Yes really. I really truly crocheted a sweater for my chicken. I saw a blog post this evening that had each of their chickens in sweaters. I thought it seemed incredibly unnecessary and that my chickens would not be happy in the winter without them. Absolutely no way, no how. Since I seem to have tons of Yarn remnants left from my recent scarf escapades.... I decided that while the kids were watching the Grinch after supper, I would make one. I actually took some orange yarn and a hook to Ardyn's dance class and while Marek napped in his seat and Ardyn was dancing, I was going to make one. I had found patterns online but only one crochet pattern, and I wasn't really happy with the coverage that the particular pattern provided, so I thought I might have to modify it as I went. Especially because my chickens are all heavy breeds and I didn't know what hens this sweater was made to fit, but it looked more like a smaller regular sized hen. Plus, I don't like to check gauge and never do check gauge, so I was just gonna see how the pattern went. Well, fast forward to dance class and I ran out of the house without the pattern. Grrr. So I sat in the van and thought, you know, I can totally wing it (pun intended, lol) and make my own chicken sweater.
So, I started. I visualized and I conquered. And I like mine better than the other pattern so I was happy. I will go ahead and share with you here. But first, a few photos and a feature overview....
1. No ties. I was nervous of the ones that tied and if a chicken would strangle or hang themselves.
2. Covers more of the chicken's back.... and dips a bit lower to cover a few tail feathers
3. Keeps wings free and allows flight if desired :)
4. Covers the chest/breast area while still leaving the feet free and the rear end clear for poo and eggs :)
So, I don't write patterns so please let me know if my rules screw you up. The first rule of crochet is, there are no rules :) If you have followed enough patterns, hopefully you will know what I am doing.
I used what I would consider to be regular medium weight yarn, very washable, and a J hook because that's what I could get my hands on. Like I said, I don't do gauge. Just start and try to visualize your chicken :) That's how I did it.
Row ONE- Start Your Work: Chain 31. This is not really a set number. You can chain whatever you want. This is the length of your chicken's body. Eyeball it. Chain whatever you want. the pattern will work no matter how many you chain.
Chain Two and Turn
ROWS 2 thru 6- *Double Crochet in each Chain till end.... Chain Two and Turn again (repeat from star until you have six rows completed)
ROW 7- After you have chained two and turned to begin your SEVENTH row, DC in next SIX stitches. Then, Chain Six (not in previous stitches) to create a chain that will make your wing opening. On the 7th Stitch, instead of chaining, DC back into your work again. This will make a "hole" that is six stitches long.
Continue to DC in each stitch until you reach the THIRD Stitch from the end. You should have THREE STITCHES to fill,
in the first stitch DC TWICE (increase)
In the Second stitch DC TWICE (increase)
In the LAST stitch in your row, DC once, then chain two and turn.
ROW 8- DC in first stitch
DC twice in each of the next TWO stitches (increasing twice, Rows 7 and 8 will create a longer tail area, which you can eliminate if you don't like that idea, but I like the way it looks and fits.)
DC in each stitch till end, Chain two and turn
ROWS 9 and 10- *DC in each stitch till end, Chain two and turn (repeat from star to create row 10)
ROW 11 - DC in each stitch until you are five stitches from end. Then DC once in next two stitches (Decreasing) and DC again ONCE in next two stitches (Decreasing a second time) and then DC once in last stitch.... Chain two and turn, completing row 11.
ROW 12- DC once in first stitch (not in turning chain) and then DC once in next two stitches (DECREASING) and then DC again once in next two stitches (DECREASING AGAIN.) then DC once in each space until end of chain. Complete Row 12, Chain two and turn.
ROW 13- DC once in each of next six stitches, then Chain 6 (creating other wing opening.) In the next stitch (stitch 13 from end) DC again and continue DCing in each stitch until end, creating wing hoed and ending Row 13. Chain Two and Turn.
ROWS 14 thru 18- *DC once in each space. Chain Two and Turn (repeat from star until you have finished row 18 and are have chained and turned to begin row 19)
ROW 19- DC once in each space, FIFTEEN TIMES, Chain two and turn. (end Row 19)
ROW 20- DC once in each space, FIFTEEN TIMES (do not chain and turn. End Row 20)
To finish Sweater, Fold in half and match last fifteen DC's (the short rows that you finished with) up with first row. Join them together with 15 slip stitches. Finish off and weave in ends.
For durability, I actually Slip stitched it across twice, once each direction, before finishing off. Then I turned it right side out so that the slip stitched were inside the sweater. See photos and I hope to heck it turned out like mine. Sorry I am not a pattern writer. I can crochet any ol way but I am no pattern genius!
Feel free to share this and crochet away. This pattern is for personal use only. Please do not use this pattern to create sweaters for profit (this means don't crochet them and sell them!)
Today I finished the sixth Chicken Sweater. That's six in about a day and a half. Today the chickens wore them out in the snow for the first snowfall. :) Here are a few pics :)
ETA: This post was my inspiration for finding a practical chicken sweater. Check it out for a smile: http://www.fadetofuture.com/2008/01/02/new-year-same-chicken/