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...