In August, 1999, I lost my best canine friend Wylie to heart disease. He was an incredible dog, we always thought he was a very large dog trapped in a 9 lb. body. He had an exquisitely pronounced personality, and a very gentle nature. This sweater was inspired by, and designed for him. At one point he had 12 of them in all kinds of stitches, colors, styles and fibers.
He wore them with pride and a cocky attitude.
This is a basic pattern, open to creative interpretation. After you've knit one or two, you'll understand how to incorporate texture and colorwork. The pattern can be used for any size dog, male or female.
For those of you interested in the results of Wylie's one day love life, here's a glimpse of the consequences of his hot date with the beautiful and bewitching Diva in Spring of 1996.
-- GLAMOUR ALERT -- One of the offspring has forsaken the ordinary life for one of snapping flashbulbs and beautiful people, first class trips to Paris and Milan, and all of the fluffy purple angora sweaters a 10 pound girl could need.
The Friends of Wylie Chihuahua Sweater Gallery has opened!
(1) sizes 5 and 7 knitting needles.
(2) Worsted wool, about 4 ounces.
(3) Measure your pet's neck. I usually use a size 5 or 6 needle for a tightly knit ribbing (not too tight!). Wylie's neck is 10", and I cast on, loosely, 40 or 42 stitches.
(4) Knit 1x1, or 2x2 ribbing for 3" for a mock neck, or 6" or 7" for a turtleneck.
(5) Change to a size 7 needle, and commence in the stitch of your choice. After you've knit one or two of these, you can see how easy it is to add cables, colorwork, or other texture stitches in this back area. For the first one, let's knit in my favorite basic stitch, garter. That is, knit every row! Can't beat it for simplicity , stability, and rustic good looks.
(6) Measure the animal's back length, that is, from the back of his neck, just above the shoulder, to the top of his tail. That's how long you will knit straight, in garter stitch. That's right!, No shaping yet! When you have reached 2" short of the correct length, switch to size 5 needles, and knit 2" of the same rib you used for the neck. In garter stitch, this isn't really necessary, but looks good, and if you use another stitch, it keeps the edge from curling. If you used another stitch, you should also have knit the first 4 stitches of every row, to keep the side edges from curling. BInd off.
(7) Now, we will knit the chest piece. Using the size 5 needles, cast on 3 stitches. You will increase 2 stitches every other row, until you reach the width comparable to the distance between your pets front legs. You should increase 1 stitch 2 stitches from each edge. The magic thing about this, is that is usually exactly the length you need to cover that tiny chest. It's really amazing! Now: for a male, knit straight until you get to 1" shorter that where the ribcage stops, and add 1" of ribbing, bind off. For a female, you can knit as long as the body of the sweater, to cover her bald little stomach. (ending with 2" of ribbing, just like the back.) Bind off. The reason I usually knit this piece on the smaller needles, is, it has a tendency to get wet in the snow, and stretch. A slightly smaller gauge helps. If your not using garter stitch, knit the first 4 stitches of every row.
(8) Seam the neck ribbing, remembering to seam halfway, and switch to the inside, if you've made a turtleneck. Now, place the point of the chest piece at the bottom of the neck rib seam, and sew a seam down both sides, until you get to the point where you stopped increasing. Leave a slit for the front legs there, about 2" long, and continue the princess seams down each side. Tuck in your loose ends, wash and block carefully.
Don't forget to experiment with your favorite stitches. I highly recommend using natural fibers like wool, alpaca or cashmere.
©1995-2007 Staceyjoy Elkin, all rights reserved. Permission for electronic
duplication of this pattern is granted with the limitation that this entire
notice remain intact. This pattern may not be reproduced in hard copy, with
the exception of personal use, or for profit without my written permission.