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"Can I fit all three in my mouth?"

“Can I fit all three in my mouth?”

Welcome to my continuing adventures to seek out new ways of making toys for our beast. Sugar is now 10 months and 57 pounds, and still quirky. She loves going outside in 20 degree weather, then coming inside and putting one of her sandy paws in her water fountain while drinking from the spout. Her toy destruction has gotten a bit more focused. The only stuffed toy that is still unwounded is the “Invincible Snake”. A more appropriate name would be the Obnoxious Snake, since she prefers to race around the house obsessively squeaking it.

I wanted to find out if there was a better alternative to t shirt yarn. The last toy I made her out of t shirt yarn lasted for a month, in smaller and smaller pieces, but it did not take her long to open a hole in it. I was looking for a yarn that would work up into a toy that would stay whole for a longer time. I also wanted to see if Sugar had a preference in yarns, especially since it is easier to grab a partial skein from my stash than it is to cut up an old t shirt.

Clockwise from top- acrylic yarn, cotton yarn, and t shirt yarn

Clockwise from top- acrylic yarn, cotton yarn, and t shirt yarn

The materials:
So for my very scientific experiment I crocheted three balls, one of t shirt yarn, one in acrylic yarn, and one in cotton yarn. The acrylic and cotton yarns were both worsted weight, and the t shirt yarn was in the bulky range. Mostly. I used the same basic pattern to make the balls, with fewer stitches and rows for the t shirt yarn. The balls ended up about the same size and were stuffed to about the same fullness. Each one had a squeaker (Thanks, Aunt Nancy), which was probably a mistake.

Sugar Stealing 1The test:
Sugar was very excited, stealing one as I was taking pictures of the completed balls. I think if her mouth were bigger, she would have taken all three of them. It took her a while to stop trying to play with all three at once.

Sugar Stealing 2The cotton ball went first. Sugar took about 10 minutes to rip a fairly large hole in it, unstuff it, and pull out the squeaker.

Sugar Stealing 3The acrylic ball was next. It also was opened in about 10 minutes, but the hole was initially smaller. It grew as Sugar unstuffed it.

The t shirt yarn ball was the one she went for last. That one lasted 15 minutes before she put a small hole in it.

Sugar and Toys 2The results:
All three balls were ripped open pretty quickly. Sugar seemed to be going for the squeaker in each, moving on to the next ball once she got the squeaker out. No squeakers were harmed in the evisceration of the toys, however, since I took them away from her once they were out of the balls. As far as the yarn Opening Toypreference goes, Sugar is still playing with the now empty t shirt yarn ball. Once the other balls were emptied, she left them alone.

I will stitch up the cotton and acrylic balls, without the squeaker, and use them for playing fetch down the hallway. The t shirt yarn ball is hers to destroy, since she seems to like it so much. For now, Sugar’s enjoyment of the t shirt toys is worth the extra time it takes to make the yarn. My next trick will be to crochet a toy out of cotton rope and see how long that lasts. Today, though, will be a mending day. The pile of unstuffed toys is getting alarmingly large.

The results of the experiment.

The results of the experiment.