Harley’s Sweater


I crocheted this sweater up for Harley in a couple of evenings.  It would be an easy sweater for beginners.  I used 3 strands of Caron Simply Soft and a Size K hook.  I think it would be fine to substitute a bulky yarn or a couple of strands of a thicker yarn, such as Red Heart Super Saver.  I was looking for a warm, dense, blanket-like effect, as dachshunds tend to feel the cold because of their small size and short hair.

 When I first made the sweater I attached only one belly band right behind his front legs, but after a short walk realized it needed another band to stabilize shifting when the dog moved around.  This second band is preferable to a single wide band, because its shorter than the front band and allows for the “tummy tuck” that dogs have behind the rib cage. If you look closely you can see that I’ve used two techniques for the belly bands.  The front one was incorporated into the body of the sweater and the second was added by picking up stitches after the body was completed.  Personally, I think the latter band looks better.  The end was straighter and the buttonhole is better concealed than the band that was completed with the sweater body.  Therefore my instructions will use this method.



Measuring Dog

No two dogs are the same size.  By measuring your dog you can make the sweater fit your canine buddy, no matter how big or small.


Take these measurements:

1.  Length of entire sweater.  I wanted Harley’s sweater to reach almost to the base of his tail, so I measured from the base of his neck to right above the base of his tail.  In his case this was 12″.


2.  Neck circumference.  I didn’t want the sweater to interfere with movement of his neck or his collar and leash, therefore I measured low on his neck.  It isn’t necessary for this to be a snug fit.  You want to be able to easily fit the front neck band over the dog’s head and want the dog to be able to relax and move the head around, but don’t want the band to sag.  For Harley this was 12″


3.  Rib cage circumference.   This measurement is taken directly behind the front legs.  This band needs to be very snug, as it will stretch a lot.  If it isn’t tight to begin with it will shift around when the dog runs, plays, or moves around when sleeping.


4.  Upper abdomen circumference.  This measurement should be taken about 2″ behind the rib cage measurement.  In Harley’s case this measurement was approximately 1″ shorter than the rib cage.  Again, this measurement should be fairly snug.

5.  Sweater width measurement.  This is the measurement that will determine how far down on the dog’s body the sweater reaches.  Too short and the sweater won’t offer enough warmth and coverage.  Too long and the dog may get hung up in the sweater when it curls up to nap or in the case of a male dog, may get urine on the sweater when it lifts its leg on a bush.  Also, while on the subject of little boys and leg lifting… be sure the rear band offers space between your boys plumbing and the abdomen band so it doesn’t get sprayed.  This sweater tapers in the rear and widens to cover the back of the dog.  For additional coverage over the back legs, the tail end of the sweater can be squared, not tapered.  In this case simply begin the sweater with the desired number of stitches to cover the dog’s back and continue straight up to the neck.


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Harley’s Sweater

These instructions are for a standard sized dachshund.

Skill level: Easy

3 Skeins Caron Simply Soft yarn

Crochet hook Size K-10.5 (6.5 mm)

Gauge: 10 sc + 10 rows = approximately 4 in.  (10 cm).


Holding 3 yarn lengths together as one, ch 17.

Row 1. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across – 16 sc.

Row 2.  Ch 1 turn, 2 sc in first st, sc in each st across until reaching the last sc.  2 sc in last st.

Row 3-7.  Repeat Row 2.  – 26 st.

Row 8. Ch 1 turn, 1 sc in each st across.

Repeat row 8 until sweater reaches 12″.  At this point you will increase for the neck band and begin to work in the round.

Neck Band

After reaching the desired length of sweater finish the last row and then ch 15 st. Join last ch to first st of row and crochet in the round until neck band measures 1″.  Finish off by sl st in first sc.

Weave in ends.

Belly Bands

First Band:

Slip sweater over dog’s head and mark where sweater edge is directly behind dog’s front legs.  Pick up 5 st. right behind this mark.

Row 1.  ch 1, sc across – 5 st

Repeat row 1 until band measures 10″.  Make buttonhole.

Buttonhole Row 1:  ch 1, sc 2 st, ch 1, skip next sc, sc in last 2 st – 4 st

Buttonhole Row 2:  ch 1 sc 2 st, sc in c1, sc in last 2 st – 5 st

Repeat Row 1 for 1″ past buttonhole.

Finish off.

Weave in ends

Second band:

Pick up 5 st directly behind first band.

Repeat instructions for first band but shorten this band approximately 1″ to allow for dog’s “tummy tuck”.


Try the sweater on dog and mark for button placement.  Sew buttons into place.

If you have questions leave them as a comment for me and I’ll get back to you.

Hook On!