Not just any kind of dog hair but the undercoat of a black German Shepherd.
Here is the story: Just after I learned to spin, my mother asked if I would spin her shepherd's undercoat. I thought it would be a way to spin something I didn't have to buy! Yipee!
Through the shedding months, mom religiously combed him and saved every bit. Now came the time I received a pretty good sized package in the mail. I was so excited! After getting home, I opened it and immediately took it to the bath tub for a wash. I used Dawn Dish washing Liquid (mind you, I was very new to processing fiber, too) and pushed the soft down into the soapy, warm water as I leaned over the tub. It was at that moment, I got a whiff and wondered how in the world a wet dog got in the house! Oh, boy!! Okay, after I controlled the dry heaves, I rinsed it with Downy. Alright, I can handle the very clean smell now!
I drained the water out of the tub squeezing the water out of the ready-to-dry down. It was a chore to get all the damp dog hair off me but I succeeded and laid it out on a towel.
Days later, with dry fiber in hand, I was ready to card it. Hummm, it didn't card very well, so I skipped that part. Here comes some spinning time! At the time I tried to spin it -- is when I finally paid attention to the length of the fiber -- a little over 1". After several attempts to get a good enough twist, it worked!! Not only did I spin it, I had enough to fill two bobbins and then plied it! I even went ahead and set the twist, rolled it into a huge ball and sent it back to my mother.
She sent me the sample I scanned and told me she was able to knit a scarf, headband, and two wrist warmers. The color turned out to be a rich chocolate and, unbelievably, does NOT shed!! It is also so very soft and warm.
Anytime I show the knitted sample, people try to guess its origin. When they ask me, I tell them it is called "Quanah."
Where did my mother get a name like that for fiber? It was the name of her gorgeous male Shepherd!
I would certainly work with dog undercoating again...as long as 'mom' washes it!
1 day ago