a tail of 2 socks + 'knitting again'

pawsitive_gwFebruary 26, 2011

When I introduced myself, I mentioned that I ran out of yarn for the second sock. I found a place that sold the same yarn, but not what I needed, so I bought a hank in a color that would sorta match (the sock was a varigated yarn in multiple colors). I decided last night to finish the sock and lo and behold, I had enough yarn!! I had taken the sock apart 3x before and I guess rolling the yarn made it look like I was short. Whew. Now I can take the yarn back and exchange it for a color I do like and get another ball and have another pair of socks!! I am about to turn the heel of a second sock on another set of needles and they are turning out quite colorful. I call them my rainy day socks. I did them while waiting out a storm in California.

Several of you asked about my spinning. I saw an article in a dog magazine in the mid 70s (does that date me or what??) where a woman had spun the fur of her Samoyed dogs and had made a hat, a full length coat and a rug out of their fur. If you aren't familiar with the breed, they are a northern spitz type sled dog that has the most luxurious, white double coat. At the time I was raising Alaskan Malamutes and had tons of fur. When I priced getting it spun, I was stunned to learn they charged $3.50 oz. to spin it. Researched spinning wheels and my DH surprised me for my birthday with an Ashford wheel in a box. I put that sucker together myself and had someone teach me to spin. No, you do NOT have to learn on a drop spindle, tho I did try a Navajo lap spindle. We demoed at an arts and crafts show and there was a very nice Navajo woman there. She sheared her sheep, spun the wool and made the rugs. We loaned her our wheels and she loaned us the spindle. We all agreed the other one was harder! LOL.

I do demonstrations at schools and various "cowboy" events around the area. I always take a dog with me. I now have Australian Shepherds. My one regret was not getting my Mal when she was shedding and staging the fur coming off her and spinning directly onto the wheel.

I brush my dogs out in the spring and save all the nice undercoat. I spin it as it comes out of the bag and it has a nice heathered look to it. If I card it, it mixeds up the colors and they come out a uniform grey. I spin the fur "dirty" then wash the skeins, hang them weighted to dry, then knit. The staple or length has to be at least 3" long in order for it to hold together. Since dog fur is smooth, unlike sheep wool which is "barbed", I need to add a single strand of wool as I knit so it holds together and doesn't grow. I knit a simple design sweater for me that my daughter modeled as a mini dress after a few years. I still have it and take it out when I do demos. I learned a lot from that sweater. I spun the dog fur too loose, knit with needles that were too big and didn't use any wool. And NO, after it's washed it doesn't smell like dog and you don't have a pack of dogs following you around. The hats are quite warm, bordering on HOT if the temps are above freezing. For people who get the heeby jeebies thinking about dog hair hats we call them cheingora. LOL

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Pawsitive, that sounds intriguing and a lovely way to combine two of your interests - your dogs and your knitting. Would it be possible to post photos of some of the garments you've knitted with dog hair?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 10:52AM
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