With the go-ahead to forge on ahead after our fitting, the rest of Picot's striped sweater knit up pretty quickly. I started off casting off for the leg openings:
K10, Cast Off 9 sts, K71, Cast off 9 sts, K10. (I slipped the stitches onto some scrap yarn to make them easier to pick up later.)
Work belly and back back and forth at the same time (using two skeins).
Continue in stockinette stitch for 9 rows.
Double check your measurements to make sure the leg openings will be big enough for the dog's leg before casting the stitches back on. I used a provisional cast on - again to make picking up stitches for the cuff easier.
CO 9 sts over leg openings, and join to knit in round. (total 113 sts)
There - that was the hardest part of the sweater (until the trim). After the leg holes, knitting the rest of the body is just smooth sailing.
Continue in stockinette stitch until sweater is 50cm from neck ribbing.
Cast off 12 sts, K85, Cast off 12 sts.
I slipped the “cast off sts” onto a piece of scrap yarn – these will be the “Belly sts." From now on, you knit the body back and forth, decreasing on each side.
Continue in stockinette stitch, decreasing one stitch at the beginning (SSK) and one stitch at the end (K2T), for each Knit row until there are 60 sts remaining (25 rows).
Continue in stockinette stitch (without decreasing) until sweater is 72 cm long.
Decrease one stitch at the beginning (SSK) and one stitch at the end (K2T), Knitting in between, for 5 rows (This will be garter stitch).
Instead of this garter stitch ending, I decreased on one side, slipped 10 stitches at the beginning and end of the row onto some scrap yarn until all the stitches were on the scrap yarn. This created a gentle curving back end.
Cast off. (I suggest slipping “cast off sts” onto a piece of scrap yarn. These will be the “Back sts”.)
The sweater should look something like this now:
It has the shape of a dog's body. Trim will make the finished product more polished, but the general shape is complete. This is the belly view, so you can see the slipped belly stitches and both leg holes.
I hope to finish up the trim this week, so Picot will have her turtleneck sweater just in time for July (only the hottest month of the year)!