Do your ears hang low?

Like many Shih Tzus, my mom’s dog, Toby, is a one person dog, and generally speaking, I am not that one person.

He has, over the past seven years, learned to tolerate me, but one area of agreement he and I have is the worthiness of the craft of crochet.

So yesterday, in the aftermath of completing the ├╝ber groovyghan, I began work on a pet mat for Toby that is based on a design by Deb Richey titled “…& Dogs.”

It is featured in the July 2011 issue of Crochet! and is a follow up to “Raining Cats….” which appeared two months earlier the May 2011 issue. The transition from groovyghan to pet mat went well, and by the time I went to bed last night, I had completed these three strips which I photographed this morning:

three crochet strips for a crochet pet mat
Three crochet strips that form the foundation of a pet mat for Toby

The weather icons for the day showed that we were due for rain, so I jettisoned the idea of doing any laundry and set myself up in my outdoor office to work on crochet for as long as the weather held.

Lucky for me, the weather held long enough for me to join the strips:

crochet strips joined into a square for a pet mat
I join three crochet strips for Toby’s pet mat

and make these decorative bones (also based on Deb Richey’s design but modified to fit the smaller squares I am making):

crochet pet mat with decorative crochet bones
I add some decorative crochet bones to Toby’s pet mat-to-be

After a late morning and early afternoon of crocheting en plein air, the sky began to more closely resemble the weather icons that had forecast bad weather. I packed up my office and brought it inside, and soon it really was raining cats and dogs.

With a cup of fresh coffee at my side, I then began to experiment with the face. Using this image of a Shih Tzu that I found on the internet:

Someone’s beloved Shih-Tzu

and Deb Richey’s “…& Dogs” pattern as a guide, I got this far with adding features before it was too dark to get any additional photos:

crochet pet mat with a dog's face at the center
The crochet pet met in need of a second ear

I am looking forward to finishing Toby’s pet mat tomorrow; I have no doubt that he will love and admire it. And while Deb Richey’s designs were new to me, a quick search at Ravelry brought me to her website,, and if you get the chance to check it out yourself, you will find that she has compiled a wealth of information that will aid any crocheter looking to hone her (or his) craft.