(S)he's a Star Dog Rug, a free knitting pattern from Knitty.com.
(S)he's a Star
by Elizabeth Lovick
I first designed this dog rug for my puppy, Inga. She needed a warm rug to go under her raincoat, but I was loathe to make a rug which she would outgrow in a couple of months. So I designed this rug to grow with her. When she first wore it, it almost touched the ground, and the fronts overlapped round her neck. A couple of years later, it now fits her perfectly.
Because the length and width of the coat can be easily adjusted, this is the perfect rug for a dog which will change shape. If, for example, you have a rescue dog which is underweight, make the rug wide enough to accommodate extra girth. Conversely, if the dog is overweight, make it a bit narrower so that once the dog has slimmed down, the rug will be a perfect fit.
If you are making the rug for a puppy, measure the length from the base of the tail to above the collar. Measure the width from the 'ankles'. If for a dog that has stopped growing, measure from the point where the back leg joins the body to just short of the collar. Measure the width so that the chest is covered.
The star stitch pattern gives a perfect texture for a dog rug. It is quite thick, but with gaps between the stars. This means it can trap warmth close to the dog's skin. It can be worn on its own, or under a waterproof coat in the cold and wet.
The body is worked flat, from the back, and then the garter stitch edging is worked round the main piece on a long circular needle. The belly band is worked separately. The fronts can be closed with either button or a side release buckle, or they can be sewn together.
Remember, never leave a dog in a rug unattended. Unlike sweaters, they can get displaced during rough play and claws can get entangled in the fabric.
model: Melan and Wobble, the working collies; Magnus and Inga, the Scotties
photos: Elizabeth and Nick Lovick
XS[S, M, L, XL, XXL]
shown in sizes M (below in blue) and L (above in purple)
See Pattern Notes for sizing information.
Chest Width: 10[14, 16, 22, 29, 39] inches/ 25[35.5, 41, 56, 74, 99] cm
Length: 8[10, 14, 18, 22, 26] inches/ 20.5[25.5, 35.5, 46, 56, 66] cm – adjustable to fit
[MC] King Cole Majestic DK [50% wool, 30% acrylic, 20% polyamide; 133yd/121m per 50 g ball]; color: Peacock or Violet; 1[2, 2, 3, 4, 6] balls
[CC] King Cole Riot DK; [30% wool, 70% acrylic; 355/yd/324m per 100 g ball]; color Magic or Neon; 1[1, 1, 1, 2, 3] balls
Medium sample (shown below) is worked in Peacock and Magic.
Large sample (shown above) is worked in Violet and Neon
Any DK weight yarns can be used, and these were chosen because they can easily be washed and machine dried. Yarns with a long colour change or a fade set would work well, but it can also be worked in one yarn throughout.
Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below - every knitter's gauge is unique]
US #6/4mm needles for working flat
US #4/3.5mm long, circular needle for the edging
6 stitch markers
3 stitch holders or lengths of yarn
2 removable stitch markers or safety pins
1 or 2 plastic side release buckles or buttons, depending on belly band and front closures desired.
28 sts/28 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in pattern on larger needles
[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
When deciding what size rug your dog needs, the key measurement is the chest circumference, just behind the front legs. The back length can be easily adjusted. This video shows how to measure and fit your dog.
Work from chart or written instructions as you prefer.
Row 1 (RS): With MC, k.
Row 2 (WS): *P1, Star; repeat from * to last st, p1.
Row 3: With CC, k.
Row 4: P3, *Star, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts, p2.
Star: P3tog, but keep sts on needle; yo, p the same 3 sts together and drop them off the needle.
With MC, using your preferred stretchy method and larger needles, CO 65[89, 101, 145, 193, 257] sts.
Work from the Body Pattern, joining CC after Row 2. Work until the back measures 7[9, 12, 16, 20, 24] inches/ 18[23, 30.5, 41, 51, 61] cm finishing after Row 2. Mark both edges of this row with removable stitch markers or safety pins.
Split for Neck
Keeping the pattern correct work as follows:
Row 1: With CC, K 24[34, 38, 54, 72, 98] , k2tog; put next 13[17, 21, 33, 45, 57] sts on a thread for the back neck; put the remaining 26[36, 40, 56, 74, 100] sts on a thread for the Left Front; turn.
Row 2: P2tog, work to end of row. 1 st decreased.
Row 3: Work to last 2 sts, k2tog. 1 st decreased.
Row 4: P2tog, work to end of row. 1 st decreased.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until 17[25, 33, 41, 61, 81] sts remain.
Work even until piece measures 2.5[3, 4, 6.5, 8, 9] inches/ 6[7.5, 10, 16.5, 20, 23] cm from the row marker at the start of the neck shaping, noting the number of rows worked. Adjust front length here – the neck section should be long enough to hit the centre front of the chest, so that the two sides will meet; see photos as a guide. Leave sts on a thread.
With right side facing, return the stitches for the Left Front to the needle. Rejoin the yarn and, keeping the pattern correct, work as follows.
Row 1 (RS): Ssk, work to end of row.
Row 2 (WS): Work to last 2 sts, p2tog.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 17[25, 33, 41, 61, 81] sts remain.
Work straight for the same number of rows as the Right Front. Break CC.
Using the circular needle and MC, knit across the 17[25, 33, 41, 61, 81] live sts, pm, pick up and knit 3 sts for every 4 rows from the left long edge, pm, pick up and knit 65[89, 101, 145, 193, 257] sts from the back edge, pm, pick up and knit 3 sts for every 4 rows from the right long edge, pm, knit the 17[25, 33, 41, 61, 81] sts held from the right front, pm, pick up and knit 3 sts for every 4 rows from the right neck slope, knit the 13[17, 21, 33, 45, 57] sts held for the back neck, pick up and knit 3 sts for every 4 rows from the left neck slope, PM. Join for working in the round. Exact stitch count on long edges doesn't matter.
Round 1: P1, [p2tog, k2] to marker, sm, p to marker, sm, p1, [p2tog, p2] to next M, sm, p to marker, sm, p1, [p2tog, p2] to next marker, sm, p to end of round.
Round 2: *Kfb, k to 1 st before M, kfb, sm; repeat from * five times more. 12 sts increased.
Round 3: P.
Round 4 (buttonholes): *Kfb, k to 1 st before M, kfb, sm; repeat from * four times more; kfb, [k2tog, yo twice, ssk, k2] 3 times, k to 1 st before M, kfb, sm.
Round 5: P, working (k1, p1) into the double yarnovers.
Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 once[once, twice, three times, four times, four times] more. BO purlwise.
With smaller needles and MC, CO 7[7, 8, 8, 9, 9] .
Row 1: Slip 1 purlwise wyif, k to end of row.
Repeat this row until the band, when slightly stretched, measures 9[10, 14, 17, 20, 28] inches/ 23[25.5, 35.5, 43, 51, 71] cm, or preferred length. Band should be long enough to go all the way around the dog's chest, behind the front legs, and tuck into the buckle. BO.
Weave in all ends. Wash and dry flat. Try the rug on the dog and work out how far the fronts will overlap. Sew on buttons and buckle as required. Attach one part of the buckle to the end of the belly band. Thread the other end of the band through the second part. Adjust to fit. If desired, sew the belly band to the rug in a couple of places to stop it moving.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Liz lives and work on Orkney, a group of islands off the top of Scotland. She's been knitting, designing and writing since she was small and enjoy bringing traditional stitches to modern knitters. She has self-published several books, including Patterns for North Ronaldsay Yarn, The Gansey Workbook, The Fair Isle Workbook, Exploring Shawl Shapes and the Fine Spinning Workbook. She's the author of the best-selling The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting and Magical Shetland Shawls to Knit, published by Search Press in the UK and St Martins in the USA, both of which have been widely translated. She's the editor of Centenary Stitches, a book of patterns updated from the WWI era. All of her self-published print books have a pattern for a dog rug or sweater!
Pattern & images © 2022 Elizabeth Lovick