Crafts,  Pets

Johnny Cash’s Sweater

With colder weather now settled into the Southeast, I crafted this sweater to keep my tiny chihuahua warm and toasty during the winter.

It has a simple construction and works up in a matter of a few short hours. It pairs wonderfully with a hand-dyed skein of worsted weight yarn and leaves you plenty leftover to make other things with.

This sweater is also fantastic for stash busting those small bits of worsted left overs.

This will fit any furry companion that weighs around 5lbs give or take. Johnny weighs 4.8lbs and this sweater is the perfect fit for him.

I haven’t graded the pattern and currently have no plans to do so. If you have skills at grading patterns, feel free to work your magic to adjust the sweater to your furry companion’s size. If you would like to share your pattern size with everyone who visits this post, simply send me an email and I will add your adjustments to the free pattern with an attribution to you if you so wish to have one added. You may do so anonymously as well, if that is preferred.

Let’s get onto the pattern!

I’ve also created a companion knit-along video which shows every step of making the sweater along with some chit-chat if you’d like some company while working it up.

This video will also be a great first-stop for any questions you may have along the way or for if you get stuck on a bit. If the video doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to leave a comment on the video with the question you have and I will respond ASAP.

You can view my video here:


  • 5.00mm circular needles or DPNs
  • 6.00mm circular needles or DPNs
  • 2 stitch markers
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

15 sts / 4 inches
24 rows / 4 inches

Stitch Dictionary:

  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • m1 – make one by inserting the needle below the yarn leading between stitches, lifting it onto the needle from front to back and knitting through the back of the picked up yarn.
  • ssk – slip stitch as if to knit, skip the next stitch in the same manner and then knit both slipped stitches together through the back loop
  • k2tog – knit two stitches together
  • bor – beginning of round
  • ktbl – knit through the back loop


Using the 5.00mm needles, cast on 34 stitches using a stretchy cast on method. Join in the round being careful not to twist the stitches and place a unique marker to denote the bor.

Work in 1×1 ribbing as follows for 1.5 inches.

Row 1: (ktbl, p1)* repeat * to bor.

Once you have completed the ribbing, switch to the 6.00mm needles.

Increase Rounds:
Setup Row: k 17, pm, k to end.
Row 1: k1, m1, k to 1 stitch before the marker, m1, sm, k1, m1, k to 1 stitch before the bor, m1, k1.
Row 2: k all stitches

Repeat the last two rows 4 more times for a total of 5 sets of increases.

Next, choose either the leg openings with or without the leash opening:

Leg openings without leash opening:
Row 1: k4, bo 6, k7, bo 6, k3, k to end.
Row 2: k4, co6, k8, co 6, k3, k to end.

Leg openings with leash opening:
Row 1: k4, bo 6, k7, bo 6, k3, k12, bo 4, k11.
Row 2: k4, co 6, k8, co 6, k4, k12, co 4, k12.

Knit plain for 2 1/2 inches.

You will now begin working flat on the back 28 stitches only.
Turn work to start your first purl row.

Row 1: p to marker, turn work.
Row 2: k2, ssk, k to 4 sts before marker, k2tog, k2.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until 20 stitches remain ending having just worked a row 2.

Bottom Ribbing:
Switch to smaller needles.
Pick up 8 stitches along the decrease edge leading to the front piece. Begin (ktbl, p1) ribbing across front, then pick up 8 stitches along the other decrease edge leading to the back piece, (ktbl, p1) ribbing across the back piece.

Repeat 1×1 ribbing until ribbing measures 1.5 inches or your desired height for the ribbing.

Break yarn and wave in ends.

You may choose to add a few rows of ribbing to the arm holes, but I don’t like this as it makes it difficult to get tiny paws and claws through the arm holes.

Make sure to share pics of your finished sweater to Instagram or Facebook and tag @mountaintopyarn in the photos so I can see your finished work!

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