Meet Abigail Palma, dog, who is modeling her Perfect Fit Top-Down Dog Sweater.
Though historically a cat person, I’ve long been obsessed with getting a dog. I sobbed through countless Hope For Paws videos. I had long conversations with my cats to process how they would feel and what reassurances they would need when Future Dog came to live with us. I had a recurring theme on my Facebook feed: Dogs on the Internet.
In late 2014, I was about a month from out from officially starting my search for Future Dog when my friend Beth saw me posting about dogs and kittens on Facebook and posted a picture of a currently adoptable dog cuddling a tiny kitten to my timeline.
It was fate. Abby was home with me within a couple weeks. The kitten in the picture wasn’t old enough to be adopted, nor was she Abby’s particular friend, but I took it as evidence that Abby would be a good fit with the standing members of my Wild Kingdom, Luca and Niko.
I was right.
Abby was heartworm positive when I adopted her, and our first winter together was dominated by her treatment and its accompanying restrictions on exercise. Since we were spending a lot of time on the couch together anyway, I decided to use that time to knit her a sweater. I looked at a ton of patterns, and finally decided on the Perfect Fit Top-Down Dog Sweater in order to customize it to her proportions. I had two skeins of Patons Classic Wool Roving in Pacific Teal in my stash, and I thought the color would be stunning against her ash blonde fur, so that’s what I used. Plus, it brings out her eyes, don’t you think?
The pattern asks you to take four measurements on your dog – her neck, ribcage, and front leg circumferences and the distance between her front legs. Then, you multiply those measurements by your gauge with whatever yarn and needles you’ve chosen to get the correct number of stitches for the various parts of the sweater.
My gauge seemed off once I got started, and rather than trust my swatch, I decided to compensate by increasing the number of stitches I would bind off for the sleeves. I knit several rounds after the sleeve bind-off, and then tried the incomplete sweater on Abby for the first time.
You can’t really see it in the picture, but my sleeve mods had gone all sorts of wrong. Beware knitting while sleepy! My gauge had been fine as is. The leg holes were now huge. Oh, well. I put the project aside for a couple weeks, then came back to it and tinked back until I could do the sleeves up right. On the second try, the leg holes came out perfectly, and I finished the sweater very quickly after that. The whole project was a breeze.
I’m thinking next year I’ll make her a creamy cabled version. Maybe with a matching pillbox hat…
Stop judging me, you.