Last weekend, I got an idea in my head about turning one of the Stripey Scrappy Hats from MDK Field Guide No. 12 into a sweater for Olive.
Naturally, I had to drop everything and make it. And by “drop everything,” I mean: prepping for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana, for which I was expecting 14 people for dinner on Sunday evening.
When the knitting muse calls, you cannot let her go to voicemail.
The fun part of this sweater was . . . well, the whole thing. Everything about making it was fun.
Fun Thing Number 1: turning a hat into a dog sweater.
Fun Thing Number 2: getting stripey with Rowan Big Wool.
Fun Thing Number 3: bribing Olive to try it on. OK that was only fun for Olive, who got more than her fair share of lox from my Sunday morning bagel, and then turned into Devil Dog when it was time to keep her side of the bargain.
I didn’t use a pattern. I just followed Dana Williams-Johnson’s formula for custom dog sweaters.
I didn’t even follow it that closely. I figured Olive would need a 12-inch neck opening, and I cast on 24 stitches to approximate that in my Big Wool Gauge. After the ribbing for the neck, I worked 3 increase rows, a few rounds apart each time, until I had 40 stitches. Then I eyeballed the placement of the leg holes in the spots where Olive’s legs would go, and made 4-stitch horizontal buttonholes in those places, using the beginning-of-round marker to center their placement. I even worked a few short rows to put a sassy curve in the back hem, as Dana suggested.
It was the work of two hours on a very exciting Saturday night, listening to David Tennant talk about playing Hamlet, and only getting slightly behind schedule on my Rosh Hashana dessert baking.
The most fun was picking colors for the stripes. I know it’s crazy—she is a dog, I’m aware—but I feel there are colors that suit Olive, and colors that don’t. Her best color is red, followed by black and tan, the colors of her coat. Cool, pale colors are not for her. Not having any red, I focused on black and tan (in Big Wool shade-speak: Smoky and Biscotti), then filled in with warm pinks, one hot (Pantomime), one dusty (Prize), and one beige-y (Concrete).
Photo tip: To focus the model’s attention, try having a stranger in the kitchen working on your dishwasher. or substitute the trespasser of your choice.
Super proud of the leg hole placement.
When the lady won’t let you proteck from introders.
In the MDK Shop
“Flip It, Then Flop It”
My knitting cup overfloweth: I’m also having a great time with my Superscript Shawl, trying to stay caught up with the knitalong.
My shades of Amores Raíz are: Sherlock (teal), Charisma (minty aqua), and Alliteration (reddish pink).
Remember my problem keeping track of when to increase at right edge? In the comments to that post, a kind reader steered me to Lucy Neatby’s video demonstrating a fantastically clever solution: using yarn as a running marker and as a mechanism for counting rows.
Here’s the video:
It’s brilliant, useful for counting rows and keeping track of shaping, and also helpful in other ways that Lucy demonstrates in the video. No more—or at least, a great reduction in— stitch markers pinging across the floor and slipping into the cracks of car seats. An easy, intuitive, legible method. You flip the yarn, and then you flop it, as Lucy says. And it’s free!
Clip and save! Here’s how to save this post in your MDK account, in case you need a quick reference on Olive’s colors, or on how to use a running yarn maker.
About That Knitalong
There’s still plenty of time to join our Superscript Shawl knitalong-in-progress. You don’t have to finish your shawl to be eligible for one of the prizes we will award after the knitalong’s official end later this month.
All the details about the knitalong are here.
In a few weeks, at the end of the knitalong, we will award prizes to a few of the knitters who post photos of their Superscript Shawl (finished or in progress), either in the MDK Lounge, or to the Instagram hashtag#mdkSuperscriptalong.
The Grand Prize is a doozy: 4 skeins of Amor’s Crave Caravan, a custom blend that is a virtual Noah’s Ark of the fiber animal kingdom: it includes wool, cashmere, camel, and even silk.
This is the yarn that Cecelia Campochiaro used for her stunning sequence-knitting sampler, the Corrugated Shawl.
The grand prize includes 4 skeins of Caravan—enough to make the Corrugated Shawl—and a print copy of MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences, which has Cecelia’s pattern.
Crave Caravan is temporarily out of production, so this prize is a rarity, from Amor’s own reserves. (We will definitely stock Caravan again when it returns.)