29 June 2010

They never take me seriously...

...when I ask for dog hair.

I've come across quite a few people with very hairy dogs. The kind with the nice, fuzzy undercoat that combs out in copious amounts. When I say, "Wow, you'd make a great sweater!", the pet parents usually laugh and go on their way.

Sometimes they move to the other side of the street.

Two of our friends have such a dog. They also know when to take me seriously. A few weeks ago, B and T gave me a garbage bag FULL of dog undercoat. "We've been saving this for you!" It's soft and fuzzy, and ranges in shade from bright white to a peachy-reddish color. Amazingly enough, it does not smell like your stereotypical sack of dog hair.

Intrigued with the possibilities of a bag of dog, and armed with a drum carder, I decided to give the hair a test spin. I carded a blend of 60% alpaca and 40% dog hair and tried it out on the drop spindle.

Note #1: Dog hair and alpaca make a nice blend. It's almost a little too light and airy, though. Instead of spinning from the carded batt, I had to pull off small clumps in order to avoid the "drifting down the side of my arm and OH MY GOD IT'S GETTING CAUGHT IN THE SPINDLE" syndrome.

Note #2: By using the drop spindle, I was able to spin a VERY fine yarn. The single mini-batt that I carded, which weighed about the same as a gnat fart, yielded twenty-eight yards of two-ply laceweight yarn.

Note #3: In less than twenty-four hours, I was able to crank out my fastest-ever "fleece-to-finished" project:


My photography skills are still nonexistant, but trust me. This is one awesome lace bookmark. I found the pattern here, with a much better picture. It took maybe twenty yards and a bit on US2 needles.

The dogpaca yarn has a really pretty halo effect. It obscures the stitches just a tiny bit, but not enough to get in the way. It has good drape and an even hand, and it takes blocking well. I might have to see how it works up as a scarf or something.

Just don't wear it in the rain...

6 comments:

Dianne said...

Lovely! You are soooo talented!

Judy said...

I can send you lots of dog undercoat if you want. Katie has copious amounts of it ALL the time. Her's is mostly white. Just let me know

rachel said...

Not sure whether to laugh or to weep..... I did see some folk online once wearing the most hideous sweaters knitted up from their dog hair collection. Your little sample is much prettier, and the name 'dogpaca' is wonderful.

No, think I shall laugh rather than weep, but in a slightly astonished way.....

Lourie said...

Okay first....ROFLMBO over gnat fart. NExt Holy dog hair Batman! That is freakin' awesome! Who knew??

Molly said...

I don't think I've ever seen dog lace before---bloody amazing! I have heard a dog fart, but never a gnat....snort!

This is proof that one should never throw anything out. We are such a wasteful society....except for you!

Could I interest you in some cat hair? Snowy white, silky, great drape!

rhubarbwhine said...

I can send you much shiny black lab fur, much burmese black and white cat fur, much red chook and black chook feathers and some fish scales. What can you whip up from those offerings? Knowing you, probably a 3 layer dreamcoat fully lined. Your are too talented! X