Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Puppy's Lion Snood for Halloween

When I was growing up, my mom always made my Halloween costumes.  I still have the cape she made me from when I was the Count at 2 years old and the dinosaur (dragon?) costume from when I was 4 or 5.  I want to create some Halloween outfits for both Indy and Lucky.  It will be easier to create something for Indy because I can rely on knitting and he's pretty easy going when it comes to dressing up.  The almost 2 YO Lucky on the other hand... well he requires a little more convincing when it comes to wearing costumes.

I hope you enjoy this simple pattern of a dog!

  • Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver or other worsted weight yarn in 3 colors (Carrot, Gold, Cafe Latte).  Yardage: ~20 g (37 yards) of each color for the snood alone, 43-47 g (80-90 yards) of each color. A total of 250 yards of worsted weight Red Heart Super Saver was used to complete the sample photographed here.  
  • Needles:  5 US size 11 (8.0 mm) double pointed knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge 
  • Gauge: 8 sts/3", 8 rows/2" over stockinette on size 11 needles with 3 strands of worsted weight yarn. 
  • Notions: A measuring tape for checking your dog's measurements, a yarn needle for weaving in loose ends, a crochet hook for adding the fringe.  
  • Dog Model: 25 lb American Eskimo Dog (4 year old "puppy".)  His head is 15 inches around (no including his fluffy fur) and he has 3.5-4 inches between his ears. Each ear is approximately 2" wide.  Indy frequently wears M/L commercial dog costumes.  
  • Finished snood size (without fringe): 5.5" long, 16" circumference.  

I don't normally work in 100% acrylic yarns but I needed something machine washable for when I sewed Lucky's costume together.  I selected the colors Carrot, Gold and Cafe Latte because they complemented the sweatshirt and pants I was going to use for Lucky's costume.  I'm not worried about yardage because each of the balls of yarn is almost 200 g, 364 yards - I know that there will be plenty for both projects plus possibly some extra accessories.  

Sizing - I will make notes through the pattern so you can make adjustments to the shape and placement of ear holes.  The ear holes are entirely optional, but Indy hates to have his ears covered so I wanted to make the costume a bit more pleasant for him.

The puppy snood without the lion fringe.  The base pattern is simple enough that you can modify it to fit your favorite pooch.

The Snood Pattern - The puppy snood is knit holding three strands of worsted weight yarn together.
  • Before you begin, cut and set aside ~2 yards of each color yarn.
  • Cast on 44 stitches.  Join to knit in the round, taking care to not twist the stitches.  (Sizing Note:  Since Indy's head is 15 inches around and my gauge is 8 sts/3", 40 sts should fit exactly, but I wanted some additional clearance so I cast on 44 sts.  The number of stitches you cast on should be in a multiple of 4 for the pattern to work correctly.)  
  • Knit in 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2) around for 3 rounds or until the piece measures ~1 inch from the cast on edge.  (If you are skipping the ear holes continue knitting the rib pattern for # rows or until the piece measures # inches, or desired length, long.)  
  • Next Round:  Bind off 6 sts in ribbing pattern, P2, K2, P2, K2, Bind off 6 sts in ribbing pattern, continue ribbing pattern for remaining 24 sts.  Group 8 stitches between ear holes onto one DPN.  (For sizing purposes, I tried the snood on Indy's head and looked closer at where the placement of the ear holes should be when his ears are up at attention.  Err on the side of larger ear holes rather than smaller ones for the comfort of your dog.)
  • Next Row:  Turn work, *K2, P2* over 24 sts 
  • Next Row: Turn Work, *K2, P2* over 24 sts 
  • Between Ear Space - Using the yarn you set aside before casting on, join yarn to the right of the stitches between the ear holes.  P2, K2, P2, K2.  Turn work.  P2, K2, P2, K2.  You are now done with this scrap of yarn.  
  • Knitting in the round again.  With the yarn still attached to the balls, cast on 6 stitches using the backwards loop cast on method, P2, K2, P2, K2 across the sts between the ear holes, CO 6 sts with the backwards loop cast on method, *K2, P2* across to the end of the round.  (44 sts)
  • Next Round:  *K2, P2* around.  Continue knitting this ribbing pattern until the entire piece measures 5.5 inches or reaches desired length.  
  • Bind off in ribbing pattern.  

Finishing - It is time to add fringe all over the snood to create a fantastic lion's mane for your favorite puppy.  It is better to start with too long of a mane and then trim it than to start too short.

Cut many (DOZENS AND DOZENS) of 6" lengths of yarn.  Using a crochet hook, knot fringe around the snood, starting with the cast on edge.  Apply the fringe all over the snood until you have achieved the amount of mane desired.

A Quick Refresher on Adding Fringe to a Knit Garment with a Crochet Hook

I applied fringe to every cast on stitch  (for a good face frame) and then somewhat randomly around the rest of the hat.  I focused the embellishment on the knit parts of the ribbing and skipping the purl valleys to maintain the stretchiness of the snood.  I did add some extra fringe around the edges of the ear holes.

The fringe only added on knit ribs, not the purl valleys

Depending on the drape of your fringe (and the amount of yarn you have) you can either cover the entire length of the snood in fringe or you can stop once you have a mane you are happy with.  I went just beyond the back of the ear holes and then left the bottom inch or so bare because it looked completely covered when modeled by Indy.

Where I stopped adding fringe
The Lion Puppy Snood is ready for a puppy model!  
The next step is the most important one... Put the lion's mane snood onto your favorite puppy and snap tons of photos!  Indy is such a fluffy puppy normally that adding the mane didn't really change this volume too much, mostly just his color.  

More pictures of Indy being a good sport
Indy was such a good sport in this project.  I kept measuring the snood on him and he would hold steady while I snapped some pictures.  He was so steady that I never dropped a stitch or got poked with a needle.  This very good puppy got a lot of cookies, to the extent where Lucky was confused and started asking for cookies, too.  Maybe I need to rename Indy's treats to something else...

Watch the snood grow on Indy.  I tried the snood on him every couple of rows to ensure a good fit.  

By the end of this project Indy started wagging and getting excited each time I called him over because he knew he would get a treat if he was patient with me.  

The first little bit of fringe gives Indy some bangs!
Beginning stages of the fringe application

Enjoy this simple and super adorable puppy Halloween costume!  Lucky loves his lion brother.

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
RS - Right Side
WS - Wrong Side
Sts - Stitches
K - Knit
P - purl
CO - cast on
BO - bind off

These knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to sell, distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2015 ChemKnits


  1. Whoops! The YouTube video didn't get embedded in the post properly. Everything should be fixed now.

  2. What a good sport Indy is, lol. The picture of Lucky kissing Indy is priceless!

    1. The kissing goes both ways. Indy is a very tolerant big brother. :)

  3. LOVE this! I'll have to try it for my little white fur ball. :)

    1. We still gets lots of giggles out of it. Plus some toddlers even enjoy wearing it, too! :)

  4. Totally cute! What a good dog! My dog has broken records for how quickly she's pushed snoods off.

  5. Totally cute! What a good dog! My dog has broken records for how quickly she's pushed snoods off.

  6. The last picture of the toddler kissing the dog troubles me. While the toddler's intentions are good, the dog's body language is indicating serious discomfort. The licking shows what behaviourists call "conflict behaviour" i.e. the dog is conflicted about what to do. While this dog may not bite, this is how children are bitten. And the dog always pays the price usually with its life.

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