Archive for the 'dogs' Category

Blue Jean Baby for My Baby

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Most of my dog sweater designs float around in my brain for quite a while before they get test-knitted, written and published.  And honestly, I can hardly wait to get a new idea on the needles. I have five or six concrete ideas in the old queue right now — just can’t make them as fast as I can think them up.

Willie had a BIG operation on his back leg at the end of May. He had a torn ligament and luxating patella repaired, and it was quite an experience for the whole family. So when July 1 rolled around and we set off for Beverly, Mass., for a month — without the dogs — I was feeling a mite guilty. Just had to make something sweet for the little one while I was gone.

Blue Jean Baby, a little knitted jean jacket for dogs, has existed in my head for quite a while — the name, the yarn, the whole thing. While on vacation, missing the baby, I worked and reworked it till I got it done. (Never done a sleeve on a dog sweater before, and I must say I was mystified, but it happened, and it works.)

We came home to find Willie had lost two pounds. (Work that guilt, Mommy!) His new, svelte self fits perfectly in his jean jacket. And I promise never again to leave my Blue Jean Baby for so long!

The pattern is available on my Patterns for Sale page (just pass over the categories at the top of the page — it’s in white type on a white background and hard to see otherwise). It’s knit in Rowan Denim and sized to fit dogs with a chest measurement of 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 or 17-18 inches.

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The Puppy Dogs’ Picnic

Check out my latest creation: Sunday Picnic, a gingham check sweater that’s perfect for a sunny day and a big blanket in the park.

Knit in two shades of sport-weight yarn — I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Ocean Blue and Fresh Cream — this sweater is a great project for practicing your stranded color work and learning how to STEEK. 

Yes, steek.

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If you have not heard this term before, a steek is a series of extra knitted stitches that enable the knitter to continue knitting in the round, so you can knit an entire fair isle garment from the right side.  That means no more purling from the back. Steeking is an old method that many knitters are afraid to try, because it involves cutting your knitting after it is done.  BUT IT WORKS!  I promise!  And a tiny dog sweater is the ideal place to try steeking, as it isn’t as frightening as cutting, say, a full-size fair isle cardigan down the center.

Full steeking instructions are included
in the pattern, as well as a chart for the gingham pattern, of course.

Try it. The pattern is available on my PATTERNS FOR SALE page here on the blog. More info on Ravelry, under My Savannah Cottage.

And the Winner Is …

Elizabeth McNearney!! Thank you all for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comments. After drawing her name this afternoon, I will be emailing Elizabeth free pdf’s of all my paid dog sweater patterns. Thank you again for participating, and stay tuned here for more patterns and knitting/crochet news.

Holy Cow!

My blog has just passed 200,000 hits!

Thank you all for following me. I have websites linking from all over the world, from Italy to France to Japan, some in languages I don’t even recognize. I hope you enjoy my knitting and crochet patterns and you’ll keep coming back for more. In honor of achieving this milestone, I’m hosting a giveaway here: Leave a comment or link to my blog by November 10, and I will hold a drawing the next day. The winner will receive a free download of ALL MY PAID DOG SWEATER PATTERNS. I’ll announce the winner here on November 11, so if you win please contact me and let me know where to email your patterns.

Good luck, and thank you for visiting!

Revised and Reissued: ‘Christmas Trees’

Notes and Changes

My most popular for-sale sweater design is the “Christmas Trees” fair isle dog sweater seen here on Willie.  I made the original sample back in 2007 before releasing the pattern, and it worked out fine for me.  Recently, I was commissioned to make the sweater again, this time for a little Yorkie in Germany.  I have discovered a few errors, and also have come up with some solutioxmas fair isle 4ns to make the sweater easier to knit, so I have revised the pattern. It includes a new chart and some differences in sizing and stitch counts.  The new pdf has been e-mailed to everyone who has purchased the pattern from me this year.  I do not have e-mail addresses for previous buyers, but if you’ll e-mail me (kaygraves@comcast.net) or message me here with your Etsy transaction number or a cut-and-paste excerpt from your original pattern, I will be happy to send you a new version of the pattern.

In knitting the pattern the second time around, I have knitted in the round as much as possible, except for the area where the leg openings go and the tail shaping section.  So much easier!  (I’m not brave enough with the fair isle to go straight across those leg openings and steek, but if you are, I want to know how it turns out so I can congratulate you!) You will have to use short, short needles for this if you try it.  I am using size 7’s in about a 16″ length.

This is a pattern that’s already quite elaborate, but you can dress it up even more.  I didn’t start knitting in the round until after the neck ribbing so I could leave that open and add a small button and loop to help with getting the sweater over puppy’s head.  I’ll also line the neck of the new sweater to prevent stretching as it is worn over time.  You can use a seasonal fabric or even a wide piece of ribbon or seam binding to line the neck.  Make a facing, just as you would when you’re sewing a garment, press the edges under, and tack it to the inside of the neckline.  A piece of ready-made lace trim peeking over the top would be lovely, especially for a little girl dog.

The small black dots on the first line of the pattern chart represent bobbles, while the multicolored dots later on indicate beads, bobbles or embroidered French knots to make “berries” for the holly.  Try cross-stitching over some of the stitches to add more interest.

About the beading:  The first time I made the sweater I just sewed on the beads with sewing thread, kind of randomly wherever I wanted them.  Some have started to come off  Willie’s sweater (though another sweater with pearl trim is intact), so this time I am knitting the beads on as I knit the sweater.  I got the smallest beads with the largest eyes I could find, plus something called a “big eye” needle for stringing the beads onto the yarn. (Even then, about half the beads will not go onto the yarn.) I cut the yarn in workable lengths to do the design and strung the beads directly onto the lime green yarn as I went along making the Christmas trees, pulling them up to place wherever I wanted.  This gives a much more secure beading for an active little dog.  I will probably go back and dot a few more beads around just to make the sweater really glitzy, but if you do this be sure to knot each bead on individually ~ if not, when one goes, they all go.

 The chest size listed on the pattern has changed.  There are three sizes: 10-12″, 13-14″, and 17-18″, and these are approximate.  It’s hard to be really exact what with people’s different gauges and the way the fair isle is done by different knitters.  Also, the sweater is stretchy when worn. 

My dog, for example, has a 16″ chest, but the sweater I made him is the middle size and it fits perfectly.  Don’t be worried, as the sweater looks good whether it’s stretchy and fitted or a bit loose, and don’t be afraid to go up or down with needle size as you knit to get a good fit.  For the sweater I am making now, I cast on with size 5’s, then started knitting the neck with 6’s and changed to 7’s for the body.

 This sweater is a challenge to make, but it’s worth the trouble.  A definite Christmas card picture and conversation starter.  My pup knows how darling he is when holiday season comes around!   Once you knit the sweater, you’ll want to take special care of it so it will last from one Christmas to the next.  Soak it briefly in a cold-water wash such as Woollite, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or a wool soak such as Eucalan.  Rinse and gently squeeze, then roll the sweater in a towel to remove excess water.  Hang or lay flat to dry, then store the sweater in a safe place away from moths!

Bad to the Bone

Not enough time on your hands to make the felted dog collars on my Free Tutorials page?  Now they’re available in my Etsy store, custom-made to fit your pup’s neck measurement. bad to the bone dog collar 2 collar

The collars ~ hand-felted in high-quality 100% wool, decorated with imported ceramic Peruvian skull beads, and lined in 100% cotton fabric ~ come in 1/2″ (for tiny dogs) and 3/4″ (for medium-sized dogs) widths and have safety parachute buckles and D-ring for the dog’s ID tag. They’re durable and long-lasting (Willie has been wearing his for over a year!), and a real conversation piece, especially if you have a tiny bruiser like mine.

The Cherry on Top

I can’t lie: I was so excited this summer to get my hands on some Spud & Chloe, Blue Sky Alpacas’ new yarn line.  I’m a BSA addict from way back, so what could be better than more yarns from this outstanding company?  Finally got to see ~ and touch ~ some S&C at Knitting Addiction when I was in Nag’s Head, N.C., in early August.  TO. DIE. FOR.  The colors are splendid, and the yarn, which comes in three weights ~ fine, sweater and outer ~ is divine.  S&C Fine is a sock-weight superwash yarn, 80% wool/20% silk; Outer is super bulky weight, superwash 65% wool/35% organic cotton; and Sweater is worsted weight, superwash 55% wool/45% organic cotton.

For my first project, I was inspired by two shades of Spud & Chloe Sweater: Rootbeer, a dark, rich brown, and Ice Cream, a soft vanilla tone. 
The result is a little dog sweater I’ve created called “Root Beer Float,” a sweet treat for your best friend.  It’s an easy ribbed pattern with a simple but striking loop-stitch collar and yummy cherry on top (made of Spud & Chloe Sweater in Popsicle).  I must say this is my favorite dog sweater design ever!  It turned out exactly as I’d envisioned it, and the yarn behaved … know what I mean?    

The sweater is designed to fit dogs with 12, 16 or 20″ chest and is suitable for an intermediate-level knitter.  Gauge is 5 stitches to the inch in K2P2 rib on a US 7 needle.  For the medium size, the sweater requires approximately 140 yards of the main color, 100 yards of the collar color, and just a smidgeon for the pompom. The pattern is available in my Etsy store (click on the link to your right).  I love this little sweater, and so does my dog.  Hope you do, too!