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Knitting and Woolly Woofers Q&A with Debbie Bliss

(34 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 27-Aug-14 11:35:25

Debbie Bliss is one of the foremost designers and authors of hand-knitting patterns in the UK, the US, Europe and Asia. She's the author of hand-knitting bestsellers including Simply Baby and Essential Kids and her books have sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide and been translated into 11 languages.

Her latest book is Woolly Woofers which, in her own words, "combines two of my great loves; knitting and dogs. I am not interested in a snooty pet who can take you or leave you (fellow dog-lovers, you know who I mean). I want unconditional love. I want a pet who, when you pop out to the kitchen for a few minutes, will behave as though you had been gone for months on your return. Surely all doggy devotion should be rewarded with the best possible wardrobe, lovingly knitted by their owner."

Woolly Woofers is a collection of over 20 knitwear designs for dogs - "an irresistible mixture of cosy, cute and comic canine outfits" - and will be published on 11 September.

Add your knitting/doggy/yarn-related (or any combination of...) questions for Debbie by Wednesday 10 September when we will be sending them over to her to answer. Plus a signed copy to be won by someone who posts.

DebbieBliss Mon 15-Sep-14 11:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DebbieBliss Mon 15-Sep-14 11:22:18


Hi Debbie, your new book sounds great. I have a couple of questions, related to knitting in general.

Which type of yarn do you most like to knit with? And why?

What would you recommend I make with my granddaughter (she in 14) for her first attempt at knitting and what style should I teach her first?

Thanks very much! neena x

My yarn of choice tends to be influenced by my mood, sometimes I feel like picking up the needles and knitting something small and delicate like a baby garment in Baby Cashmerino. Other times I want to work with something chunky and quick to knit like Paloma or my new yarn Roma.
How lovely to get the opportunity to teach your granddaughter to knit! There is nothing better than starting with something simple which is also on trend to interest a teenager. There is going to be a lot of chunky scarves around this season so a garter stitch (all rows knit) scarf in a chunkier yarn would be ideal. Normally I wouldn’t recommend the thicker yarns for a complete beginner because the larger needles can be a bit awkward to handle initially but I think it is important that your granddaughter can see the knitting grow quickly for a bit more “instant gratification”. Look out for a free pattern for a beginners knit scarf on my website soon.

DebbieBliss Mon 15-Sep-14 11:23:03


I recently picked up my knitting needles again after many (many) years of not having done anything. I feel as though I'm starting from scratch! Are there any patterns in your book that a complete beginner (for the second time) could try?

Welcome back to knitting! There are some plainer knits in the book, the moss stitch Give A Dog a Bone Coat or the stocking stitch Mod Dog which has a bullseye motif which can be left off or the simple Puppy Polo. You will probably find that you will pick up the techniques quickly, rather like riding a bike, but there also some excellent tip books available now or very helpful You Tube videos.

DebbieBliss Mon 15-Sep-14 11:23:38


hello Debbie. Any plans to branch out into patterns for cats?! My granddaughter has a house cat (she lives in a flat) and because he doesn't go out she maintains that he can't be embarrassed by the neck ties she puts on him in front of the neighbourhood cats!

Do your dogs enjoy being dressed to the nines?! I'm feeling a bit envious now...I shall have to borrow a dog to knit for.

I have to say that one of the things I love about dogs is their ability to look embarrassed at almost everything! I am passionate about dogs so I am afraid that there isn’t enough love left over for cats. I would recommend some rather lovely knitted kerchiefs in the book, the bone or paw motif can easily be replaced by a fish skeleton or whiskers!

DebbieBliss Mon 15-Sep-14 11:24:09


I'm a fellow dog lover - how many do you have? Your book sounds fabulous. Do you have any tips for outfits for very wet or snowy weather - I worry knits will get so soggy that the benefits will be lost

I have two, Monty a beagle and Smiffy a Parson Russell Terrier. I would recommend the outfits in the bog that are lined to prevent stretching. This includes the Give a Dog a Bone Coat which has a smart tartan lining and the Pirate Pooch which had a rather snazzy skull and crossbones lining!

DebbieBliss Mon 15-Sep-14 11:24:42


Dear Debbie

I would love to knit something special for my darling baby granddaughter - but she suffers from severe eczema and I have been asked not to use wool and I would like to find something soft that's not too synthetic feeling. Any ideas?

Thank you in advance

I am so sorry to hear your granddaughter suffers from severe eczema, it runs in my family too so I know how miserable it can be. My sister uses my Eco Baby, which is an organic cotton ,for her granddaughter Tabitha who also has severe eczema and she wears the knits very happily with no bad reaction. I also have a 100% cotton called Cotton DK which I love to knit with and is very soft.

EmilyGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 15-Sep-14 11:48:03

Thank you to everyone for posting your questions to Debbie, she really enjoyed answering them all.

And congratulations to grannyknot you have won a copy of Debbie's new book, 'Woolly Woofers,' please check your emails for more details.



Susiep1 Mon 01-Apr-19 12:59:50

Hi Debbie, I have made Catherine Sweater but I'm having problems connecting crochet flowers to main body, I have made 12 flowers and have correct number of stitches on main part, but when I connect them up I am left with about 5 inches of back spare. Can you help me please. I don't usually have problems.