Posted by: jennypenny73 | October 28, 2010

Franklin & His Mustard Sweater

Now it’s well-known that Canadian winters are cold…and it’s maybe a little less well-known that Newfoundland winters are long and cold.  And what’s probably even less well-known, is that Boston Terriers dislike being cold.  All of them.  Every Boston on Earth dislikes the cold.  Actually, scratch that, “dislike the cold” might be a gross understatement.  They loathe it, that’s probably a little more accurate, and they will do anything to avoid contact with it.  I’m sure anyone that’s ever known a Boston will agree. 

So the need for doggie “winter wear” in Newfoundland is what I deem to be essential attire for my little Franklin.  And as a knitter of warm and woolie things I cannot live with myself if I’m forced to put him in a *cringe* store-bought dog sweater.  The problem is…Boston’s have weirdo body shapes.  Oh on a glance they appear to be in proportion…but in reality they have freakishly large chests in comparison to the rest of their body.  Hence (yes, hence), there isn’t a store made dog sweater on Earth that fits them properly…and even less available knitting patterns.  Until now…

I recently came across the Darling Darby Dog Sweater on Ravelry.  And I think I might have to say…Best. Sweater. Ever.  It’s a pattern that takes your dog’s exact measurements into account (along with a little math) and give you a recipe for a perfectly fitted sweater.  And that’s exactly what I got…finally…after 6 years of dog sweater disasters…a well fitting sweater for my fur challenged Franklin.  The Darling Darby is now officially my go-to sweater for all dogs! 

So, of course, after all the measuring, and math, and knitting, and weaving in of ends…Franklin’s sweater is ready for a day at the park (the true test of any sweater worth it’s salt).

I love my new mustard sweater!!!

Ready for action!

Family shot - Franklin, Bessie, & Blueberry (I took soooo many pictures trying to get everyone to look at me at once & have decided...IT'S NOT POSSIBLE!!!)

Franklin's always been a bit of a rebel.

Into the woods.

My ball! I can't reach it!!!

Desperate times call for desperate measures!


I hate my freezing cold, soaking wet, 20 pound sweater now and I'm going to sulk & shiver in the bushes until you take it off me 😦

Free of the confines of the wet sweater he's ready to play again!

Well, after taking a beating for over an hour of chasing after the ball, racing through the woods, wrestling with Bessie, and going for a dip in the river, the sweater passed the test.  I will definitely be tweaking a few things on the next one I make…like tightening up the neck hole a bit, it got a bit stretched and hung down around his shoulders.  But that might’ve been from the stretchiness of the yarn I chose…or possibly the 20 pounds of water that it sucked up in the river.  All in all, I highly recommend this custom (and free) sweater pattern, especially to anyone with an oddly shaped dog (like my boy)…it’s excellent, will fit any sized dog, and can be used with any weight yarn (though they do recommend worsted).  I used just over 1 ball of Patons Classic Roving (a chunky weight yarn) for Franklin and he’s 17lbs…but don’t tell him, he thinks he’s HUGE! 😉



  1. Gotta love Franklin. Bessie need a sweater too… Maybe pink?

    • I would, but Bessie isn’t a fan of clothes…she gets too hot. I might have make her a bandana or something small…I can’t leave my girl out 🙂

  2. I think it is hilarious that the sweater got the water test! Think I will try the pattern with my dog!

    • You totally should, it’s a great pattern. I added a little ease to the neck (like the pattern advised), and I think I’d leave that out next time…it’ll keep the neck hole from stretching out.

  3. You can tighten up the neck of the mustard sweater by croceting into the first row of the neck – either every stitch or every 2nd stitch depending on the hook size and the neck size required. Good luck!

    • Thanks Linda! I totally never thought of that!!! Great idea 🙂

  4. Oops I did mean crocheting!

    • LOL…I assumed 🙂

  5. I just recently found your website and blog and I love it! It makes me homesick (I’m from St. John’s originally, but have been living in Toronto for the past 15 years). Plus, I have a French Bulldog who has presented me with the same pesky sweater challenges as Franklin. I’ll cast on for this sweater asap!

    • You’ll have to stop by if you ever come “home” for a visit! I’m originally from Toronto…though there’s not too much I miss about it (except for Licks burgers!!!) LOL. The Darling Darby Sweater would work perfectly for your Frenchie. The only other suggestion I have is to use a stretchy bind off or you won’t be able to get it on the dog easily because of their giant chest and shoulders circumfrence! I had to UNbind off mine and redo it…I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off from Knitty…and now it’s perfect 🙂

  6. love his sweater and love the water test …leave it to franklynn to put it to the test!!!!! xo

  7. Jenny that was truly a funny cute story. Glad Mr. Franklin will have a warm sweater for the winter weather…:O))

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