Raii's bed

I can't really say why I decided to knit a bed for my dog. When customers comment on it in the store, I tend to blush before sheepishly admitting that yes, I did make it. It is a little extravagant, even for a dog who has a full knitted wardrobe.

IMG_5698.jpg

Raii, who is about a year old, has been hanging out at the Needle Lady since she was ten weeks old. I brought her to meet everyone the day after I got her — a three-pound, jet-black chewing-machine who wanted nothing more than to get acquainted with every ball of yarn in the store (and by "get acquainted with," I mean "utterly destroy"). But after a few months, when she was mostly done teething and she had mastered the command "leave it," Raii began staying in the shop with me during my shifts, and Susan (shop owner) suggested that she might need a bed.

Probably, I should have bought one. Or brought in one of the three Raii already had in my one-bedroom apartment. But alas, why buy it when you can knit it? 

I have loved the look of big bulky home decor knits for a while (as in Purl Soho's iconic giant owl), but many of these items seem so impractical to me (really, what would I do with a knitted ottoman?). The more I thought about knitting a dog bed, the more I realized how great it would be to customize the bed according to what I had learned Raii liked. It would need to have a depressed center, but with a pillow, because she seems to like to lie in the crevices between the squishy interior of the bed and its sides. But she also likes to rest her head on the sides of the bed, almost like a pillow — which also provides an excellent vantage point for her to people-watch — so the bed would have to have sides that would be big enough and sturdy enough to support her head.

Most of the patterns I found on Ravelry didn't have exactly all these features — many pet bed patterns were simply for knitted pillows or baskets — and I knew I wanted one that would have stuffed sides as a significant part of the design. I experimented with crochet at first, but I decided that it was too bumpy.

Both Raii and I are quite happy with the finished object! Why have a dog if you can't enjoy spoiling her?

PATTERN


Dimensions: 20" by 16"
Gauge: 7 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette
Yarn: About 500 yards of any super bulky yarn
Needles: US 11 40" circular needle
Other: A good-sized bag of polyester fiberfill

See pattern on Ravelry here.

Note about sizing: I have written this up exactly as I knit it for my 10-pound mini schnauzer. It can very easily be modified for a bigger dog — In the pattern, I have put (#) after any number that should be altered to scale up the design for a bigger pooch. 


This pattern begins from the base of the bed, which is knit in garter stitch in the round from the center out. Once you have a sizable rectangle base, you knit in stockinette to form the sides of the bed, which go up, over, and back down before being stuffed and rejoined to the base with a 3-needle bind-off. The center pillow is knit separately after and sew in.

BASE OF BED

Cast on 20 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast-on. Place marker for BOR.
Round 1: Purl all stitches. (Knit in the round using magic loop.)
Round 2: KFB 2x, K6, KFB 4x, K6, KFB 2x (8 stitches increased — 28 stitches total)
Round 3: Purl all stitches.
Round 4: (Setup round) K1, M1R, PM, K1, PM, M1L, K10, M1R, PM, KI, PM, M1L, K2, M1R, PM, K1, PM, M1L, K10, M1R, PM, K1, PM, M1L, K1 (8 stitches increased)
Round 5: Purl all stitches.
Round 6: (K to marker, M1R, SM, K1, SM, M1L) 4x (8 stitches increased)
Round 7: Purl all stitches.
Repeat rounds 6 & 7 until you have 84 (#) stitches around.

INNER & TOP EDGE OF BED

Round 1: Knit all stitches, removing all but the BOR marker as you go.
Round 2-12: Knit all stitches.
Round 13: (Setup round) K8 (#), M1R, PM, K1, PM, M1L, K24 (#), M1R, PM, KI, PM, M1L, K16 (#), M1R, PM, K1, PM, M1L, K24 (#), M1R, PM, K1, PM, M1L, K8 (#) (8 stitches increased)
Round 14: Knit all stitches.
Round 15: (K to marker, M1R, SM, K1, SM, M1L) 4x (8 stitches increased)
Repeat round 14 & 15 until you have 128 (#) stitches around.

OUTER & BOTTOM EDGE OF BED

Round 1: Knit all stitches, removing all but the BOR marker as you go.
Round 2-12: Knit all stitches.
Round 13: (Setup round) K14 (#), K2TOG, PM, K1, PM, SSK, K36 (#),K2TOG, PM, K1, PM, SSK, K28 (#),K2TOG, PM, K1, PM, SSK, K36 (#),K2TOG, PM, K1, PM, SSK, K14 (#) (8 stitches decreased)
Round 14: Knit all stitches.
Round 15: (K to marker, K2TOG, SM, K1, SM, SSK) 4x (8 stitches decreased)
Repeat round 14 & 15 until you have 84 (#) stitches around.

BIND-OFF & STUFFING

With spare circular needle, pick up the last row of purl bumps on the outer edge of the base of the bed. You should have 84 (#) stitches on the spare circular ­needle, matching the number of live stitches on your working needle. Join the live stitches with the picked-up purl bumps using a 3-needle bind-off, stuffing the edge of the bed with fiberfill as you go.

Cut remaining yarn and weave ends in.

INNER PILLOW:

Cast on 36 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast-on. Place marker for BOR.
Knit around until pillow measures the same length as bed. Join edges using kitchener stitch.
Attach pillow to bed by sewing the corners of the pillow onto the corners of the bed base.