Posts Tagged 'knitting'

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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Knittin’ for Obama 2012

Updating my popular BARK OBAMA Dog Sweater Pattern from 2008 — get the pattern, with intarsia chart, on my Patterns for Sale page. All proceeds go to the Obama re-election campaign (I pay all Ravelry and Paypal fees). The pattern is suitable for the intermediate to experienced knitter and will fit dogs with 13-14″, 17-18″ or 19-20″ chests. It’s knit in five shades of DK-weight yarn on size 5 and 6 needles. If you don’t feel comfortable with intarsia, you can do the color work in duplicate stitch.

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.

Silly Wabbit

    It’s not too late to get your baby all dolled up for Easter.  Willie Wabbit, pictured here, is wearing the quick and easy “Funny Bunny” knitted sweater and hat with bunny ears, which I’ve decorated with craft flowers, ribbons, felted Easter eggs and other frou-frou items from the crafts store.  The pattern is on my Patterns for Sale page, and it will take you about an evening to work up the basic outfit.  Then, have at it to make your puppy the cutest in the Easter parade.Image

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!

Yes, We Can

And Yes, I’m Back

Last time we met, I was hunkering down for the Ravelympics.  Three solid weeks of knitting almost round-the-clock, followed by an end-of-summer family trip to St. Simons Island, then some serious computer difficulties, have kept me off my blog.  But I’m baaa-a-ack …

First, I won the GOLD MEDAL in the Blue Sky Alpacas Group‘s knit-a-thon ~ yes!!  I’ll be posted some of my FO’s in weeks to come.  My prize is on its way from Minnesota, and I’ll share it when it gets here.

My favorite project was an original design that I just this afternoon finished writing the pattern for.  With the computer down, I couldn’t do a thing with the pictures or pattern, but it’s up now, and it’s a benefit for the BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN.  The pattern is for sale at my Etsy store (see the link to your right), and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the campaign.  So, do your part and buy one ~ for yourself, a friend or anyone who knits and knows who needs to be the next occupant of the White House. 

BARK OBAMA Dog Sweater

Let your pawlitical animal show his colors now and beyond Election Day with this clever, patriotic sweater. Features fuzzy dogs, bones and shiny stars, and is all tied up with a pretty ribbon.  It’s sized to fit pups with 12-14, 15-17 or 18-20″ chest, and the length can be adjusted.  Knit in DK-weight yarn.  Intermediate to advanced knitting skills, along with a knowledge of intarsia, required.

No bones about it ~ your dog will love you, and so will Barack!