If you use Instagram, knit, and have a dog, chances are you already know of Debbie Humphreys aka Redhound for Dogs. I've been following Debbie and her small Kent-based business for some time via her IG feed - she has been making dog clothes and accessories since 2010 when she had a shivering whippet at her side and realised he needed a jumper. Debbie's knitting and sewing kits for dog clothes are incredibly popular having won several prestigious awards, and I had the chance to see them up close earlier this year at Unravel. When I was offered the chance to review Debbie's new book I was delighted. After reading through it, I've decided to include the book in this year's Festive Gift Guide as it would not only make a lovely gift for a dog-loving knitter, but as it goes on sale this week, there's time to make (m)any of the 15 practical projects in time for festive gift-giving.
All images from Whippet Snippets, used with permission
This is a lovely hardback book with 96 pages of thick paper and great photographs throughout from Kerry Jordan of Whippet Snippets. There are 15 patterns which include jumpers and coats and the designs are attractive and well thought out, flattering the type/shape of dog they are made for - e.g. "I wanted textured stripes to flatter a dachshund's long body".
Each of the 15 designs includes step by step instructions along with clear schematics so it's easy to visualise the way the garment will look, and to adjust to fit your dog's measurements - a whole page is dedicated to taking four key measurements correctly. As many of the designs include ribbing they are going to be forgiving if you don't get the measurements spot on, and many are knit top-down so you can try them on as you work to ensure a great fit.
If, like mine, your dog usually wears a harness on walks, it's worth noting that there are no openings in the coats so unless you would put the harness over the coat, or feel confident to adapt the patterns yourself, you may prefer to stick to the jumpers.
The thing I like most about the book is that the patterns are not at all gimmicky and the dogs don't look stupid wearing them - they are just really attractive and useful. (My children on the other hand, love the fact file on each dog, and were especially delighted to spot 'Ralph' and 'Bunny' as the Chihuahua models - by complete co-incidence they belong to our dog groomer!) If you want to get your hands on a copy, Dogs in Jumpers is available (in hardback and Kindle editions) to order from Amazon now, and you can find more from Debbie on the Redhound for Dogs website.