Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright!

Man’s Tiger Vest pattern from Good Housekeeping Needlecraft, Spring-Summer 1972

Because I’m a fan of The Comics Curmudgeon, I took one look at this so-called Tiger Vest and instantly recognized the face of Marmaduke, the man-eating, demon dog. Sure, Great Dane apologists describe them as gentle giants, but if they’re not hell hounds, then how come their satanic statuettes are for sale online?

Okay, so it’s not very likely that Good Housekeeping was a front for Marmaduke’s malevolent cult. A far more likely scenario is that the magazine commissioned a tiger vest, but due to the barely audible long distance call, the designer thought they wanted a crocheted Tasmanian tiger vest. You’ve got to admit, the vest above bears a much stronger resemblance to the temporarily extinct Tasmanian Tiger than to the endangered Siberian Tiger.


Thankfully, due to modern cell phone technology, such misunderstandings are a thing of the past. Alas, in 1972, Good Housekeeping’s editors had no choice but brazen the whole thing out, so they claimed that this vest boasted “a flashy tiger face”. To be fair, I imagine a Siberian tiger would look like this vest if you jammed that tiger into a phone booth and then turned on a strobe light.

Handmade by Mother is not legally responsible for any mental, emotional or physical harm that is likely to ensue should you decide to test this theory.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


SIZES: Directions are for Size 40. Changes for Size 42 are in parenthesis.
If your sweetie is smaller or larger than sizes 40-42, he should count himself very lucky.
MATERIALS: Unger’s Nanette (50 gram ball), 5 (6) Black (A), 1 Lt. Orange (B), 1 Dk. Orange (C) and 1 White (D). Hero alumnium crochet hook Size F or size to give gauge.
Unger’s Nanette yarn was a soft 100% acrylic yarn from Belgium that was tragically hunted into extinction. As near as I can tell from the historical record, Nanette was worsted weight.
GAUGE: 4 dc = 1”; 5 rows = 2”.
Get that gauge right, or the tiger’s face will look all stretched out and... Never mind.

BACK: With A, ch 74 (78) loosely.

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each ch—72(76) dc, including turning ch, Ch 3, turn.

Row 2: Ch 3 on turn is always counted as first st, 1 dc in each st across row. Ch 3, turn. Repeat Row 2 for pattern. Work even for 10 rows. Inc. 1 st each end of next row (to inc: 2 dc in 1 st), then every 4th row 3 times more. Work on 80 (84 sts until 40 rows from beg. Do not ch 3 at end of last row.

SHAPE ARMHOLES:Sl st loosely across 5 sts, work to within 5 sts from end of row. Dec 1 st each end every row 9 times, (to dec: work off 2 sts as 1 st, yo pull up a loop, yo pull through 2 loops, leaving 2 loops on hook, pull up a loop in next st, yo pull through all loops on hook)—52 (56) sts.

SHAPE NECK: Work across first 5 sts, leave out center 42 (46) sts for neck, attach another ball, work 5 sts. With 2 balls of yarn, work even until entire armhole is 9 (9 ½ )”. Fasten off.
Maybe I’ve been a bit harsh on this tiger design. Maybe it was meant to be a metaphorical tyger.
FRONT: With A, ch 74 (78) loosely. Work 3 rows as for Back—72 (76) sts.

Next row: Work 15 (17), leave off center 42 sts for Tiger insert, attach another ball of yarn, work 15 (17). Working with 2 balls of yarn, at each side of the edge, work even until 10 rows from beg, inc 1 st at each seam edge, then every 4th row 3 times more—19 (21) sts. Work to underarm as for Back.

SHAPE ARMHOLES: At each arm edge, leave off 5 (7) sts once, then dec 1 st every row 9 times—5 sts. Work even until armhole is same length as Back. Fasten off.
Still, I highly recommend you stop here. Sure, there’s a gaping hole in the front of the vest, but think about it, wouldn’t your sweetie’s bare naked chest look better than this ersatz tiger? Just tell him to stop shaving off his chest hair and he won’t even feel the chill. True, his nipples may eventually fall off from frost bite, but it’s not like he was using them, right?

What? You want to continue on to the “Tiger” insert? Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
TIGER INSERT: With A, ch 42. Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch (41 sts). Follow Chart in dc, working to center st, then backwards to beg of row so that other half is same as first half.
The longer I stare at this chart, the more I’m convinced that my first theory was right. Marmaduke wants you to wear this vest so he can to drag your soul into hell. Coming soon to theatres near you.
(NOTE: Carry yarns loosely across back of work. Twist yarns on wrong side when changing colors and pull through new color as you are working off the last loop of previous color. Work to center st, then do not repeat center st but work back to beg of row. Do not carry a thread across the back of too many sts. Attach a new thread instead).
Marmaduke will know if you don’t attach a new thread. His red, soulless eyes are watching you.

FINISHING: With A, work 1 row of sl st around front insert, making sure to keep work flat. Sew insert to front edges, weaving a flat st. With A, work 1 row of sl st around neck and armhole edges. With B, work 1 row of sc around neck and armhole edges. Steam lightly. Do not press.
Handmade by Mother apologizes if any of the above was offensive to Great Dane lovers, Marmaduke fans, or the Marmaduke movie producers. Please do not send your demon hounds to eat Snookums.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. That is hot lol! If I only knew how to crochet I would so make this for my BF and find a way to guilt him into wearing it :)

  2. You need to learn! And then send me pictures. ;-)