Chocolate Pie & a Warm Pup – the City Stripes Dog Sweater

In early January, my friend Kelli had a wonderful idea. We decided to chase our winter blues away and celebrate the tiny amount of time I had left before my semester started again by baking chocolate fudge pie.

20180104_122336

This girl right here is just full of good ideas. If it’s any indication of just how good of an idea this was, this is the first real opportunity that I’m having to post about it because of school and work and nonsense, despite the fact that it happened 3 months ago.

20180104_123804

We took the chilly day as an opportunity to learn the finer points of pie crust-making, focusing on proper rolling and fluting technique, which are the fiddliest and best parts, of course.

20180104_124146

Such concentration!

20180104_124135

It was worth it.

20180104_140853

20180104_140901

Look at that pie-making pride! Well-deserved, indeed.

20180104_143857

20180104_184226

I don’t really have a recipe or anything to share, just wanted to brag a little bit about how freaking delicious that pie was. However, during our pie-making, Kelli and I were bemoaning how cold it was this winter, and we got onto the topic of dog sweaters.

Kelli is the greatest dog lover that I know, and that’s really saying something. She loves all pups, especially her tiny Ellie, and we spent part of the afternoon brainstorming on Ravelry what new sweater I would knit for her in order to keep warm during the rest of the winter.

I have never knit an article of clothing for an animal before, primarily due to two facts. One, I am allergic to dogs and cannot spend much time around them without dissolving into a sneezing, wheezy mess. Two, I own two cats, both of which have a history of handily annihilating any object placed on their person, except for a collar. (And even then, only select collars.)

We settled on Lion Brand’s City Stripes Dog Sweater pattern after falling in love with its stripey, squishy goodness, plus the fact that it has a wide range of sizes and fit modifications built into the pattern.

20180106_175502

I am not normally a huge Lion Brand fan, but Wool-Ease Thick & Quick can be downright delightful when it’s combined with the right pattern.  Kelli told me that she wanted neutrals, blues, and golds, and I think I hit the jackpot.  The colors we went with were Sky Blue (106), Mustard (158), and Barley (124), and when they’re striped up all nice, they remind me of a very fancy private school uniform.

20180207_210823

Wool-Ease is soft and squishy and bouncy, perfect for making those stripes pop. I was quite enamored of the wrong side, as I often am. Knitters know, sometimes the wrong side, the inside, is prettier.

20180305_144634

But the right side, hoo boy, it’s nice, too.

20180305_144651

Plus, Wool-Ease is machine-washable, an essential element when knitting anything that’s going to spend the majority of its worn life just a few inches from the ground.

I pretty much followed the pattern exactly as written for the smallest size (the 18″ chest), due to Ellie being a very tiny pup. I carried all of the colors up the side, which all disappeared conveniently in the seaming.

20180305_144732

The only change that I made was in the binding-off. I used a larger needle just for the bind-off rows on each piece (I’m pretty sure I used a size 17 for this, but, as usual, I neglected to write down this important information). When I bound the stitches with the original size 13 needles, it just seemed like it wasn’t stretchy enough to fit comfortably over the head of a squirming animal. Redoing it with the larger needle size made it nice and stretchy without deforming the overall shape. I decided to try it out on the most unwilling participant I could find, just to be sure.

20180213_202544

Trip tolerated it for a whole 5 seconds before deciding that both it and I needed to be destroyed. I’m pretty sure that that solidified my #1 place on his future hit-list, but he looked so cute I couldn’t resist.

20180305_144627

But how did it go with Ellie?

IMG950066

Awwwwwww.

IMG950083

Such a warm and cosy pup.

Now that the weather’s gotten warmer, and it actually feels like spring around here (which feels more like summer to everyone else in the country), I know that Kelli and Ellie don’t need their sweater as much, but I have faith that it’ll last them for a long time to come. As for me, it is very tempting to use the 1/2 skeins I have left of each color to make a kitty sweater, but I think I’ll take the safe option and make a blanket for them to destroy. They’ll love it.

Advertisements

A Very Tiny Post about a Very Tiny Sweater (with a very long name) – the Super Simple Buddy Balls Bear Sweater

Remember that last post when I talked about making a little bitty sweater for a funny stuffed bear? Well, I decided to write out a really quick pattern for it, just in case anyone else is struggling to make a sweater for the very cool, but strangely proportioned, Buddy Balls bear plushies.

20161111_160710

Maybe you’d like to get one of your own? There you go.

Here’s the pattern in an easily printable PDF for your toy-knitting enjoyment.

This tiny sweater was made with the lovely, yet sadly discontinued, Naturally Merino Fine 10 ply, but any slightly-lighter-weight worsted wool or wool-blend will do. Now, go make some tiny sweater for bears with giant heads. It’ll be fun, I promise.