Posts Tagged 'pet'

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.

Image



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.

Advertisements

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!

        

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!

Green Day Coming

It’s not even Valentine’s Day yet, but already we’re thinking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day here in Savannah, where the Irish and Irish-for-a-day do it up in style.  Our parade draws several hundred thousand people every year (yes!), it’s a school and business holiday, and the fountains flow green all over this pretty city.  The weather is usually balmy, but every once in a while it turns cool for the day.  Last year it did, and my hubby got to wear this vest I barely finished in time:

st-paddys-cardi-2.jpg     st-paddys-vest.jpg

This was a big project (to go with his big girth), and I thought I’d never get it done.  It’s knit in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, and the pattern is “Everybody’s Vest” from “Hip To Knit” by Judith L. Swartz.  If you get started now, you can finish in time.

An easier ~ and far cuter ~ project is my little “Shamrockin” dog sweater.

willie-shamrockin.jpg

Just look at that sweet monkey, so serious!  This, too, is knit in Lamb’s Pride Worsted and appliqued with felt shamrocks you can cut from the template included in the pattern.  It’s available on Etsy, and there’s a link over to the right on this page.

I have to show you this, even though I’m still writing the pattern.  Poor Willie, he’s usually game for any of my shenanigans.  But this was too much.  Still, don’t you think he rocks this hat?

sillywilliehat-1.jpg      sillywilliehat2.jpg

Anthropologie & Urban Outfitters ‘@home’ in Savannah

My friend Liz Demos, the creative talent behind one of Savannah’s most wonderful shops, @home, has confirmed in her blog that Urban Outfitters has signed a lease for more than 11,000 square feet of retail space in downtown Savannah. Now, won’t that just satisfy my shopping jones?  Poor me ~ I got a daughter whose idea of a cute outfit is her school uniform and who thinks Urban Outfitters makes clothes for “weird” people.  So I dream on their website of all the trendy get-ups I would put her in … if I could.  Now I can actually go into the store and dream.

Meanwhile, Anthropologie has already hit Savannah … without telling me! Last night I was browsing through the new catalog when something hit me. There was something ~ what was it? ~ very familiar about those pictures. Then I saw the names of some of the clothing … Forsyth Park Cardigan, Wormsloe Sweater Coat, Savannah Blouse, Monterey Stripe Surplice, Broughton Blouse. Now, if you’ve visited Savannah, those names don’t have to be explained, but if you haven’t, they’re names of prominent sites in Savannah that have been borrowed to go with the backgrounds of the pictures. If Anthropologie would let me download a photo I would, but they’ve got that site locked up tight, so just go thumb through the online catalog and you can get a glimpse of this wonderful, beautiful place I love live.  Where this afternoon, by the way, at the crack of February, it was 67.4 degrees outside my kitchen window and the magnolias were budding on my neighbor’s tree.

So I’ve been messing with some felting and hand-sewing this week and have come up with a little pet-lover’s tutorial ~ a way of making your own cute beaded or otherwise embellished and felted pet collars.  Check out the free tutorial in pdf download on a separate page.

            bones-10.jpg    bones-11.jpg

bones-5.jpg     bones-4.jpg