September 15, 2016

How to Knit the Purrfect Cat Bed

Bisou and gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
I've been looking forward to sharing this knit cat bed with you since I launched Crafts and a Cat two months ago; it was one of the very first cat-related diy projects I came up with after Bisou was adopted. I always get questions about how to make it when I post a picture of the original bed on Instagram, so I thought now would be the perfect time to revisit it with a brand new gold leaf bed! Say you don't know how to knit (yet), or you're more of a dog person. Keep reading! This bed is so easy to make I promise any knitting novice can pull it off. Plus, it's easy to make it a bit bigger or smaller, so you can customize it for a small dog or any other fur baby you live with. I'm sure there are more elaborate ways to knit a cat bed out there, but I like this method because it's straightforward, simple and you don't have to be an expert knitter to make it look great.

This pattern employs just one stitch – the most basic of them all, the humble garter stitch – and is knit on straight needles. In other words, it's a large scale version of everyone's first knitting project, the rectangle. Except this one is given dimension and purpose when you attach the ends and cinch the whole thing into a circle, making a soft and cozy cat bed! If you've never knit before, try searching YouTube for a video on how to cast on and knit a garter stitch. If you can figure out how to do those two things, you can knit this bed. This project is made even easier by using a bulky yarn and big needles that are easy to handle. Speaking of yarn! I wanted the bed to be plush and super comfortable for Bisou, but didn't want to spend a whole paycheck on super fancy thick yarn. Instead, I used a technique called plying, which is simply casting on with multiple strands of yarn and knitting as though they were a single strand. The result is a bulkier, heavier knit at a fraction of the cost of luxury yarn. Keep reading for a detailed how-to; your cat (or dog) will thank you!

Bisou and gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Knit Cat Bed
Makes one cozy cat bed; share yours with us with #craftsandacat

What You Need:

Super bulky craft yarn (6 weight), approx. 400 yards*
Size 15 knitting needles (or thereabouts)
A darning needle

*I used about 8 skeins of Lion's gold leaf yarn. These were much smaller than normal skeins, so take note of the total yardage when selecting yarn, not the number of skeins!

Method:

Cast on 30-40 stitches with two strands held together. Adjust the number of stitches depending on how high you want the sides of the bed, and also how many stitches you can comfortably work with on your needles. Leave a long tail, about two feet. You'll use these strands to assemble the bed. The first time I made this bed I cast on closer to 40 stitches, but on the shorter needles I used this time around I stopped at 33. Don't worry if you can't fit that many; the number of rows you knit is much more important to the size of the finished bed.

Knit at least 60 rows. I knit 65 for Bisou's bed; it's a snug fit for her now but the bed will stretch over time. The length of your knitting will determine the circumference of the bed, so if you want a bigger bed, keep on knitting! Of course, if you want to make the bed smaller than cat sized, you can knit fewer than 60 rows.

Cast off. Use a darning needle and one strand from the tail you made when you cast on to stitch the short sides tightly together, making sure the ends match up. Now you've connected the sides of the bed. Next, use the other strand to close up one of the long ends; this will be the center of the bed. I did this by weaving the tail through every other end stitch. Tighten as you go, and then tighten some more. It should be very tight! I left the opposite end open, but you could also stuff it with some fabric remnants then loosely close the end for an even more padded bed.

How easy was that? Enjoy, all you cozy cats!

Gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Bisou and gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Bisou and gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas
Bisou and gold leaf knit cat bed by Kayleigh Kosmas

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