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laikabear
03-01-2009, 11:14 PM
I sent off some fur from my dog to be spun 6 long months ago and it's finally here! :woohoo:

My older dog, Laika, is a Husky/ Chow mix and typically sheds a little bit all year, but then twice a year she "blows" her coat and huge clumps of her soft undercoat come out. For years, I just brushed and brushed her and tossed the hair out... but then I found out that there are people who will spin this into yarn for you! It's actually the reason I started knitting in the first place, so I'd know how to make myself a scarf when I got my Laika yarn.

Now it's been a year and a half and I am totally addicted to knitting. I'm also not sure a scarf is what I'm going to make...

Anyway, here are some photos. The yarn is a 2-ply sport weight, and I got 2 hanks, totalling about 320 yards. It is a tan-gray color. Laika is many different colors - predominantly gray but also some tan, white, cream, and black. :woot:

YarnKitten
03-01-2009, 11:46 PM
Oh my gods, that's awesome! My dog is part husky, too, and does the PUFF and sheds like a monster all through summer. I so want to get some Missy yarn. :3 What's the link to their website?

Mike
03-01-2009, 11:49 PM
You should make a dog sweater.

Does she know the yarn is from her?
My poodle use to react very strangely to her pile of hair when I'd clip her, even more when I'd arrange the pile so it looked like a dog laying on the floor.

laikabear
03-01-2009, 11:52 PM
Here (http://www.vipfibers.com) is the website. Be aware, they told me the yarn would be mine in 6-8 WEEKS, and it took over 6 MONTHS! I am not a very patient person, and it was killing me. Of course it doesn't really matter since I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but still! :teehee:

They charge you by the ounce. My 2 hanks were about $100. Outrageous, I know. But it's a keepsake of Laika I hope to have long after she's gone. cloud9

laikabear
03-01-2009, 11:57 PM
Mike, you crack me up. We were also joking that I should make a dog sweater for Laika out of it. I have never seen her cold, EVER! When we lived in NC, she would be out playing in the snow and would actually lay down panting.

Actually the one that is really interested in the yarn and tries to grab it is Kate, my other dog. Laika doesn't really care. Then again, it may just be because I was showing it around at work, making a big deal out of it. I don't know if she would have been so interested if I'd just handled it like any other yarn. They usually leave my stash alone.

It does smell kind of funny. Not a doggy smell (Laika actually usually smells faintly of shampoo). But they shampoo the yarn at the spinner, and what they used has a strong floral, grandma-like scent. I put it in with my other stash, hoping that the scent will be replaced with that of the soap I have in there.

Jan in CA
03-02-2009, 01:19 AM
That is so cool! Maybe a skinny scarf? Or a neck warmer? You know how we need those in socal! :teehee:

I wish I'd kept the fur from Marshmallow (Ragdoll cat in my avatar) over the years, but she's 17.5 now and I don't think I could accumulate enough to do anything.

cindycactus
03-02-2009, 09:47 AM
That is so interesting. I never heard of it before. What ever you make with it you will love. Thanks for sharing.

LadyFirelyght
03-02-2009, 09:48 AM
That's enough yarn to make some cozy socks! :)

Woodi
03-02-2009, 02:23 PM
There are two stories in a knitting story book I'm reading: (KnitLit by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf, editors) which are about knitting with dog hair. The stories in this book are meant to entertain, not to instruct, but you might find these interesting.

In one story, a woman knit a scarf for her ex-husband out of hair from a dog they had both loved.
When the parcel arrived at his house, his new dog tore it to shreds, including the scarf inside. The guy thought that she intended it to kill him with.

In the second story, a woman knitted herself a sweater-coat from her pet's fur. She got caught in the rain in it, and noticed that on the bus, nobody would sit near her. The coat reeked, as only wet dog can. Her friend made her throw the coat away when they got home. She was glad to, as even she couldn't stand the smell.

Sansdawn
03-02-2009, 03:48 PM
I just love the whole of this!! If fI would have known about it, I would have used some of my Mom's dog's hair for a hat or scarf. I can't use my Dane's hair, too short. Good luck with whatever project you decide to make!!!

Arielluria
03-02-2009, 04:03 PM
That is SOOOOOOOOOO awesome!!!!!!!! :woohoo:I used to have a long-haired German Shepherd before I was into knitting. Sure wished I'd had some of his yarn spun to make into something awesome!

Luvmyrottnboy
03-02-2009, 04:15 PM
I am so glad you posted this!

I have been thinking of doing this since I started knitting because Cyrus sheds soooooooooooooooo much.

Some lovely black and tan sportweight would make a lovely scarf and be a tribute to my beautiful boy!

:)

Debkcs
03-02-2009, 04:19 PM
Maureen, I've been saving Maddie's hair for awhile now. She's a double coated Norweigan Buhund, who, like Laika, sheds all summer long, and blows her coat twice a year. At 14, there's not quite the same amount, but I have about 22 ounces. They weigh it going in, and I'm afraid to send all that I have. Any suggestions? Her undercoat is only an inch to an inch and a half long, the top about an inch. If they need to blend it with something else, that's OK, because I just want the skein, not going to knit anything with it. Her hair smells really bad when wet, don't want to make anything with it, just have a skein after she's gone.

laikabear
03-02-2009, 04:49 PM
Deb, I am not sure what your question is... :?? yes, they weigh it going in. I don't think I had anywhere near 22 oz. Mine was about 1/4 of a pillowcase when I sent it. The 2 hanks together weigh about 8 or 9 oz.

I am not so sure that the yarn or the knitted object will be smelly when wet. I mean, no more than sheep's wool is. Has anyone really seen a sheep up close? I worked with them in vet school and they are the filthiest animals! They get all sorts of crap stuck to their fleece and I remember working with some of them wondering how on earth they could use the fleece when it is so dirty. I think once fiber has been processed, it probably doesn't matter the source. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

As far as saving hair from a short haired dog (eg Cyrus) with no undercoat, I think that at VIP fibers, they will spin pretty much anything, but they may have to blend it with another type of fiber. With a short haired breed, there will be a lot of waste. The ideal breeds are the double coated breeds, and you should only send in the undercoat if you want the yarn to be soft. Laika's undercoat is pretty short fiber length, but it sticks together really well. Her top coat is longer, probably around 3 inches, but it isn't as soft. If you look at the webpage (http://www.vipfibers.com), they have a list of what they currently have waiting to be spun, plus a picture of the animal. Most of them are Huskies and other Arctic breeds.

ArtLady1981
03-02-2009, 04:54 PM
At our WESTERN WASHINGTON STATE FAIR, in the spinning and yarn building, I saw a woman spinning dog hairs! She said it was Saint Bernard fur.

I know what you mean about 'blowing' the coat. Our Saint does that, too. Sad thing, our now deceased Saint would blow his coat in October! So we couldn't wait during hot summers. We'd have to shave him in July. I'd leave half his tail, and head. He looked like the LION KING.

Your yarn looks fabulous!!! Being spun from 'short hairs' the scarf (if you decide to make a scarf) may shed onto your coat.
Possibly a really great slouch beret would keep shedding to a minimum. Socks will wear out, so I wouldn't use this precious yarn for socks. Ravelry has 40 pages of beret patterns, some free, some not.

Did the spinner ply it with any other fiber? I can't tell from the photo. Or, is it spun as a single ply of itself only?

It is a wonderful keepsake, no matter what you decide to do!

But, I vote for a slouch beret, and possibly wristlets with anything left over.

laikabear
03-02-2009, 05:06 PM
Darn, I posted the wrong picture and can't remove it. Anyway, that is a relatively clean sheep. It was on a tiny farm we visited to trim hooves and vaccinate, etc.

The ones I WANTED to post are here: a mama sheep that a couple of classmates and I were charged with visiting every day for a couple of weeks. Each pregnant sheep and goat at the vet school gets a couple of students assigned to make sure they don't have any problems during labor. Our poor sheep never did learn who we were, and each day when we went to visit her, she acted like we'd never been there before and tried to run away. SIGH! Most of the time she was out in the pasture with the other sheep and it was hard to find her - they all look alike except their ear tags.

When her due date approached, we brought her into the barn so at least she was easier to catch. She was SO dirty and stinky! I couldn't imagine having a sweater made out of her. And our animals were really well cared for, it's just that sheep fleece is really sticky. So all manner of dirt, weeds, straw, etc. was stuck all through her fleece. I never had to catch her when it was raining but I am sure she didn't smell like Eucalan! :rofl:

She finally had her babies (TRIPLETS) so we could turn her back out into the pasture with the other sheep. Our GOAT mama was so different. She knew who we were on Day 2! (We would bring them some grain to eat). She would actually come to greet us when we came to check on her.

MMario
03-02-2009, 05:19 PM
I'll agree, having worked with various live sheep. Wool can have quite a pong when wet. Likewise alpaca, llama, cashmere, etc.

I don't think a properly prepared and cleaned chiengora will be any more offensive then any natural animals fiber.

lulubell
03-02-2009, 07:03 PM
Most animal fibres smell when wet, but some are more acceptable than others! I know what you mean about sheep wool smell, but when it is scoured/washed etc it is fine, if it still smells it is probably an old ram, that is a smell that never gets removed!!! For the same reason one would not use a male goat, llama etc for spinning.
But there is something about dog hair - the wet dog smell never quite goes when it is humid or damp no matter what processing it has been through.

I remember a fellow spinning group member who spun and knitted a beret from her samoyed, she could not smell anything, but the people who did not have dogs at home got a definate doggy whiff whenever she wore it in winter time.

shelluie
03-03-2009, 09:14 AM
Wow - really nice color! I want to do this with my 13 year old shitzu. I was thinking I'd make a small purse and felt it and keep his dog tags in it as a keep sake.

Debkcs
03-03-2009, 03:38 PM
Maureen, that was a rather ambiguously worded question I left for you. I'll email them again to see if I can get an answer. I really don't want to send in 20 ounces if a part of it will be wasted, but I'll still be charged. May just wait until our state fair this fall and see if I can find the woman spinning dog fur a few years ago.

Laika's coloring is so beautiful, and the skein is really lovely. Maddie's will be 'buff' colored, with tints of gold in it. I'm looking forward to getting it six or so months from now.

laikabear
03-04-2009, 01:58 AM
Hey Deb, now I get it! I think they weigh it going in because the waste is more or less depending on the type of dog. I could be wrong though. I should have weighed mine before sending it. In fact, I may have, but it was so long ago that I don't remember.

I think the felted bag for dog tags is a great idea.

Luvmyrottnboy
03-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Rottweilers ARE double coated! yay!

And Cyrus is a long coated Rottweiler so double yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to start saving his fur now:cheering:

YarnKitten
03-04-2009, 05:27 PM
Oh man, this excites me. I could probably fill a pillow case in a month, the way my old girl Missy sheds. Really, by the end of summer, I always look at her and ask how it's possible that she's NOT bald yet?

blessedtosew
03-04-2009, 05:54 PM
That is so cool!!! Do they spin cat hair into yarn? I have a fluffy tabby cat that drops hair all the time.

Kattra
03-08-2009, 10:12 AM
As far as I can tell cat fur dose not smell when wet... But I do not have a long haired cat so I think this is some thing that can wait.

knitkid11
03-08-2009, 11:29 AM
Wow! Thats amazing! The dog as my avatar is 5 and he sheds a WHOLE LOT!! Maybe I should go brush my dogs hair.:out:

KnittingNat
03-08-2009, 01:46 PM
That is one gorgeous skein you have there! My Tyra is a Husky-shepherd mix and i already started to brush her with the intent of keeping the fluff and trying my hand in spinning.

Firey Vixxen
03-09-2009, 08:58 AM
Nat is Tyra the dog in your Avata? I thought she was a Mal. She's Georgous anyway.
I'm almost tempted to see about getting a red heeler hank done, but that would involve brushing Mulli. which would involve three people wresseling her to the ground while she chews at our hands, and we protect our faces. Ahh, the bygone days when I had a dog that lay still as he got brushed.
Denise, I'd be very interested in finding out how Cyrus's fur would spin. I'm on the waiting list for a puppy (though he'll most likely be special only to me) and a bikie style jacket made out of rotti fur could be very cool (even if it's just to look at). What's his coat like? It seems more Retreiver-ee than Shepherd-ee double coat in the pic.
FV

Luvmyrottnboy
03-09-2009, 11:25 AM
Nat is Tyra the dog in your Avata? I thought she was a Mal. She's Georgous anyway.
I'm almost tempted to see about getting a red heeler hank done, but that would involve brushing Mulli. which would involve three people wresseling her to the ground while she chews at our hands, and we protect our faces. Ahh, the bygone days when I had a dog that lay still as he got brushed.
Denise, I'd be very interested in finding out how Cyrus's fur would spin. I'm on the waiting list for a puppy (though he'll most likely be special only to me) and a bikie style jacket made out of rotti fur could be very cool (even if it's just to look at). What's his coat like? It seems more Retreiver-ee than Shepherd-ee double coat in the pic.
FV



Cyrus's coat is more like a Retriever's than a GSD.

It is also nothing like a short coat Rottie. It doesn't have that slick look even when he's clean and freshly bathed.

But it is soft, soft soft!

Good luck with your new Rotty baby! www.rottweiler.net is the BEST resource for Rotty info. The members can be fierce with folks but their hearts are in the right place. They have been wonderful to me and one even came to the vet with me when I had a cancer scare with Cyrus.

KnittingNat
03-10-2009, 03:59 PM
Nat is Tyra the dog in your Avata? I thought she was a Mal. She's Georgous anyway.
I'm almost tempted to see about getting a red heeler hank done, but that would involve brushing Mulli. which would involve three people wresseling her to the ground while she chews at our hands, and we protect our faces. Ahh, the bygone days when I had a dog that lay still as he got brushed.
Denise, I'd be very interested in finding out how Cyrus's fur would spin. I'm on the waiting list for a puppy (though he'll most likely be special only to me) and a bikie style jacket made out of rotti fur could be very cool (even if it's just to look at). What's his coat like? It seems more Retreiver-ee than Shepherd-ee double coat in the pic.
FV

Yes, that's the one! Thank you :aww:. She is gorgeous on the outside and has a wonderful nature. She's not a Malamute, from what i know she's a Siberian Husky-shepherd mix, and that what keeps her on the sane side most of the time:rofl:. She's going to shed soon :yay:

hartleystudio
03-10-2009, 08:45 PM
I have to say, this is the ONLY time I have regretted having a Vizsla! He is so soft but you could never, ever, spin his short fur! Bummer!!!

I can't wait to see what you do with your yarn!!! It's beautiful!

laikabear
03-11-2009, 12:13 AM
Yeah but a Viszla could wear handknit sweaters... just sayin! Maybe a nice turtleneck or something with cables. Viszlas are so regal (well, when they are standing still). ;)

I saw a client with a Husky about a week ago and I noticed she was shedding. I thought... hmm, my girls aren't shedding yet... Of course the VERY next day I started getting clumps coming out. My living room has Husky Tumbleweeds blowing by now. :rofl:

septfest
03-11-2009, 07:13 AM
Oh how cute! they even have a picture of your doggie on a label, thats adorable :blooby:

If it were me, I'd probably make a toy doggie and cuddle with him forever lol :blooby:

hartleystudio
03-11-2009, 07:53 AM
Camper does need a raincoat, he won't go out in the rain to pee. He makes us go to every door in the house to check if it's raining out all the doors. Maybe a sweater would work too. :roflhard: Just the thought of him in a sweater makes me smile. My husband would have a heart attack!!

And, yes, when they are standing still. Which is almost never. Although Camper is pretty mellow. AND getting fat, nothing worse looking than a fat Vizsla! He needs spring to come!!

laikabear
03-13-2009, 03:42 AM
I once had someone bring in their fat Weimaraner for "tumors on back" and it just turned out to be big old love handles over the rump area. He had a J.Lo booty! :rofl:

My Dobie was like that about the rain. He would hold it FOREVER rather than go out and get wet.

I really like the idea of the knitted dog. Why didn't I think of that? I have seen the "Kate" toy that's a knitted cat. I thought it was cute since my younger dog's name is Kate. I'll have to look for some dog patterns. :happydance:

hartleystudio
03-13-2009, 12:00 PM
I once had someone bring in their fat Weimaraner for "tumors on back" and it just turned out to be big old love handles over the rump area. He had a J.Lo booty! :rofl:

Ohhhh, fat Weimaraner is bad too. There was one in our neighborhood that looked like a giant wine barrel, all stretched and looking about to burst. Camp just needs to loose about 5 lbs but that's still about 10% of his weight. We both could use to loose 10%!!!