How on earth did you get started doing this?
My dog requires a lot of grooming. I had brushes full of beautiful fiber and knew I could do something useful with it so I learned how to spin yarn and knit. Now, I have found a great use for all that dog hair that used to be a menace! My dog yarn hats are my favorite accessory in the winter and my dog yarn purses are a "must have" for nights out on the town.
How much pet fur/hair do I need?
It depends on what type of project you want to complete. I have a line of small, knitted items that don’t take a lot of dog yarn. Once you get a small grocery bag nearly full – you have enough for a project and we will work together to design your unique dog yarn and/or knitted project.
Is all dog/cat hair appropriate for yarn?
In general, yes. I will assess what can be done with the wool and what kind of project for which the yarn will work best. So far, I have only NOT been able to spin ox tails! I tried, it just didn’t work!
How long does it take to get my items?
Timing is based on my work queue. A high level estimate is 7 months.
How much do you charge?
I charge by the ounce. My fees are $16oz plus any additional fiber that I would need to purchase. Many clients want a blend of pet and sheep/llama. You will receive a quote and then a final invoice. Once I receive payment, I will ship your products right out! Believe it or not, my experience shows that dog/cat wool is almost 67% LIGHTER than sheep/llama wool AND it is warmer, too! I may need to charge a processing surcharge if the raw fiber has an abundance of foreign matter such as leaves, sticks, or burrs. Charges will be disclosed to you in advance of your order commencing.
What is the conversion of ounces to yardage?
In general, my spools will hold 4-5 ounces of dog yarn. Based on the thickness of the yarn I spin, I usually get between 150-170 yards per skein.
Will you return any unused wool/fur?
Yes, we will agree up front if you want your unused fiber returned.
Does it smell like dog?
No - your dog yarn is thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. However, other dogs tend to pick up the scent! Don't be alarmed if you have your dog yarn purse at a BBQ and a friendly doggie gives it a few sniffs!
Collecting Fiber for the Best Results:
Brushings versus Clippings:
All dog yarn will have a tendency to shed. Shedding will depend on the unique characteristics of the raw fiber which include length of fiber, texture of the fiber, blending with other fibers, and collection method etc. In general, it is best to collect fiber from brushing. I do not spin fiber from clippings, cuts or shaving. I cannot guarantee a dog yarn will not shed or only shed for a certain period of time.
Cleanliness and Foreign Matter:
Fiber cannot be unsanitary but it does not have to be from a freshly washed pooch, either! Take the fiber from your brushing sessions, remove whatever foreign matter such as leaves, twigs, or whatever and put the fiber in a box or ziploc bag. Try to keep the fiber fluffy and don't allow it to compact too much. If a wad of fiber is too compacted, it might have to be discarded as waste. If we need every bit of compacted fiber, I will have to cut it apart and that contributes to shedding. Ah, a vicious circle!
Undercoat and Guard Hairs:
Many dogs have two coats of hair. One is called guard hairs which are more coarse. The other coat is the soft undercoat. Coarse coats will producer coarser yarn. Some authors on the subject suggest you discard the guard hairs and only spin the undercoat. It is up to you if you want to pull out any coarse guard hairs. I do not offer a service to separate out various fibers based on coarseness. I personally just spin it all when I am given a shipment of fiber as a charitable contribution.
Keeping Raw Fiber Fluffy:
Do whatever you can to keep your fiber fluffy. That will make it so much better to separate and process for spinning. I will attempt to work with fiber of any condition but as fiber gets all matted together, the amount of waste is significantly increased.