Knitting is a cool-weather project, something creative to fill some hours by a cozy fire. Conveniently, colder temperatures are when your dog would most appreciate a sweater. Don't despair if you're not a traditional needle-knitter. You can whip up a dog sweater on a round loom, no experience required.
Size Up Your Dog
When you knit with a round loom, the loom size dictates what the finished size of your item will be. Therefore, you need to know the circumference of your dog's chest in order to choose which size of loom you'll use to knit her sweater. Measure her chest with a cloth tape measure, starting on her back near her shoulders, down under her chest behind her front legs and back up to the starting point. If the measurement is 12 to 15 inches, you'll knit a small; if the measurement is 16 to 18 inches, knit a medium. For a measure of 19 to 21 inches, knit a large.
Gather the Supplies
The first thing you'll need to loom-knit a dog sweater is the loom. Choose the size based on your dog's chest measurement. You'll need a loom 7 inches in diameter to knit a small sweater, a 9-inch loom to knit a medium or an 11-inch loom for a large. Buy one 4-ounce skein of yarn in your dog's favorite color. You'll also need the hook that came with your round loom, a yarn needle and a pair of scissors.
Starting the Sweater
Cast stitches onto every peg on your round loom. Then knit 10 rows to create the collar of your dog's sweater. Knit for 4 more inches to form the shoulder and top of the chest section for a small sweater. You'll knit 5.5 inches for a medium and 7 inches for a large sweater.
Don't Forget the Leg Holes
Creating holes for your dog's legs is the trickiest part of knitting with a round loom, but it isn't as difficult as you might think. Wrap the yarn around the first peg and use the hook to pull the bottom loop over the top loop. Then move the remaining loop to the second peg, wrap the yarn around the second peg and pull the two bottom loops over the top loop. Move that remaining loop to the third peg and continue wrapping one peg at a time, and moving the new stitch to the next peg, until you reach the sixth peg. At that point, you'll wrap and knit in a normal fashion pegs six through 11, 13 or 16, depending on what size of sweater you're making. Then starting with the 12th, 14th or 17th peg, you'll go back to wrapping one peg at a time, pulling two loops over and moving the new stitch to the next peg until you've reached the 14th, 17th or 20th peg. That completes the leg holes, so you'll wrap and knit the rest of the pegs for that row as you normally would.
Completing your dog sweater once the arm holes have been placed is simple. You'll go back to knitting all the way around for the appropriate length, 4 inches for a small sweater, 5.5 inches for a medium and 7 inches for a large dog sweater. Then cast off the first nine pegs and decrease three stitches on either side of the sweater. Knit eight more rows and cast all the stitches off. Use the yarn needle to weave the loose yarn ends into the body of the sweater to hide them.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.