Monday, 4 February 2019

DIY Woven Fleece Double Loop Dog Tug Toy

Love is in the air! Humphrey has a new puppy pal (they are so cute together) and this toy was created for some wild tug toy playtime. It may be a bit strange looking, but was created for function and fun - which is what matters most, right? With two loops and two straight stick "handles" there are tons of options for multiple dogs and humans. Humphrey has even figured out how to play tug with himself by using a paw with one loop and his mouth with the other - quite hilarious to watch. 

The materials and craft supplies used in making the tug toy shown are:
  • Polar fleece fabric
  • Scissors

The toy was created by joining two simple single-colour four-strand loops, and then taking two strands from each to weave into a straight "handle" outwards perpendicular to the joint. The result is a toy with four easy grab points - fun!  It is essentially combining two of our loop and handle tugs into a single big toy.  It isn't overly complex, but beginner weavers may like to try a few simple tugs or basic loops to get comfortable with weaving methods and judging size/scale before trying this type of project.  To make a similar toy:

Weave two loops with free fleece at each end:
  • Cut eight (two for each loop) long pieces of fleece. Length and width are at your discretion to scale the toy for your pet. 
  • Starting with four strands (one loop) Leaving a generous amount of fleece at the starting point (this will be used for joining and in weaving the handles), tie a temporary knot, and weave a straight length of tug using your preferred weaving style. Stop to leave a similar amount of free fleece at the finishing end. Tip:You can untie the temporary starting knot at any point after getting several layers into your weave to help judge your finishing point.
  • Repeat with the other four strands to create a matching length of woven tug with free ends.
Detailed directions with photos/diagrams for weaving are available in our posts on basic weaving methods.  The pictured toy is a four-strand spiral, and instructions on the methods for making spiral tug toys can be found here (the corner-to-corner circle twist method was used for this toy). You also use a basic square/box knot if you prefer.
  • Take one of your woven pieces and pull the loose ends together to form a loop. Carefully pair the strands up to create for paired sets (see tip), and then weave a single knot using the paired strands to secure the closed loop. Tip: Single colours are easy to close, but if you are using multiple colours in your loops, try to align the tug colours as you position the loop closed and pair with care so that you loop looks pretty when you tie it closed.
  • Repeat the same process to create the other loop.

Join the two loops at the intersection point:
  • Position the two loops so that the intersections are pressed together back-to-back.
  • Position eight strands on each side. Tip: For strength of the joint (and looks, especially if using different colours as shown in this toy), it is best if there are four strands from each loop.
  • Starting with one side, carefully group the eight strands into four pairs of two and position for weaving. Tip: Single colours are easy to group, but if using multiple colours, pair strand colours and take extra care in position for the prettiest result.
  • Weave using your preferred weaving style until you are nearing the end of the strands. Tie to secure, and (optional) trim the loose ends if/as necessary. 
  • Repeat on the opposite side to create the second handle.

Remember, this is for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs would rather eat their toys (whether store bought or handmade), and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved.  You can read more about dog toy safety here. 

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