Knitting dog sweater

Marilyn Hasting

This practical and elegant dog sweater keeps your best friend warm



Instructions for sweater


Seed rib stitch: K1, p1 on right side, purl on wrong side

Neck and shoulders

Loosely CO 70 sts (drawn in by ribbing to 12″/30cm), k1, p1 rib­bing around for 5″/13cm, being careful not to twist sts as you start the rnds. For a good fit, continue ribbing on the front! Chest with about a third of the stitches, (here 5″/13cm) using an odd number for a purl st at each end to set off the ribbing.

Increase rapidly by adding 4 sts EVERY rnd, by knitting in the front and back of 4 sts. One on each side of the front ribbing and 2 centered on the back about 2″/5cm apart. Increase for 5 rnds (20 sts).

leg slits and beyond

NOTE: You need to join a new ball of yarn to knit the chest between the leg slits and again

To knit both sides of the chest after it is split.

About 2″/5cm below neck rib­bing, 4″/10 cm apart (=17sts), start each slit by increasing one stitch at top of each slit so there will be a purl stitch on the each edge of each slit (purl stitches recede and only the 2nd, knit, stitch shows). Knit the center stitches in rows in ribbing for about 1 “/2.5cm, then split those stitches (just like you did for the leg slits, increasing

so a purl stitch is on each out­side edge). Continue each side separately in ribbing for another 1 “/2.5cm while decreasing 1 st every other row inside the 1 st k st on the edge (so the knit stitch on the edge gradually crosses over the stitches of the ribbing).

Work the back the same 2″/5cm as the front with pi, k1, plan each edge and st st between. When both sides of both slits are the same length continue across them, purling together the purl stitches on both sides of the slits to main­tain the rib pattern.

Continue knitting and decreas­ing inside each edge, until the back is 9″/23 cm long. Keep decreasing but switch to seed rib for the last 1 “/2.5 cm to keep the sweater from curling, and bind off all stitches as knit stitches to continue the line of knit stitches across the bottom back edge.




Skill level Advanced


To fit small dog; adapt pat­tern as directed for larger dogs


12″/30cm circumference for neck

17″/43cm circumference for shoulders

4″/10cm chest width (between front leg slits)

11″ /28cm back length


Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease, worsted weight, 80% acrylic/20% wool, 30z/85g = approx 197yd/180m, Wheat. One ball for a small dog, more for larger dogs.

Knitting needle 8US/5mm short circular needle, or size to obtain gauge

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle


18 sts = 4″/10cm in st st


Weave in ends, block if needed.

Other sizes

The necessary measurements are:

(1) neck/head circumference

(2) length from neck to top of front legs (for slit placement)

(3) shoulder circumference at top of front leg slits

(4) chest width between leg slits

(5) length of back.

CO an even number of stitches for (1), and rib for as long as you want the collar.

In the length of (2) you need to increase enough stitches to reach the circumference of (3).

Split the body for legs the dis­tance of (4) apart, the length of the split depending on the size of the dog and how cooperative he is in getting dressed.

Decrease each edge at the rate that will reach the width you want across the lower back for the desired back length.


Short length of leftover Wool-Ease from dog sweater

Bernat’s Boa, 100% poly­ester, 1.750z/50g = approx 71yd/65m, 1 ball 000 000 Bird

Knitting needles size 8US/5mm dpn

instructions for fancy collar

Use 50 sts for small dog and 70 sts for proud owner. CO loosely with a smooth yarn such as Wool-Ease; continue around with fancy yarn for the depth you want, and 80 loosely with smooth yarn. Tip: It’s easier to CO and 80 with a smooth yarn; they provide the edge with a bit more body and don’t show in the finished collar. Wear the more furry purl side out