Thursday, April 3, 2014

Knitting Cat Beds from Yarn Stash

If you've knitted a few projects, you've probably created a yarn stash.  Perfectly good yarn, pretty colors, just not enough to DO anything serious with it.
But hey, if you have a cat or know someone with a cat, you should knit that yarn into a cat bed.
This is an easy knitting project that you can do while sitting on the couch, watching tv.

And don't worry about knitting too many little cat beds.  You can give these away as charity to your local pet rescue centers or your local no-kill shelters.

Can't Hug Every Cat

A quick Pattern for Basic Cat Blankets

Find out what's near you and just drop by with a plastic bag of knitted blankets.
Patterns for knitting blankets for cats
easy pattern for cat sized blankets
2 felted cat beds
2 more round cat beds
knit a decorative cat bowl
fancy felted cat pottery

Knitting Kitty Pies 

I don't knit rectangles. You can, knit any charity cat blankets any way you want, but I knit circles. It's easier and faster to knit up so here's my pattern:

Pick circular needles of your choice. Pick a size that won't bog you down knitting teeny little stitches for weeks but not so big that little kitten feet will fall through the stitches when it's laid out flat. You can either get these started on the circular needles, going back and forth (knit one side, flip it and purl the back) until you can start knitting in rounds or you can get it started on dpns. If starting on circular needles, leave a long tail to knit up the middle into one piece after you start the rounds.

 starting on DPNs
continuing on circular needles once it's big enough.  Already sewed up the center.

cast on 9 stitches
Row 1: knit around
Row 2: knit 1, make 1
Row 3: knit around
Row 4: knit 2, make 1
Row 5: knit around
at this point, it's easier to place a stitch marker at the end of each new stitch. So you'd knit 3, make one, place the stitch marker, all around. From this point, no more counting needs to be done. Look at the stitch before the counter. Does it look like a purl? Then you knit this round. Does it look like a knit? Then you add one. Very simple.

When the diameter is the size you want, finish it now or just knit a few rows so it pops up around the edge and then knit with a fluffy festive yarn. Or not. It's your choice.

I have made them with one skein of yarn at a time, 2 skeins at the same time for a flatter cat bed, and with felted wool.

I've got a felted one upstairs that Mei Mei loves. She likes to get underneath it and pretend she's The Horta. A regular one downstairs under the mirror that's a big hit with everyone at one time or another because it's under furniture.
If you have wool yarn, try a felting project!  You just knit it big on big knitting needles, then wash in the washing machine in hot water.  The hot water makes it shrink and the agitation felts the wool!

This is a wool cat bed BEFORE I washed it.  Notice that it's so big that the side are all rolled up and over.  Wool yarn will shrink 15-20% during the felting process. Maybe even more, depends on your yarn.

Here's the finished project.

The colors DID fade but, I dyed this with Kool-Aid and Easter Egg dyes so it's not as color fast as store bought yarn.

Start with plain wool yarn.

While watching Star Trek:TNG in my pajamas, I unraveled the skein and tied it into sections

Kool-Aid, cake icing dye, and Easter Egg dye!

 in the sink, I pour hot dye all over it and let it sit for a while

After it's rinsed and dried

roll it into a ball.  A festive festive ball of yarn.  In front of a kitten.

About Dye Colors

Easter Egg Dye
Hints and Tips
Kool-Aid Dye
Hints and Tips
Wilton Cake Decorating Colors
Hints and Tips
But you don't HAVE to use wool!

 Spreading the project out on DPNs and circular needles to check for size

 Yarn is approved


Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

oh goodness gracious, there are just too many cute photos on this post to comment on them all.

I've known people who make cat pies and I've always wished someone who knew me would be such an avid cat pie maker they would just send me one :)

yours are beautiful! (and I love the bit about dying your own wool too)

Cinnamonbite on Zazzle said...

If you live close by I'd tell ya to bring me some yarn and I'd knit you some!
You sure you don't want to learn? I can walk you through it. Probably.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures !

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and thank you for opening your home to the cats !