Thursday, April 17, 2008

Knitting with Dog Hair

Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet (Paperback) by Kendall Crolius (Author)

“Stop Vacuuming and Start Knitting!” Is the Read Bite on the cover of the book.

In the first paragraph of KnittingDogHair, Crolius says
For millions of years, the human race has been living with and benefiting from its relationship with animals. We’ve relied on them for companionship, for transportation, for food - and for our clothing.
What a shame that all our dogs’ fur just goes to waste each time they are groomed. Since I knit, and know a couple of women who spin sheep’s wool, I wondered if it were a crazy idea to start saving my pups’ hair for a future knitting project.

After some research, I came up with a LOT of good information about utilizing dog fur. And, I am now collecting our dogs’ fur. Note picture on the left that shows results from last week’s sheering efforts of the Shih Tzu and Maltipoo.

Natalie Kestecher of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a pod cast on Tune in here if you are interested: radio podcast on dogs. It is fascinating and well worth a listen.

The highlights from my listening to Kestecher's show were:

1) a bit of history of how knitters used Great Pyrenees mountain dog hair for Polish and Russian peoples;
2) an Australian speaker regarding dogs, the environment, recycling and other matters pertaining to dogs at International Dog Day where about 20,000 people gathered recently in Sydney, Australia;
3) a woman’s story of Sarah Ben-David, her great grandmother born at the beginning of the 20th century in Poland. She recalls Sarah’s story of farming olive trees in order to get to her end purpose of breeding dogs for the purpose of using their fur for clothing. Her dog hair farms reached all across Europe by the end of Franco’s regime;
4) the psychic relationship of dogs with people

You are likely skeptical at this point. You might think "won’t I smell like a dog if I knit a sweater from dog fur"? The answer is NO. You wear wool sweaters, don’t you? Do you smell like a sheep? NO, of course not. It is all in the cleaning of the fur/wool in preparation of spinning.

This article found on USAToday highlights a couple who speak to the advantages of dog hair made into clothing. They espouse the advantages of dog hair as fodder as being both warm and waterproof.
Animations - happy dog

As for me, I am keeping my dogs happy and groomed, and accumulating their sheerings for a new sweater.

1 comment:

  1. I have also been considering using my Jake's fur, plyed with wool of course, for a warm sweater. I don't spin either, so I would have to have somebody spin it for me.
    Thanks for all this information. It is very helpful.


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