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Lion Brand Yarns

I have had dogs since I can remember, and the thing that always sticks out in my mind is the difficulty in walking a dog in the colder months.  Mittens and a retractable dog leash are a dangerous combination often resulting in a dog running amok with the leash and/or owner dragging behind.

A dear friend of mine mentioned this same predicament in passing which started my mind racing on just what could be knit to solve the problem. A mitten for you and your leash is the solution!  Who doesn’t want to keep their paws cozy on a cold weather walk with a doggie pal?

This pattern includes a very simple cable pattern that runs along the top and bottom edge of the cozy.  This cable can be omitted for those hesitant to try the cable. Knit in a washable warm wool blend, you won’t want to remove your leash or your paws from this Paw Cozy until the warm months return.

model: Michelle Malach, Murphy photos: Abigail Malach


Length: 12 inches
Width: 7.5 inches


Plymouth Encore Chunky [75% Acrylic / 25% Wool; 143yd/131m per 100g skein]; color: #9601; 1 skein

Recommended needle size:
1 set US #8/5mm double-point needles
1 set US #9/5.5mm double-point needles
1 16-inch US #9/5.5mm circular needle (optional)
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

Stitch marker
Cable needle
Small stitch holder
Tapestry needle
1-inch button


15 sts/24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on larger needles


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here]

C6B: Slip next 3 sts to cable needle and hold to back of work; k3, k3 from cable needle.

1x1 Rib (Worked over an even number of sts):
Row 1: [K1, p1] to end.
Repeat this row for 1x1 Rib.


Using smaller double-point needles, CO 36 sts. Divide sts between needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to indicate beginning of round.

Work in 1x1 Rib until work measures 3 inches.

Using larger double-point needles, k 1 round. Continue with larger needles from this point.

Next Round: [Kfb] to end. 72 sts.

K 5 rounds. If desired, begin using circular needle.

Next Round: [C6B, k30] twice.
K 5 rounds.
Repeat these 6 rounds 6 times more. Work measures approx. 8.5 inches.

Shape end of cozy as follows:
Round 1: C6B, k22, [k2tog, k2] twice, C6B, [k2, ssk] twice, k22. 68 sts.

Round 2: K27, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k10, ssk, k1, ssk, k21. 64 sts.

Round 3: K26, k2tog, k2tog, k10, ssk, ssk, k20. 60 sts.

Rounds 4-6: K all sts.

Round 7: [C6B, k24] twice.

Rounds 8-10: K all sts.

The lower edge of the cozy is shaped using short rows, similar to the way a sock heel is turned.

Row 1 [RS]: K37, k2tog. Turn work.
Even-Numbered Rows 2-10 [WS:] P9, p2tog. Turn work.
Row 3 [RS]: K2, C6B, k1, k2tog. Turn work.
Odd-Numbered Rows 5-7 [RS]: K9, k2tog. Turn work.
Row 9 [RS]: Work as for Row 3.
When Row 10 is complete, 50 sts remain.
Row 11 [RS]: BO 20 sts, k to end of round. 30 sts.

Shape leash opening:
Using double-point needles, k first 13 sts of next round, place following 10 sts (to beginning of bound-off sts) on st holder; k last 7 sts of round. 20 sts.
Divide these 20 sts between needles and work 5 rounds in 1x1 Rib. BO all sts.

Button Flap:
Place held sts on larger needle and rejoin yarn. Work in 1x1 Rib until flap measures 2 inches, ending with a WS row.

Work buttonhole as follows:

Next Row [RS]: Work first 5 sts in pattern; join a second length of yarn and work remaining 5 sts in pattern.

Work 1 inch in pattern, working each set of 5 sts using attached length of yarn and ending with a WS row. This will form two short, narrow strips of ribbing.

Next Row [RS]: Work across all sts in pattern using same length of yarn; break other length of yearn, leaving a tail to be woven in later. Buttonhole is complete.

Continue in 1x1 Rib for 1 inch. BO all sts.


Weave in ends. Fold flap over opening at lower edge of cozy to determine desired location for button; sew button in place.

To put your retractable leash into its cozy, insert the handle end into the opening at the lower edge of the cozy. Pull collar hook through leash opening. Button the cozy closed, put your hand in through the cuff, and take that pooch for a walk.

Michelle lives, knits and runs in Northeastern PA where she hangs out with her husband, three children, one cat and her 13 year-old Murphy-dog.  She enjoys staying home with her children, where she can knit and run and play all day. 

This is Michelle's first published pattern, but she dabbles in dishcloth pattern designing and has grand illusions of many more patterns in her future. You can see her patterns on her blog.