Last month I showed you photos of the T-shirt yarn bed I crocheted for Miso, a friend’s chihuahua … but I didn’t tell you how I made it. Here’s how:
1. Make T-shirt Yarn.
Or you can use other yarn but it needs to be bulky/ sturdy so it should either be thick and chunky yarn, structured material yarn (such as hemp) or multi-stranded yarn. The idea is that it has to be thick enough to stand up when you make the walls of the bed; thinner yarns will just cave in and you’ll have flat fabric that your pup can’t get inside of.
2. Crochet a Circle.
You’ll start by crocheting a circle to the diameter of the bed size that you want, typically just slightly larger than the length of your dog. This works best if you crochet a solid circle; I made a basic single crochet circle. However, you can play around with other designs (for example, you could try a granny circle instead).
3. Build the Walls.
When you have the diameter of the pet bed complete, you are ready to start building up the walls of the bed. This is done by simple continuing to crochet one stitch into each stitch of the row before (so that you aren’t increasing the size of the circle at all). For example, if your circle ended with a round of 40 stitches then you’ll crochet several more rounds of 40 stitches. Again, you want to work with a solid stitch; I used hdc because it’s my favorite but single crochet is a more solid choice. You’ll crochet enough rows that your circle begins to look like a bed and you can clearly see the walls beginning to build up.
4. Leave Room for the Door.
Next, you need to make room for your pup to get inside. This is done by continuing to crochet rounds without increases but leaving a space for the dog to get in. You’ll want to make the space just a little bit wider than your puppy. Here’s an example of what this might look like:
- You’ve been crocheting rounds of 40 stitches.
- You measure your dog’s width and it’s 4″ at the widest part (in the case of a tiny dog like a chihuahua).
- You measure your work and see that 4″ is equal to ten stitches in your project.
- You continue crocheting rounds of 30 stithces, leaving the ten stitches open to create the door. This is done by crocheting 30 stitches, turning the work, adding a turning chain and crocheting 30 stitches back around, repeating until the door is tall enough for pup to get in.
5. Close the Door.
When the crochet pet bed has a door that’s tall enough for puppy to enter, you’re ready to close the door. You do this by crocheting another row around, adding a chain to the top to close the door. So in the example above, you would crochet the 30 stitches that you’ve been crocheting to create the door, then you’ll add a crochet chain of ten to get back to the original 40 and secure on the other side. Then complete a second round of 40 crochet stitches all the way around and you’ll have a solid crochet pet bed with a door.
6. Add the Top.
Now you just need to add the top of the pet bed. There are two ways to do this:
- Decrease. You can simply decrease your rounds, creating smaller and smaller circles, until you have a circle small enough to close with a slip stitch. This will create a cone-shaped crochet bed; it’s cute but it can sometimes cave in under the weight of the yarn so you’ll need to play around with it and see if it works for you.
- Sew on a new circle. The easier way is to crochet a new flat circle (in other words, repeat step #2 above) and then stitch it right on to the top of the bed.
7. Share with Puppy.
I am participating in the 2014 Dog Fence DIY Hackaton.