Thursday, October 27, 2011

Proudest Project Proudly Modeled by Domino

I would have to say that out of all the projects that I’ve made since I learned how to knit that my favorite project would be the dog sweater I made for one of my miniature chocolate dachshunds. I had been knitting for a couple of months at the time and I was so excited about having the ability to knit that I wanted to knit all of my Christmas presents for that year. The only trouble was deciding what projects I could make (and more importantly complete) for my family and friends before Christmas morning. I found easy patterns for presents for everyone except my sister, Sabrina. I had no idea what she wanted for Christmas. I spent several days pondering about what to make for her when I got the idea of making something for her beloved dog and call it hers. The weather had gotten really cold and our dachshunds live indoors 99% of the time so they were not used to the cold weather. Whenever me and my sister would take them out to do their “business,” their tiny bodies would shiver the whole time we were outside and we felt really bad for them. We didn’t really know how we could help them except buying warm dog clothes for them, but we could not find any that would fit them. Dachshunds have really long bodies and have keeled, or pointed chest, that made finding store bought clothes that fit difficult. I decided to make Sabrina’s dog, Domino, a little sweater for Christmas and give his sweater to Sabrina as her Christmas present. I found a pattern on that was worked in two pieces so I could modify the pattern to fit his body shape. I worked on it at night so that my sister wouldn’t see what I was making for her dog. My dad helped me measure little Domino because he got too excited and wiggly whenever I tried to put the half-made sweater on him by myself. The top piece of the sweater was really easy to make and I just added enough rows to the pattern until the sweater was long enough. The bottom chest piece was the challenge. I had never modified a pattern before, so what better place to start? I taught myself how to increase and decrease stitches via several YouTube videos and before I knew it I was inventing a new pattern for the bottom part of the sweater! There were so many time that I messed up and had to redo the entire section of sweater because I had either decreased too little or increased too much and vice versa. Throughout all of these trials and errors, Domino thoroughly enjoyed being the center of attention and model of his developing sweater. I was just starting to doubt that I would ever get the sweater to fit when one of my attempts actually fit him perfectly! I was super excited and my excitement got little Domino so happy and hyper that he started running circles around me and barking! Thankfully he didn’t unravel the sweater while he was running around and only got me tangled in the dragging yarn that was pulled from the remaining skein. After untangling myself, I sewed in the loose ends of yarn, wrapped his sweater in wrapping paper and waited for Christmas morning to see how Sabrina would like her present. She opened the wrapping paper to see what I had made and was so pleased by the sweater that she put the sweater on Domino immediately and took lots of pictures. I was proud that I was able to make a sweater that my sister loved and that helped a beloved pet stay warm. I was especially proud that I was actually able to make a sweater that I initially thought was probably too advanced for me to complete beautifully. Who would have known that one little sweater could teach me so many skills and please other people and animals at the same time?

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