Handbound: Your Thursday Dose of Chronicle Craft

My great shame as a craft editor is that I don’t know how to knit. Shocker. I try to hide the fact when I attend big craft fairs and tradeshows. (It’s hard when you can never remember if skein is pronounced skine or skane.) So, today I wanted to atone for my sin by giving the knitting community a freebie project from one of our new fall books. Good non-knitter karma…Enjoy!

This one’s from Picture Perfect Knits, which is full of intarsia projects—perfect for cozy fall projects with personality. You could easily adapt the hearts and bones in this dog sweater to make a super cute Halloween costume.

Hearts and Bones Dog Sweater
Project by Catherine Head, photo by Sheri Giblin

Dog wearing a sweater that you can learn to knit

As if your canine buddy isn’t cute enough already, here comes the ultimate in swoon-inducing dog sweaters. With a ribbed turtleneck, intarsia hearts-and-bones repeating motif, and front-leg sleeves, this sweater will turn your best friend into the best-dressed pup at the park.

One size; fits medium-sized dogs

22.5 inches long; 22-inch circumference


· Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Superwash Worsted (100% washable wool; 100g = 200 yds)

· Main Color (MC): cactus, 2 skeins

· Contrasting Color 1 (CC1): alabaster, 1 skein

· Contrasting Color 2 (CC2): rose quartz, 1 skein

· Size 8 (5mm) 24-inch circular needles (or size needed to match gauge)

· Size 8 (5mm) double-pointed needles (for sleeves)

· Tapestry needle

· 2 stitch markers

18 sts and 20 rows per 4 inches in stockinette stitch



· The collar is worked in 2×2 ribbing, increasing 1 on each side every fourth row as follows:

· With MC, CO 64 sts. Do not join. The sweater is worked flat and then seamed up the belly.

· Row 1: (K2, P2) to end.

· Rows 2–3: Repeat row 1.

· Row 4: K1, m1, K1, (P2, K2) to last 2 sts, P1, m1, P1.

· Row 5: P1, (K2, P2) to last st, K1.

· Rows 6–7: Repeat row 5.

· Row 8: P1, m1 (K2, P2) to last st, m1, K1.

· Rows 9–11: (P2, K2) across.

· Row 12: P1, m1, P1, (K2, P2) to last 2 sts, K1, m1, K1.

· Rows 13–15: K1 (P2, K2) to last st, P1.

· Row 16: K1, m1 (P2, K2) to last st, m1, P1.

· Rows 17–24: Repeat rows 1–8. (76 sts on needle)

· The body is worked in stockinette stitch.


· Row 25 (WS): Purl, increasing 1 stitch at center of row. (77 sts)

· Begin shaping the body:

· Row 26 (RS): K1, m1, K to last 2 sts, m1, K1. (79 sts)

· Row 27: P7, place marker, P to last 7 sts, place marker, P to end. There are 65 sts between markers.

· Row 28: K1, m1, K to marker, work intarsia pattern between markers, K to last st, m1, K1. (81 sts)

· Row 29: P across.

· Rows 30–33: Repeat rows 28–29 twice. (85 sts)

· Row 34: Repeat row 28. (87 sts)

· Row 35–36: Repeat rows 25–26. (89 sts)

· Make the armholes as follows:

· Row 37: P12, join new yarn, BO 3 sts, P59, join new yarn, BO 3 sts, P12. You will work each of the three sections separately for 12 rows. (83 sts)

· Row 38: K1, m1, K to end of section, (13 sts); K59; K to last st, m1, k1. (13 sts)

· Row 39: P across.

· Rows 40–49: Repeat Rows 38–39 5 more times. (18 sts on each side and 59 sts in center section)

· Finish armholes and rejoin sections into a single piece, continuing with one strand of yarn only.

· Row 50: K18, CO 3 sts, K59, CO 3 sts, K18. (101 sts)

· Rows 51–63: Work even in stockinette stitch.

· Shape lower back:

· Rows 64–65: BO 6 sts, work to end of row. (89 sts)

· Rows 66–67: BO 4 sts, work to end of row. (81 sts)

· Row 68–69: BO 3 sts, work to end of row. (75 sts)

· Row 70: K1, k2tog, K to last 3 sts, k2tog, K1. (73 sts)

· Row 71: P1, p2tog, P to last 3 sts, p2tog, P1. (71 sts)

· Rows 72–73: Repeat rows 70–71. (67 sts)

· Row 74: Repeat row 70. (65 sts)

· Rows 75–80: Begin working intarsia chart while repeating rows 72-73 three times. (53 sts)

· Rows 81–83: Work even in stockinette stitch and finish intarsia chart.

· Row 84: Repeat row 70. (51 sts)

· Rows 85–92: *Work 3 rows even, then repeat Row 70, repeat from * twice more. (45 sts)

· Rows 93–110: Work even in stockinette stitch.

· BO all sts.


· Pick up 4 stitches on right rear edge of sweater body.

· K 40 rows (garter stitch).

· BO all sts.

· Sew loose end to the right side where the body decreases began.

· Repeat to make a second strap and sew onto left side.


· With DPNs, pick up 32 sts around right armhole.

· Work in K2, P2 ribbing for 11 rounds. BO loosely.

· Repeat for left sleeve.



· Sew in all loose ends.

· Sew body together from the CO edge to where the body decreases began.

For these color intarsia charts that go along with this project, and more than 75 others, pick up a copy of Picture Perfect Knits.



  • Gail E aka the Stitcn 'n Frog October 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I wondered, whose Basenji is modeling the sweater? Many years ago I raised Basenji’s and love the breed. They are so intelligent and loving, not to mention very clean pups.

    Lovely sweater too, but the Basenji really caught my eye~

    gail e


  • Kammy October 31, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    i love this sweater! but I have a very small dog… 3.5 lbs to be exact. Any suggestions for shrinking the pattern to fit him? And another quick question, will I have problem with him peeing on the straps under his belly?


  • Cat November 17, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Hello! This is Cat, and I put together that dog sweater pattern. That particular dog, Amy, belongs to my brother (or is it vice versa?), and I based the pattern off of her old favorite sweater, with some tweaks here and there. As far as I know she has never had a problem with peeing on the straps.

    There’s quite a difference in size between a mid-sized dog like Amy and a 3.5 pounder, so I’d recommend finding another pattern for a dog sweater especially suited for your pup (there are quite a few available for free online), and simply applying the hearts and bones where you can fit them.

    I hope that helps… happy knitting!


  • mistake finder December 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    HI, on rows 35 and 36 the pattern calls for repeatings rows 25 and 26 – ending with 89 sts. Well…Row 25 tells me to inc in the center of the row. Row 26 tells me to inc on both ends. That equals 3 increases. Which gives me 90 sts. Just thought you’d like to know.


  • Karen January 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    The basenji caught my eye as well. It’s the male dogs that have trouble peeing on the underbelly. That’s why “she” has never had a problem peeing on the straps…


  • Susan Fletcher February 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I want to knit the dog coat hearts and bones sweather. Why did you but the pattern up for printing and no patterns for the haerts and bones. I would think the full patterns would be there to print. The pattern is no good like this, Was thie done so you would buy the book. If so not very good salesman ship i do not think. Susan


  • trailrunner21 September 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Love the sweater and the Basenji! I’m looking to outfit my pair of B’s. Nice to see one modeling!


  • Kate November 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Susan, We didn’t mean to lead you astray by not providing the intarsia pattern for the dog sweater. We’ve added it in to the post above for you. Thanks for reading, and happy knitting!


  • betty February 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    i made hearts and bones sweater and i love it
    thank you.
    and the dog doesnot pee on it ‘


  • Rickie September 29, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Yes I feel the same as Susan. I thought I was getting the whole pattern also. I see you said you added the hearts and bones to a post but I don't know where to find the post.


    • Kate Woodrow September 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

      Hi Rickie – the intarsia pattern for the hearts and bones is posted on this very page. Scroll up a bit and you'll see it. If the numbers are too small to read, click on the image to enlarge it. Thanks for reading our blog and enjoy the free project!!


  • Janice O'Malley October 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

    My son asked if I would knit this lovely sweater for his dog. His dog is a full grown Amstaff with a 30.5 in circumference and 22 inches in length. Would anyone have any recommendations on how to adjust this pattern to fit his dog. Many thanks, jan


    • Cat October 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Jan,
      Rather than modifying this pattern, I'd recommend using a tried-and-true pattern for your son's dog and then working in the hearts and bones intarsia around the neck and back. This website has quite a few wonderful sweater patterns:….


    • Barb Wil July 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      I found a website that calculates your dogs measurement free on line
      I was looking because my son and daughterinlaw also wanted a sweater for their dog.
      what a small world… best wishes with the knitting… barbara wil


      • Janice O'Malley August 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Thanks for this info Barb. I actually finished the sweater but it was too big; I really wanted to use this pattern but out of frustration I put it aside until recently. Today I fit the sweater on our "grand dog" and marked the sizing changes with safety pins. Then I spread the sweater out on a large clear plastic bag and traced the outline, giving me a reference pattern. Using a marker I drew in the sizing changes on this pattern and will use that now as my reference. Hopefully I'll get it right this time! Many thanks, Jan


  • @CraftyGal65 February 6, 2011 at 8:02 am

    What an adorable sweater.will be adjusting for a dachshund.


  • Karen E July 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I think this is adorable! I am an experienced knitter, but have never seen the abbreviation m1. What does that mean? Also, what is the measurement for the chest? I don't have this breed of dog. Mine looks about the same size as the dog pictured, I just want to make sure before I make it for Puppa.


    • Kate W. August 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Hey Karen – Cat (the woman who designed and made this sweater) says her sweater is about 22 inches around the chest. And m1 (make1) is an increase – to make one stitch. I hope that helps!


  • mandy Galea September 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    what does 'BO' means please?
    as I am doing the pattern but got stuck as I don't know the meaning of it.

    many thanks


  • Joanne October 19, 2015 at 7:40 am

    The bone pattern is missing


  • Judy November 29, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Anyone ever find the bone pattern?


  • Jo O'Donnell May 3, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve searched and searched and I can’t find the pattern for the hearts and bones either!!!!!!!!!!! Bit of a waste of time really.


  • Doreen Press December 30, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    I am frustrated by this also. I started the sweater and now I can not find the intarsia pattern either. AUGHGHGHGH!


  • Carol January 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Nope! Hunted high and low for the intarsia chart for this sweater to no avail. The only remote reference to it is a link which takes me straight to Amazon selling a book. Too bad for me.


    • Jenna Homen January 10, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Carol! Just dug into the archives and found that this post from 2008 is missing an image—I believe this is the one you are looking for? I updated the post with the chart pattern at the end.


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