Knitted dog leg warmers or handmade dog socks can be used in a variety of ways:
- to keep your dog’s legs warm
- as an accessory to a dog sweater or coat
- to demonstrate team spirit or celebrate a holiday
- as a covering for a bandage
You can add decorations such as your dog’s name, as I did with ours, by crocheting a chain of stitches for the letters, and then sewing them on by hand with thread.
Other options would be to knit the letters, or make them out of ribbon, cord or fabric and attach them with fabric glue.
Rhinestones, buttons, and sequins could also be used, provided your dog wouldn’t chew them off!
If you want to re-create the dog sock shown in blue above, please read on for my instructions.
At right, Carol from Ontario, Canada, shows a set of knitted dog leg warmers she made to match a colorful hooded sweater.
Instructions for Knitted Dog Leg Warmers a.k.a. Comet’s Dog Socks
Comet’s knitted dog leg warmers are based on two simple types of knitting patterns: stockinette stitch and rib stitch.
(If you’re an experienced knitter, you can change these to any patterns you’d like – just be aware that some patterns can be knobbly and less comfortable for your dog to wear.)
Choose any size yarn and needle you want, but keep the following in mind:
- The finer the yarn and needle, the tighter the weave.
- A really thick yarn may be uncomfortable for your dog to wear and difficult to put on.
- A large diameter needle may create a very open weave that may not keep your dog warm.
- You need at least 15 feet or 5 meters of yarn for one sock.
MEASUREMENTS (WRITE THESE DOWN)
- The circumference of your dog’s front leg at the widest point
- The length of leg you want to have the sock cover
- Make a test swatch of 20 stitches by 10 rows and measure how many stitches per inch* you knit and how many rows per inch* you get (your knitting gauge).
*For metric, use cm or mm
For example, Comet’s leg was 7 inches all the way around. I knitted 4 stitches per inch with the blue yarn. Therefore, I needed to cast on 28 stitches (4 x 7).
My test swatch came to 8 rows per inch.
1. RIB STITCH SECTION ONE
- Cast on the desired number of stitches.
- Knit 2, Purl 2, repeat to end.
- Continue the pattern with the next rows until you have approximately one inch of ribbing.
2. STOCKINETTE SECTION
- Row 11: Knit all the way across
- Row 12: Purl all the way across
- Repeat rows 11 and 12 until you are one inch away from the total length you would like.
3. RIB STITCH SECTION TWO
- End with another Rib Stitch Section for about an inch and bind off.
4. FINISH THE DOG SOCK
- Match up the two long edges and sew the seams together, using the same color yarn – don’t overlap the seams as that may create an uncomfortable ridge.
- If desired, apply embroidery using a contrasting yarn or some of the other suggestions from the top of this page.