How to Knit a Lion's Mane for Your Dog

  • 01 of 09

    Halloween Is Coming

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    Who's the cutest thing on four legs? Your pup, of course, especially if he's wearing this adorable lion costume anyone with basic knitting skills can make.

    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Designed for Your Canine's Comfort

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    It's important to remember, if you want your pup to feel like the king of the jungle, his costume needs to be comfortable. That's why our lion-styled snood is made of soft yarn

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Knitting Supply List

    C. Gering / Getty Images

    The yarn and tools for this project cost less than $20. If you have a Michaels craft store nearby, you could save 20 percent or more with a store coupon.

    To get crafting, you'll need:

    • Medium or worsted-weight yarn appropriate for needle size US 8. Two 300 yard skeins should be more than enough for a large 75-pound dog. For the record, we used Caron Simply Soft yarn in persimmon. 
    • Circular knitting needles. You'll be knitting in the round with needles shorter than your project's diameter—we share how to get that measurement shortly. We used 16" long circular needles in size US 8.​
    • Crochet hookYou'll need one to add fringe. We used size H/5mm.
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Creating the Perfect Fit

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    We wrote our knitting pattern for a large dog with an 18-inch in diameter head. For the perfect fit, you'll need to adjust the number of stitches in the pattern based on the following: 

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Time to Knit

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    When you're adapting the pattern, it's important to stick to multiples of four stitches, or you'll bark up the ribbing. To learn more, watch ribbing with circular needles.

    FYI, we share an alternate version of this pattern next.


    • With circular needles cast on 64 stitches

    To adjust snood length add or subtract rows.

    • K2, P2 Rib for 13 rounds
    • Knit 2 rounds

    The next two rounds create the ear openings. You'll need two measurements to adjust the pattern: Your dog's ear width at the widest point will determine the number of stitches you cast off and later cast on. Your dog's crown width between both ears will determine the number of stitches you knit after you cast off and also cast on stitches.

    • K11, cast off 14, K14, cast off 14, K11
    • K11, cast on 14 (using the backward loop method), K14, cast on 14, K11
    • Knit 2 rounds 

    To adjust snood length add or subtract rows.

    • Knit 30 rounds
    • K2, P2 Rib for 13 rounds
    • Cast off
    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Alternative Knitting Pattern

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    Before we share how to create the mane, does your dog hate having his head covered? If so consider knitting this lion-inspired collar instead. Here's how to adapt our pattern.

    • Measure your dog's neck at the widest point. Afterward, measure your dog's head using the method we shared in step four. Next, subtract one inch from the largest number for your project's diameter.
    • Skip the section in the pattern for the ear openings.
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    It's Time to Fringe

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    Grab your scissors and crochet hook. 

    • Cut your leftover yarn: You'll create fringe in three different sizes: short, medium and long. Your dog's proportions will determine each length. When in doubt keep the yarn on the long side. You can always trim later if needed.
    • Create the hairline: You'll start adding fringe to the opening closest to the ear cutouts. Using your crochet hook add fringe to the first loop. Continue adding fringe around the entire opening for several rows.
    • Work the crown: Next, fill the spot between the ears at the top of the snood with short fringe. Afterward, add a short fringe around each ear opening.
    • Start filling it out. Now add several rows of medium fringe directly behind the short section.
    • Complete the beard. Add several rows of long fringe to the lower half.


    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    One More Fringe Photo

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    Here's how to add fringe around the ear openings.


    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Let Your Dog Roar

    Deirdre Sullivan / The Spruce

    Now your pup is ready to rule as King of the Jungle (or Pride Rock, whichever you prefer).