Made By CJ

Crochet Dog Bed Made From Stash Yarn And Leftovers

C.J. Arabia (@cjarabia) • Instagram photos and videos-3

A great idea for leftover yarn is to crochet a dog bed. All you need is two circles, big enough for your dog, sew them together and then stuff them with stuffing, or an old pillow, or old clothing you were thinking of donating.

C.J. Arabia (@cjarabia) • Instagram photos and videos-4

If you don’t know how to crochet a flat circle, this lady will teach you.

And then you just make your bed whatever size you want. Count your rows and make a second circle the same size.

C.J. Arabia (@cjarabia) • Instagram photos and videos-1

They don’t have to match, in fact, it’s fun if they don’t, then you can flip it over depending on the colors or look you want. Maybe one side fall colors and the other side spring colors.

C.J. Arabia (@cjarabia) • Instagram photos and videos

C.J.’s Travel Masks

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A great project for stash yarn is to make these comfy cozy travel face masks for friends and family. Perfect for a winter storm or a viral outbreak.

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They are also funny yet useful, only take about an hour or so to complete, and a great project for all that nervous energy I get when I turn on the news for a few minutes.

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You might enjoy making some for yourself. I am just improvising and my design is changing. I’ll post more pics when I get more made.

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Raspberry Mermaid Pancho

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I don’t use patterns.

For this I took some old stash yarns and just cast on a bunch of stitches. Then I knitted till I got bored and put some stitches along the top to close it off and make it into a Pancho.

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Finished the Pancho while visiting my boyfriend who is in New York for work and took these pics at his sweet lower west side crash pad.

Simple Shawl

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I didn’t do any lace or fancy stitches, just knitting side a, purling side b till I ran out of yarn. It’s pretty.

Vivian’s Knitted Cape

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Took some old scrap yarn that I got at The Knitty City in New York a few years ago. Made a fairy cape for my little friend Vivian.

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Craig Wedren’s Hooded Cape

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Made this beautiful cape for my friend Craig Wedren in July 2010 and it looks amazing on him. He recently wore it to Sundance and I heard it got a lot of compliments. Nothing makes me happier than someone I love wearing something I knitted.

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How I Got Started Knitting

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In March 2009 my mother died a horrible painful death of ovarian cancer. It sucked. When she went on Chemo she took a knitting class so that she’d have something to do while she sat there in chemo. After she died I found myself in a room with bags full of her yarn, knitting needles, scissors, hooks, sewing machines, needles… my mom was so crafty and now here were all her crafts… unfinished.

My brothers handed me a bag of yarn and said, “I guess you better learn how to knit.” So I did. My living room was full of all her yarn. First I tried YouTube but I couldn’t get it, so I went to my local yarn shop for a real lesson and one hour later I was knitting… I was knitting as often as I could. I couldn’t stop knitting.

I would think, “Mom, I have no idea what you had planned for this yarn but I hope it’s OK if I make it into a scarf since that’s all I can make right now.”

I like to call my first piece my “Rage scarf”; as I knitted it, I was angry that my mom had to die of cancer at 58 years old. I was pissed at a lot of people about a lot of things. I’d stitch and think, “Knit one, FUCK YOU, knit two, FUCK HIM, knit three, FUCK HIM AND HER AND THEM!” I felt my anger at people, places and things melting away. In the end I had a beautiful scarf and much less anger. Funny how you can put so much hate, frustration and anger into something and then it’s just a beautiful little scarf that you’re actually proud of.

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(here is my rage scarf for all to see… harmless little thing ain’t it?)

I realized that the knitting had turned into a form of meditation for me. So I thought that instead of focusing on anger, I’d focus on more positive things. With each stitch I would quietly say “love” in my mind. So as I knit, I meditate on love and forgiveness. I’ve been calling it knititation, but turns out I wasn’t the first to think of this.

I’ve been reading and found out that knitting lowers your heart rate, lowers your metabolism and relieves stress just like meditation, so there really is something to this.

You can’t think about anything when you’re knitting; you can’t worry…You can’t stress…You can’t hate…I mean, you can hate/stress/worry while knitting, but the act of knitting will melt that hate away and eventually you will end up knitting to more positive thoughts weather you like it or not soooo… Breathe in, breathe out, knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one and you’ll find that if you focus on what’s bothering you, it will melt away and more positive thoughts and feelings will come to you as you continue to knit.

Think of knitting as meditation for those with ADD. If meditating is too boring for you, you might want to consider knititation. If you don’t know how to knit, there are classes you can take at your local yarn stores and, if you’re really smart, you can use YouTube to learn.

There are so many kinds of yarns, and I find just feeling the textures and smelling them very relaxing. I love going to a yarn store…I dig my fingers into the yarn and feel how soft or scratchy it is. Maybe I’m weird, but I find it quite comforting to squish yarn in my hands and smell the fibers and dyes.

When I’m knitting I’m not thinking about my problems or woes. I’m not thinking of the past or worrying about what tomorrow brings. And I’m not thinking about all the people I’d like to get revenge on.

I’m thinking, Knit one, knit one, knit one…and then peace comes whether I like it or not.