Sew? I haven’t. I’ve been knitting Pascal a sweater- For the past ten years I’ve been knitting Pascal a sweater! So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I finally finished it last week. Ten years to knit one little dog sweater is, well, at the least, a long time—– but it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. It’s not like I’ve been working on it non-stop for ten years & just finished. This is what happened.
I actually started the sweater eleven years ago, and it wasn’t for Pascal. It was to be for the dog I had before Pascal, a schnoodle named Shadow. Shadow lived to be 18; a long life for a dog, but not long enough for his sweater to be a reality.
The first winter that I had Pascal I thought, it’s cold and we have a long winter ahead. I should finish the sweater I started for Shadow, for Pascal! I pulled the bag with the beginnings of Shadow’s sweater in it, out of the closet. It was indeed a beginning. I’d knit only about 4 inches of the back- and that was it! I had started the sweater on a whim, thinking it would be a good way to use up left-over yarn as well as help Shadow stay warm during the cold months. I had never knit a dog sweater before, but I decided that I didn’t need a pattern to make one- it couldn’t be very difficult- I measured Shadow’s back and started knitting.
When I picked-up the beginnings of Shadow’s sweater a year later to finish it for Pascal, I had nothing written down to follow- I hadn’t even left myself notes. I hadn’t gotten very far on it for Shadow, so I measured Pascal, and continued knitting- for a few days. I had planned to knit the sweater in my time off from hand-smocking & embroidering the girl’s dresses I sell. As the days passed I got busier & busier with my dress-making and never seemed to find “time-off” for working on the sweater. After weeks of dusting around it, I finally put it back in the closet to wait for “time off”. Each succeeding year I’d pull the sweater enthusiastically from the closet telling myself- and Pascal- “O.k.! this year- soon- I’m going to finish your sweater!
But every year the same thing happened- although each year a little bit got added to it. This year when I pulled it from the closet I realized that all I had left to knit was a small portion of the underside and the two sleeves. THIS was going to be the year!~! Pascal was going to find himself toasty-warm in the middle of a new sweater!! This time I put my sewing aside to finish my knitting. And finish, I did! Twice, actually!
Here is a photo of my first finish~ (Notice, he’s smiling~)
I couldn’t wait to put it on him once I got the pieces sewn together. Interestingly, he seemed to be as excited to try it on as I was. As I slipped it over his neck I saw right away that the neck was too wide. Four inches too wide! Hmmm…….
I made a tuck on each side with my hands to see how that would work. Perfect! I slipped it back off his head so that I could figure out how to make a permanent tuck on each side & still be able to easily stick his legs through the sleeves. I needed something that I could open & close~ like a tie- Aha! I’d crochet a tie, make a tuck again at each shoulder & tie it shut! That worked perfectly. If Pascal were a bit concerned about having a bow on each shoulder, he didn’t show it. He actually seemed very pleased with it. In fact,he did something he never does; he sat there willingly and posed while I took pictures.
The more I looked at him the more I was aware that something just wasn’t quite right. Pascal’s sweater from the front, looked more like he was wearing a pair of pants. It wasn’t yet quite a sweater, it was a “pantser”. The neck of the sweater looked more like the waist of a pair of pants. His sweater needed a turtle neck! I took his sweater back off, picked up my knitting needles and started knitting again~ Two days later Pascal had a full-fledged, turtle-neck, soft warm sweater~ It was everything we both had hoped it would be! I pulled out my camera and once again, Pascal did what he never does; he sat still and posed, looking very proud~ the perfect model!