Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Newfie Knits

One of the things I love about knitting is that inspiration can come from anywhere. Even this:

For those who may not have met her here before, this is Sophie. Sophie is a Newfoundland--a very large, very drooly, very hairy dog. Sophie is a sort of living litmus test for dog lovers. You've got to really love dogs to put up with a 100+ pound dog that sheds constantly and drools like a teenage boy watching "Bay Watch." People who truly love dogs see her and exclaim, "What a beautiful dog!" People who maybe don't love dogs quite as much as they think they do invariably say, "That's a big dog!" But everyone follows up with, "Does she shed much?" Which never fails to make me smile.

This is the result of today's brushing. What do you think--does she shed much?

So you can understand how this much free fiber inspired me to buy a spinning wheel and start turning it into yarn. Which led me to the question, what do I do with all this dog hair yarn? It's very warm--too warm to wear in this climate. And despite all my efforts to spin a really soft yarn, it's more mohair than angora, and not the sort of thing I really want to wear.

The other day, I got this in the mail. Can you read what it says? "The Crafty Newfoundland Knits: Knitting Projects for Dog Lovers". It's full of charts for all sorts of intarsia pictures of Newfies doing what they do: pulling carts, swimming, running, guarding the farm. At least, I guess that's what some Newfies do. This picture is more apropos for MY spoiled suburban dog:

I laughed out loud when I saw it. And it occurred to me that the perfect project for all that dog hair yarn would be a sofa throw with this picture worked into the center--in fuzzy, black Sophie yarn!
Next winter.

11 comments:

Dr. Steph said...

A neighbours Newf used to pull us on a sleigh in the winter. They're beautiful dogs, but not for me--too hairy and DROOLY.

Very intrigued by your project plan.

kmkat said...

Heh. #1 son, while he was still at home, used to tease us unmercifully about getting a Newfie, either in addition to our 2 large mutts or as our next dog. My husband recently appeased him by sending him links to some websites with part-Newfies, many of whom look exactly like our 80-lb, fluffy, web-footed Bear (who sheds on a par with your Newfie).

You should know, and probably already do, that anything spun/knit from dog hair will always and forever smell like wet dog if it gets wet. Ask me how I know :-)

Have you been following the saga of Mr. Burrito, a Newfie puppy, at Erika's blog? (http://redshirtknitting.com/, but it seems to be down at the moment) Mr. Burrito is about a month old, and got his name b/c he was the size of a burrito when he was born.

Kim said...

In that photo, I love how Sophie's jowls flop and spread out on the floor. The sofa throw incorporating Sophie's image and fur is brilliant!

Angelika said...

Should I start saving my dogs hair now and send it to you to spin it up? It's golden.

sophanne said...

Just so you know, you're a legend in Blacksville, WV where I teach. Not only were they amazed by the beauty of the felted bag I shared when discussing spinning and knitting and felting, they also know that you are the same as Farmer Brown in Farmer Brown Shears his Sheep. He makes sweaters out of his sheep's wool- only they know you have a dog and not sheep.

Good Yarns said...

Definitely an ingenious idea. I can't wait for winter.

Wait...I didn't say that, did I?

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Yo, have you seen the 'Knitting with Dog Hair' book? I think you are its target customer;)

Lydee said...

Brilliant, a brilliant idea!

Fibra Artysta said...

Oh, she is a GORGEOUS girl! She looks like velvet! I'd love to give her a snuggle. :)

I would have never thought of spinning dog hair. Now that you've written about it, it makes perfect sense.

I'm trying to deny the urge to learn how to spin. I have enough hobbies that get ignored from lack of time. But still...its awfully preeeeeetttttyyyyy....

Knitman said...

Sophie is gorgeous. Sorry, couldn't think of anything more original to say. Everyone asks me if my dogs shed because they are so hairy. Not really. It comes out when you groom them and what does come out on the floor is usually in a pickupable clump.

lori said...

My sister-in-law gave me a big bag of "Joy" (their first Newfie) last weekend to spin. I'm thinking of what I can make with it for them, I like the idea of a throw!