February 18, 2013

A very pit bull sweater

As if I haven't posted enough about my little dog, I knit him this amazing sweater recently and I am finally getting around to posting about it.  I searched around revelry and the internet for ages, as most sweaters are for little bitty dogs, and not a beast like mine. So I made some modifications to a sweater pattern for Basenji found on ravelry or the author's original blog post.

Mine fits my dog more snugly as he would shake anything off, and I wanted it to fit under his coat for those super cold Chicago nights. I also added four cables to the back to spice it up a little.  I also eliminated the sleeves.  But use the other ink to compare, or use hers if you prefer it!

Also, because it's very easy to make fun of animals in clothes, let me just say I am not usually a supporter.  But our pit bull has very thin fur and will shiver and get difficult after less than two blocks on really cold days.  This pattern is great in that it covers his belly and neck.  It does the double duty of keeping him warmer and making it harder for him to shake it off.  And he really doesn't mind wearing it!  If you're wondering how to get it on- I put his legs in first then swoop it over his head. Fortunately he's smart enough to catch of that he'd rather deal with it than be cold.

I used what are probably 16" size 8 circular knitting needles, and what I think was Impeccable yarn?  It's a thicker worsted so it actually came out to be a pretty dense little knit.

 To give you a better idea of Oy's size:
       weight: 52 lb
       chest circumference (under arms): 26 in
       neck circumference (base):  18 in
       upper arm/shoulder circumference: 14 in

      final sweater length:  19 in

I didn't measure him while I made it, I just held it up to him and saw how it fit as I went.  Adjust as needed for your dog's size.

The Pattern: 

Cast on 43 stitches. Knit 2, *purl 3, knit 6* four times, purl 3, knit 2.  Work back and forth in stockinette stitch. knit in front and back of first and last stitch on every right side row.

For making the cables: every 8 rows, hold 3 stitches to the back for the first two cables, and hold the stitches to the front for the third and fourth cables.

Continue to work cables and increase stitches up to 107 stitches.

Place marker and start to work in the round. Increase on each side of the marker every other row four times.  Knit four more rows, or until it's the appropriate length to start the leg holes.

For the leg holes I used a separate ball of yarn to knit the center and the back.  My dog has a very large chest, so I did not need to decrease the width between the arms as in the original pattern.  I did the center separately so that it could be a bit longer than the sides. I continued until the slits created between the two pieces were the same circumference as his upper arms.  At this point I tied off the center yarn and went back to knitting in the round.

I didn't write out my specifics on this neck part, but I switched to knitting a 3x3 rib.  I did short rows on the front to accommodate for his larger chest, while also gradually decreasing to a 2x2 rib. I wish that I had a more specific explanation on how I did it, but I had some made-sense-at-the-time system that now looks totally random.

The bottom stuck up and looked a little ruffled from the cables, so I did a single crochet around all of the edges to strengthen it.  I also embroidered him name on the side so it wouldn't get lost if it was brought to day care.

The Final Product:

Man, that's a big head.

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