Except I'm still a bit confused about the "etc, etc, increasing number of initial sc's each time you go around" So does that mean instead of going 1 sc in 4 and then 2 sc in one you go like 1sc in 5 2sc in 1, 1sc in 6 2sc in 1, etc? or is it something else and then when I want to go straight down it's just 1sc in every one of them?? I think i'm getting this now... maybe..
Yeah, you've got it. Just keep increasing the number of sc's between increases. You want to stay increasing only 6 times per round, but you have to accomodate for the fact that the diameter is getting bigger. And yes, when you want to go straight down, just stop doing increases.
So, this is the top of your hat and you're making increases where the lines are:
When you're closer to the middle of the circle, the lines are closer together, so there are fewer sc's between increases. When you're farther out, there's more space between the increases.
You might also want to crochet around wire or something along the edges, so that it keeps its shape. I find it incredibly difficult to make something stiff enough to stand up on its own, especially at that size.
What I would do (and might actually do, come to think of it) is to start with a chain as wide as the cat when s/he's curled up plus a bit of stretching room, times four. (Times four because that's what they did - they chain 24 and end up with a width of 6, which is the bottom of the mouth of the cave. You want your base to be wide enough for kitty to curl up.) So, let's say that's a chain of 104, to pick a completely inaccurate number at random. What you would do is this:
Row 1: Chain 104 Row 2: Skip 1, sc 104-2 (102), skip one. Row 3: Skip 1, sc 104-2-2 (100), skip one. Row 4: Skip 1, sc 104-2-2-2 (98), skip one. and so on until you get to the width of curled-up-kitty-plus-stretching (in this case, 26 stitches.) Then do a few rows without any decreases, 26 stitches wide in this example, making it deep enough for The Kitty.
Oh, and this number (here 26) should be even. I originally had this example at 100 ch base chain, going down to 25, but if you're decreasing by 2 each row, you're going to hit 26 and 24 but not 25. Not a big deal, but keep it in mind. Your base chain should probably be divisible by four.
This gives you this shape:
Join where shown, and then I would lay a wire along the edge (mouth of the cave) and crochet around it so that the mouth of the cave will stay open. Of course, if your cat is anything like my boyfriend's kitten, he'll probably jump on it and bend the wire and it'll get all crazy looking, but you can bend it back into shape.
**That "shell" stitch in the first one has me stumped. Ideas? Looks like DC or TC in the panels between the shells?**
I think it's a combination of things. The stitches for the shells are more 3-d, I think they're like a half-double crochet, but instead of doing it this way: Yarn over hook. Insert hook in the next stitch to be worked. Yarn over hook. Pull yarn through stitch. Yarn over hook. Pull yarn through all 3 loops on hook.
Do it this way: Yarn over hook 10 times. Insert hook in the next stitch to be worked. Yarn over hook. Pull yarn through stitch. Yarn over hook. Pull yarn through all 12 loops on hook.
Or maybe not 10. That's a guess.
I think it's something like this for the shells too (S for shell stitch, c for chain, _ for space to show how it fits)
ccS__S_____S__Scc (row 3) _ccS__S___S__Scc_ (row 2) __cc_S_S_S_S_cc__ (row 1) _____cccccccc____ (part of the border) if that makes any sense at all... (rows aren't any wider, just had to show them that way.)
and then, yeah... either doubles or triples in the middle, then start the shell pattern again.
Okay, this might be my final design. I'm liking it more than the others.
OOH AAH the garden of looooooooove:
This design comes complete with labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vagina, AND urethra (though you might have to hunt for it, just like in real life!). Sadly, no piercings just yet. My ears aren't pierced, so I don't have anything handy!
(More appropriate colours this time too, no? I dyed this yarn a couple of weeks ago with food colouring, and while I'm still working on getting the whole skein an even colour, I like how it's kind of variegated here.)
Okay, a question for you girls about patterns and such. If I were to make up a PDF of this pattern and sell it, a) how would I set that up? Paypal? and b) $3? or so? what would you charge? I would likely include a bit of vagina-education with the pattern as well.
P.S. Sorry the images were down for a while! PhotoBucket decided they broke their terms of service, so I moved them to Flickr.
I'm still working on this. The labelled diagram is of the first design, so it doesn't have a urethra (the other two do). I've been experimenting with the placement of the inner labia and my next upgrade is going to be the clitoral hood (if I can figure the damn thing out).
Not sure yet what I'm going to do with them, it was just a little personal challenge. I might incorporate it into a doll, who knows. I've been reading The Story of V: A History of Female Sexuality: "To go back to the beginning - or l'origine du monde, as Courbet entitled his boundary-breaking legs-akimbo vista - the vadge wasn't smelly or rude. No, it was life-affirming, iconic, divine even, and invested with symbolism that we can barely begin to imagine. Skirt-lifting was significant for centuries: in India, the gesture was meant to disperse evil influences, while in ancient Egypt, women did it to multiply crop yield. On 17th-century drinking mugs, depictions can be found of a confrontation between an exposed vagina and a reeling Satan. Even Pliny noted that a woman could banish pests by strolling around with her fanny on display before sunrise." (review, The Guardian)
It's really impressed me -- female sexual anatomy is MUCH more complex than I was ever taught. The vagina has been revered as a sacred gateway to this world in pretty much every culture except Western culture. It has been seen as a place of purity and power. In sex, it is anything BUT passive. The clitoris has 10 times the nerve endings (and thus 10 times the pleasure) of the penis, and the vagina itself has the ability to look inside the DNA of sperm and decide who gets to come in and who gets the boot. Frankly, I'm impressed.
I guess I just crochet the things I think about, rather than doodling them on paper.
P.S. Sorry the images were down for a while! PhotoBucket decided they broke their terms of service, so I've moved them to Flickr.