Sunday, September 27, 2009

Freebie: Ribbed Sweater Vest

This weekend it finally feels like fall is here. It's slightly chilly with the cool breeze and the leaves are beginning to change to shades of crimson and marigold. This is the time of the year that I enjoy the most. I get out my cuddly sweaters, my cherished hand knits and of course - the dog's fall wardrobe.

While I was unpacking my sweaters I ran across a J Crew sweater vest that I own. It's a chunky knit sweater vest in a creamy off-white. It's a go-to item for fall because I can wear it over a simple long sleeve T-shirt for cool weather or I can pair it with something warmer like a fine gauge sweater for cold weather.
Inspired by how versatile the piece is I decided to whip one up for my little Mia. She's the dog, if you remember from last winter, that gets chilled to the bone in 60 degree weather. So I thought that a sweater vest would give me the option to layer it over other clothes when the temperature starts to plummet.
Well here is the final product. Knit in an acrylic yarn for easy care it took about one hour. How easy is that? Nothing beats the speed of U.S. 15 needles!
The vest is knit in a 1x1 ribbing for the ability to stretch to fit a wide range of chest measurements. If your dog is larger than Mia (the sweater dimensions are listed on the pattern), the chest probably doesn't need alteration but perhaps you'll want to make the body of the sweater longer (remembering to insert a buttonhole every 9th row). The vest is also knit so that you don't have to pull the sweater over your dog's head. It can button up on the chest (my dogs don't mind sweaters being pulled over their head so I tacked closed the opening but still have functional buttons for looks).

Take a look (download here) and please - leave me a comment to tell me how it went!!
**Thanks to a knitter, it was noticed that there was a error in the finished stitch count in the first pattern (says at the collar there are 20 sts when it should say 18 sts). I have corrected the error in the pattern currently linked to. However, if you have downloaded a copy prior to 1/22/10 you might have to correct your stitch count at the collar from 20 sts to 18 sts).**


HelenK said...

Hi Sarah,

I really like your dog clothes and would like to knowthe vest for my friend's border terrier. Arr you and the pattern on Ravelry as I'd like to add it there?


Sarah G said...

Thanks Helen! I've added the pattern to Ravelry. It's available at

If you knit this and run across a typo or something confusing let me know since I don't have test knitters. There's no point in having people struggle!

Lil said...


I produce a Crafter's Advent Calendar and stumbled on your pattern while searching for content for the 2009 edition. I would like to link to this project in a window if I may.

The calendar is free to crafters and can be added to any blog or website, thereby generating lots of traffic for the contributors.

You will find a working copy of the calendar at:

If you have any objections to me including a link to your pattern then please do not hesitate to contact me via the blog. Regards Claire Butler, Developer.

Sarah G said...

Sure - as long as no profits are made off the pattern - feel free to link over here to me. Thanks for asking!

Teri said...

Hi, I thought your chunky sweater vest pattern is cute. I've added more width to it as I tested it on the westie I'm knitting it for and I might make it a bit longer but on row 11 and 12 for the armholes I don't understand the working with a separate ball of yarn instruction and if you have to cut the yard and weave in the ends. Could you let me know how you did that?

Sarah G said...

Hi Teri,

To make the leg openings you have to work around stitches that have been casted off. So to prevent working each little section individually, I prefer to work all sections back and forth on needles at the same time so that they are exactly the same. This requires to work from little balls of yarn (and yes, you will need to weave in ends). You can also just work each section individually with the same ball of yarn. You will rejoin to work the entire length of the sweater when you cast stitches back on over the leg openings.
Make sense? If not, you can see step by step instructions specifically written for a different sweater at:

Teri said...

Hi Sarah
Thanks for the response. I'll work with that and I printed out the instructions on the link you gave me.
It's a really cute sweater vest!

Unknown said...

Hi, Love the look of this vest. Very chic yet warm. I am planning on knitting it for my pug.
What size buttons did you use? In the pattern I printed out, it just says "large buttons."

Thanks! Sheri

Sarah G said...

Thanks for asking about the buttons. I knit the pattern to gauge, therefore the buttons were HUGE (I don' know inches - maybe 1.5" across?). I just took the finished sweater to the craft shop and looked for buttons that would fit. If you knit tighter, you will need smaller buttons (but still really large I'm sure). So I recommend finishing the sweater and just taking it to your local "button shop" (wherever that is) and looking for something that fits.
Thanks and hope that helps!

nzbyrd said...

Love your patterns, you are very clever. You have beautiful dogs :)

Ypur Maltese is gorgeous, but I love your poodle Maddie.

I have two Bichons (one called Maddy) and a Toy Poodle called Daisy.

Sarah G said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments, nzbyrd! I would love to see a picture of any finished sweater with your cute puppies!

Nancy said...

I'm a brand new knitter, and I really wanted to try to make this, but I can't figure out how to adjust this pattern for a medium sized dog. My dogs chest size is 24 inches.

I don't understand knitting enough to know where to adjust the pattern. Has anyone tried this for a medium sized dog?

Sarah G said...

Hi Nancy,

This pattern fits (with no alteration) my poodle who has a chest measurement of 18 inches. So if you're gauge is correct (7 sts & 9 rows = 4" square) I would probably add 8 sts to the stitch count, meaning I would cast on 36 sts for the sweater.
You might need to have the sweater longer in the back so you might want to knit more rows in the "Back of Sweater" section (instead of 9 rows, you might want to add up to an addition 9 rows depending on the length of your dog which would total 18 rows). Making sure you add a buttonhole (P1, yo, p2tog) every 9 rows.

I hope that helps. You will be working the sweater from the back to the front. Just place it on your dog as you knit and adjust accordingly.

Let me know if I can be of more assistance!

Nancy said...

Thanks so much. I'll let you know how it goes

Puddytat purr said...


Making this for my Shih Tzu, Isis, as she has just had a hair cut and is now feeling the cold.

Cool pattern, but your stitch count is off (doesn't bother me, but will a new knitter). If you cast on 28, then follow your instructions you will only have 18 stitches at the collar.

I will post a pic of mine on my Rav page and on my blog if you want to see it

Sarah G said...

Thanks "Puddytat" - you are correct, it will be 18 sts at the collar, not 20. Thanks for pointing that out! I will update the pattern.

Unknown said...

Could you please send me the pattern for the doggie snuggie and the one that I am on now. I cannot open the patterns. Thank you

Joy Amies said...

Sarah - love your Ribbed Sweater Vest for your dog, thank you. Am having difficulty understanding how I then knit the collar after getting down to 18 stitches after working the chest. Is the collar knitted separately? Many thanks. Joy

Hailee said...

I love you dog sweaters! I am currenty working on the Manteau de Madeline Dog Sweater after finishing the ribbed sweater vest. Your sweaters have inspired me to try experimenting with my own designed. I did a modified version of the ribbed vest. I have buttons down the back instead of the front, and I have the ribbing going horizontally instead of vertically. I am a beginner knitter and so I thought it would be easier for me to make it in a rectangle. Now that I am learning more of the abbreviations and am able to do more types of stiches I will attempt more of your sweaters.
Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! you are very talented!
I hope you continue to post more dog sweaters in the future.


PS: I took a pic of the finished sweater, but im not sure how to post it, and I dont see your email anywhere... :)

Sarah G said...

Thanks Hailee for the nice comment. My email is located on the pattern. I would love to see your finished picture! I'm taking a little hiatus from the blog as I've just moved, had a baby recently, and am job hunting. So I've been extremely busy! Hopefully I'll have more sweaters to post in the future.