Evilcostumelady's notes

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Giant Felted Cat Bed v. 0.85

Solomon, my tuxedo cat, beta tests the giant bed. He's a big boy, about 13.5 pounds. Later Isabella, my dilute calico/white kitty, was found sleeping in it, but the camera wasn't handy.

This is the first of these I've made with novelty yarn edging... next time I will actually read the yarn label; if it says not to put in the dryer, it's not suitable for accent on a felted project. The main yarn on this one is #06 from Palette, the edging is Patons Cha-Cha. I'm pleased with the Palette yarn; I've made several 'untrimmed' cat beds from it, and it felts well, with a soft hand, but firm enough to hold its shape, though it takes 3 or 4 cycles thru the washer/dryer. The Giant bed took a little less than 400 grams, the medium size takes about 250 grams of Palette #06. Edging used about 1 ball of Cha-Cha, but I won't be using it for this again, because it matted during processing and though I managed to brush it out a bit, it looks like a Dam troll having a bad hair day. :-p

The bed is knit pinwheel-wise in one piece (16 wedges) and grafted together .
The photo above shows all the wedges knitted, ready to graft (kitchener) together to complete the circle. The green yarn and yellow cord are holding the live stitches. I machine knitted this, but it can be hand knitted as well.

Start with a provisional cast on (scrap/ravel cord for MK).
The wedges are worked in short rows over 70 sts (55 for a medium size cat bed). The first 20 stitches are always worked, and form the side of the bed. Work 3 additional sts every other row until 2 sts remain unworked (MK = held), and return to the side where you started. Every 4th wedge, work all the sts on the last pair of rows. When 16 wedges are complete, leave a tail 4.5 times the width of the knitting for grafting.

The picture above shows the grafting in progress. I'm left handed, so I'm working from left to right. Since this yarn came in several balls, there are also ends to be woven in, and I used the beginning tail to pull the center hole closed (pictures of weaving ends & closing center hole were abysmal so landed in the bit bucket).

When all the neatening is done, work 1 row of treble (or double-treble) crochet around the outside edge with the novelty yarn. I crocheted into every 2nd row, but probably should have done it every 3rd so it wouldn't flatten out.

Next, into the wash it goes... I usually do them with towels, hot wash, cold rinse, then into the dryer on medium heat.

NB: if you use merino wool, it will felt a lot faster. Superwash wool will NOT felt well enough for this project. (you can eventually wash/wear the superwash finish off, if you process it *forever* but the wool will be quite distressed and ugly by then...)

Above, the finished bed a few seconds before Solomon discovered it. ;-)

I ended up weaving in a string of fine but stout cotton within the base of the crochet to control the flare after felting was complete. Below a picture of Persimmon (brown tabby) and Pierre (red cat) enjoying the medium size cat beds, which are not trimmed with novelty yarn.

Ravelers who want to try this are welcome to PM me there if you get stuck or need more info... ;-)


Carol said...

My kitties ignore the beds I have for them. Although my knitted afghan is popular!

evilcostumelady said...

I made a plain cat bed (like the purple one in the last picture) for my mom's cat last year... she thinks it's a wrestling mat; she lays in it grabs the edge & kicks... ;)