Friday, 7 September 2012

Calling all knitters to Keep Canines Cosy!

Daniel the Spaniel models some early contributions
As the mornings get nippy and our thoughts turn to autumn and winter, we're gearing up for our annual distribution of special canine Christmas hampers through our Hope Project. We need the help of knitters around the country to help us stuff our special stockings with cosy coats.

Non-knitters can also contribute by buying toys and treat stockings for homeless dogs from (list 99188).

Since 1994, we've been working to help dog owners who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation gain access to free and subsidised veterinary treatment for their best friends.

Clare Kivlehan, Dogs Trust Hope Project Manager, explains:
“The bond between any dog and owner is a strong one but for homeless people their dog can be their only friend. Each year we’re delighted to be able to distribute these hampers to homeless hounds to help make Christmas happier for them and their owners. We hope this year that we will be able to make the festive season a little brighter with the addition of some cosy dog jumpers and fun toys.”

Fantastic supporter Linda Dennis has been knitting dog coats for us for around 12 years (!) and adds:
"I like to think that it helps to keep our four-legged friends warm on cold winter days and nights. These animals are a great comfort and support to the homeless and deserve the best we can do for them. I make the coats in a variety of colours and sizes and am happy to know that they are being put to good use. I would like to encourage you all to take up the challenge and pick up your knitting needles and crochet hooks for this good cause.”

We've also had this helpful recommendation for a basic pattern, along with the following advice since the pattern was created by a US designer: the wool is 10ply or the equivalent to Aran. UK needles are 5.5mm and 6mm. 1 ball of wool is 7oz or 198gms. Bind off is cast off and skp is slip one knit one then pass slipped stitch over.

Update: brilliant supporter Monique let us know on Facebook about this crochet pattern that she found, if you're handy with a hook!

A few important tips for your jumper design:

  • Please make it simple and practical for a dog to wear; no dangly adornments that a dog might be tempted to chew off and swallow.
  • Colours should also be practical (for example no white or cream) – reds and greens could be a nice festive touch!
  • Choose a yarn that’s easy to care for; look out for acrylics and washable fibres.
  • Many of the dogs on the Hope Project are medium to large in size, so we are particularly looking for jumpers that would fit dogs of stature!

Jumpers can be sent to: Hope Project, Dogs Trust, 17 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7RQ, no later than the 23rd November.

As ever, we're so very grateful for supporters who take the time to get involved.

Please visit our website for more information about the Hope Project.

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