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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Knitting dogs

A Guest Blog by Dragon Dave’s Wife

Okay, so this blog is not about dogs that knit but making stuffed dogs by knitting them.  I promised in my first blog, “Help I’m Addicted to Knitting,” to share some of my favorite books with you. For Christmas last year, I was given the book Knit Your Own Dog. (Yes, it was on Santa’s list.  And yes, I was very good.  I’m always good!)

I eagerly went through the book, looking at all the pictures and dreaming of what I could create.  The Big Question: which dog would I make first?  When I looked at the material list to each project, I grew downhearted, as I did not have any of the suggested "Rowan" yarn.  Looking at the brand online, I realized that it was expensive and not sold in my usual craft stores.  So I went through my stash, found some "Vanna’s Choice" that I thought might work, and set my sights (and my needles) on knitting my first dog.  I choose the Jack Russell terrier, as it was cute, and I had the approximate colors I needed.

The patterns call for tight knitting, or bigger yarn on smaller needles, so that the stuffing will not show when the project is finished.  One Sunday, while Dragon Dave and I watched a Formula One race, I began my first dog.  The pattern starts with the legs, which are held on stitch holders until they are ready to graft onto the body. (Thankfully, Santa had also given me some stitch holders at Christmas).  The body is composed of two pieces, a left and a right, and easily sewn together.  Then the legs are attached, followed by the neck and head.  Each part was knitted, sewn together, and stuffed as I went along.  And in a couple months my first dog was finished.

He became the pet of Dragon Dave, who named him Gregory.

To keep Gregory company, I began another dog, this time a Scottish Terrier, or Scottie for short.  I followed the pattern, varying the instructions a little to knit most of the legs in the round, so there would be less of a seam when I was finished.  So as I watch Formula One races this little fellow began to grow.  One day, he just jumped off the needles and begged me to play with him.  I named him Jock.

While researching our last trip to England, I found out that the "Rowan" yarn mentioned in the book was actually made in a mill just outside of Holmfirth, and a shop there sold the yarn.  This shop was added to my Must Visit list, and while in Holmfirth I finally secured some proper dog yarn.  Next in line will be the West Highland White Terrier (aka Westie) and maybe the Pug after that.  The only problem is I still have to finish my second sock (see “Sock it to Me”), and a hat that I have been working on. 

Also, Gandalf and some of the dwarves sported some nice fingerless gloves in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," so now I’m inspired to design and make some new varieties. 

Dragon Dave’s Wife

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Check out the book: Knit Your Own Dog

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