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6 Free DIY Knitted Dog Sweater Patterns: Cable, Striped, Nordic & More

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Last Updated: May 31, 2023 | 3 min read | 3 Comments

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Are you looking to knit your pup a DIY Dog Sweater for the holidays or other cooler weather events? Finding the perfect dog sweater to match your canine’s perfect personality can be a challenge unless, of course, you know how to knit. If you do, creating your own dog sweater is an option and allows you to match your pup’s personality with your chosen colors.

These knitted dog sweater patterns may look complex but the level of complexity ranges. Be sure to match your skill level to that of the pattern before you start

If you need something for warmer weather, check out our dog shirt patterns.

Measurement & Fit Factors

man measuring dog with measuring tape
These measurements will help you determine the size of the sweater and ensure a proper fit.

Take accurate measurements of your dog’s neck circumference, chest circumference, length from neck to tail, and leg length.

Length Measurements

There will be four important lengths to obtain for your dog before you can choose a pattern:

  1. Start with the shoulders to the base of the tail = base length
  2. From between the shoulders to the end of the rib cage = side length
  3. From behind the front legs to the end of the rib cage = belly length
  4. Around the torso from between the middle of the shoulder blades to behind the front legs and back up = torso length

Measure the lengths and write them down.

Consider Ease And Mobility

Dogs need freedom of movement, so ensure that the sweater is not too tight or restrictive. Allow for a little bit of ease in the measurements to ensure a comfortable fit.

Make Adjustments As Needed

If the pattern doesn’t perfectly match your dog’s measurements or if you prefer certain modifications, feel free to make adjustments. Just make sure to take accurate notes of your changes for future reference.

Check In-Process Fit

Try it on your dog periodically to check the fit as you progress through the pattern. This will help you make any necessary adjustments and ensure the sweater is coming along as intended.

How To Knit A Dog Sweater: 6 Patterns

Below are 6 of our favorite DIY dog sweaters you can make at home, in order of easiest to most difficult.

1. Cable Cardigan

Black Schnauzer in blue dog sweater
Make sure to follow each set of instructions and purchase the proper materials.
  • Dog Size: Small-Medium
  • Skill Level: Easy

If you’re looking for an entry-level sweater, try this Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Cabled Dog Cardigan designed by Susan Haviland. It’s a single color, stylish and classic.

2. Pug Dog Sweater

pug in a yellow sweater
Pugs deserve only the best, including looking dapper in their doggy life.
  • Dog Size: Small-Medium
  • Skill Level: Easy

For another entry-level sweater, try this one that was designed for a Pug named Frank by Angelcatkins of Elizabeth Watkins Designs. It could be adapted to fit other small dogs as well.

3. Greyhound Turtleneck Sweater

greyhound in the snow wearing a yellow sweater turtle neck
Greyhounds are sweet dogs that will be extra snuggly in this sweater.
  • Dog Size: Medium-Extra Large
  • Skill Level: Easy

If you have a Greyhound or a bigger dog with a slender ribcage, then this ribbed, buttoned sweater might be the perfect fit. It has a turtleneck and an adjustable button-up chest to fit dogs of medium to extra-large size. The pattern is from Terri Lee Royea.

4. Striped Dog Sweater

striped dog sweater close up
(Photo courtesy of Red Heart Design Team from yarnspirations.com)
  • Dog Size: Small-Medium
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Want to up your knitting game? Then you might be ready to try this more advanced design of a striped sweater with sleeves and border. The original posting of this pattern says it’s an “easy” level, but as amateur knitters, we think this might be a bit more involved than the previous three designs we shared. This pattern comes from Red Heart’s Design Team at Yarn Inspirations. View more free patterns of theirs.

5. Sock Monkey Sweater

small dog in a grey and red knit sweater
(Photo courtesy of Yarnspirations: Bernat Bones & Biscuits Knit Dog Coat)
  • Dog Size: Small-XL
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

The name of this design from Yarnspirations is called Bernat Bones & Biscuits, but we loved that it mimics the look of a sock monkey sweater. This definitely qualifies as a more intermediate pattern and fits dogs of all sizes.

6. Nordic Sweater

(Photo courtesy of Garn Studios: DROPS Design)
  • Dog Size: Extra Small-Medium
  • Skill Level: Advanced

Last but not least, we have this Nordic “Narvik Woof” sweater by DROPS designs. It’s a multicolored pattern that is inspired by the traditional sweaters of the Nordic region. Your dog will surely impress all your friends and the dogs at the dog park sporting this adorable sweater!

Tip: How To Figure Out Your Knitting Gauge

Let’s figure out how many stitches you knit per inch. This is also known as your gauge or tension. Gauge is commonly measured by the number of stitches you make in a 4-inch row.

Here’s an excellent guide to help you learn how to test and calculate your knitting gauge.

Post-Knitting

woman knitting dog jacket

To personalize your garment, consider adding details such as a button or Velcro closure, a folded collar, or a leash hole. These elements can enhance the functionality and style of the sweater. Once the sweater is complete, gently wash it according to the yarn’s instructions. Block it to shape by laying it flat and allowing it to dry completely. This will ensure a professional-looking finish.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations, you’ve chosen a basic knitted dog sweater pattern to make a garment that your dog will be proud to wear. Remember, knitting a dog sweater requires time and patience. Enjoy the process and take tea breaks when needed. Your furry friend will appreciate the effort you put into making them a cozy and stylish garment.

Canaan dog in park

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