Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Canine Compulsions

I've always been more of a cat person. I think it's because they're cool, confident, aloof, independent... just like me.



Well anyway, I quite accidentally met a chihuahua mix last Friday at a shelter (we were looking for a dog for my mother-in-law, not for us), and it became clear that my self-identification as a cat person was swiftly becoming less of a scientific theory and more of a loose construct. Before I knew it, our family had grown by one teeny dog named Harvey. 

Those eyes! They melted me into a giant puddle of dog-loving goo! What can I say?

A little research (and observing Harvey firsthand) told me that chihuahuas, and other teeny doggies, are better suited for warm climates because they don't have much in the way of protective fatty layers. Harvey is especially diminutive, so with the delightful 30 degree "spring" weather we're still having, sweaters are an outdoor necessity. We have some commercially knit dog sweaters, but let's face it- being a knitter pretty much spoils you forever for commercially knit stuff. I'm convinced that what Harvey needs is some custom-knit sweaters- stat! 

(I should mention here that yes, we already have a dog- Katie, Lynn's nine year old Jack Russel Terrier. And yes, I have always planned on knitting her a sweater. Lest you think I am showing doggy favoritism.... well, how can I put this delicately... Katie does not lack for a protective fatty layer. I didn't have such a sense of urgency about it.)

Even if you aren't a dog person, I've become convinced over the last few days that there isn't really anything more entertaining on the internet than looking at pictures of dogs in sweaters. I may have expressed this feeling to my wife. She may have given me a look that said, "Holly, please don't say that to anyone else." But here I am, telling the internet anyway. Quick, look at these sweater and then come back and tell me I'm wrong. JUST TRY.

1) The Little Black Dress with Pearls made me fervently wish I had more gala events to take my dogs to. The pearls just slay me. Check out this dignified Dachshund!. Classy!

2) Drops 102-43 Knitted Dogcoat and the Biscuits & Bones Dog Coats both have a traditional Aran feel, without having the commitment of knitting an actual enormous Aran sweater. Unless you want to make it for a Great Dane or something, in which case I have no help for you.

3) Wurstwarmer was specifically designed with Dachshunds in mind, but I think it would work for other longish, barrel-chested dogs (including Katie.) The pattern seems thoughtfully written. Speaking of Pamela Wynne, have you seen her Willie sweater- not a sweater for dogs, but a sweater for kids with a dog on it? Awwww. All proceeds from Wurstwarmer go to a dog rescue in Michigan- sweet!

4) From the Knitty archives, here's Penny, a ribbed sweater for little dogs. Ribbing could be a big help with a variety of fitting issues. I wouldn't mind having one just like this. Those stripes are so sporty! The Dandy Dog Coats are another ribbed option, with more size options and stitch pattern variations.

5) There are several simple-ish, measure-your-dog and knit-to-fit type patterns, but my two favorites were Perfect Fit Dog & Cat Sweater (available online) and Howl (available in the first Stitch and Bitch book.) Perfect Fit is top down and seamless if that's your thing, whereas Howl is garter stitch and a little seaming, but still super simple.

6) If you don't want to commit to a whole sweater, you could probably knock this teeny Triangle Cowl for Tiny Creatures out in less than an hour. Most of the posted projects are for cats, but this pug is rocking the look. Work it, little pug. OWN IT.

If you have have a pet pattern you love, shout it out! I leave you with a dog in a pimp hat. Just because.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like a subpar dog owner because I've never even started a sweater for my dogs. Never even done a furreal Ravelry search! So...thank you. I want two Wurstwarmers. Ooooh! And I can make them matching, with monogrammed D's...

    Welcome, Harvey!