FO Friday: Poodle for Hire

Some time ago, I donated a custom-knit dog to a raffle to benefit a friend (sad details here).  The lucky winner was the family of Zacharia the mini poodle.  Everyone say, “Aw, what a cutie!”

This project turned out to be harder than I initially anticipated.  It was hard to find the right fiber to make the poodle’s fur look right.  I ended up with Bernat Pipsqueak … which was WAY WAY to large a yarn.  So, I un-plied it, and knit with individual strands — this took a lot of time, but it gave me the look I was going for. Eventually.

Project: Poodle for Hire

Pattern: Poodle

Designer: Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir

Available: in Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches

Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak and Swish DK

As I have come to expect from the KYOD series, this toy poodle was constructed in multiple flat pieces, then sewn together. I used Swish DK for the toes and face, and the Pipsqueak every else. I ended up modding the ears and tail, but other than that this was knit as-written. Doing the PULT stitch is Pipsqueak was especially exciting.

I’m not completely happy with how the legs came together with the body, but I think Knit Zacharia is recognizably a poodle … so I am satisfied.

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Cast-on Monday: Foxglove Cloche and Poodle for Hire

My Monday knitting group took a field trip to Another Yarn in Winchester, MA.  They had some of the new Madelinetosh colors, and I found that Foxglove (in Tosh DK) just had to come home with me.

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I’ve already turned it into this adorable hat — which still needs a ribbon and a button to be finished:

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I also (finally) cast on for the poodle I owe to the winner of the Jasper raffle — I made a leg, then frogged it, because it was HUGE. I ended up un-plying the Pipsqueak I’m using into three individual plies, and using just one ply to made the leg again. It worked, I’m happy with the results: “just” three more legs, two sides of the body, the head, and the tail to go. 🙂

Pipsqueak:

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FO Friday: Coats for Gizmo and Golly

1153 Golly and Gizmo coats

One of my agility friends asked me to knit custom coats for her charming mini poodles, Gizmo (left) and Golly (right).  She wanted durable, washable yarn that was also soft and cozy, and came in her dogs’ signature colors. In terms of structure, the coats needed to have turtlenecks, front leg sleeves, and a high belly cut to allow pottying without soiling the coats.  We looked at a couple different patterns before settling on the attractive and versatile “Biscuits & Bones” pattern, sized from XS to XL. The modified “X’s and O’s” cable pattern resembles circular biscuits and long bones–very clever!

(This week’s FO is a re-wind — I’ve been working like mad all week on a design sample that I can’t share just yet.)

1122 Golly's Purple Coat

Project: Gizmo’s Red Coat and Golly’s Purple Coat

Pattern: Biscuits & Bones Dog Coat

Designer: Patons

Available: FREE! at patonsyarns.com

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Eggplant and Red (3 balls per coat)

1157 Golly's coat

Don’t you just love Golly’s grin??

I made Golly’s coat first (purple!) and made very few modifications.  The neck to tail is worked flat to the leg holes, where the work is split into three parts and worked separately for a few rows.  Then flat work across the entire piece resumes, continuing through the butt decreases.  Ribbing is picked up and knit in the round for the leg holes and around the belly/back (after the chest is seamed). My only serious modification was to keep edge stitches in stockinette, to make the picking up and seaming easier.

1159 Gizmo's coat

Gizmo is such a handsome fellow!

With Gizmo’s coat, I wanted to try knitting the chest in the round, to avoid seaming later on.  At the leg holes I worked just two sections (back and belly) flat, then rejoined for more work in the round, then worked flat for the back after casting off for the belly. This ended up being trickier than I anticipated … if I ever make another coat from this pattern, I will probably just make it flat and deal with the seam.

1152 Golly and Gizmo coats

Overall, the pattern is clear and well-written.  The cable patterns were written, so of course I charted them to avoid going insane.  (I work much better from a visual representation of a pattern.) I really appreciate that it came in so many sizes, and also that it accounted for the real chest shape of a dog (many dog sweater patterns seem to think dogs are shaped like humans, oops).  Swish Worsted was, as expected, perfect for the job at hand. The boys look great and are cozy too!