Oh my! Check out these tortoises wearing sweaters

PIC FROM KATIE BRADLEY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Dinosaur cosy) - Now thats what you call a shell suit! These are the hilarious knitted cosies - desi... Caters News Agency
Is it a tortoise — or a stegosaurus?

Should you ever stumble upon what appears to be a doily with legs — perhaps lurking in a patch of grass — don’t be alarmed. It's probably just a tortoise all dressed up in one of Katie Bradley’s crocheted "cozies."

The Vancouver artist and illustrator with a self-described “tortaddiction” started knitting clothes for her seven pet tortoises in January as a family joke. But Bradley's hobby morphed into a full-fledged Etsy business soon after she posted a few delightful photos of her own bedecked brood on her tortoise blog. That's when the Internet caught on to the full potential of tortoise sweaters (beanies, if you prefer) and the orders started rolling in.

"The response has been overwhelming, but so fun!" she told TODAY.com. "I would never have thought that my funny little idea would have become such a popular fad online. Most people think tortoises are cute, and the cozies are funny, adorable and quite odd. [It's] just the right mixture to make people smile, and maybe shake their head a little."

Now she’s outfitting creatures big and small across the globe in designs that emulate dragons, sharks, pumpkins and more.

"Thankfully, it's easy to take a skein of yarn and a crochet hook to various activities throughout the week," she said.

PIC FROM KATIE BRADLEY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Decorative knitted cosy) - Now thats what you call a shell suit! These are the hilarious knitted cos... Caters News Agency
A tortoise dons one of Bradley's "yard finder" flowers.

Bradley’s tortoise obsession runs deep. A Russian tortoise she purchased on Craigslist began it all; then she rescued another, and another, and soon enough a (rather healthy) addiction was born.

While tortoises don’t exactly need sweaters for warmth, there are so many reasons why shell cozies make perfect sense. Well, there are at least a couple: First, your tortoise won’t get lost in grass should you want to take him out for a little sunshine (they can be surprisingly speedy chaps). There's also the sheer joy that comes from watching your pet channel Mr. Rogers.

Another bonus: Our scaly friends also get something out of the project, since Bradley donates 10 percent of her proceeds to International Reptile Rescue every month.

Take a look at more tortoises all sweatered up below:

PIC FROM KATIE BRADLEY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Knitted shark cosy) - Now thats what you call a shell suit! These are the hilarious knitted cosies -... Caters News Agency
A tortoise becomes a tough guy.
PIC FROM KATIE BRADLEY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Katie Bradley) - Now thats what you call a shell suit! These are the hilarious knitted cosies - desi... Caters News Agency
Katie Bradley poses with two of her own tortoises bundled up in cozies.
PIC FROM KATIE BRADLEY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Patterned cosy) - Now thats what you call a shell suit! These are the hilarious knitted cosies - des... Caters News Agency
Feeling cozy?
PIC FROM KATIE BRADLEY / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Dinosaur cosy) - Now thats what you call a shell suit! These are the hilarious knitted cosies - desi... Caters News Agency
You won't miss this guy in the grass.

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  • Slideshow Photos

    Ruff weather ahead

    Winter’s here and man’s best friend is dressed for the weather in colorful handmade wares from Web merchants. What’s your pet wearing for winter? Send us your pictures!

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    Chilly dogs greet winter in style -

    Winter is near, and man's best friend could use a helping hand getting through the season of ice and snow. Trouble is, pet outerwear that fits and looks stylish can be hard to find. Fortunately, Web merchants are filling the gap with a colorful selection of handmade wares, right in the knit of time.

    Springing ahead
    Winter might seem a little shorter when your pooch is pampered in this spring-green sweater with pink, yellow and blue flowers. Russia-based Esty merchant Schuba4yourPooch can also supply a jaunty matching hat.

    Get these cute sweaters from Schuba for your Pooch

    Schuba4yourPooch@etzy
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    Pretty in pink -

    If your pooch is a princess, let her look the part in this bright pink sweater-dress with a ruffle skirt, hand-knitted in wool/acrylic fabric. A headband lends a crowning touch, so to speak.

    Schuba4yourPooch@etzy
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    'Scale' model -

    This doggy sweater is olive/brown with "dragon-like" scales, according to Etsy merchant Schuba4yourPooch. "Schuba," the Russia-based supplier explains, is Russian for fur coat.

    Schuba4yourPooch@etzy
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    Pardon my Frenchie -

    Hand-knit from machine-washable wool, this line of doggie sweaters is for broad-chested breeds like pugs, French bulldogs and Boston terriers. C'est magnifique!

    Schuba4yourPooch@etzy
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    Close to Holmes -

    Web merchant Babies & Beasts says this waterproof "city coat" was inspired by Sherlock Holmes. They are "selling like crazy," the merchant says, "not just because they look great but because they fit great." Elementary, my dear Watson.

    Cool coats from Babies & Beasts

    Eugene Choi / Babies & Beasts
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    Corduroy joy -

    Here French bulldogs Pepper and Miss Molly model "The Latch," an offering from babiesandbeasts.com, in peacock blue and purple corduroy. "Color is not just in for women this season," says Krystine May, founder of the award-winning e-merchant

    Eugene Choi / Babies & Beasts
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    Moose on the loose -

    Here Tank the French bulldog models babiesandbeasts.com's Special Edition Canadian Moose coat. The two-piece coat is machine-washable and waterproof, and "everyone is ordering it," the merchant says.

    Eugene Choi / Babies & Beasts
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    Things are looking up(holstery) -

    Instead of chasing dogs off the furniture, how about putting the furniture on the dogs? These warm-looking coats are upholstery-inspired.

    Eugene Choi / Babies & Beasts
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    Bull(dog) market -

    Krystine May of babiesandbeasts.com says she was inspired by dog owners who were having problems similar to hers: finding outerwear for distinctively shaped breeds like bulldogs, great Danes and miniature dachshunds. Here her "Latch" coat us modeled in black by an English bulldog and in camouflage by two French bulldogs

    Eugene Choi / Babies & Beasts
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    Doggay pride -

    Etsy merchant TepperWear was inspired to create doggie sweaters in gay pride rainbow colors after seeing a baby in a stroller with a gay pride flag draped over her. The merchant says that one customer "told me that her son had recently come out to her and her husband and they bought the sweater to show support of the son's homosexuality. Pretty cool."

    Click here for more Tepper Wear

    TepperWear
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    Frosty the Chihuahua -

    Sara Sach of Posh Pooch Designs began creating sweaters and hats for her chihuahuas. Her friends saw them and loved them, so she began making them for others. Sach says, "before I realized it, what started as a fun hobby has turned into a fun and challenging business. And the best part is I get to do it all from home."

    Get these great hats from Posh Pooch Designs

    Posh Pooch Designs
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    Rudolph the Chihuahua -

    A mother of two and granmother of two, Sara Sach says she is also "a mommy to two spoiled rotten Chihuahuas," which is why she started Posh Pooch Designs. "Chihuahuas are always cold and need sweaters, but I couldn't find anything that would fit them right. What I did find was cheaply made and out of thin yarns. So I started designing and making the sweaters."

    Posh Pooch Designs
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    It's a bird, it's a plane – it's a dog -

    Etsy merchant Ning Ning Gong also started knitting dog sweaters after searching in vain for ones to buy. "Suki, my 8-year-old long-haired Chihuahua, gave me the idea to knit a 'super' dog sweater because she is a mother of five and has superb personality."

    More amazing sweaters from NingNingGong

    ningninggong.etsy.com
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    Skulled craftsmanship -

    Etsy merhant Ning Ning Gong says this skull-and-crossbones sweater is a best-seller. Hand-knitted with black and gray acrylic yarn, it has crocheted picot edging to give it a Goth feel. "They are not just for small dogs; they are perfect for cats too. I take measurements to knit each one, making sure each is a perfect fit."

    ningninggong.etsy.com
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