Here we are in the middle of winter. And while the weather has been pretty unpredictable, we have had some reliably frosty mornings here in the North East. As a knitter and dog owner, I can’t help thinking about all the different ways people are knitting for pets. I have a neighbor here in NYC, who dresses her Chihuahua puppy in a pretty lilac-colored cashmere sweater when the weather is chilly.
I started a Pinterest board to collect some adorable photos of animals in knitted sweaters. Some are hand knitted, and some are mass produced, they are all pretty adorable. I like this cat in a (hand-me-down?) hand-knitted baby sweater!
I don’t think for a moment that my dog, Sasha, would wear a sweater. The best I ever did was to get her to pose with this scarf on!
When I started looking at patterns online, I found there are a number of collections of free knitting patterns for pets. I thought this was a nice collection, of pet sweaters with the added bonus of including a cabled sweater pattern for a chicken.
Aside from knitted sweaters, there seems to be no end to what you can knit for your pet: All kinds of toys, bets, accessories, and even costumes! As with any project, you are going to want to be very thoughtful about yarn choices. Wool is a natural choice, given it is very warm and can be somewhat water-resistant, but I would probably choose something machine washable, like a superwash wool, or acrylic-wool blend.
Lion Brand has a nice collection of free dog sweater patterns on their website, and even some for larger dogs. This dino costume came from their site, it is made from a worsted weight acrylic yarn. I think it would be really cute for Halloween!
When I started looking at hand-knitted pet toys, I found a number that were very simple and would use up small bits of yarn. These types of projects are wonderful, because you can use up all the little odds-and ends in your stash and be very productive!
Here, blogger krisknits shares her adorable pattern for a dog toy using up odds and ends of cotton. I think she was wise to use cotton, as it is a natural fiber, and probably best since your dog is going to have this toy in their mouth.
“Fetch” Pattern by Kris Patay
Most dogs and cats can make themselves comfortable anywhere. But if you want to create a special place for your pet to sleep, consider knitting your pet a bed, pillow, or blanket? I LOVE these extreme knitting pet beds. This chunky yarn, while pricy, is sturdy enough for this kind of construction. I found the one below at Ohhio’s shop on Etsy.
If you want something really different, why not try a wet-felted cat bed? Not a knitting project, but these free instructions from All Fiber Arts. Make it look easy and fun! I’d love to try a project like this.
Wet Felted Cat-Cave in the finishing process