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