Best yarn for dog sweaters for daily wear?
January 5, 2016 10:30 PM   Subscribe

I need to knit/crochet my dachshunds some sweaters since regular dog sweaters aren't long enough for wiener dog body shapes. Our dogs would wear these every day (not just as occasional costumes on holidays) and thus these sweaters would be subjected to a lot of wear and tear and go through the wash frequently. What kind of yarn would be best for this particular application? Thanks!
posted by Jacqueline to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I use either superwash wool (Cascade 220 or any of KnitPicks' stuff is pretty good), or just straight up craft store acrylic/acrylic blends if I'm in a hurry and don't want to order online. I'm a yarn snob for everything else I knit, but as long as the acrylic is decently soft it works great for dog sweaters.
posted by mollywas at 10:52 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I also pitched up to say acrylic or acrylic blend!
posted by DarlingBri at 12:54 AM on January 6, 2016

I don't find acrylic very warm though, so if you're talking about walking in the snow I would veer towards superwash wool. If it's just "cold", acrylic is should be fine and is super cheap.
posted by like_neon at 1:15 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Acrylic is a great choice, and very cost-effective, if you like acrylic (many knitters don't, many dogs are indifferent). If you want to go higher-end and are willing to knit at a smaller gauge, consider sock yarn, particularly superwash wool/nylon blends. That stuff is built to take a beating.

Check out the Ravelry user reviews for whatever yarn you're considering; people will often comment on how well yarns wear.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:37 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

More expensive super wash wool will save you money in the end, because the cheaper stuff is made with shorter fibers and may pill more. Maybe your dogs won't care about pilling, though, and cheaper stuff will be fine.
posted by BrashTech at 4:22 AM on January 6, 2016

Plymouth Encore has some wool in it and (in my opinion) is a little nicer to knit with than Vanna's. Vanna's is nicer to knit with than Red Heart Supersaver.

The wool content of Encore is nice because wool is warmer and doesn't feel wet as quickly as pure acrylic does.

I'd also vote to make two or three for each pup so you've got time to air dry them. Even acrylic yarn doesn't actually love going in the dryer.
posted by bilabial at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2016

I also vote for a wool/acrylic blend like Plymouth Encore. I used similar, but discontinued Ella Rae Amity (75% acrylic, 25% wool) for the only dog sweater I ever made, and it turned out great.

I'm also a yarn snob and don't care for acrylic for projects for myself, but we're talking about a dog sweater. It needs to be durable and washable, and it's a smallish project, so the discomfort of working with the yarn won't last long.

I also agree with the air drying idea. The only knitwear I machine dry is socks, and only on accident. Actually, now that I say that, I bet traditional German sock yarn like Regia (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon) would make a great dog sweater, if not as warm because it produces a thin fabric, and it would take a long time to knit or crochet because the yarn only comes in fingering and sport weights. But the finished project would outlast the apocalypse and be very machine-washable. Maybe you could double the yarn and treat it like a worsted-weight (swatch first).
posted by liet at 8:42 AM on January 6, 2016

Sock yarn with a wool/nylon blend, doubled up to have a thicker weight - the warmth of wool, great colors, durable, washable. If you use the yarns with varied colors, it's more likely to hide stains.
posted by lizbunny at 10:20 AM on January 6, 2016

Thanks for all the advice! I'm going to use 220 Superwash Wool as per this thread and the Ravelry reviews (and thanks for referring me to that site). I will also be taking the advice to make a few per dog so they can air dry.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:27 AM on January 11, 2016

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