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Knitted Dog Sweater Pattern

This knitted dog sweater pattern looks complex but can be worked by beginners - I've therefore added in basic information about knitting gauge and measuring.

It was created as a large dog sweater for Comet, our GSD mix, but could be adapted for smaller dogs, perhaps by using fewer panels. 

IMPORTANT SUGGESTION: PLEASE FIRST READ CAREFULLY THROUGH ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS!



Sweater Construction

Sarah, a French bulldog, sports her owner's lovely version of the knitted dog sweater

The completed sweater consists of eight narrow panels.

These include five different patterns made of simple combinations of basic knit (K) and purl (P) stitches.

Keeping the panels narrow makes it quick to do a row, and easy to pull out stitches and re-do if you've made a mistake.



Materials and Tools

  • 2 or 3 skeins 8oz Worsted Weight, Sport, or DK yarn for dogs over 45 lbs
  • If the sweater will be getting wet a lot, use wool or at least a 50% wool blend since wool stays warm when it gets wet while synthetic yarns do not
  • One pair knitting needles to match the yarn weight
  • A sewing or darning needle with an eye large enough for the yarn
  • About 8 inches of Velcro or 4 large buttons




Gauge and Measurements

GAUGE:

Figure out how many stitches you knit per inch - your gauge or tension (see Gauge & Why It Matters):

  • Using the knit stitch, make a swatch (test piece) 20 stitches wide by 10 rows up
  • Measure how many stitches per inch you made across and how many rows up [for metric use mm or cm]
  • Write down this information




WIDTH OR TORSO MEASUREMENT:

  • Measure your dog around the torso from between the middle of the shoulder blades to behind the front legs and back up
  • Take this torso measurement and divide by 5
  • Comet's torso was 29 inches so that meant his knitted dog sweater measurements came to five 5-inch sections with a remainder of one 4-inch section to create as a filler [in retrospect, I could have created five 5.8-inch sections instead since 29/5 = 5.8]
  • Since my knitting tension is 4 stitches per inch, I cast on 20 stitches (4 st per inch x 5 inches) for each section

If your knitting tension is 5 stitches per inch, you'd cast on 24 or 25 stitches, depending on whether the row needed an even number of stitches or not, for a dog with a 29-inch torso. Naturally the numbers change for different size torsos. If you have any trouble figuring this out, contact me.




LENGTH MEASUREMENTS:

There will be three lengths that are important:

  1. From between the shoulders to the base of the tail = base length
  2. From between the shoulders to the end of the rib cage = side length
  3. From behind the front legs to the end of the rib cage = belly length

Measure the lengths and write them down.




Ready to Start Knitting?

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, it's time to actually start knitting




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