What do sharing your life with animal companions and working with yarn have in common? Both activities may have similar health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure and reducing stress. I guess that makes me the epitome of good health, since I live with a dog and three cats and have been knitting and crocheting since I was six years old. I consider time spent crocheting as I lounge on my favorite couch with at least a couple of animals tucked up beside me to be a gift like no other: just me, my animals and some yarn. And, like daily vitamins and exercise, it’s important for my health!
If this project has inspired you learn to crochet, look for someone teach you; you will be surprised at how easy it is once you get started. There are also many how-to books and online resources available with excellent directions for first-timers. For the veteran craftsperson, this is a great way to use up leftover yarn.
A simple chain stitch and single crochet are the only stitches you need to know to make one of these collars. The variation in their look comes from the kind of yarn you use and the embellishments you add; if you select a textured yarn—which can be tricky to work with until you get used to it—you don’t really need to add anything else. Choose a crochet hook that will make a fairly tight stitch. If you still have the label from your yarn, it will tell you what size hook to use.
Measure your dog’s neck and consider how wide you would like the collar to be. Chain stitch to that width plus one stitch, then single crochet until you reach the right length. The collar will stretch a little, so take that into consideration when measuring. You want it to be snug, but not tight.
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For the buttonhole, begin a row of single crochet as usual. After one stitch for a narrow collar or two stitches for a wider one, chain the rest of the row until just before the end, at which point you will join the chain to the collar again with one or two single crochet stitches as in the beginning of the row. Complete one more row of single crochet and bind off.
Like all crafters, you most likely have a jar of buttons stashed away, and in that jar you’ll no doubt find the perfect one for your collar. Make sure it fits and sew it onto the end of the collar opposite the buttonhole. If using plain yarn, you can then further decorate the collar with buttons, beads, bows or baubles to your heart’s content.
And speaking of your heart, continue the health benefits of this project by taking your dog for a nice long walk and showing off your handiwork. It’s much more fun than going to the gym!
[Note: This collar is not meant for leash attachment.]