I’ve a friend whose daughter raises Alpaca and she arranges for hand knitters to make the yarn into various items, which she sells at shows when they exhibit the animals. She had a request for a greyhound coat and took some measurements. She gave me some of the yarn to see if I could knit it up on the knitting machine, so it would be firmer than hand knitting. I did a sample in 1×1 self-colour Fair Isle and it was fine.
Next I had to find a pattern. I searched on the Internet but couldn’t find one that was suitable. The shape was all wrong and the sizes were different. Luckily a friend of mine spotted a neighbour walking a greyhound with a coat. One day we knocked on her door and asked if we could trace the coat on to a Knit Leader sheet. I folded the coat in half to get it on, but unfortunately it was the wrong size. More problems! Then I had the bright idea to do one piece, increasing the size and shape to what I thought it should be. I decided to do the coat in three pieces, as greyhounds are notoriously sensitive on their spines and it could have irritated the buyer’s dog. Luckily the piece was okay and I knitted the coat and sewed it together, making a 1×1 double collar round the neck.
It was curling up round the edges but the normal ‘worm’ edge looked all wrong. I tried using the wool double, picking up every alternate needle and knitted one row, but of course if I’d cast off, there would have been several joins. I decided to just knit the one row and take it off on about ten rows of waste yarn before going on to the next section until I’d gone round it all. I cast off the last bit and worked backwards. It was time consuming but worth it.
The finished result looked good and I was able to press the whole thing and there was very little curling. The last touch was a long full needle rib strap to go all round the dog to keep it secure. Luckily the owner was very pleased and I understand the dog was happy as well. It took quite a while, but was worth it in the end! It was snapped up before I’d chance to take a photo. I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time with this!
Cheerio for now and best wishes, Denys Cave