The Empress's New Clothes
(Della, the "it" bull, in her new sweater; all pics enlarge)
First, I want to thank my friend and new subscriber, the creative and astutely sagacious Veronica Mitchell, for helping me re-discover the practice of meditation, to actualize my flights from chimera into reality; my UFO shelf is almost empty! Here's the latest.
Della's two-piece sweater (underside not shown), is from one of my all time favorites, "Dogs In Knits" by Judith L. Swartz. The yarn, Cascade 220, is from my stash. I used two skeins of color 9404, and one skein each of 8010, and 9471. The slip stitch stripe, what I call the lazy man's fair-isle, is from "A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns" by Barbara G. Walker.
A Dog––The Knitter's Best Friend
Do the sweaters you knit for your mate, lie at the back of the closet, while he/she claims they are worn, it's just that you're not around to see? Does your choice of yarns and styles consistently spark protests from your loved ones? Here's a suggestion. Get a dog. In particular, a short haired one.
I love to knit for Della. She wears my sweaters with enthusiasm. I can try out new yarns and patterns, and she doesn't complain. Sometimes, it's not easy. She's not small. Her chest is 32" in diameter (about the size of a ten year-old's), she's 23" from base of neck to butt, and her neck itself is a good 16" (her hind section does narrow to 17", giving her a beautiful frame in standing profile; she's a sexy beast). But I don't have to worry about sleeves, and her outre´ fashion sense, is great for stash-busting. Another plus––unlike some of my neighbor's children, Della senses when she's wearing something nice, and doesn't wallow in mud or other detritus. She becomes the neighborhood fashionista, accepting compliments with an outstretched paw. Good girl.
My attraction to the aforementioned book, was the author's statement that "dogs do have a sense of dignity." You're so right Judith, they know when they're wearing something silly. Her designs are sophisticated, photographed on a variety of breeds. There's instructions for measuring your dog (great for larger canines), and a basic sweater pattern to start, both in knit and crochet. In Della's case, I limited myself to using four colors, selected with my eyes closed. I then had to make the combination work. We're both pleased with the outcome, and even Mr. K feels he can walk her without looking foolish (read un-masculine).
Big Dogs Need Sweaters Too
If you own a large dog and haven't knitted or crocheted for it yet, consider this. It's bad enough the majority of sweaters sold, are for dogs from 8" to 20". But why do folks think certain breeds––Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Cane Corsos, to name a few, don't need a coat because of their supposed toughness? Are you kidding? I've seen way too many leashed outside in the cold freezing, while the owners are in a heated store leisurely doing whatever–––it's irresponsible! Sweaters for large dogs aren't wussy––they're necessary. Remember, in their natural environment, they'd be in a den, if they weren't hunting.
A nice hand-knit sweater, can turn your big dog, into a big deal––they'll love it, and you too.