Friday, August 24, 2007

Doggy Knits

Newfoundland "chiengora". 24.5 yards, heavy worsted.

Wound into a lovely center-pull ball.

And knitted on size 9 needles into a 6" square at about 4 stitches to the inch.

Impressions: Aside from my absolute joy at making knitted fabric out of my beloved dog, these are my honest thoughts about this yarn, as yarn. My spinning skills are still shaky, and the resulting yarn is still a bit lumpier and more uneven than I would like. Although the two-ply yarn is only a heavy worsted weight, the resulting fabric is much heavier and thicker than wool of a similar gauge. I suspect that dog hair is denser than wool, so yarn the same diameter is actually heavier in weight. The dog hair also produces yarn with a fuzzy halo, much like mohair or angora, which fluffs up and fills in the gaps in the knitted fabric, making it much denser than wool of the same gauge. The fabric above would make for a terrific warm, thick blanket or jacket. I would not want to use it for a sweater, or even a scarf, because it is just too dense and heavy. One could, of course, knit the yarn on larger needles for a lighter effect, but since I intend to use the yarn to knit a throw, this is an excellent weight and gauge for my purposes. Dog hair yarn is less elastic than wool, but more elastic than, say, cotton. It is not quite as soft as I expected--more like mohair than angora. In fact, it is very similar to mohair in just about every way. I did not card the dog hair before spinning, and I wonder if carding would make for a smoother and softer yarn. I have read that the fabric becomes softer with washing and use. I'll have to see whether that is true.

For my next trick, I will be spinning Golden Retriever fur. Stay tuned--the furry fun never stops!

13 comments:

Mrs. H said...

I want you to know that I can no longer vaccuum the dog hair from my floors and furniture without wondering what it would be like spun into yarn and knitted. LOL

Lydee said...

Rock on! That is way cool! You did it! The dog fur has been sucessfully recycled/or is in the process of being recycled. I'm so impressed that you did it! You top "cool" in my book!

Romi said...

Does it felt? ;)

sophanne said...

o.k. so I'm reading the post and the first couple of comments, amazed at your industriousness and improving skills and then Romi writes "does it felt" and I think to myself, I am SO in the minor leagues!

brunhilda said...

ha ha ha, a dog-hair throw. it's genius, dog hair (that being the unwanted dog hair that ends up on everything) will never show!

awesome idea :)

uberstrickenfrau said...

Very interesting. Does it smell like dog in anyway? It would be neat to knit it with big needles to give it a more cloud appearence.

Sharon said...

Wonderful!

not only could you make a throw--I'm thinking Mason Dixon Log Cabin--from your doggies' fur, but also they would make neat chair pad covers. Can't wait to see golden retriever yarn. Your mad spinning skillz are growing exponentially!

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

I have wondered several times how my Newfy Bella's hair would spin up, but you went and did it! Congratulations and good luck with your Newf Yarn!

The_Add_Knitter said...

Sadly we only have a grouchy tabby cat around here so no pet clothes for me:(

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

well you've seen MY dog… there won't be any sweaters being knit from her fur. May be if I knit her a sweater from retriever, she would look a bit less like a weasle.

5elementknitr said...

I wonder what it would look like felted?

Kim said...

Woof woof! How about a log cabin dog yarn blanket? Would it felt? If it does, a pair of felted Sophie slippers would be warm & cozy.