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Old 01-19-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
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Help regarding knitted blankets for animals
Just recently, I have decided to knit some blankets for our local animal shelter. I have some questions, though.

Should I use two strands of yarn when I knit? I am worried that the animals' claws will tear through the blanket, do I need to worry about that?

Also, I am making a blanket out of many small knit squares sewn together. Should I block those? Will that make a difference in how soft the blanket is, or anything else? Thanks so much!
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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I'm no help but wanted to give you a paws up for doing such a great thing for the animals. As someone very involved in rescue (bassets) I applaud anything done on behalf of our furry friends.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:53 PM   #3
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Why thank you! I was hoping to get some answers quickly so that I can start a blanket tonight.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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While I commend your efforts, knitted blankets are not really practical for shelters. I have volunteered in our local shelter and the best blankets are fleece ones that can be easily washed and dried. Knitted ones catch in the nails of the dogs, tear and unravel.

Our local shelter gets donations of old blankets and when knitted items are included they are seldom used. Other shelters may be different. But if you are making blankets, one solid piece would be much more practical and less likely to come apart than a pieced blanket.

They do occasionally use knitted sweaters for short haired or sick dogs.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #5
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Oddball Pet Snuggles
We have a group here (and on Ravelry), Oddball Pet Snuggles, that has been knitting for animal shelters for about a year and a half.
Check out this thread , our blog
and the national web-site
I know that when itís my turn to donate our finished oddballs, the shelters Iíve taken them to have all been excited every time they get one. In fact, I made my little girl one of her own and she loves it, too.

Oh, and yes...we use two strands of worsted yarn (and sometimes some fun fur, too).
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:54 PM   #6
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I went to the site: It's wonderful! So are snuggies the blankets, or the bed-like things?
Do the blankets hold up well?

Thanks so much for your help!!

Last edited by royalflower : 01-19-2010 at 09:56 PM. Reason: New post inbetween replies
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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Can I make a snuggie out of many knitted squares instead of strips? I know GinnyG said that they don't hold up so well, but I don't have a ton of time to sit down and just knit: I usually knit while I'm waiting somewhere, or on the bus or something. And it's much more convenient for me (and probably a lot of other people) to make small squares. Will that work?
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:34 AM   #8
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I dont see why not. As long as they're sewn firmly together, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm a member of the Oddball Snuggles Group here on KH. The snuggles are sent around the country, and each of us adds a little bit to them. All of the ones I've participated in were about 72-80 stitches cast on (2 strands of yarn) to circular needles. Each person adds 5-6 inches or so, and then sends it to the next one. The last person binds off, and (I think) crochets a border around it to give it a finished look. I've never received a finished one, so I'm not sure how big they are when they're finished. It's a fun group to be in. All you have to do is go to the Oddball Snuggles thread under Charity Knitting, and ask/volunteer for one. It's where I learned to knit on circular needles!

My dogs and cats will dig my crocheting and knitting out of my bag to lay on it. They love it!
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:52 AM   #9
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I'd say that for anyone who can sew, polarfleece squares (~ 2 feet by 2 feet or so) are great cage liners. Or, polarfleece on one side and fabric on the other side. You can do a quilting type stitch to stick them together and they can be laundered over and over. The hospital where I used to work had a very generous lady who used to make the polarfleece cage liners with different (seasonal) fabrics on the other side and they were the perfect size for lining cages, and they typically held up fairly well to laundering in our commercial machines.

We don't have those where I work now (and I don't sew or have a machine). We mostly use towels and some blankets, and we take all sorts of donated towels and blankets and some sheets that people don't want anymore. Crocheted or knitted things, in general, do not hold up that well. Remember, these are being washed DAILY if not more, and getting all manner of puke, poop, pee, etc. on them. Claws and paws can get into yarn and rip them, and ANY loose threads or strings are a hazard since a pet could swallow them, so once anything knitted has any holes or is unraveling, even in one tiny spot, it would have to be trashed.

I think it's really admirable to want to help a shelter and I am sure they ARE grateful even if you're providing something knitted that may not last as long as other types of bedding. It would be incredibly rude (and I can't imagine them saying) that they didn't want your handknitted things. A gift is a gift! However, I don't think that knitted items are very practical for use as cage bedding when compared to the amount of effort required to make them. Just my 2 cents...

If you're donating to a specific place, you might want to ask them what they could use the most. If they say that your knitted or crocheted things work well for them, then go for it!
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:35 AM   #10
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With 4 kids you can imagine how quickly I go through blankets. I donate our used ones to our vet and the local dog shelter we have in our small town. I do know that shelter asks for non-knitted blanket donations as they had one dog unravel a blanket and wound up choking on the yarn it ate.

It's the little bit I can do to help out since I'm not able to adopt a dog (we are comfy with our 3) but since our German Shepherd is getting to the end of her days, we are looking in to fostering for the shelter in the future.
Knitting to keep my sanity. It's working... kinda...
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