How to Knit for a Chihuahua

Updated November 21, 2016

Clever knitters make pup warmers in all styles and colours. Patterns for coats and outfits abound, but sizing adjustments may be necessary for Chihuahuas. A handcrafted coat or sweater for your own or someone else's special companion makes an excellent gift for pampered four-legged friends. Knitting small fashions little dogs is fairly quick project. Add interest with fancy stitches, trims, ribbons and buttons.

Take measurements directly from the dog if at all possible. Measure the length of the back from the neck to the base of the tail. Measure across the front of the chest from shoulder to shoulder. Measure over the back and around the chest behind the front legs.

Check the pattern size against your measurements. Some patterns include instructions for several sizes. Choose the size closest to your dog's measurements.

Follow the garment instructions to check your stitch gauge. Neglecting this step often results in a garment of the wrong size. Using the recommended needle size and cast on the number of stitches indicated for the test swatch. Knit the number of rows required.

Check your sample against the pattern. If your sample does not match the size indicated by the pattern, switch to larger or smaller needles and make another swatch. Adjust needles and yarn tension until you get the correct size. Practice until you are comfortable maintaining the correct stitch size.

Cast on the number of stitches required by the garment instructions and begin to work rows according to the pattern. Check your gauge often as you work. Complete and fasten off each section of the garment as instructed. Sew the pieces together using yarn and a tapestry needle. Sew on trims and decorations.

Draw a rectangle using your pet's back measurement and chest circumference. Test your stitch size with a gauge sample. Cast on 15 or 20 stitches and knit several rows with the needles and yarn you plan to use. Count how many stitches it takes to equal one inch. Count how many rows there are to the inch. Convert your pet's measurements to stitches and rows and write the numbers on the rectangle.

Begin from the neck edge and cast on the necessary stitches. Knit rows until the rectangle reaches the required length. Knit small straps for the coat

Attach one strap across the front of the chest, the other fits behind the front legs. Sew the straps to the coat so it fits snugly when worn. The straps will stretch enough for the garment to be slipped over the dog's head and front legs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern
  • Tape measure
  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • Trim
  • Tapestry needle
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About the Author

Based in central Florida, Dawn Rivera began writing professionally in the 1970s. She served as a contributing columnist for the “Sanford Herald” newspaper and was the editor of “PCO,” a magazine for the Florida pest control industry. Rivera holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Florida Southern College.