Crafts & Hobbies Information

Using Your Dogs Hair


Dog hair (called chiengora)can be spun into yarn, much like sheeps's wool, alpaca, or any other animal fiber. The process is the same. Dust and oils can be washed out of the spun hair, so there is no "doggie odor." Amazingly, the spun yarn is warmer than wool, easy to care for, and has an angora-like fluffy texture. Until recent times, most dog owners didn't realize the beauty of the colors and texture of their dog's hair could be used in the manner of sheep's wool.

It's really as easy as brushing your dog. There are some guidelines to getting the best and softest yarn possible. When brushing your dog, be sure to collect from the parts where the hair is the longest and softest. This is undercoat. Hair must be 2 inches or longer for best results. Hair should be clean and dry, with no grass or debris in it. Brush the hair from the longest, softest parts of the dog, saving only this hair. It is the undercoat you want, not the coarse top coat. Clippings will not work well for spinning with dogs that have double coats. There is too much guard hair, and the yarn quality will not be as nice as the pure undercoat.

Remove dog hair from the brush and save it in a paper bag. Save hair that is completely dry, and as clean as possible. (Do not attempt to clean it once it is brushed off the dog!) Bathe your dog first, and brush when the hair is dry. Paper allows the fiber to "breathe" and not be trapped with oils in a plastic bag. The best way to store the hair from brushings, is in a paper sack, or cloth bag, such as a pillowcase. Despite what your mother or grandmother used to do, NEVER USE MOTH BALLS! Moth balls contain a toxic chemical that is dangerous to breathe, and it is impossible to remove the mothball smell from the hair. How much do you save? It depends on what will be made with the finished yarn. Most small projects use about 6 ounces of hair.

Transforming dog hair into yarn takes much time and care. First, the yarn is evaluated for spinning. Depending on length, and how the yarn will be used, I determine if the hair needs blending with a soft merino wool. Blending minimizes shedding out, and produces a more durable yarn. Although most people want 100% of their dog's hair to be used in a product, this isn't always possible. The dog's color can still be seen and the fluffy texture is still present in the finished yarn.

From this point, the process is the same as spinning sheep's woolI use a drum carder for the blending process. This carder has metal teeth on it, that comb the wool, so the fibers are lined up and ready for spinning. The fiber is lifted off the drum carder, loosely rolled up, and set aside by the spinning wheel.

The yarn is spun into single strands on a spinning wheel, and then plied for strength. The yarn is then cleaned by hand, using a mild conditioning detergent or dog shampoo, and air dried. It is then wound into balls or skeins and is then ready to be knitted or crocheted into a scarf, hat, ornament, and many other things.

Because it is handcrafted, and personal, a chiengora gift makes a sentimental remembrance. It is better to begin collecting hair while your pet is healthy and younger. People have often told me that it is comforting to have a soft, "pettable" scarf, hat, teddy bear, or other item made from their dog's hair, and it brings back happy memories.

Fran Pike spins and knits with luxury fibers, including angora, alpaca and "chiengora." She founded Rover's Comb to enable people to have beautiful keepsakes made from their dog's long, brushed hair. Her work is showcased at http://www.roverscomb.com


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Researching Your Family's History
Madison.com
Come learn how to dig into your family history and uncover stories that help you to understand where you come from and the ancestors who had an impact on your life. Lori Bessler will provide information on how to research your family using online ...



MADTech Series -- Social Media Analytics
Madison.com
We all know social media is important in spreading your reach. It's the new word of mouth— people referencing, referring, and occasionally recommending you or your product or service. But what are social media insights actually telling you and how can ...



Madison Travel Circle presents Arts and Crafts Thailand
Madison.com
Discover the many arts and crafts of Thailand and the communities that make them with Lori Fleury. OTOP: One Tambon (Village) One Product was created for the late King Adulyadej of Thailand, to encourage village communities to improve local product ...



Fix-a-Flat Bike Tire Class
Madison.com
Machinery Row Bicycles hosts free, small group fix-a-flat tire classes every Tuesday from May to August. Classes are open to anyone wanting to learn. To participate, just show up at the shop and we'll provide all the tools. We do recommend bringing ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Finished!
MyCentralJersey.com
I started last week with three sweaters on the needles that were fairly close to finishing. I've already written about the Deborah Newton yoke sweater for which I ran out of aqua yarn. Then there was the Kiama sweater that I started last summer and ...



"Domesticated Threads II" Sewing Small Containers with Artist-in-Residence
Madison.com
Learn how to design and sew a small fabric wallet, cell phone case, lined Japanese style lunch bag, pencil case or other container. It's nice to take the first Domesticated Threads workshop so that you can incorporate embroidery into this project but ...



House Painting — Tips from a Pro
Madison.com
Learn how to freshen up your home with a new look. Get house painting tips at the Verona Public Library on Wednesday, May 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Eric Welch, professional painter, will share tips and techniques for the do-it-yourself painter, including ...



How to Brew Beer At Home
Madison.com
Are you curious about brewing and want to learn the basics of brewing beer at home? This 2-hour beginner homebrewing class is the perfect place to learn! Join Ben Feifarek, owner of the Wine and Hop Shop in Madison, to learn the brewing beer process ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Links to free hat patterns
MyCentralJersey.com
This is a list of free hat patterns and links to patterns on mycentraljersey.com and other websites that you can use for In Stitches projects. Adult knitted hats for chemo caps or winter hats: Mock cable beanie, one of my designs · Pattern from "The ...



MyCentralJersey.com

It's amazing how much damage you can do in 30 minutes
MyCentralJersey.com
On Friday, I Ieft work early because I'd worked the night before, so I headed to the VNA Rummage Sale in Far Hills. Marilyn Robinson, who has volunteered at "Rummage" forever, warned me when we were knitting at the Library on Thursday, that they close ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2006