Well, I re-watched the spinning video today and realized that at least part of my problem was not drafting properly, so I tried it again, and got a good bit further than my previous attempts. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, great yarn yet, but it is yarn…sort of. It is not pretty. It broke a few times because I spun too thin, and other times because I simply overspun. I haven’t found the happy medium on take-up yet, so I had to unwind the bobbin a couple of times because of spots where the yarn had curled around itself. But I managed to make quite a few yards of yarn. It’s just inconsistent and ugly at the moment. I’m determined to get it right, though, and I am not touching Siberian fur until I have this spinning down pat. I will practice on the cheapest rovings I can get until I’ve got it perfect, then I will try some of the pretty, dyed rovings, and then I will make an attempt at Sibe fur.
A friend of mine in northern Florida has five or six Siberians who, like mine, are very generous with their fur, offering it year round in smaller batches, then once or twice a year is the big gift of coat blowing season, when you could sit and pluck tufts of fur for hours on end and never get it all. A casual grooming session with Thor is generally a two-hour marathon of just brushing his hindquarters, and the fur netted from that, slightly packed down, will fill a plastic grocery bag. That’s just the hindquarters. I cannot imagine how much fur can be gotten from five Siberians at one time, especially during a blow. I can only guess that her backyard and entire house probably look like a snowstorm passed through at that time, because I know that with one Siberian and three short-haired dogs, I have to vacuum at least once a day when coats start to blow. Thank all benevolent gods for the Dyson Animal. Oddly enough, when all four dogs blow at once, it is my Labradors who leave the most evidence of the season all over the place. Almost none of the fur I am constantly picking up belongs to either the Siberian or the GSD. Go figure.
I have started saving Smoky’s fur as well. She has the softest fur I have ever touched on a dog. Her sister, Bandit, has typically coarse Labrador fur, but petting Smoky is like petting a mink. There is not one person who has ever touched her that hasn’t commented on the softness of her fur, and these are the guard hairs I’m talking about! The undercoat is like a cloud!
The only problem I foresee with trying to spin her coat is the fact that she is a short-haired dog, and the undercoat is only about an inch long. I’m wondering, if I mix it with Thor’s fur, which is at least three to five inches long, can it be done? That’ll be an experiment.
Yes, I said Thor’s coat is about three to five inches long. He is a woolly-coated Siberian Husky, which, if I understand correctly, means that he is a throwback to an earlier strain of Siberians called Monadnock, which were bigger boned and shaggier, and often mistaken for Alaskan Malamutes. Thor is most definitely shaggy (his fuzz makes you want to cuddle up with him even in the hottest Arizona summer), and he is big for a Siberian. I am not short, and when he stands on his hind legs, he can put his paws on my shoulders. Big. That’s my baby boy. I will try to remember to post pictures of him tomorrow, so everyone can see how beautiful his lordship is!