Project Update: Super Bulky Crocheted Cat Bed with Bernat Blanket Big Yarn

Project Update: Super Bulky Crocheted Cat Bed with Bernat Blanket Big Yarn

Remember when I made that super bulky crocheted cat bed tutorial a few years ago, and my cats absolutely fell in love with it? (The bed, that is. Not the tutorial. Cats almost certainly can’t read!) Well, it was such a big hit that I had to revisit the project. But, this time, I used the fluffiest, most ridiculous yarn I could find: Bernat Blanket Big yarn.

Project Update: Super Bulky Crocheted Cat Bed with Bernat Blanket Big Yarn

The Yarn:

Okay. Let’s talk about this yarn, and what a pain in the ass it is to work with, and how shockingly good it ended up looking, despite the fact that it’s basically crocheting with a tube of not-quite-shag carpeting, only softer. (Yes, those are knitting needles in the photo above. But I gave up on knitting with this yarn almost immediately, so onward with the crochet!)

Here’s the story:
I was wandering around my local Michaels with Kim Werker, who was visiting NYC at the time, and we were on the prowl for one of those over-the-top instant-gratification craft kits. You know, the kind where you can drink a bottle of wine with your friends while you’re making things, then dissolve into fits of laughter at how bad/amazing said things came out? Yeah, those. (What? This is how pro makers blow off steam!) Alas, search as we might, the gods of DIY did not see fit to bestow the Perfect Kit upon us. But, on the way out the door, we laid eyes on this glorious puke green monstrosity of a jumbo yarn—on sale for $4.99 per 32 yard skein—and became immediately convinced, for reasons unclear, that a couple of skeins needed to come back to my apartment. The rest, as they say, is cat bed history.

Here’s the catch:
The only problem with this project update is that Bernat Blanket Big yarn seems to have joined the sad ranks of mythical discontinued crafting creatures. Or, at the very least, it doesn’t actually seem to exist anywhere right now. So, if you love how this update turned out and want to try it for yourself, here’s what I do know: I found it at a Michaels in Brooklyn in February, but I can’t find a current link for where one might acquire it now. So, if you want some, maybe check the sale areas at your own local Michaels? (I did find it listed in an archived project on the Michael’s website, so at least I know I didn’t conjure it up in my dreams or something.)

Note: It is NOT the same yarn as regular Bernat Blanket, which is widely available, and much smaller in weight.

Yarn details, in case you want to track some down:

Yarn: Bernat Blanket Big Yarn
Colorway: Moss Green
Yardage: 32 yards per skein

Yarn Weight Category: 7 (Jumbo)
Gauge: 2.5 sts for 4"x4" square
Needle size: 25mm, 50US
Hook size: 25mm, US U
Materials: 100% polyester

Yarn feedback: Knitting with it is an exercise in frustration, no matter how loose your cast-on is. Crocheting with it isn’t much better, but at least there’s only one active stitch at a time, and you can use your fingers to help when it gets stuck on itself. (That said, I like the finished cat bed so much that I’d totally make another one with the same yarn. It was worth it.)

Another strange thing about this yarn: It completely camouflages cat hair. Simon Cat—who, at 14.5-years-old is cranky and decidedly NOT gentle with his belongings—had been sleeping in the bed for weeks before I got around to photographing it, and I didn’t even hit it with a vacuum before snapping a few pics.

Yarn info on Ravelry: Bernat Blanket Big Yarn

Project Update: Super Bulky Crocheted Cat Bed with Bernat Blanket Big Yarn

Project adjustments:

The Bernat Blanket Big yarn was so bulky that I only needed my cat bed to be 24 crochet stitches around.

So, if you’re following my super bulky crocheted cat bed tutorial, work up to Round 3, then stop increasing. Instead of moving on to Round 4, crochet 3 more rounds of 24 stitches, then skip ahead to the instructions in Round 13.

Tutorial: Super Bulky Crocheted Cat Bed

Quick personal note: Our sweet Pixel Cat (pictured in the original red and white crocheted cat bed above) passed away far too young from cancer a year ago this week. He was deeply loved, and is still very much missed. His cat bed—always his very favorite spot for napping in front of the radiator—was retired when he died.

Pussyhat Upgrade: March for Science Duplicate Stitching

Pussyhat Upgrade: March for Science Duplicate Stitching

Tomorrow is Earth Day, which means that nearly everyone I know will be attending a march or event related to the March for Science.

Are you hitting the pavement too? Take a moment this evening to update your existing pussyhat to show your support for science-based reality with my March for Science duplicate stitching tutorial, inspired by the march’s earth-and-atom graphic!

Note: If you’re not marching and just want to learn how to do duplicate stitching on knitted objects, you can do that here too!

Pussyhat Upgrade: March for Science Duplicate Stitching
Image via the March for Science website.

Pussyhat Upgrade: March for Science Duplicate Stitching

Continue reading Pussyhat Upgrade: March for Science Duplicate Stitching

Tutorial: Basic Pussyhat Knitting Pattern

Tutorial: Basic Pussyhat Knitting Pattern

Know what the world probably doesn’t need? Another pussyhat knitting pattern. And, yet, here we are. Because, while I really appreciated both the idea and the need for beginner accessibility behind the original knit-flat pussyhats, I just didn’t like how they fit. So, I wrote my own pattern. Which, as it turns out, is also very easy to knit, just maybe not quite this-is-the-first-thing-I’ve-ever-knit easy.

Instead of being knit flat, my pussyhat pattern is worked in the round and grafted closed at the top, so there’s no side seaming. You’ll also end up with a hat that’s a bit shorter than you’ll get with many of the other pussyhat patterns out there. That’s on purpose! It takes advantage of the fact that your head is (presumably) round, and makes the ears stick out a bit more than they do on the taller versions of the hat. This is my go-to pattern, and I’ve already released a good many of these pussyhats into the wild. And, with more future protests and marches on the horizon—especially the upcoming March for Science—the time to knit pussyhats is obviously still upon us! So, here’s my (arguably unnecessary, but inarguably enthusiastic) contribution to the world’s growing pussyhat-making pattern library.

Tutorial: Basic Pussyhat Knitting Pattern

Continue reading Tutorial: Basic Pussyhat Knitting Pattern

Sunday Snapshot: Pussyhat + Pussycat with Tiny Cranky Haley

Sunday Snapshot: Pussyhat + Pussycat with Tiny Cranky Haley

A pussyhat-themed Tiny Cranky Haley just didn’t seem right without my mischievous Simon Paws. Because, oh, the many joys of curious cats in the craft studio!

Speaking of making my drawings move: I’m definitely getting better at digital illustration, which makes creating animated GIFs like this one a whole lot easier. Hooray for practice-makes-perfect, and hooray for technology! So, you can probably look forward to seeing even more of these fancy moving Tiny Cranky Haley drawings in the future, because, turns out, they’re especially fun to make when I’m in serious procrastination mode.

A quick note for the uninitiated: In case you’re not already familiar, Tiny Cranky Haley is a mini version of me that I draw sometimes, mostly when I’m annoyed, but also when I’m delighted, or when the cat has done something weird. You can see more of Tiny Cranky Haley on #tinycrankyhaley on Instagram.

Brooklyn-based DIY from a gal in granny glasses