Posts Tagged 'dog sweater'

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 ( 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!


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!


Party On!


Willie’s got a birthday next month ~ the big 0-5 ~ so we had to get busy knitting for the perfect party wear.  The result: my new Party Animal Dog Sweater Pattern, now available by following the previous link or clicking on the little thumbnail to your right under “My Patterns on Etsy”.

This little cutie is an EASY KNIT, a lightweight faux wrap that I made with two strands of fingering weight yarn held together and (I used Mondial Cotton Soft Speciale Baby Solid in Shade 916) and a novelty yarn for the trim (I used another Mondial yarn, Bolero, in Shade 964, a sweet rickracky, confetti-ish stuff).  It’s knit on size 5 and 8 needles and trimmed at the end with satin ribbons, like that kind you get by the roll at Jo Ann for 99 cents.  It’s sweet and soft, and Willie knows he’s the guest of honor when he wears it.



We hate the hot weather, but we love the summer food.  What did you eat on the Fourth?  We had a little cookout planned (actually, for the Fifth, but who’s counting?), when Savannah’s skies let loose with a midafternoon monsoon.  The loudest thunder I’ve ever heard, and rain falling in sheets.  Some said there had been a tornado ~ maybe.  Our power went out, and we wondered how many others were in the same predicament.  (It gets awfully hot around here with no AC in July, let me tell you.)

After the storm, I ventured outside barefoot to find our neighborhood was under several feet of water!


That’s my corner on the top, and the second picture is of a car stuck in the water around the corner on Habersham Street, one of Savannah’s main thoroughfares.

We ended up having our little cookout anyway, as the grill was the only thing working normally, and the front porch was the only place to sit comfortably and feel a cool breeze.  The lights came on about an hour after we finished eating.  All I can say is, thank the Lord we didn’t have to sleep without AC or our fans.


Which brings me to a favorite summer salad, for cookout or a quick lunch or anytime.  I cribbed it from Miss Angry Chicken, one of my favorite bloggers, a year or so ago. Chunks of watermelon, chopped fresh basil, lime juice, crumbled feta cheese. Yum!

Dog Days Sale

Giveaway, Little Doggies

Yo! I’ve been cashing in on some serious summer yarn sales myself, so I decided to throw a party at my Etsy shop to entice thank all my lovely customers … AND … to celebrate little Willie’s supporting role in helpinghandscrafts’ “Christmas in July” Treasury on Etsy. So honored! 

Here’s how the sale goes: For every two dog sweater patterns you purchase, you get a third pattern of your choice free.  Easy.  The sale will last throughout the month of July.  And, says Willie, “You can never get started too early on those labor-intensive but so precious Christmas sweaters for your best friend! Me, I just enjoy lolling about in the air-conditioning in my favorite summer-wear.”

(I’ll be adding another new sweater to the bunch over on Etsy tomorrow.  It’s all finished, photographed and written up.  Just have to type it in and get it posted.)

I Can See Clearly Now 

This is the new me, as opposed to the old me, the glasses-wearing me.  No, I didn’t get Lasik surgery.  I had cataracts removed from both eyes, the left on May 14 and the right on June 4.  I went from being legally blind in my left eye to being 20/20 in that one and 20/25 in the other.  Of course, I still have to wear reading glasses, and that is a total pain.  I get my final check-up on both eyes next week, and I’m kind of hoping the doctor tells me I could see even better with glasses, so I can go back to my trademark ’50s cat-eyes.  But it is absolutely wonderful to see everything again without a frame around it, to drive at night, to go to the movies without glasses, to wear eye makeup.  The procedule was nothing.  If you’re thinking of doing it, go for it.

Peaches ‘n’ Cream  

Here’s what’s on our plates lately ~ the best peach cobbler in the world, straight from Southern Living, of course. In summertime, I can’t resist those peachy peaches, so I make this yummy dessert often. Last week April and I made the first cobbler of the season, and when it came out of the oven, piping hot and smelling like heaven, we three devoured the whole thing before bedtime.




Isn’t (S)he Lovely?

Couple of weeks ago, someone on Ravelry posted her version of a Little Black Dress for her dog, a larger breed of some sort, probably a Lab.  The woman had decorated a black dog collar with various charms and trinkets, and it was adorable.

Since I’m blessed with a tiny dog, my Yorkie Willie, I decided to take the idea one step further and make an actual Little Black Dress With Pearls to fit the smaller breeds, and publish another FREE PATTERN for you here.  Willie spends a lot of time indulging his feminine side anyway, so he didn’t mind doing a bit of cross-dressing for the camera.  What a ham!



This is a really easy, quick knit, and this time I tried using an inexpensive yarn, Caron Simply Soft.  I was quite pleased with the results.  Both yarn and pearl trim ~ on sale a little while ago at Jo Ann’s ~ came in at under $5.00.  The free pdf download is on my FREE PATTERNS page.  Enjoy!


Knitting Leftovers = ‘Furrrocious’ Dog Sweaters Four Ways



I’m an unabashed Rowan fan.  Give me most any Rowan pattern or any Rowan yarn, and I’ll be in heaven.  So when I stumbled on the delicious Ribbon Twist yarn from Rowan a couple of years ago in a series of patterns in Rowan 38, I ordered up some of this pretty yarn and made myself a “Charlotte” in the Ribble colorway ~ a soft sage green with strands of royal blue, turquoise and yellow running through it.  Here’s the little ponchette, one of my favorite wraps:


This took four skeins (for smaller sizes, it’s three) and was worked on size US 17 needles in about a day and a half.

When I found out recently that my lovely Ribbon Twist has been discontinued by Rowan, I snapped up some more ~ it’s a luxurious yarn, big and thick (2 sts = 1″), in an absolutely glorious collection of colors.  Since everybody I know was discovering the Charlotte, I decided to make another one, in the colorway Rocky, a granite gray with pale gray and black ribbon:



Another great yarn being axed by Rowan is Big Wool Tuft, a big, soft, plushy wonder that is from the same era as Ribbon Twist and comes in eight or 10 colors that coordinate with the Ribbon Twist colors.  They’re used together in “Ribbon Twist Collection,” an old Rowan book I wish I had, in “Big It Up”, “Big Just Got Bigger” and, as mentioned, Rowan 38.  A friend saw a little doggie sweater I had knitted out of white Big Wool Tuft an suggested it would make a good rug.  Well, sure!

Yarniverse is currently selling Big Wool Tuft, normally $10 a ball, at $22 for a bag of 10 balls! So I snapped up three bags ~ one black, one gray, to make my daughter a bedside “faux-kati” rug, and another in off-white, just for fun.  Ribbon Twist is on sale all over the place, at Jimmy Beans Wool, for example, where you can also get the Big Wool Tuft for $3.99 a ball if you don’t want a bag full.


But the best part is the fun I’ve had working up a cute sweater pattern for the puppies using these two yarns.  The pattern is for a basic sweater in Ribbon Twist with two choices of hems ~ seed stitch or knitted faux fur (Big Wool Tuft).  But that’s where the basic ends and the fancy-schmancy begins.  The sweater neck is trimmed in big, bold vintage buttons, and my two different versions have either a button-on “fur” collar or button-on “fur”-trimmed hoodie.  Here are my two angels in their new finery:

willie-gray-1.jpg   chopsy-green-5.jpg

Now, you’ve met Willie, the fat little Yorkie on the left above, the ham-of-all-hams; but you’ve never been introduced to Chopsticks, my sweet, camera-shy miniature schnauzer mix, a rescue pup who’s a darling love bug, most excellent house-guarder, and ~ usually ~ not the first on the list of puppy knits.  Since Willie’s my muse and he’s tiny, he gets the pretty duds.  But this time I let Chopsy have the sweetest sweater ~ and she absolutely loves it!  You have never seen a prouder puppy.


Chopsy’s sweater has the hoodie, and Willie’s has the “fur” collar (such a little pimp!).  As a friend said yesterday, the sweaters are great for travel ~ one outfit you can wear two ways.  And what about those Glamour mag office-to-evening switcheroos?  Add a pair of dressy pumps and some darker eye shadow, and that plain-jane dress goes right from work to date ~ just like Willie and Chopsy’s sweaters!

There’s a pdf download for this quick and easy pattern on my FREE PATTERNS page.  Soon to follow, a FREE TUTORIAL on how to line a dog sweater neck ~ and why you should.


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