Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christmas Crafting, Part the Last: Nativitatis Dona Cani

My brother's dog, Henry, is like the first grandchild in my family. When Alec and my sister in law got him a couple of years ago, I at first wasn't sure how my mother would react. Though not a prissy sort of person by any means, she has always been clear on her anti-animal stance (it all goes back to growing up on a farm and something about cats wandering in and out and doing their business in her bed). I mean, she's not like pro-cruelty-towards or anything, but she has never wanted to in any way touch, or be touched by, anyone's pets. Even our own (we had outdoor cats). Hilariously (for me, anyway), everyone's pets have always LOVED my mother and wanted to sit on her lap at every opportunity. Anyway, after about five minutes with puppy Henry, she was converted, and now all sorts of crazy things happen like she allows him to jump IN HER BED and touch HER PILLOW (for the record, I don't think I was allowed to touch her pillow as a child unless I had just had a bath and was in freshly laundered pajamas*).

So Henry is a well-loved dog. But as first grandchild of the family, there has been something missing for the past couple of years that has made me feel that he has not been quite as loved as he could be. And that something was a handknit sweater. This Christmas, I changed that.



Pattern: Rainbow Pooch Sweater, from Caron
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, 1 ball of navy blue, and some scraps of white
Needles: US 6 circs
Start to Finish: December 4-8, 2009



And this is no ordinary handknit doggie sweater Henry received for Christmas. This is a handknit doggie sweater bearing the insignia of a prestigious Ivy League university. During my brother's tenure as Yale student and pitcher on their baseball team in the early to mid aughts, the Yale student store served as the source of many, many gifts. Thus, each member of the immediate and extended family have at least one blue piece of sportswear with white "Y" each. Now Henry does, too.

It was fun creating the chart for the Y. I took an image of the letter from the school's website and copied it into a spreadsheet with the cells resized to mimic the gauge of my yarn. I then adjusted the size of the Y to what I wanted and copied its outline by typing x's into the cells next to it. Good fun indeed.



The best part is, I've been told that Henry likes it too! He was apprehensive at first, but when he realized that cooperating and not wriggling out of/biting/trying to destroy the sweater was going to get him many treats, he fully embraced it.

One last thing, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation in the Chase Community Giving campaign. They ended up coming in 6th place and, as one of the 5 runners up, received a $100,000 prize. This is huge, and will greatly help SMA research and awareness efforts. Thank you!!



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* Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit. But she did feel pretty strongly about having clean bedclothes (again with the traumatic childhood cat experiences).

18 comments:

barefootrooster said...

that dog could certainly give handsome dan himself (the Yale bulldog) a run for his money in that lovely Eli-blue sweater. what a fantastic gift!

CanarySanctuary said...

I love the doggie sweater! I flirted with the idea of knitting a cat sweater for my parent's wee one, but I suspect said kitten would not have been as appreciative as Henry!

Virginia said...

I need a dog. I must knit doggie sweaters!

Ok, well, I could make them for my mom's dogs, but they're so hairy that I think it would be overkill.

Thea said...

I love it!

Jodi said...

So darn cute! I'm very impressed that Henry likes wearing it, too.

My dad grew up on a farm and has similar anti-pet tendencies. One of my cats just loves him, of course!

Laine de Bergère said...

aaaah, Henry is a darling! Your/his sweater is perfect. I always have trouble with sizing for dogs...
did you design it? A. xx

hibou said...

That is so cute! I can't take it! Also, I have a friend who grew up on a farm, and she firmly and passionately HATES cats because of it. I can only imagine.

Anonymous said...

My grandparents grew up on midwestern farms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and they all LOVED animals, as do all their descendents. Go figure.
-- Gretchen

Julie Crawford said...

Henry looks SO handsome in his sweater!! Awww. What a cutie!! You did a great job, it looks like it fits him perfectly.

Philigry said...

so funny and sweet. i love the new sweater and the story!

Clumsy Knitter said...

That sweater is awesome! Now I want a little dog so I can dress him up. Is that weird? Don't answer that.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

It's just perfect :)

a friend to knit with said...

haha.
i love that all pets go to your mother!
SAME with me... i am highly allergic to cats and dogs... and i am ALWAYS their favorite. i think they totally sense that you are not giving them attention.... so they try really hard to get it. :)
love the bedclothes story, too. i am a bit neurotic about going to bed clean.... i can probably count on one hand the number of times my kids have not had a shower before bed.... and after those few times you can bet i whipped their sheets off to clean them!!! :)

LOVE the little sweater.... SO cute. my sister's (childless or should i say humanless?) is the baby in our family. :)

Anonymous said...

So glad your mother is over her trauma -- now she gets to enjoy all the love that pets so willingly give!
Chloe
P.S. Whose spotless kitchen is that?

Karen said...

What a cute little doggie coat! I'm sure it made Yale feel very proud, too. Ha!

hyeknitter said...

Haha, great story :) And that sweater is great!

keri said...

Hehe - such a cutie in that sweater! =)

MaryMary86 said...

A little off topic, but I had to come here and comment after finishing Citron! Thanks so much for sharing such a great pattern - it was a gift for my daughter and she is thrilled!!!