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Using Your Dogs Hair


Dog hair (called chiengora) can be spun into yarn, much like sheep'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


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Hobbies and Crafts Night at MCPL Athens
WSAW
Hobby and craft enthusiasts are welcome to join the Marathon County Public Library every month for a night of creating and socializing! MCPL will begin offering its Hobbies and Crafts Night on January 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at its Athens Branch ...



The Columbus Dispatch

Hobbies: Collector crafts, sells high-end accessories for Barbies
The Columbus Dispatch
To go with six decades of clothes and shoes, the Mattel-made fashion doll has possessed Coach purses, heart-shaped sunglasses and cell phones (ranging from the flip variety to an iPhone). Barbie collector Cathy Kaplan, however, long thought the vintage ...

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Cadillac News

Big turnout at Hobby Lobby hiring event
Cadillac News
Debbie Walker, a Cadillac resident who applied Wednesday, said even if she doesn't get a job, she's excited to shop at Hobby Lobby. Walker has taken floral design classes, does other crafts, and has worked as a cashier before, she said. The store is ...



MyCentralJersey.com

The Marketplace at Vogue Knitting Live
MyCentralJersey.com
Every year, thousands of knitters com to Vogue Knitting Live in New York. They come f rom the New York metropolitan area, of course, but they also come from other places. I met fellow knitters from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Neutrals are apparently the new black
MyCentralJersey.com
A few years ago, I covered a Mansion in May that was filled with rooms decorated in neutral tones. Many of the designers said that after a decade filled with saturated color, they were shifting to neutral pallets because they are relaxing. Maybe that's ...



MyCentralJersey.com

You've done really well making hats, cowls and scarves
MyCentralJersey.com
Chef Pam Johnson and a crew of volunteers prepare beef stew and roasted vegetables for guests of Eliljah's Promise Community Kitchen, on a cold day in November, 2017. Pamela MacKenzie/Staff Video. Point in Time hats/cowls.jpg Buy Photo. Here are some ...



Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hobbies can make you money in retirement
Minneapolis Star Tribune
But because of the proliferation of online marketplaces, you can now sell your creations worldwide. Etsy is the best-known marketplace for artisans, but there are plenty of smaller sites you can consider, like ArtFire and Zibbet. You can also use eBay ...



News24

Valentine's affair to take the Bay by storm
News24
Throughout the weekend, shoppers will be able to browse a variety of stalls and indulge their passion for everything from fine foods and fragrances to hobbies and crafts, clothing and accessories, and home décor. The market will trade from 12pm to 7pm ...



Two Stocks in Concentration: Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE:AXON), The Michaels Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIK)
The Oracle Examiner
The Michaels Companies, Inc. is a specialty retailer of arts and crafts. The Company's stores offer stock-keeping units in arts, crafts, scrapbooking, floral, framing, home décor, seasonal offerings, and children's hobbies. It produces 11 exclusive ...

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MyCentralJersey.com

Greetings from Vogue Knitting Live, NYC 2018
MyCentralJersey.com
Every garment is a unique combination of shape and yarn, guided by the standard sizes provided by the Craft Council. Sizing between increments is generally half-an-inch for the smaller sizes and yarns that are worsted weight or lighter. Heavier yarns ...


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