Monday, February 1, 2010

Terrier Terror!

Sweater for Boston from McCall’s Needlework, Fall-Winter 1952-53

Alert Boston Terrier, a well-dressed dog on chilly days.
Alert? This dog looks terrified.
His snappy rib-knit green sweater, with doggy black turtle-neck, black leg bands, is designed with extra space at chest and leg joints, hugs dog, fits smartly from neck to tail.
He’s thinking, there’s no love in this “hug”! What did I do to deserve this?
For medium size Boston (ready-made size 14), also for miniature French poodles, small schnauzers, small beagles, smooth-haired fox terriers and small dachshunds. Directions below.
Apparently, this pattern can be used to terrorize any small dog, no matter what their breed is.

Except the Lhasa Apso. Anything less than a Ralph Lauren Cashmere Sweater and they’ll mess you up.
For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Size: Directions for medium size (chest 24’’, neck to tail 14’’, stands 12’’ high).

Materials: Fleisher’s or Bear Brand Petite Knitting Worsted, 1 3-oz. skein, main color (MC), about 45 yds. contrasting color (CC). Bucilla Featherlite aluminum knitting needles No. 1 (standard). English sizes, 12 and 8.

Gauge: 8 rows = 1’’
Dogs are such fun to dress!

Here’s Snookums as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz last Halloween. See how happy she is?

I’m sure it was a complete coincidence that Snookums peed on my shoes right after this picture was taken.
UPPER SECTION: Collar: With No. 1 needles and CC, cast on 64 sts loosely. Work k 1, p 1 ribbing for 1’’. Break off CC.
Next row (right side): With MC, knit, K 1 row from wrong side for ridge. Continue ribbing for 1’’, end on right side. K 1 row from wrong side for turning ridge.

Working ribbing, inc 1 st each side every 3/4’’ twice; 68 sts. Work even until 5’’ from beg. Place marker for end of collar.
That’s right, don’t bother measuring your dog’s neck. Just cast on 64 sts and start knitting. The ribbing will help if the turtleneck’s too loose.

And if it’s too tight – well, then your doggy will look just like the happy-go-lucky Boston in McCall’s!
Body: With No. 5 needles, continue ribbing until 2 1/2’’ from marker. Mark for beg of front leg opening. Dec 1 st each side of next row. Work 2 1/2’’ even. Inc 1 st each side of next row; 68 sts. Mark for end of leg opening. Work even until 10 1/2’’ from end of collar. Dec 1 st each side; repeat decs on 4th row once; 64 sts. With No. 1 needles, continue decs each side every 2nd row 9 times; 46 sts. Bind off in ribbing 2 sts at beg of each of next 2 rows. Bind off 36 sts.
Dogs love hand-knitted sweaters!

Okay, maybe love is too strong a word.
UNDER SECTION: With No. 1 needles and CC, cast on 28 sts loosely for collar. Work ribbing same number of rows as on upper section. With MC, continue collar same as for upper section until 5’’ from beg; 32 sts. Place marker for end of collar. With No. 5 needles, work even until 2 1/2’’ from marker. Bind off 2 sts at beg of each of next 2 rows for beg of front leg openings. Dec 1 st each side of next row. Work even on 26 sts for 2 1/2’’. Inc 1 st each side of next row. Cast on 2 sts at end of each of next 2 rows; 32 sts. Work even until 7’’ from end of collar.
Dividing row: Work 13 sts, place on holder; bind off next 6 sts; finish row. Work to center edge. Bind off 2 sts at beg of next row. Keeping outer edge even, dec 1 st at center edge every 2nd row until 3 sts remain. Bind off.
Finish other side to correspond.
Is it possible this pattern designer hated terriers?

Nah, terriers are everyone’s favorite breed!
Legs: With No. 5 needles and CC, cast on 40 sts. Work k 1, p 1 ribbing for 6 rows. Break off CC.
Next row (right side of cuff): With MC, knit. K 1 row for turning ridge. Work ribbing for 12 rows. Bind off loosely in ribbing.

Finishing: Baste upper and under sections together. Sew 2 1/4’’ of collar seam from wrong side. From right side, sew remainder of seam up to leg openings; sew front ends of leg openings to end of under section. Sew leg seams. Sew legs to openings with seam at back. Steam.
Now present your completed work of art to your dog. His gratitude will be overwhelming!

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. I hate to say it but this actually looks like a good pattern for my chihuahua-he is built more along the lines of a teetiny greyhound than the cobby little dog he's supposed to be. On the other hand, he does hate the sweaters I make him wear out in the cold, so at least the look of terror would carry over!

  2. I wish this were a crochet pattern. The other pictures you posted are so cute! LOL!

  3. oh my! those are some scary looking pet outfits!
    a bit off-topic, but i just picked up a copy of 'woman's day book of designer crochet' pub. 1980 and me oh my, are there some extra special hideous patterns in there! there's even a selection of the photos in full hideous color! it's crazy.
    loving this blog,

  4. Brook - hey, if you make this sweater for your chihuahua, you'll have to send me some pictures. I'd love to see the look on his face!

    Sharon - I've been trying to post more knit patterns lately, just to even things up a bit. But I'll definitely be posting some crocheted pet outfits this spring!

    simply_complicated - I'm so glad you're enjoying my blog. Woman's Day is almost always a treasure trove of knit and crochet awfulness. I love that magazine!

  5. awww, my favourite little dog. If I owned a Boston terrier I would make this sweater. But, alas, we just have a big cat who would cause great injury to my person if I tried to make him wear one. =/^.*/=

  6. Oh my, Speckled-hen, I can't imagine trying to squeeze your Salvadore into a sweater! The injuries would be extensive, I'm sure.

    Unique - the Kids in the Hall are a wonderful Canadian comedy troop. I remember watching them on TV in the late eighties and early nineties.