The first sweater I knitted for Maggie on my knitting machine has been a huge success – the only real problem is that, with 3 snowy walks each day, I need at least 3 sweaters in rotation so I always have one dry and ready for her next walk!
I vaguely remember these days before snow season began!
Next, I’d planned to knit a striped sweater for her, but I decided to refine the basic pattern (and get some more machine knitting practice) before getting too fancy.
Dog Sweater #2 (Lavender)
Did you know that the tummy cut-out on dog sweaters is only necessary for male dogs?! I didn’t, and poor Maggie’s tummy was always getting covered in mud or snow in her first sweater, so no more tummy cut-outs in future.
I also decided to make the back slightly longer, to see if it would help keep the sweater from being pushed up by her tail.
It’s so comfy she fell asleep during the test fit!
Other than that, I followed my original pattern exactly (apart from the yarn colour):
The new sweater (right) is 3″ longer on the tummy and 1″ longer on the back than the original sweater (left).
And now for the moment of truth:
So cute! The back length is better, and the tummy coverage is just right.
You may notice that she looks a little stockier now – that’s because she wears a harness under her sweaters these days (ever since the scary moment that she slipped her collar and ran straight into the road…).
The leash attachment point on the harness is further down her back than with the collar. Between that and the extra bulk from the harness, the neck opening is now a little low-cut.
To combat that I decided I should add an extra 1.5″ at the neck (and one more inch at the tail end) for the next version…
Sweater #3 (Greys)
The yarn I’d used for the first two sweaters (Bernat Satin) is very soft and I thought a firmer acrylic might be a) more hard-wearing and b) less likely to ride up Maggie’s back when she’s walking. So I raided my stash and found a couple of skeins of Hobby Lobby ‘I Love this Yarn!’ acrylic.
I made the length modifications I’d decided on above, and, as Maggie is a stylish pup, I thought I’d try knitting all the ribbing in a lighter shade of the main mid-grey colour:
I crocheted very carefully around the leash slit, to make sure it looked neat even in the contrast colour. I think the result is super stylish:
Sorry the colour balance is so far off between the pics above and below – it is the same sweater, I promise!
I think we have a winner with this design! The fit is great now, with more coverage at the front and full coverage at the back.
The fabric feels resilient, and I’m sure it’s going to wear better than the Satin yarn sweaters (which are already a little fluffy around the cuffs).
And look how smart that ribbing and leash slit are! I’m really happy with how this turned out.
Is this it for tweaking the design? Well, no, I think I might also try adding an extra inch to the legs next time to give her more protection in deep snow.
But that striped sweater is still on the cards too! It might just need to wait until the lockdown ends so I can go yarn shopping…
It’s so rewarding to knit functional clothes for Maggie that are much better fitting than anything I could buy from a pet store. And she gets so many compliments when we’re out walking these days 🙂