Introduction: Knitted Dog Ball That Helps Clean Their Teeth
I have beagles. They chew things. They chase things. They eat things. Constantly. And dog breath... no one likes that. This ball is relatively easy to make, and helps to keep their teeth clean.
Step 1: You Will Need
This is a pretty easy thing to knit.
You will need:
Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton Yarn (I love this stuff. It's also a bit thicker than other cotton yarns. And you need the cotton for this project to help with the teeth cleaning) 3 colours help to actually weave this together, but you can use just one.
4mm needles (this is smaller than the yarn recommends, but this keeps your stitches tight)
Stuffing (or a tennis ball works well... not the regular kind, but the ones that are slightly larger for dogs)
Cast on 10 stitches on 4mm needles
Stocking stitch for 60 rows
Do this 6 times, creating 3 lengths of each colour.
Slip the first stitch on each row which will keep your edges really neat and straight.
Step 2: Stitching Together
This is where it gets way tougher, and generally you may lose the will to continue. I find having multiple knitting projects on the go helps..... or just a lot more will power than I have.
Take the first colour. I chose blue for the pictures.
Stitch the ends together to create 2 loops with the neat side of the knitting facing out.
With the second colour (I used red for this), link the 2 blue circles together. Then twist them around so that the blue circles are next to each other, and the red ones bisect the circle.
Weave the 2nd red length through the 2 blue circles so that it goes over one blue strip, under one, over one, and then under one. Stitch up the ends to complete the link.
Step 3: Adding the Final Lengths of Knitting to Complete the Shape
Take the third colour, which I used green, so that's what I will refer to it as. Start winding it over and under the blue strips, then the red, then the blue and then the red. Stitch up the end.
Do the same with the last green piece, making sure the under and over weaves are opposite to the other green strip.
Step 4: Stuffing and Stitching Up the Ball
Now that the lengths are all together, you have a rough shape.
Separate some of the weave and overstuff the ball with a wad of stuffing. Negotiate the lengths back over the stuffing. The edges of the knitting will roll under.
Take your darning needle and the long tails of the yarn, and unfolding the rolled edges, stitch up the gaps so that the stuffing doesn't fall out. This does take a while, and a great deal of patience. But it is worth it.
Step 5: Play With the Ball
Once it is all sewn up, and stuffed, you can play fetch INDOORS! This is awesome for a beagle and quick to tire one out if the fire is roaring and naps are a possibility.
This ball will last a long time, and is machine washable. The cotton being knitted closely together works really well to clean their teeth, but I totally recommend washing them rather frequently (dog drool, need I say more).
The balls are also great for kids, as they are soft and easy to clean... but I wouldn't recommend sharing between children and the dogs.