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The Knitwit Papers, Chapter IV: Dog Coat

Date Begun: 06/19/07
Date Completed: 07/01/07
Yarn: TLC Amore in Garnet, Lion Brand Homespun in White
Needles: US8 Circular (metal)
Source: Puppy Knits, Foliage Striped Dog Jacket
The Story:
So before you judge me for dressing up my dog, let me explain. Lulu is a wee dog. And wee dogs have trouble in cold weather, especially when they have short fur. This was extremely evident to us last winter when she was a baby and we were trying to housebreak her when it was below freezing outside. Literally, she would not go out without her coat. She would just stand there in the grass, shivering. It broke my heart.

That was when we bought her a coat that didn't fit her well, mostly because she was sooooo tiny, and also, a wiener dog, and not shaped like most of the dogs out there. It was too long, but it had to be that long to match the deepness of her chest, and that meant it was too big around the neck, so she kept stepping through the collar, and so I pretty much safety-pinned it to her and just prayed none of the pins would pop open. I felt really bad about it - bad enough that I swore to her that I'd find her a better coat before next winter or I'd make one.

So earlier this summer, a friend loaned me a book she had bought with dog coat patterns for knitting, and I found this pattern. I really liked the way it didn't assume she had long legs that needed to be kept warm (she doesn't), and it didn't assume that her body length was "proportional" (whatever that means) to her leg length (it isn't)... because I could knit it as long as I wanted. :-) So I did.

It took me a grand total of about 10 hours to knit the whole thing, accomplished over the course of a plane trip home and it fits her just fine. I did have a bit of trouble with the end of it curling up, so I'll have to do something about that. I also wasn't terribly interested in having a stripy dog, so I eliminated the stripes in favor of a deep red. The yarn was cheeeeeeap (and acrylic, so it's completely washable), but that was okay, because it means I don't really mind if she finds a mud puddle while we're out walking.

I wasn't trying to make a holiday outfit for her, but it appears that's what I ended up with. I've bought another dog coat book with patterns I like so I can make a non-holiday coat for her as well. She loves to wear clothes, and she leaves them alone completely, so long as they don't have tags she can pull on. I think it's mostly because every time we took her outside when she was so tiny, we put her coat on her and she got used to it then. She just likes to chew on the tags.

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