Sunday, June 10, 2007

Doggy Pi

Just finished a stash-busting project: a felted dog bed made from leftover Lopi.

I adapted the pattern from Wendy's felted kitty bed, which is based on the increases used in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi Shawl (hence Wendy's name of "Kitty Pi").

To make a circle grow, Zimmermann used the knowledge that a circle's circumference doubles as the radius doubles, which my math-teacher husband tells me has nothing to do with pi, but that's what EZ called her application of this fact and thus it shall ever be known in knitting circles...)

I followed Wendy's instructions exactly except that I made it much larger by doubling stitches an additional time at 24 rows--288 stitches--and I used size 13 needles. It was a super-quick knit-up--chunky yarn, huge needles, knit in the round (which is much quicker for me than straight knitting). I knit in the car during the last two camping trips, and it rolled off the needles lickety-split.

From her pattern, it looked like Wendy was counting on 40% shrinkage, which seems high, but I used that in my own adapted pattern and did indeed get the size I was after (about three feet in diameter). It will suit James for a while, since he typically curls up when he sleeps.

I didn't block mine as severely as Wendy did--in fact, I couldn't stop James from playing with it while it was still wet!

My knitting friends asked me about being worried if he will chew it. I'm not really. The felted knitting is super thick (like carpet), and James has a soft bite. Also, if he does a chew hole in it, it can't really unravel (thanks to the felting), and I can just throw it into the washing machine for re-felting to mend the hole!


Bridget said...

Well, according to the pictures, James thinks it's quite the thing!

Ms. Theologian said...

I'd agree with Bridget. It's a definite hit!

My sister-in-law, a veterinarian, has said there are "chewers" and "destroyers" in terms of biting. It seems James is a chewer, not a destroyer, which is great news for you guys!

Twilight said...

That looks like one happy puppy!

ruth said...

He looks very happy with his doggy pi! You have a very cute dog.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how big he is getting!! He really seems to like the bed. If he doesn't chew it up, and it isn't TOO hard to make, could you make one for Liberty? She is a serious chewer though. I have not found anything that she can have in her crate. :( poor thing sleeps on the hard pan. But I figure that is better than getting sick from eating the zippers and insides of doggy beds!

Femminista said...

Sure thing, Sue! I'll give it a go. Do you think she'd get sick if she ate some felted wool?

Anonymous said...

who knows. It is definately more natural than some of the things she ingests now! If you think she'd just chew right through it, than don't make it, I'd hate to see her chew up some of your handywork.