Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 14: Mixed Bag

A What’s Important Moment

It’s hard to follow a great interview like Knitting Contrisstmas had yesterday…… and I had every intention to follow it with a cute knitted dog sweater. I finished it in time (and have a few photos to prove it), and was eager to share it with you, but well……. we had a bit of an incident. Prince, the finest dog in the whole world was wearing his new sweater yesterday. He seemed to be quite warm and happy in it. When I got home from the studio last evening at the respectable hour of 6:00, in his excitement he jumped off of the couch where he was all curled up taking a snooze. He was somehow tangled up in his sweater, it was chilly in the house and he was a little napping ball of fluff----- his duclaw got hung in it somehow. It ripped back his nail and started bleeding. Oh, it was horrible! After a quick peek to see what was going on, I hopped in the car with Prince and we took off for his vet, very thankfully just a few minutes away and still open. His sister Hana was just inconsolable, she had to stay at home and keep a light in the window. Once reaching the vet, Prince was sedated and the nail was cut way back, the bleeding stopped and the whole paw bandaged with a layer of gauze and a pressure bandage to protect it. I could hear his crying down the hall, I think I was the one that needed sedating!! We got home and he slept very well all night long, I don't think he even moved. I sat with him and held his sweet self and had a nice martini! Okay, I had two but don't tell anyone!

I feel doubly bad because it was MY handknit sweater that seemed to have caused the whole thing!!!! ACK!!!!!

Even though Prince is a dog--- he is one of my babies after all---- and it did give me a moment to remember what is important in life. Not getting the blog up or even getting much work done from home last night but taking time to enjoy life and be able to care for the creatures human and fur who are placed into your care.

The really ironic thing about it is that I had named the sweater “The Lucky Puppy Sweater”. Awwwwwwwwwwww………… that just makes me tear up all over again! Here it is, just because. Prince’s was maybe too roomy------- I say knit these bad boys a lot closer to the furry body!

Lucky Puppy Sweater

A super simple quick and easy favored pooch sweater! Mind you, my dog is about poodle sized (he is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff) and I knit his sweater in a few hours. The hardest thing is the arms (a snip and pick up technique) but you could do it differently like fingers on a glove. This is the perfect gift for your dog (or cat if your cat does the clothes thing) and a wonderful gift for someone’s furry family member. Yarn snobs note, this is for my dog--- it gets washed. A lot.

Note: This sweater is for a medium-small dog. Think poodle. You can very easily size it up or down it is that simple! When you have gauge just cast on more or less stitches to accommodate the circumference of your pup. If you size up, you will also need more yarn, don’t forget! *Note from the Vet Side----- knit this fairly snug on your dog’s body!

To knit this Lucky Puppy Sweater you will need:

  • 1 skein of Lion Brand Thick and Quick (my color was Claret #143)
  • 1 circular needle in US size 15
  • 1 set of DPN’s in US size 15
  • 1 tapestry needle with large eye

Get gauge. I know, I hate that too but you don’t want to fit a hamster do you?

Gauge= 9 stitches in your 4x4 swatch (which takes no time!!)

Cast on 44 stitches using cable cast on *Note from the Vet Side----- I’d drop this back to about 35 or 36 I think. I’d have to swatch it, just like you should, but I'd want it to be a lot snugger.

If you have little shortie cables or don’t mind a bit of a struggle with 12” cables you can cast onto your circs, otherwise divide on dpn’s and work for a bit.

Join nicely and knit 2x2 ribbing for 4 rows. If you have a larger dog and are sizing this sweater UP, you will probably want more rows of ribbing.

Knit happily in your tube until you have about 8 inches of length. Measure it against your dog. It should be long enough without the turtleneck.

Row 1: Knit 9, Knit 2 Together (K2T)

Row 2: Knit 8, K2T

Row 3: Knit 7, K2T

Row 4: Knit 6: K2T

Row 5: K2T

You will have 24 stitches.

Knit the next row onto DPN’s evenly divided for 6 stitches on each needle

Knit 2x2 rib for 3 inches OR as high as you want the turtleneck to be

You will have a tube with a turtleneck! Not very useful for most dogs at this point. You will notice that the decreases make a pattern on the sweater. Lay the sweater flat and mark a point with crossed straight pins 3 rows below the last decrease- you can always change placement for your own pet.

CAREFULLY clip one little stitch in where the pins cross. Remove pins. Very carefully ease the yarn back from 12 stitches (more if you have a larger leg to make openings for). Pick up the live stitches and divide them on DPN’s. Join new yarn and knit one row. Then work in 2x2 ribbing for about 4 rows or until you have as much ‘sleeve’ as you want. Another Note from the Vet Side----- not too long these sleeves! My next puppy sweater I’m going to crochet a simple row around the opening and call it good.

*Here is the beauty of putting in the sleeves this way. First of all, it is a dog sweater with minimum time invested. It is a great opportunity to try something like picking up stitches into the middle of knitting. Actually cutting into knitting causes most of us to draw in breath and maybe even cuss a little. If you go very slowly it will go just fine. Really. If you need to, you can always pick up any really stray bits of stitches and tack them, or use a crochet needle for a quick fix. It sounds terrifying, I hear you! I did not need to apply any alcohol for the cutting so how hard could it be?

Alternately, you can use the same placement points and put stitches onto holders and knit the sleeves later. Again, because it is a sweater for your dog you can go a little crazy.

Experiment! Have fun!

Your dog is going to look really great, stay very warm, and be so happy! That sweater smells like YOU……… it doesn’t get any better! (Last note from the Vet Side---- I still just feel like total crap about this whole sweater thing!!!!!)


I am delivering a few presents this weekend to knitting friends if the weather holds (and at the moment, that sounds iffy at best! I’m placing their gifts in large gift bags with a tag and a yarn ornie attached to the handle with a pretty piece of ribbon.

They’re cute, easy as pie and always appreciated--- and because we’re getting very close to Christmas, very quick to make is always a huge plus! I love these when they’re marbled by hand painting, but what else would a knitter do but paint them with yarn?

Yarn Ornies:

  • Clear glass ball ornaments
  • Bits of yarn in different colors, sorted into color families if you’re an organized person

Remove the hanger from the glass ball carefully and set aside. Fold pieces of yarn by color and using a chopstick or pencil, push the yarn down into the clear ball. Keep going until you like it. Done! Just replace the hanger and tie a piece of yarn around the top!

Join me tomorrow on Day 15 of Knitting Contrisstmas for a great interview from Lolly from Lolly Knitting Around. I know you will love her to pieces!

In the meantime, my little girl puppy Hana will be guarding her brother Prince today. He's still sleepy, poor baby.


Bridget said...

Everyone at our house (furry and otherwise) will be sending good thoughts and prayers to all of you.

(What a cutie!)

Linda said...

So sorry about your puppy accident! I hope Prince feels better soon. I love the yarn ornaments. Thanks for all of the
Knitting Contrissmas posts! I've been enjoying them so much.