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Most people know me because of my love of knitting sweaters for my dog Jellybean. Jelly is now an 11 year old short haired chihuahua that my husband and I adopted in 2016. When we brought her home she was just under five pounds and always cold. So when I adapted my Angelina pullover to fit her tiny frame, I knew I had fully become an over the top dog lady … and I was fine with that.

What many of you may not know is that in January of 2022, my husband and I adopted another dog! After a year of my own health issues and working so hard to get stronger, we decided 2022 needed more joy, so we adopted a three month old, barely three pound chihuahua named Kiwi. Kiwi didn’t know when she came into our family that I am the sweater knitting lady who knits matching sweaters for her dogs and I didn’t know my little Kiwi was going to be a nudist for the first year. 

Puppies, much like babies, tend to run a little hot their first year. When we brought Kiwi home in January, she was unbothered by the cold, ice and snow. Getting a coat on her for a walk was a challenge, so I knew getting clothing on her wouldn’t happen anytime soon. Everyone asked when would she get her first sweater and my response was always, when she stops trying to chew my yarn or stops attempting to gnaw on anything we put on her (coats, harnesses, t-shirts … you name it, she bit it).

Earlier this year, Kiwi started to show that she did get cold and appreciated an extra layer like her sister Jellybean and I thought the time for a hand knit would come soon. When Kiwi turned two in October, I decided it was finally time for her first sweater! I decided for Kiwi’s first sweater she would get the Lucky Dog sweater by Sole Salvo because I’ve knit it before and knew it went down to a size XXS and I thought why not knit it in Atlas?! 

I had three colors of Atlas on hand: Pear, Mallard, and Wintergreen. Wintergreen was the overwhelming winner on my Instagram poll because really, it is her color.

I cast on with a few things in mind as I was knitting the sweater for Kiwi. The neck needed to have a very stretchy bind off so that I could easily fold it down to make putting the sweater on as easy as possible.

Even though she does get cold, she does NOT like having things put over her head and gets a little feisty.

I also knew I wasn’t going to fuss with making sleeves and just finish off the arm holes on the sweater because I needed room to slide her skinny legs through with ease.

And the final results …

This puppy may not love wearing clothes but she sure does look cute in them. And don’t worry, I don’t torture her with sweaters in the house, only when we are outside for walks when it’s really cold.

I’m mindful that the smaller dogs can have a harder time getting their body temperatures back up when they drop, so our priority is to always make sure our dogs are safe and comfortable. And in the house I keep it nice and toasty, perfect for a puppy nudist. 

Nude No More: Custom Dog Sweaters: A Formula by Dana Williams-Johnson

About The Author

Dana Williams-Johnson knits every day. Knitting is what brings Dana joy, and she shows that through her use of color (hello, rainbows) and modifications of favorite patterns into replica sweaters for her dogs.

You can read about it all on Dana’s blog, Yards of Happiness, and watch her video podcasts on YouTube.


  • So cute . Such lucky dogs to have a human that makes them warm things. Although, l think Kiwi has a definite opinion on Mallard . And I’m glad health issues are behind you.

  • She styles the turtleneck so well!
    Definitely her color!

  • It is a the truth that the dog is the one we love best in the family!
    The sweater pattern is perfection.

  • Thanks for introducing us to Kiwi – she’s adorable. But I missed the usual photos of you with your beautiful smile. I hope all is well now with you and all your (human and doggie) family. Take care.
    Knit on!

  • Kiwi looks so proud wearing the Lucky Dog Sweater! It’s like a perpetual hug for her from her Mom. You picked the perfect color.

  • I’m pretty sure Kiwi in her lovely sweater is the cutest thing I will lay my eyes on all day! She is adorable. You have inspired me to make that sweater for my Chihuahua-terrier mix.

    • I made this pattern for Olive (a Cairn terrier/chi mix, if we are correct in our guesses) and it’s a huge favorite. Such a good design, and a fun knit that makes sense. (Sometimes the construction of dog sweaters confounds me….)

  • Thank you for putting a smile on my face. Your love of dogs shows through.

  • Oh, my heart. ❤️ so very sweet.

  • Thank you! I can’t get enough of adorable little dogs in cute hand knit sweaters!

  • Love the sweater and the in it
    My groomer asked me to knit a sweater for her chiquaqua
    Wish my English cockers would let me dress them!

  • That is unbelievably cute! Thank you for making my day!

  • Kiwi has an amazing and beautiful face! Such a thoughtful expression. So glad you are doing well and have a new addition and friend for Jellybean—and another pup to knit adorable sweaters for.

  • Kiwi looks great in her sweater – she wears it well! I have fun watching the two dogs in your IG stories – I love the captions!

  • Dana, thank you for sharing Kiwi! I never knew I could find a chihuahua to be so charming and cute but I do now! Thank you for also sharing your dog knowledge. I had no idea puppies ran warm. Our furry friends provide so much love and joy, great choice to add Kiwi to your crew.

  • What a lucky little dog to live with you! She looks gorgeous in her sweater!

  • Love it! I saw the story on IG of you trying to get the sweater off of her and she snarled and threatened to nip. It was a 10 step process. Lol.

  • Kiwi looks fabulous in her finished sweater and perfect model pose! Can’t wait to see a Twinsies photo with JellyBean and Kiwi in matching sweaters.

  • She looks so proud and also Feisty! Great sweater 🙂

  • Beautiful sweater. I love her ears!!

  • Adorable! ❤

  • Love your posts. They always make me smile.

  • Love the puppy sweater, and the color is perfect on her. I’m glad you’re feeling better. Health issues are a real heavy weight to carry.

  • Oh my gosh… so cute!! What a lucky dog to have an attuned, talented and patient mama!

  • Omigod, the cuteness! Those ears!

  • Kiwi looks terrific! Wintergreen is perfect!
    Hello to Jellybean…

  • I love to see and hear about Dana and her sweaters. She is an amazing knitter, but I love that she knits matching sweaters for herself and for her first dog, Jellybean. I’m glad that she’s also knitting for her newest dog, Kiwi.

  • She’s even more gorgeous with her new sweater! How do you get the butt to fit so snug?

  • Love the sweater! I learned a new word recently. Perfect for you also:
    Accordig to websters dictionary: The technical term for those who love dogs is Cynophilist. And the love for a dog is called

    • Canophilia

  • Best dressed family – two- and four-legged – in town!!

  • Yay! Glad you’re back and yes, Wintergreen is clearly the best choice She’s adorable. My elderly dachshund George is giving tremendous side eye – clearly guilting me because he doesn’t have a handknit sweater.

  • Dana You sure make such cute dog sweaters to match yours. I’m so impressed how quickly you knit up a garment. Always, looking toward your next project.
    Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

  • You inspire me to knit a tiny sweater for a lil pup I’m about to adopt. She is an Italian Greyhound, pint size. This pattern would look fabulous on her and I like the tips about making it easier to don with stretchy neck and leg holes.

  • such a great column! thanks, and good to read your wonderful writing again.

  • Your dogs are always so fashion-forward. True style leaders!

  • Dana, your posts fill me with joy. I am an admirer of your sweaters, your fur babies, and your outlook on life. Take care and God bless.

  • This is a great sweater for the littles and Kiwi looks amazing in it. I also have a tiny chihuahua and you did well to leave off the sleeves. Mine gets her legs lost in them. Could you talk about how you finished the armholes instead of making sleeves? I definitely want to do that next time.

  • I don’t know what’s more impressive, how fast you knit or how you manage to get Kiwi’s jumper over her head!
    She’s such a good knitwear model, you picked the perfect dog! (To go with your other perfect dog)

  • I would have voted for wintergreen too. Kiwi is so expressive.

  • I am almost done with my first dog sweater. It’s such a satisfying way to stash bust too!

  • I love Dana and her pups! They spark joy!

  • Thank you Dana! Happy holidays

  • Kiwi and Jellybean are so lucky to have you! They are both adorable and I love Kiwi’s first new sweater. She is so cute! I have a little Yorkie that hates clothing also, but just recently got him used to a harness, so maybe there is hope of a sweater on our coldest days.. I live in Texas so not too many of those.

  • Squeeee! Sweaters for the Chis! Isn’t it great to civer our fur babies with love?!? Thanks for sharing this joy.

  • Kiwi is definitely rocking her new sweater! Love her attitude and happy to hear you are well! Holiday Blessings❤️

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