Sunday, July 18, 2010

Does anyone know how to spin?

Lydia has been looking distinctly shaggy lately.

But that's because she's in the middle of the biggest shedding event in canine history. This pile represents about one minute's worth of brushing - and I'm not exaggerating.

It is astounding how much feather-soft hair I've brushed off so far. If I were so inclined and wanted to smell like a wet dog, I could spin and knit it into a beautiful sweater. Ah well, all that lovely fur is enriching our compost pile.


  1. Hehe, I had a belgian shepherd and she shed unbelivable amounts of fur! I considered using it as pillow stuffing for a dog bed but always it ended up in the compost.
    If you were really keen perhaps a wash in bleach would take the stench out??

  2. Would your chickens use the fur for their nests, especially in the winter?

    Anonymous Twit

  3. Oh, yeah. We remember those days. You could have brushed Boo for hours (except for his Pyr distaste for any form of grooming - he'd be scrambling for the phone to call 911) and had a pile of fur to fill a room. Looks like Lydia is in good health :). Jennifer

  4. I had a friend who had a Samoyed and she gave me a large bag of fur to spin. It made a lovely, soft yarn, similar to Angora rabbit. I knitted it into a scarf. The dog smell does wash out.

  5. Yes, Patrice, you're not alone in thinking there's a good use for that stuff.

    I've known of dog groomers who collect and spin it, and Leigh is correct, the smell goes away.

    I had a dog with a heavy undercoat whose seasonal brushings could have produced a nice blanket had I thought to collect it for spinning. It would be a treasured keepsake and I'm sorry I didn't get the idea until it was too late.

    Maybe you can find a spinner who'll barter for some of your great dairy products or a quarter of beef...?

    Do you crochet or knit?

    A. McSp

  6. I occasionally mull in my mind the thought of knitting a sweater with the copious amounts of lovely soft hair that our dog manages to produce. But I just can't get past the thought that on a rainy or misty morning I might smell like wet dog.

  7. Shed animal fur often ends up in the nests of birds. If you put it on a fence post, it might get picked at to insulate some eggs and tie sticks together.

    If you do save it for spinning and processing into a garment, the smell of dog fades with time/washing/sun/air. Dogs with short hair won't mind a coat with dog-smell when it's cold.


  8. If you want to try spinning lydia's fur try a drop spindle first. There are lots of plans on the net as well as instructions on how to spin. you don't need alot of wood, just a disk or small wooden wheel and a piece of dowel. But then don't you have a very busy life already?

  9. We once had a belgian shepherd and she shed enormous amounts of fur each year. I wish I had saved it; we could have made many blankets!!

  10. I have never tried spinning dog fur, but when I was 9 yrs old, my family went to a steam threshing bee. It was place to showcase how stuff was done in the old days. There was an elderly lady who was using a spinning wheel, with sheep's wool. She showed my how to use it, and then helped me spin wool into yarn. I spent the whole day by her side. When it was time to leave, she gave me a spindle and a bag of wool. I kept it until it accidentally got thrown away when I was around 30 yrs old. I never ran out of wool because I would only spin a little bit at a time to show someone what I could do. Unfortunately I never used the yarn for anything. Just thought I was cool because I could spin yarn.