I love dogs … but no one in my family does. Well that might be extreme. The teen always wanted a dog but he has allergies and he sneezes up a fit when around pets. The husband likes outdoor dogs, like labradors. I like smaller pets indoors but don’t like the doggy smell. So, I knit my own dog.
The pattern came from Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. This is the English Bulldog. I think bulldogs are adorable, sort of ugly-cute with their long jowls, large shoulders and short legs. Apparently they are known to drool and snore. What’s not to like?
Knitting up the body was easy. Just follow the pattern, and be sure to label the parts.
The tough part was putting him together. The instructions have shortcomings. The book could be much improved with diagrams showing how all the parts fit together, especially for the head. It was hard to visualize what he would look like from staring at the knit head pieces. I even thought of taking pictures of my bulldog in progress but most of the time, I was making it up as I went.
Overall, I am quite pleased with how he came out.
In retrospect, I have a few lessons learned to share with anyone who might knit their own best friend:
- While I blocked some of the body parts, I didn’t block them all. I should have. It would have made joining the pieces easier.
- I under-stuffed the legs. I will probably open him up a bit so that I can add more stuffing to the legs. They can’t quite hold up his weight. Even that may not be enough though. I’m toying around with inserting some popsicle sticks into the legs to help him stand. We’ll see.
- He’s a bit thin. I was wary of overstuffing him to make sure I could get the accordion look but may have under done it. I may fatten him up a bit when I go in to stuff the legs.
- To keep that accordion look, the pattern suggests tying a piece of yarn from the head to the tail inside the body. I sort of did that but I let the yarn exit under the tail. Then I sewed a very small clear button just underneath, barely visible. When I feel he needs some scrunching up, I tighten the yarn and wind it around the button to hold it in place.
- I’m satisfied with the face except that I may move the nose up closer below his eyes. He has more of the bulldog look when I move the nose a little higher.
I like this little fella’. No fleas, muddy paws, picking up poop with a plastic baggie, no shedding. Perfect.