Chris bid on and won the opportunity to have her dogs' hair spun and knit into a scarf during the Sheltie Rescue Auction 2009. Thank you Chris for bidding! It took a little while for her dogs to produce the needed hair, but the first installment arrived today, January 19, 2010.
Here are her dogs, Corey and Bevin on the left and Trevor on the right.
I'll need at least 4 ounces of spun yarn to make a scarf so will stretch the fur as far as possible. This is the alpaca I'm blending the fur with, it is a soft caramel and will go well with a sable undercoat.
The next step will be carding the dog fur with the alpaca to create batts to spin from. Here's my latest toy, er tool, my Fancy Kitty drum carder.
Well, rats, I found that my handy dandy drum carder couldn't blend the fine dog fur as well as I would like, so I'm handcarding the fiber.
Here is Bevin's fur partially spun on my Louet spinning wheel.
Once all the fiber is spun, plied and the twist is set, I'll knit swatches to see what size knitting needle gives me the best result.
This is Bevin's fur blended, spun and plied. The final result is a nicely balanced yarn with a 1:4 ratio of dog fur to alpaca.
Here is the pattern I'm planning to use for the scarf:
The final result won't be as airy as the mohair, it will have a more substantial feel while the dog fur will give it a lovely loft or halo effect:-)
I couldn't wait to spin all the dog fur before trying out the pattern. For some reason, I rarely knit a pattern without tinkering with it. The needle size that works best with this yarn is a nine (not eleven) and I didn't care for the garter stitch background so am knitting it in stockinette. I've knitted one complete round of the pattern and the pawprint is pretty cute. I'll upload a photograph when there is enough to see the design. Bevin's fur is already fluffing out and making a soft halo, the more the scarf is handled the fluffier it will be.
We've reached the halfway point! Here is a photo of the scarf with a closeup of the pawprint detail:
Next I'll be blending and spinning Corey's fur into yarn.
Chris received her finished scarf today, this is her response:
"I received the scarf today. It is absolutely beautiful. What a nice touch to put the dog's names on it. The color is so much like the color of my sable girls and the pattern you picked is perfect. You do such great work. It was very nice that you did this for sheltie rescue. The scarf will certainly be a treasure to have. Thank you so much."