Friday, February 3, 2017


I love starting new crocheting or knitting projects. But I hate wasting yarn.  I feel guilty if I started a new project when I haven't finished old ones; and then go purchase new yarns.  Guess it was the training I got when I was young-we always had to finish our "chores" like cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning our rooms; finishing our homework, before we could go out and play.
I love to "go play" at craft and yarn stores and it is worse now that I am an avid smart phone user and get these text hits with extra sales percentage notices from Jo-Ann's.  Gives me added excuse to save money when I shop for yarn I don't actually need.
Well this latest crocheting and knitting projects are perfect to get rid of any color and any weight/texture of yarn you might have.  I am making scrap yarn dog beds.  They are simple, no patterns, no rules, great mindless knitting or crocheting, being creative and making fun cat or dog beds while using up tiny scraps to large amounts of yarn that have been sitting stored away for a very long time.
Here is how it works.  You take any and all yarn you want to get rid of or use up and make 2 piles.  We all have them, hard for me to just throw away any amount of left over yarns from other projects. One pile with light colored yarns, one pile with dark colors.  You decide which pile you want to put any multi colored yarns you have, or which pile the shades of colors that actually are so bright, they could be considered dark or light.  It won't matter. Even if the weight or size yarn is thin to large, you are going to be knitting or crocheting with double strands, one light, one dark.
Even if you have a fairly short/small amount of one shade, it doesn't matter, the more colors, the better it looks.
I put the lights and darks in separate plastic bags and worked out of the bags until the yarn ran out, tied a new color and kept on going.
The measurements and stitch numbers depend on the size.  You don't have to make a dog bed, you can make an afghan too, using the same process.  You measure how long do you want the crocheted or knitted item to be.  I already had a dog bed pad.  So I measured the pad/cushion.  It was 40" x 26".  
I took one strand of the light yarn and one strand of a dark yarn and started casting on (knitting) or chaining (crocheting) until I had the longest length and added 3 more stitches; skipped the closest stitch to my needle and half double crocheted  back all across those cast on stitches until I got back to the beginning. When I came to the end, I chained one, turned my work and went all the  back across again.  I actually had 110 single crochets for the one bed.  
You can stop at this time to see how it compares to the dog pad you have or use a measuring tape.  These stitches will be the same amount all the way, back and forth until you have your width-(in my case it was 26" actually x 2).  It needs to be on both sides of the bed, so you have to crochet twice the size so you can fold the blanket you finish in half and stitch up 2 sides; slip your existing dog bed inside and then stitch the 3rd side closed.
On one bed, I made tassel ties on the last remaining opening so after I slipped in the bed; I just tied it closed with 4 ties.
Once you get going, it is a matter of just to continue crocheting.  But the best look is to keep starting more yarns, more colors.  So say for instance, you have a full skein of pink and a full skein of brown and you keep going back and forth and back and forth.  You will have a solid block of those particular colors.  I wanted more of a Bohemian look.  

Once you get going, it is a matter of just to continue crocheting.  But the best look is to keep attaching more yarns, more colors.  Periodically, I would cut either the light or the dark color and add a different dark/light color and it would change the whole look.  
 When finished, it almost looks like the colors are all woven together and meant to be the varigated colors.
If you have wools you are using up, you will have to hand wash the final project, such as the dog bed.  I didn't use any wools for the dog beds, but I did use wools for the scrap yarn throw I made for the couch. I figured I wouldn't be wishing the throw as much as I will the dog beds.
If you are making the throw, on mine, I did a single crochet all around the 4 finished edges to make a nice edging.  You don't need to do that, you can just get to one end when it is the size you want and knot it.  Weave in all your loose pieces for all those tieing on the new yarns.  You are done. See below, this dog bed has the single crochet trim which I happened to have a longer piece left over of the aqua so the trimming around was all one color.  Annie, by dog  doesn't care though. Just her, the bed and her toy. A happy dog.
The yarns I thought I wouldn't ever end up using, worked perfectly.  I was making some pumpkin bunting swags last year and bought too much orange yarn.  I was reluctant to use it even on the dog bed, but finally I got the nerve and just knotted it on, on my "light" strand and ended up using it all up.  (See the round pillow photo, you will see all the orange yarns) I also had a lot of this baby pink yarn which I thought would look too light with my "dark" strand.  I again, just went for it, when my light yarn ran out, I knotted on the pink yarn with whatever dark yarn strand I was crocheting it together and it was amazing how it all blends.
It was really funny, on the first dog bed, after I stitched up the 3 sides and put down the new crocheted yarn bed for the dogs, they immediately went for it and it really seemed to me they were sleeping on that one more than the other bed.  So I still had a huge stash left, off I went to make another one.  They love them!!!
And the scrap yarn throw on the couch is the one that is mostly used instead of the beautiful knitted cable stitch white one.
I still have some scraps left, enough to make one more project, this next one is going to be a pillow.  This one is going to be round as my pillow form is round.  I will make 2 of them and stitch them together all around to close them up with one small section using yarn ties. Nothing big deal or complicated.  See how bright this aqua color is?  It doesn't look that bright with the 2nd color. The center of the circle, it has that orange yarn mixed in with that pink/blue varigated yarn, it all works together.
I hope you try out this Bohemian look for a dog or cat bed; or make yourself a afghan throw for the trailer, couch, cabin.  My conscience is almost cleared enough to take advantage of Jo Ann's latest sale!!!  Show me your project if you decide to make one of these and don't hesitate to email/comment me if you have any questions.  I am going to attach a link for you to a good YouTube tutorial by Jayda InStitches-I watched to get myself started when I first decided to use up all my yarn and to make these dog beds.
Have fun!!

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