September 18th, 2011

puffin

In search of very tough yarn

I recently knitted some tennis-sized balls for my brother’s tennis ball obsessed border collie so that they would have some lower-impact balls for him to play with indoors. I used the ‘Out Of Yarn’ free pattern on Ravelry (link to follow once I get a better internet connection) and some dishcloth cotton because the pattern calls for worsted/aran weight and that was the only yarn I had in that weight. I love this pattern and it was a great learning exercise.
That is why I don’t mind too much that Sam, the dog in question, bit through the cotton yarn and started to pull out fibre-fill within about five minutes of us stopping the throw-ball-kick-ball-ad-nauseum game. Yes, we confiscated the balls (Sam wouldn’t eat the cotton or fibre-fill but the new puppy, Sweep, probably would have.
I wracked my brains and noted that Sweep’s garter stitch blankie is made is some kind of acrylic yarn and they manage to play tug-of-war with that so off we went to the craft store and bought some 100% acrylic yarn. I knitted another ball using this yarn (and the poly-fill from one of the two dead cotton balls). Any guesses as to how long this densely knitted (3 mm needles and worsted/aran yarn!) acrylic ball lasted before it was hemorrhaging filling? A couple of minutes longer than the cotton.
So I am looking for a yarn tough enough to withstand what must be razor blades in Sam’s mouth and not teeth whilst still making a tennis-sized ball that is soft enough for indoors play. Yes, I know that it is possible to knit with wire but I think that that would be bad for Sam’s teeth and gums!
Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions, anyone?

Originally published at Natalie Ford Knits. You can comment here or there.