Wednesday, July 09, 2008

REVIEW: Doggie Knits

Doggie Knits
Sweaters & Accessories for Your Best Friend
by Corinne Niessner
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co. (July 1, 2008)


I admit... chances are if its a knitting book of dog sweaters, it is more than likely a part of my collection. I'll also admit that I've bought many of these books, taken a look through, thought "how cute" and then never grabbed them off the bookshelf again. However, as soon as I received my advance copy of Doggie Knits, I knew this would be one that I will use over and over again!

This book truly contains start-to-finish instructions, beginning with the basics of knitting for your pooch - including how to measure your dog, tips of creating a sweater your dog will actually want to wear and ideas for playing with color (there's even a short tutorial on dying your own yarn). Basic knitting instructions follow, with large, clear, easy to follow illustrations, including a section on knitting in the round on DPNs. A bonus to this doggie book are instructions on creating legs holes for sweaters knit flat, as well as in the round.

The book is full of 18 splendid patterns - all of which have been rated 4 paws up! You will find simple sweaters, striped sweaters, hoodie sweaters (I'm thinking my Sophie needs one of these!) and sweaters for the challenging dog sizes (what to knit a tiny chihuahua pup?). The Snood just might be the cutest turtleneck/ear holder ever and I don't think I've ever seen a dog hat as cute and dare I say, practical, as the Cocoa Hat. There's also the very functional Libby Kerchief, which is perfect for those of us with droolers on the ends of our leashes.

Does your pup hate the feel of his nylon collar against his sensative neck? Perhaps a Collar Cozy needs to be added to your WIPs. Have a dog who likes to cover up? The felted, cocoon style Wally Bed is right up your alley.

Perhaps the most stunning of all projects is the Yoda Sweater, a modular knit using diamonds. What a great stash buster this one could be - just think of all those scraps of yarn you have lying around and what a beautious - or crazy - quilt effect you could make for your furbaby to show off the next time he's strutting down the street!

As I said, this book won't be collecting dust on my shelf - I've already stuck post-its on several projects! The photographs throughout the book will keep you ooohing and ahhhing with each turn of the page ... and bonus, they truly do show off the wonderful knits, not just the adorable fluffy babies wearing them! If you knit for pooches, be sure to add this one to your collection - patterns start with the simple and continue from there. Several moderations are included as well, which means your creativity is endless!

About the Author: Corinne Niessner taught herself to knit as a child and hasn't stopped yet! After decades of knitting for herself and family, she adopted her first dog - and had to knit for her (the Yoda sweater is named after her). Her obsession for knitting for dogs continued and spawned Lucky Penny Hand Made. Corinne resides in Chicago with her furbaby, Piccolo.

CONTEST! I have a copy of Doggie Knits to give away to one of you! To enter, simply leave a comment here telling me what your favorite doggie knit (or crochet) item is that you have made -or what you would like to make- and to whom it was for (make sure to leave a means of contact if your email does not automatically attach to your comment). Deadline to enter is Wednesday, July 16th at midnight. Winner will be selected by random number generator. Thank you to Sterling Publishing for providing the books for review and giveaway.


Channon said...

No, that's NOT the book MJ gave me, but it's a must-have. If I don't win it, I'll be buying it.

Favorite doggy items? Sweaters for wee Abby, although this year, Sissy might need a very customized long and extra lean sweater... However, I'm betting once I have this book, the kerchief will be the new favorite!

Gnat said...

Love it. I haven't not knit anything for my pups but i'm thinking of making them Michigan sweaters. :) Mainly for Special K's benefit. :)

Nancy @ the Jersey Shore said...

If I won...I would let you pick another winner. As you know, I don't have a dog. Reggae would tear me up if I were to knit him a sweater. I don't know what my favorite would be, I've never knit for a doggie!

Lynda said...

I haven't knit for our dogs, but my sister gave us a beautiful sweater she knit for the dog she was adopting from us, but it looked better on the pup we kept so she gave it to us. Love the sweater and my sister.

Maggie said...

Maggie here. A month ago we rescued Maya, a lab/pit bull mix who opened our eyes to the dis-service the media and the world around us has done to pit bulls. We are considering fostering pitties in our home for a local rescue group and I'd love to knit up something like a bandanna, cowl, hat, or even booties that they could perhaps get wet (well not the socks/booties) to keep cool when they go for walks (even at night!) and perhaps letter on them, "Adopt me!". I'm a loom knitter and slowly learning sticks, so I'd convert the pattern to my loom or if it's simple enough, do it on my sticks (what I call needles) since I have plenty of them. :) Thank you for considering me.

Sherri said...

Oh that looks like a great book!

My little guy, Jack, has short hair and gets cold in the CT winters so I knit sweaters for him. He doesn't like anything "girly" so they have to be macho looking and I'm always looking for new patterns. My favourite so far is the Biscuit & Bones Sweater (you can see it on my projects page on Ravelry, username Sherria).

I'm adopting a 12 year old beagle next week (I hope!) and will have to make some sweaters for him as well, so this book would be a great addition to the knitting library.

Paws crossed that we'll be the lucky winner! (Not sure if blogger shows my email address or not. If not, it's saxcell at gmail dot com)

Anonymous said...

I sent you an email. I hope that that counts. I really like what Corinne knits up, and would really like a copy of the book. We have a shelter dog Abbie that we rescued when she was 8 weeks old, she's now 7, she has alot of heath issues, but she is our baby and we love her soo!! much. If I win the book I guess you know that Abbie will be wearing one of those sweaters.

Renee said...

Haven't knitted for my boy Griffin yet. I was wondering if I could make something for him to calm him during a thinderstorm! I hear a tight t-shirt does the trick, but Griffin is not a t-shirt kind of guy--maybe he would like a nice felted malibrigo snuggly sweater to keep him calm and relaxed!

Susan said...

Hi there,
I would love this book as we are getting ready to move (as in one week) from Florida to Northern AZ. Haven't knitted for my 2 pugs, 1 Boston Terrier and a Black Lab/Irish Setter. We are moving to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Great adventure and lots of knitting but colder. Lots colder. If I don't win the book then I will order it on-line. Lots of on-line stuff will be going on since we are 80 miles from the nearest town. (Do I get pity points? (LOL))

Kenyetta said...

I have made Casey's Coat from SnB Nation for Snoop but he has outgrown it. I would love to knit them collars but I have long lost the link to that.

dogquilter said...

I would love to knit a sweater or tank (to show off his muscles) for Wilbur. He loves to wear Tshirts and I think he'd enjoy a sweater of his own instead of having to wear his peoples shirts. :)

Trish said...

oooh, looks like a great book! I have crocheted some doggie sweaters for co workers at the vet hospital. My favorite one was made for my kitty. He doesn't like it much but DAMN, he looks cute in it :) Is there anything cuter than a pet in a sweater? :)

rita said...

I have the book, so if by some chance I win it, please give it to someone else! I love it. I've been looking for a modular knitting pattern like the Yoda sweater, and now I've got it. That one is definitely in my Zippy's future.

My favorite sweater I've knit is a red superwash I made for my elderly Pookie several years ago. We lived in a nearly unheated apartment for three years; the furnace ran all the time and it never got above 52 in the winter, so Pookie needed two sweaters. I don't know where the pattern came from, but my beautiful off-white Pookie looked lovely in her bright red sweater with red and purple eyelash trim on the collar and waist.

Sarah said...

I've knit for my doggies. My favorite knit item though was a purple baby sweater that I knit as a gift. I then put it on my Boston Terrier to model it for photos, and I thought it looked so stinkin' cute on Elleigh that I didn't end up giving the sweater away. Instead Elleigh got to keep the little purple cardigan.

Melissa said...

I knit my dog the 'howl' sweater from Stitch n Bitch nation....and then he grew. I'd like to make him another one, but not until he stops growing. I don't think blogger shows my e-mail, but I am melann526 on ravelry, and can be easily contacted there.

gypsyknits said...

Oh, I adore your review of this book. Thanks.

I have knitted little tiny sweaters for Little Miss Gypsy. She weighed in at 3 pounds when she was adopted on a cold Feb day. She needed sweaters. So a yellow/orange self striping sock yarn sweater was the first garment of choice. Then a fluffy pink sweater and a Christmas hat (which she refused to allow on her head and Mr. Bettis took it as a toy).
Now Mr. Bettis thinks he deserves a sweater. He and his owner aka DH, have got to be kidding......Right? LOL
My son called and he and his girlfriend are going to adopt a shelter dog and he informed me that the little buster is going to need sweaters. A hooded sweater would be very nice as they live near the city.
Good luck to everyone!

Emily said...

What a perfect book for you! I won't try to win, the absence of a dog in my home coupled with cats not being huge sweater fans sort of disqualifies me. :D

Sue said...

I sent an e-mail, but don't know if that counts.

Turtle said...

When we moved here it was a huge transition for our pup who is older (figure HI to WA...cold!) I knit her leg warmers for her hind legs which were sore in the joints. She does wear them...i've been thinking of a sweater!

Knitmomma said...

Oh my, that sounds like a great book! I have 2 human children, 2 canine(rescues), and assorted small animal pets (currently 1 ancient rat and 2 hermit crabs.) My 10 year old daughter and I have often talked about knitting a sweater/jacket for Star, our 1 year old chihuahua/cairn terrier/something else, because she *enjoys* wearing clothing, and also because she seems to feel the cold so much more than Phoebe, our other pup.

Kristen said...

How great! I'm a new knitter with only about 5 finished items, none for dogs... yet! But I've been thinking about it since I picked up needles. My dog Belle is a cold-weather-loving girl. But her best doggy-friend Roxy is NOT. Roxy is probably visla-lab and has very short hair. And living in MN means that she does NOT like winter at all. So I'd love to make a sweater for Roxy so that she can play outside with Belle during the winter.

lunadog said...

Hi, I found your blog via Ravelry and it's a fun read. I'm in the Dog Rescue group and I have 2 rescued dogs. Hope you get lots of new readers this way.
I'm always looking for new items to make as fundraisers for my rescue group.