Yesterday I talked about my lust for odd yarns. Possum in particular. That got me thinking about what other fur I’d like to see yarn made out of. We used to laugh about saving our dog hair because heaven knows there is enough of it rolling around the house. At the time we had an Old English Sheep Dog. He was the most lovable dog, but honestly as dumb as a rock.
Now we have a black Lab. She is a sweetheart and is really smart. Extra bonus in a dog! You may think I am bragging (ok, I’ll admit it, I am) but she is probably the smartest dog we’ve had. And we’ve had lots of dogs.
I’ll give you a glimpse of Indy in action. She loves to play fetch. She is truly a Labrador. Given a choice between food or fetching, the Frisbee always wins. Anyway, one afternoon my husband was up in the our loft throwing her ball over the railing into the living room so she would have to run up and down the stairs. He figured he’d wear her out faster. After a few times he heard her scratching at the carpet. The ball was under the bookshelf, so he had to run down to get it out for her. He sat back down at the computer, tossed the ball over the railing and continued typing. Next thing he hears is her scratching again. The ball was under the bookshelf. He ran down, threw the ball and stood at the railing. That’s when he saw her pick up the ball, toss it under the shelves, and scratch the floor looking up to see if he was coming. She succeeded in training the hubby to run down the stairs every time.
Sorry, I was talking about dog fur yarn. Anyway, Indy is super soft and especially in the spring and fall, black fur bunnies collect by the dozens under the sofa, chairs, beds…maybe I should start saving it because I found a place that will make it into yarn!
Check out the website for VIP Yarns http://vipfibers.com/. They will tell you everything you want to know and more about creating yarn out of your pet’s fur. Instead of throwing away all of those hand fulls of fur you clean up or brush out you can save it and have custom yarns! If you don’t knit or crochet, they even offer custom items they will make for you out of this fur. Everything from bookmarks to teddy bears, pillows, scarves and blankets are offered. I guess if you have a Pekingese you should plan on a bookmark, and proud owners of Malamutes (they shed faster than a tree after the first hard frost) can shoot for the blankets.
There is a really cool question and answer page that is worth a look-see even if you don’t feel like collecting your pet’s cast off hair to create some custom yarn.
For $12.00 an ounce (3 ounce minimum – based on the weight of the raw fiber) they will do all of the following with the fiber you send in. They will card it to create a “well balanced yarn”. They will then roll it into rollags and hand spin to sport weight yarn. Then two threads are spun in opposite directions to create 2-ply yarn, which is sturdier. It will be measured for yardage and yarn size and weighed. It is washed and soaked until the yarn is clean and odor free. Then they hang the clean skeins in a drying room until dry. The labels are custom. They’ll put your pet’s picture with yardage, weight, care instructions (for the yarn, not the pet) and breed.
They will spin all kinds of animal hair for you. The partial list list includes any kind of cat or dog you can come up with and some others that may interest you. I know they made me go hummm. Angora rabbit, buffalo, camel, goat, coyote, wolf and of course my Labrador Retriever were included. I’m sure if I could just talk to those people at the zoo, VIP Fibers would be happy to add lion, bear and snow leopard to their list.
While yesterday’s yarns were created by hunting and trapping pests that had to be destroyed (per the government regulations in New Zealand, using humane procedures) the fibers made from pet fur that would normally be landfill. I would like to give this a try just once, but wonder how long it would take to collect 3 ounces of dog fur. Has anyone tried this?