Knitted in Debbie Bliss Bella Yarn Colour 16001 85% cotton 10% silk 5% cashmere on 2.75mm bamboo needles.
Pattern: Adapted from Red Setter from Best in Show – Knit your own dog by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne Published 2010 Collins & Brown
Oh dear. This was not one of my better projects. His legs are too long, making him look even more like a small pony than the real dog. And there’s something really bad going on with his face. Also, the pattern says to use French knots for his eyes, but I wasn’t sure where the thread should go in to the work or fasten off, so I’ve compromised and given him interesting looking bumps (as in close-ups of Madonna and co.) under his ears. Again, oh dear.
So, I knitted my own dog, adapting a pattern from this brilliant book. Flat Coated Retrievers are descended partly from Newfoundlands crossed with Setters, and mine has a strong nutty Setter streak in him. Instead of the recommended tweedy yarn, I used one with a slight sheen as Oscar’s coat is a glossy black. The yarn feels beautiful and silky but does split quite easily, at times making some of these stitches difficult to work.
What I learnt from this project:
To do loopy stitch, or this kind of loopy stitch at least. Initially, it was quite demanding but I soon found that I could do it with relative ease. The stitch does tend to leave a hole in the work, but this can be virtually eliminated if you pull the loops tightly.
That it is far better to leave an impossibly-long looking tail on a yarn than to run out almost at the end of a row…
That patterns can be adapted quite easily. This one, for example, has fewer loops on the legs than the original pattern. Of course this is not in any way because I did not read the pattern properly. Oscar’s back paws are simply not that feathery! He has a very hairy chest too, so I added more loops on the top of the tummy piece.
What I found difficult to understand:
Knitting the head and neck where I was supposed to put the right needle into the loop under the next stitch on the left needle (PULT) to avoid a hole developing when turning. The pattern describes using this loop as part of the following p2tog instruction, but I then realised I had far too many stitches so I decreased randomly, which was probably not a good idea. If anyone is reading this, please beware of this part.
That knitting sometimes goes very wrong. 😦