If you have a dog who loves to play tug and a pile of old, holey socks lying around the house, then this Instructable is for you! It turns out that you can cut old socks up and turn them into something resembling thick yarn. This yarn — which I refer to as “sarn” (from sock yarn) — can be used to crochet or knit something bulky and durable.

I decided to make some sarn into a monkey tug toy for my dogs because they love playing tug but easily destroy most of the toys we give them. (And what dog doesn't want to beat up a dumb-looking monkey?) The length of the arms and legs of the monkey design are as long as our longest tug rope (about 1.5 meters, or 5 feet, when stretched), so it gives both dogs (and humans) plenty of room to be on any of the tugging ends. It’s held up pretty well against our dogs so far, and is easy to repair.

As a side note, I’ve previously used sarn to crochet a dog sweater. (I got the idea originally from people making yarn from cut-up plastic bags, called “plarn.”) But other than that project and this one, I’ve never seen anybody attempt to make yarn from socks — I’m doing this new Instructable in the hopes that it’ll catch on! It seems to work pretty well as a readily-available, "green," tough, yarn substitute.

Step 1: Materials You’ll Need

You’ll need the items pictured above to make your own sarn-based dog tug toy:

  • Old socks. I used about 35 socks (most with small holes) to make the rather large, monkey tug toy. It was a mix of men’s and women’s. One of these socks, unstretched, roughly made abuot 135 cm (53 inches) of yarn/sarn.
  • Scissors
  • Large crochet hook. I used a Q/16 mm — you could try something bigger, but this is the smallest size I’d recommend. I got mine through Amazon.com.
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Red thread and a sewing needle. This is for attaching the mouth.
  • A friend to help you cut up some old socks! This is optional, but it really helps.
  • A dog, or a couple of dogs, who love to play tug!

<p>Great way to use single and torn socks! It's so cute I would feel bad giving it to my dog though! haha</p>
<p>Thanks, &quot;Danger&quot;! We often get a pile of holey socks after a while so I've been looking for ways to re-use them, and making them into bulky yarn works pretty well. And at least the dogs have a lot of fun beating up the toy :) Thanks for checking out the Instructable!</p>
<p>I have so many colorful socks that have holes in them or are missing their partner and I never know what to do with them. I can't crochet to save my life, but I could knit a cute thing out of them, maybe!</p>
<p>&quot;SARN&quot;? I love even the name! I imagine the disjointed look of the monkey's legs (also great for an octopus?) would make it tremendously enticing to a dog. This is a splendid suggestion for using up old socks, and almost everyone must have some of those.</p>
<p>idk about you, but I have always been told not to leg dogs play with the elastic part of th sock. so I hope u all cut that off first. it can clog a dogs stomache. unless that is just a myth I have always been told to keep the dog out of the socks... idk.</p>
<p>I always take any toy away from our dogs as soon as it looks like they're eating it (if it's not a toy designed to be eaten) -- I don't think it's ever a good idea to just let them eat fabric, stuffing, etc. This toy is designed just to be a tug toy -- not to be eaten!</p>
It's a sock monkey!
<p>I will share this with my daughter. She has a giant schnauzer who can demolish a toy in seconds. I think this toy would outlast all of them much longer. Thanks for sharing your hard work and do have a splendorous weekend!</p><p>sunshiine </p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am a scientist, professional science writer, and science educator. I'm also author of the Biology Bytes books: http://www.biology-bytes.com/book/.
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