Sunday, 31 August 2008

Stella's first sweater

For the past week I've been working on making my first dog sweater. It's actually very complicated! Stella is a whippet, and whippet's have very peculiar body shapes. She has a tiny little head, a long muscular neck, a deep chest with big lungs to support her 63km/h sprints, and then a teeny, tiny little waist, not to mention her long skinny stick legs. Don't get me wrong, I think she's beautiful, but she's got a tough body to knit for. I decided to follow the Original Custom-Fit Dog Sweater pattern by Esther Smith Bozak. The thing I liked about this particular pattern is that it's just a guideline. It tells you how and where to measure your specific dog, then tells you to pick a yarn and figure out a gauge, then gives you percentages that you apply to your gauge and your dog's measurements to end up with a perfect garment for your dog. And it worked great! This is the sweater from the top:

It's plain and simple with just a tiny bit of detail to add character. The underside looks funnier!

And then here's a photo of the finished object modeled by the recipient in a super awkward and uncomfortable stance. She doesn't mind the sweater, she's just always weird around camera's. She doesn't get why I'm squatting as if to pet her yet at the same time telling her to stay away from me... And she's squinting! Why do dog's and kids always have to close their eyes in pictures!?

This was my first attempt at knitting for her. I'm pleased with the result, but mostly this sweater is just the prototype. I knit it using Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Falk yarn in a heather grey that I think suits her well. It took just about a week from start to finish, but the next one will be much quicker since I have all the proper measurements and have worked out all the kinks on this one. I won't have to be trying it on her every couple of inches to make sure I'm on the right track. The yarn was leftover in my stash. It was knit on 3.25mm needles. 

I think her next sweater will be knit out of TFA worsted weight superwash merino in Royal Flush. I think she'd look great in red. And for all those people who think that dog's in sweaters are ridiculous, I ask you not to make fun of my skinny little whippet. She'll get cold in the fall since she has so little body fat. I'm doing it out of necessity, not vanity, but I still think she's going to look great in red!