A Dog Sweater that Actually Fits!

by Susan Watkins April 07, 2020

A Dog Sweater that Actually Fits!

I don't know about you, but I've knit several sweaters for myself that fit, but not exactly the way I wished they did. The same goes for the dog sweaters I've knit. No matter how awesome the patterns promised to be, they just weren't right on my schnoodle Kona's body. They were either too big around the neck or snug around the middle. The leg openings were either too far apart or too tight and restrictive. Or, the sweater's length was too short, looking more like a cropped top than a cozy, cold-weather knit.

Though I knew all these things could be altered to fit, I didn't have enough knitting experience to know how or the confidence to try. I preferred to simply follow a pattern as written. But that all changed after taking two classes: 1) Patty Lyon's "Make Your Gauge Work!" at Vogue Knitting Live and 2) the Shibaguyz's "Altered to Fit" at Stitches. With the knowledge gained in these two classes, I was eager (and ready) to take my knitting to the next level, starting with a sweater for sweet Kona.

That's how the I'm a Fan! Dog Sweater came into being. I hope it will help those who are nervous about altering their knits to fit to try on a sweater that is (perhaps) smaller than the one they might knit for themselves...and is for an audience who loves them unconditionally, no matter what they're wearing!

It's a recipe, not a pattern.

The I'm a Fan! Dog Sweater is not a pattern you can follow. It's a recipe that will guide you through the process of making a sweater based on your dog's unique measurements and your unique knit gauge, using DK-weight yarn.

The sweater is knit mostly in stockinette with a bit of ribbing. Nothing complicated. It includes knitting in the round and German short rows, but there are plenty of videos online that help you with those (we've included links to our favorites!). But customization requires math; there's just no getting around that. However, we've created a Recipe Worksheet that walks you through the calculations, so even the math is easy, if you tackle it one step at a time.

Or…wait for it! For those of you who just can't stomach the idea of even the hint of math…we've recreated the Recipe Worksheet in Excel, which you can download and which will do all the calculations for you…spitting out the "final results" you'll use to knit. It's also available online as a Google doc. Once you purchase the pattern, you'll receive an email with links to both.

Not recommended for deep-chested breeds.

You'll notice that the pattern says, "not recommended for deep-chested breeds." If you're not sure what that means, take a look at these photos:

A deep-chested dog's chest appears like an oval when the dog is facing you straight-on. Deep-chested breeds include boxers, German shepherds, greyhounds, standard poodles, and retrievers.

An ideal yarn for a dog sweater.

As for yarn for the I'm a Fan! Dog Sweater, we highly recommend Izzy Knits' RUFF+TUMBLE, DK.  This soft, 3-ply DK-weight yarn features a blend of US merino wool and acrylic, dyed and spun in the USA. Available in 20 vibrant colors, it's an affordable, easy-care yarn that can be tossed in both the washer and drier, making it a perfect choice for kids and canines who live large and play hard.

  • Soft yet durable
  • Washer & drier friendly
  • Spun in the USA with American merino wool
  • Lots of yardage (approx. 260 yards per skein)
  • Great for sweaters, hats, blankets & wraps
  • Izzy Knits donates 10% of every RUFF+TUMBLE purchase to supporting education in Haiti.

It's #1 in the Team Ruff Collection!

When we debuted our RUFF+TUMBLE DK lineup, we made sure it included every NFL team color, because as much as we love dogs, we also love pro football.

I'm a Fan! is the first published pattern in our Team Ruff collection, which will feature a variety of knits aimed at fans who want to support their teams. Whether you're rooting for a child in Little League or a pro in the NFL, we've got your colors.

Check out our "It's Game Time!" post from December for a look at some of the other cool team accessories we've featured.



Susan Watkins
Susan Watkins

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