Well, this isn’t so much a formal pattern as a guideline to make a free animal bed with tons of flexibility to make as you like. It’s not the prettiest or most luxurious, but I’d like to think that it is easy, quick, uses scraps of whatever is in your stash (since color is not important), and that it may give some shelter animals a cozier place to rest before they find their fur-ever homes. The design is simple and has some raised stitches on the bottom mat which gives a bit of extra cushion and allows airflow to help keep animals warm and comfortable. Use up your stash and change colors anywhere you need or want to in this pattern – the animals will not mind!
I’m hoping some groups will take this up as a challenge to make and donate to local shelters. Please help me share this free pattern so as many animals can benefit from it as possible!
There are two sizes – the smaller one is made round and the slightly larger one is oval. NOTE: For these beds, gauge is not really important. I suggest using an I or J hook for the bottoms of the beds, and an N hook for the sides, but you could easily double the strands of yarn you are using anywhere in the pattern for a more lush bed – just use an appropriate size hook for your yarn thickness. The circular bottom mats can also be made in spiral (unjoined) rounds or in joined rounds, whichever you prefer.
I’d like to thank my testers for all their hard work in helping me put this out there: Teresa Sweetwood, Lori Cole, and especially Anne Baldwin (https://www.facebook.com/CraftedWhimzies) for doing the extra work involved in the oval option.
This pattern is my property and is not to be copied or reposted. It should remain free and finished objects made from it may be sold. Credit should be given to me as the designer. Links to the original pattern location are appreciated.
Copyright 2014 Author: Tina Le Page – Mad Crochet Lab, All rights reserved
Small – Circular Bed
Bottom Mat (with I or J hook and using either joined or unjoined rounds)
1 – Adjustable Ring of 12 DC
2 – Working in BLO from now on, INC in each stitch around = 24
3 – *DC in next, INC in next (repeat from * around) = 36
4 – *DC in next 2 DC, INC in next (repeat from * around) = 48
5 – *DC in next 3 DC, INC in next (repeat from * around) = 60
Keep increasing in the same manner for each additional round until you have a mat that is about 16 inches across at the widest point. If work was done in a spiral round, then add a HDC in the next stitch, then a SC in the next stitch, then a SS in the next stitch after the final DC to finish the last round off in as much of a circle shape as possible.
Raised Stitches on Bottom Mat
Attach yarn with a SS to a free loop in the innermost circle if you worked with joined rounds, or with the innermost free loop if you didn’t join rounds. Make a HDC in each free loop. Continue to attach yarn to each round of free loops if you worked with joined rounds, but leave them off the outermost round. If you didn’t join rounds, leave the HDCs off the outermost stitches of the spiral. This gives you more space to attach the sides.
Sides (with N hook)
Measure the outer diameter of the bottom mat. Using an N hook, use 5 different strands of yarn and make a chain that is about 6 inches longer than the measurement you got for the mat. You will leave about 3 inches of tail on either end of the chain. Take note of the number of chains made so you can make additional ones as needed, depending on how high you would like the sides to be.
Begin crocheting using both loops of each stitch now. Leaving a three inch tail, hold the chain up against the outer edge of the mat and use the I or J hook to join a strand of yarn to a stitch in the outermost edge of the mat and SC over it all the way around the edge of the mat, using each stitch in the mat and leaving a final 3 inch length of tail hanging free (this will be tied to beginning tail). This creates the side wall for the bed. The chain will be visible through the SC, but the animals will not mind. Place a stitch marker to hold your place so it doesn’t unravel. Tug the starting and ending tails to tighten and adjust the SCs in place (much like pulling a drawstring through a pair of sweatpants). Then, remove your stitch marker and add another length of chain, joining with SS to first round and SC ing it to the round below to raise the height of the side walls. Continue doing this until side walls are as high as desired. At least three is recommended. When the sides are the desired height, just tie the starting and ending tails together. Cats really appreciate side walls – it provides them an extra feeling of security to curl up against them.
Medium Sized Pet Bed – Oval Shape
Basically the instructions are the same for the oval bed as they are for the circular bed, but for clarity and ease, this guide is written using joined rounds and increasing stitches only at each curved end of the oval, keeping the number of DCs the same along the flat sides of the oval.
Bottom Mat (with I or J hook and using joined rounds)
Ch 13 (or longer for a larger bed, but keep to an odd number). 10 stitches are for the sides, 1 is for each end and 1 for turning
1- Make 1 SC in 2nd CH from hook and in next 10 SC. Make 5 SC in the end CH and 1 SC in each of next 10 going around the unworked side of CH. 4 SC in the end (the 1st SC acted as the last of the 5 needed for this end). SS into next SC.
2 – CH 3 (counts as first DC for this and following rounds) and working in BLO from now on for Bottom Mat, work 1 DC in each of next 9SC. Then work [2DC, 2DC, 1DC in center, 2DC, 2DC] across the 5 end stitches, 1DC in each of the 10 side stitches, work [2DC, 2DC, 1DC in center, 2DC, 2DC] across the 5 end stitches (9 DC in each end). Total of 38 stitches.
3 – CH 3, DC in next 9DC, then work [ 1DC, 2DC, 1 DC, 2DC, 1DC in center, 2DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1DC] across the 9 end stitches, 1 DC in each of the 10 side stitches and [ 1DC, 2DC, 1 DC, 2DC, 1DC in center, 2DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1DC] across the 9 end stitches. Total of 46 stitches.
4 – Ch 3, DC in next 9 DC, then work [1DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1 DC in center, 2DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1DC, 1DC] across 13 end stitches, 1DC in each of next 10 DC, then [1DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1 DC in center, 2DC, 1DC, 1DC, 2DC, 1DC, 1DC] across end 13 stitches. Total of 54 stitches.
You will keep increasing in this manner for additional rounds. Each round increases by 8 stitches. Each end increases but in the middle is a single DC on each round, while the sides do not increase. Also, the increases are mirrored on each side of the center DC at each end. It helps to set up and mark your oval mat so you can see where the sides are (where you will only make 1 DC in each stitch) as opposed to the ends where you will be increasing. Below is an example on how to mark an oval to easily distinguish where you’ll be increasing. The middle section between the two lengths of contrast yarn woven through is the area on the sides as you work around where you will not do any increasing. The sections on either side are the ends that look like half circles because that is where the increasing is done.
Raised Stitches on Bottom Mat
Attach yarn with a SS to a free loop in the innermost circle on the mat. Make a HDC in each free loop. Continue to attach yarn to each round of free loops, but leave them off the outermost round. This gives you more space to attach the sides.
Sides (with N hook)
Follow the same instructions for Sides on the Small Circular Bed.