Turn (32)
12. P2 with mc. Change to cc, P across to last 3 stitches. Change to mc. P3. Turn
13. K6 with mc. Change to cc. K3, M1, (K1, M1) 2 times, K11, (M1, K1) two times. M1, K3. Change to Mc. K5 (38 st) Turn
14. P5 with MC. Change to CC, P across to last 6 st. Change MC. P 6.turn
15. K9 with MC. Change to CC, K2 (M1, K1) two times. M1, K13, (M1, k1) two times. M1, K2. Change to MC. K8 (44 st)
16. P8 with MC. Change to CC. P to last 9 st. Change to MC. K9.
Add a 5th needle if the knitting is tight. Row 17 and all odd rows to Row 27: K8 with MC, change to CC, K to last 7 st. Change to MC K7. Turn
Row 18 and all even rows to Row 28: P7 with MC, Change to CC. P to last 8 st. Change MC K8.
29. K1 with MC, K2tog. K5. Change to CC and K to last 7 st. Change to MC. K5, SSK. Turn
30. P6 with MC. Change to CC. P to last 7 st. change to MC. K to end. Turn
31. K1 with MC. K2tog. K5. Change to CC. K to last 7 st. Change to MC. K5, SSK. Turn.
32. P6 with MC. Change to CC. P to last 7 st. Change to CC. P to end. Turn
33. K1 with MC. K2tog. K5. Change to CC. K to last 7 st. Change to MC. K5, SSK. Turn.
34. P6 with MC. Change to CC. P to last 7 st. Change to MC. P7. Turn. (38 st)
35. K1 with MC. K2tog. K4. Change to CC. K3, change to MC. K2. Change CC K15. Change to MC, K2. Change to CC, K3. Change to MC, K4, SSK. Turn
36. P5 with MC Change to CC, P3. Cut yarn and leave 5 in tail. Change to MC, p2. Join CC, P15. Change to MC, P2. Change CC, P3. Change to MC, P6. Turn
37. K1 with MC. K2tog, K4. Change to CC and K1. Cut yarn leaving tail to weave in. Change to MC K 5. Join CC, K11. Change to MC K5. Use tail to K1 with CC. Change to MC K4. SSK.
38. P13 with MC. P7 with CC. P14 with MC. Turn.
39. K1 with MC. K2tog. K11. Change to CC. K7. Change to MC, K11. SSK. Turn.
40. P13 with MC. Change to CC. P5. Change to MC, P14. Turn
41. K1 with MC, K2tog. K11. Change to CC, K5. Change to MC K11, SSK. Turn.
42. P 13 with MC. Cut yarn. Change to CC P3. Change to MC, P14. Turn.
43. K1, K2tog, K12 with MC. K1 with CC. Cut yarn. K12 with MC, SSK. Do not turn. Finish with MC.
44. Join to knit in the round. Knit one row. (28 st)
45. K1, K2tog. K6. SSK. K7, K2tog. K6, SSK. (24 st.)
46. K1, K2tog. K3. SSK. K9. K2tog. K3. SSK. (20 st)
47. K1, K2tog. K15. SSK (18 st)
48. Prepare stitches for the ears. Knit eight st. on to needle 1. K10 stitches on to needle 2.. Knit the first two stitches from needle 1 and place them on needle two. These 12 stitches are on hold for the top of the head and one ear. The 6 left on needle 1 are the other ear and the first one knit, which is knit in the round.
Left ear: K the 6 stitches on needle one. Join to knit in the round. Divide the stitches on 2 or 3 needles. SlK1PSSO. Snug this stitch up well and knit to end. K2, S1K1PSSO, K1. (4 st). S1K1PSSO. Knit last 2 stitches on to needle 1. Slide to the other end. SlK2tog, PSSO. End off.
Right ear: Rearrange remaining stitches on two needles, 6 st. on each needle.
Cut a piece of yarn long enough to knit the second ear and kitchener 3 stitches. 18 inch or so. Thread on darning needle. With the front of the cat facing you,
Sew into first stitch on back DPN, as if to purl, (back to front) and pull up leaving 4-5 inch tail. *Bring yarn forward and sew through first stitch on front needle as if to purl
Then go through first stitch of back DPN as if to purl and pull off that stitch.
Go through 2nd stitch on back needle as if to knit, but leave stitch on needle.
Bring yarn forward and go through first stitch on front needle as if to knit and pull stitch off.
Repeat from * until 3 stitches are left on each DPN. The long tail is on the back. Now continue knitting in the round with the long tail.
Knit one row. (6 st) K4, K2tog.(5 st) Next row, K1, K2tog, K2 on to same needle. (4 st) Slide to other end of DPN, K1, K2tog, K1. (3 st) Slide to other end of DPN. Last row. Sl, K2tog, PSSO. End off.
Tail: start with 3 stitches on 3 needles. Join to knit in the round. Knit one row. K1M1 around (6 st). Knit one row. K1M1K1 around. (9 st). Continue knitting in the round until it is as long as you want it. Knit or sew a curl in it. Stuff as you go. Bind off and finish stuffing.
Finishing: Sew in yarn tails around ears, close up any holes. Knot on the inside and use tails to stuff ears, or add stuffing. A small tweezers is helpful. Tighten up holes on the intarsia portion and knot or sew in ends on the inside. Join yarn at top of opening and sew opening closed about 1/3 of the way. Stuff head firmly.
To add weight so the cat stands up better, cut a circle of fabric 6-8 inches in diameter. Gather up the edge with a running stitch and strong thread. Add polyester beads or sand. I stay away from organic matter because bugs get into it here in the tropics. Stuff the bag into the bottom of the cat and add more stuffing around and on top if the bag. Finish sewing shut. Set cat on the table and shape it the way you want and then arrange the tail the way you want it before sewing it down.
Add features with embroidery, needle felting, beads or buttons.
This is George in Beaverslide Natural grey and white, aran weight. He came out bigger.
Here is my attempt at a graph. Please note that it starts on Row3. The black colored boxes on the right side are the middle back stitch. On his head, they represent the stitches to be Kitchenered. The other colored boxes represent decreases or increases. The red boxes at the top are the last body row before the ears begin. On George, I purled Row 3 for the end of his base.
More color or spots can be added by coloring in areas on the graph where you want the color. A single color can be used and the cat then can be entirely knit in the round. Just remember to stuff as you go:)