SUZIE'S WINTER COAT
(designed for the ISM, hand knitting or any Chunky Machine)

BACKGROUND: In mid-September 1997, we were fortunate to be chosen as adoptive parents for a 3-year old Miniature Schnauzer named 'Suzie'. South-Western Ontario is damp and c-o-o-o-ld in the winter, and our Suzie arrived with only one light-weight coat. As she will be walking at least twice a day, every day, she needed some 'woolies'. She uses a "LUPI" harness for walking, which attaches at the neck, not the middle of the back. and needs a coat that will accomodate this type of harness. As she is also a bit fussy about straps, buttons etc..., I attempted to create a coat which would be easy to make, easy to put on and take off, and would cover 'most of Suzie' in inclement weather. The result follows. Please feel free to pass this pattern on if you like it.

This coat is knit from the bottom (dog's tail) up. Directions are for both hand and machine knitters (Bond Incredible Sweater Machine (ISM) or any chunky knitter). Hand knitters may ignore the directions for hanging weighted hems and things such as "end carriage left", unless you are hand-knitting while riding in a horse-drawn vehicle, which is not unlikely where I live ('Mennonite Country' as the travel books call it. :o)) If you can't figure out the instructions, or have any questions, just send an E-mail to me, Chris, at "shibata@sympatico.ca" and I will do my best to help. Happy knitting :o)

MATERIALS:
Worsted weight yarn (double knitting) or equivalent - about 75 grams
4 buttons about 1/2 to 3/4 inch across, sewing thread and needle.

Gauge = 4 inches=17 stitches and 29 rows AFTER BLOCKING
Measurements = - centre chest to hip (measure along flank)- about 15 inches. - around the body at chest (16 inches PLUS 2.5 inch- or to fit- strap)
Stitches used = Body - hand-knit = stockinette (plain knit) and 1x1 rib for neck
- machine knit = plain knit, 1x1 ribbing done by hand
= Edging and straps - single crochet, slip stitch
Tools = Bond I.S.M. - using plate #3
OR
Hand knit -1 pair of 4 m.m knitting needles or whatever you need for the gauge

FOR BOTH - Crochet hook - size 3.5 m.m.

OPTIONAL - Dog = 1 (one) Mini Schnauzer or similar dog - 14-18 lb. or size to fit. If a dog this size is not available, try a very large cat! :o))

INSTRUCTIONS: BODY - Cast on 51 stitches. (For ISM, use waste yarn then knit 6 rows and switch to main yarn or use a closed edge cast-on). Knit 1 row (carriage right). Now start the increases towards the head by increasing 1 stitch at each end of the 2nd row. Knit 2 rows straight. Repeat this pattern - increase 1 stitch each end on one row then knit 2 straight - until you have 67 stitches. This should be row 23. Now knit straight for 54 rows or to row 73. The work should measure 9 inches at this point which is the distance from the bottom of the coat to the point where the neck ribbing will start. If your doggie is a bit long in the back, add rows now to give the extra length. End carriage left.
Now divide for the neck. Let's call this the Great Divide! You need 23 stitches for each shoulder and the middle 22 get cast off. If you are hand knitting, knit 23, bind off 22, then hand knit the last 23 stitches. If machine knitting, manually knit the first 23 by pushing the needles out, catching yarn, and then pulling back to complete the stitch by hand, then cast off the next 22 by hand. Then, either manually knit the last 23 as the first, or push the first 23 you have knit off into forward holding position, replace the carriage just to the left of the last 23 needles, thread yarn and knit to end. Either way works fine. Set row counter to zero.
Working each side separately, work 1 row of 23 stitches even. For hand knitting, just work on the first 23 stitches on the needle, ignoring the rest and turn. For machine, make sure the first 23 needles of the Great Divide are pushed forward completely so they are out of the way, and hang claw weights on the side you will be working on.
*Knitting on only those 23 stitches, and GO SLOWLY, knit the first row (Trust me, I know. Slow is the only way to go for the first row on machines!). Ensure counter is set to 1. You should now have the carriage on the left.
Now you have 1 row done, the rest is a breeze. Knit 1 row, decreasing 1 stitch (full decreasing - decrease one stitch in from the edge - is neater) on the neck edge. Knit 2 straight. Repeat until there are 13 stitches left. Knit 1 row straight then cast off.**

For hand knitting, repeat from * to ** using the other 23 stitches on the needles and finish as for machine.

For machine knitters, after casting off, push the remaining 23 needles into forward working position, re-thread carriage, and set carriage to right. Knit 1 row SLOWLY. Now follow the instructions for the first shoulder and cast off.

FOR BOTH HAND AND MACHINE KNITTERS:
NECK: Using knitting needles, pick up the stitches around the neck edge (total 60). Work 8 rows of 1x1 ribbing (knit 1, purl 1) and bind off. If your doggie tolerates a deeper neckline, you can add a few rows here, but remember to adjust the spacing later for the button loops to match!). If you are really into machine knit ribbing, you could rehang the neck edge, knit 8 rows, drop every second stitch back 8 rows, manually reforming each of the dropped stitches to form ribbing, cursing and swearing as you lose track of the stitches, etc... etc..., but hey, who am I to tell you how to do it? (Can you tell I used to hand knit everything?)
FOR CROCHET(y) PEOPLE: single crochet around neck. Chain 3 and turn. Work 1 DC into each SC around neck. Chain 3 and turn. Work 1 forward post stitch around second stitch from start, then 1 backward post stitch around third stitch. repeat this to end of row. Repeat this row 4 times more to form crochet ribbing. It should measure about 1.25 inches wide. If not add or rip out 1 row to adjust. When done, end off.
FOR EVERYONE: EDGING AND STRAP: Starting at left neck front (when viewed from top of dog), purl side facing, work in single crochet around to other side of neck, working 3 SC in the corners for a smooth edge and adjusting your stiches to keep the work flat. (For machine knitters using waste yarn cast on, single crochet into the stitches of the first row of main colour from the purl side.) Turn. SC in first stitch. *Chain 6, or whatever is needed to go over the buttons you have. Skip 3 stitches, single crochet in the next and following 2 stitches**. Repeat from * to ** twice. You now have 3 button loops. Continue on down the long side edge in single crochet, adjusting the stitches to keep the coat flat as needed. When you get to the point located about 9.5 inches below the button loops on the long side edge of the piece, start counting! Single crochet into the next 6 stitches, chain 1, turn, single crochet into the next 5 stitches. This makes a 6 stitch wide strip. Repeat until there are 10 rows or a strap long enough to just reach the other side of the coat when on your fuzzy friend. On the final row, SC into first stitch, chain 5 or 6, SC into last stitch. End off securely as the loop takes a lot of stress. Re-attach yarn at base of strap and continue the SC edging until you reach the starting point. End off. DO NOT CROCHET AROUND THE NECK EDGE OF THE RIBBING, JUST THE ENDS.
Darn in loose ends, and block lightly. Sew three buttons opposite the neck loops and one opposite the tummy strap. Voila! C'est fini! Now take someone warm and fuzzy for a walk. Enjoy.

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