In my quest to design a beginner friendly dog sweater construction, I’ve worked on three that have been really fun, but only really one that is suitable for actual beginners. Then this week, I started playing around with a new method and I think I nailed it. I am sure I am not the first to come up with this and I have seen versions of this here and there but I really like this method. I’ve also been trying to come up with a way to make a very simple vanilla pattern for people to use their beautiful single skeins of sock yarn and I think this is the perfect match!
Essentially, you just need a single skein of sock yarn, 100g / 400y (ish) and a mini or two. I’ve used half a mini already on the collar and I’ll use the other half on the hem. I’ll use another mini, maybe a green or a purple, I’m thinking green, to pick up and knit some tiny little sleeves. Just a little ribbing, not too much. I just knit the chest increases from the very beginning and when it was time for the armholes (I did a quarter plus an eighth of the total number of stitches at that point and then subtracted half the number I wanted to bind off to get the final number), I knit to them, bound off, knit the little chest part onto a DPN (on a non increase row) and then bound off the same number again for the other armhole. Then I started knitting flat, because…there’s no other option lol.
Actually, I left the back on the circulars and I went straight to the little chest piece because it was easier to figure out how much longer to knit doing it there first. So I continued with the same increases as I had been doing until I got to the number (including the back part) as I like to have for the chest typically. Then I just kept knitting in stockinette (I’m knitting one side and purling the other here) until the armholes were long enough. Normally, I do my armholes short and wide, but these were going to be tall and skinny. As long as the arm and shoulder have some wiggle room it doesn’t really matter which way they’re shaped. So I went down the same number of rows and I usually do stitches wide – does that make sense? Then I just knit as many rows for the back piece as I did for the chest.
When it was time to join them, I knit the back until I came to the end and then using the backwards loop cast on method, I cast on as many stitches as I had bound off at the top of the armhole, then I knit across the chest piece so that was back on the circular, and then I cast on again for the armhole and kept knitting. I will keep on knitting until I am about 2″ from where I want the ribbing to start so I can get to the tummy shaping. Once that’s done I will likely have used up all this yarn and I’ll use the other half of the yellow mini to do the hem. Then it’s just armholes, weaving in ends and I’m done!
I love these cute little increases in the middle of the chest and I think that this pattern will be pretty easy for a beginner to knit. I’m making another one this weekend and I’ll do a full start to finish tutorial and I’ll make sure the pattern itself has all the details for every size to make it nice and easy. What do you think? Easy AND a fun way to show off / use up some beautiful sock yarn! This one is from Sugartots, the colourway is called Leap Frog. The mini is from the stash and I have no idea where it is from. :/