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Doggie dress-up

In Karen Chandler's backyard, a handful of sweater-wearing bichon frisé dogs - and one Jack Russell terrier -run, bark and play while their owners call for them from the porch.

The dogs and owners are in matching outfits, thanks to Sequim knitter Patricia Earnest, who had been making and selling Whimzees, her own line of "people clothes," including vests, scarves and hats, when she decided to branch out to dog clothes after seeing a freezing dog.

"I was at a craft show over (the holidays) and someone brought in a shivering little dog wrapped up in the owner's coat," Earnest recalled. "I thought, 'This dog needs its own coat, not its master's coat!' It sort of sparked the idea."

"The dog and people clothes are made to match, but you don't have to buy them like that," Earnest said. "I've learned people enjoy matching with their dogs, though. It's you and your best friend."

Earnest presented a trunk show of her "people clothes" at The Buzz during the holiday season and is gearing up for a new show featuring the people and dog clothes.

For canine owners who want the whole deal, the set comes with a vest and hat for the person, a coat for the dog and a mini scarf - Earnest calls them "scarflets" - that can go on either.

"I made them in Easter egg colors," Earnest said, referring to the bright pinks and blues in the collection. "I wanted spring colors."

She added that the acrylic pieces are "totally washable ... totally hand-knit" and she said she tries to buy material made in America only.

"It's hard, because most of the bamboo is made in China," Earnest said. "But I do try to keep it local."

For her newest creations, Earnest added a special touch: abalone shell buttons.

"I have special things I use for buttons each time," Earnest said, adding that she generally scours stores for unique antique buttons. "For all these I used abalone and it's beautiful."

Earnest's friend Sandra Necco, whose bichon Georgie meets with several others for a weekly play date in Chandler's back yard, tried on one of the outfits.

"This is great," she said of the matching dark pink ensemble she and Georgie modeled. "Patricia really makes her clothes really well."

What: Patricia Earnest's second trunk show, featuring her hand-knit clothing for dogs and people.

When: 10 a.m .-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29, and Saturday, March 1

Where: The Buzz, 128 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim

Contact: Patricia Earnest, 775-7619





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