No, I’m not spinning the dog in circles, I’m spinning his generous gift of fur!! It’s far from what anyone would call perfect yarn, but it is yarn! Now that I’ve got an idea of how to spin, my biggest problem is consistency. In places, the yarn is slubby, in others it’s as thick as chunky art yarn, and in still others it’s so fine it’s more of a thread than it is yarn, but it’s spinning!!
Thor being a black and white Sibe, the yarn made from his fur is the grey of an overcast day. With the roving, I can work with my hands about five inches apart, but Siberian fur is only about three to four inches long, so I have to work with my hands much closer together, and, I’m finding, I also have to work much faster to keep the yarn from twisting on itself before it winds onto the bobbin. I’m not always successful there.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that the idea of spinning or knitting with dog fur grosses them out. I don’t understand it, because many of the people who find it gross are people who have no problem handling raw sheep’s wool. Now, that is a nasty job if ever there was one! The average pet dog, adored by his family and kept in the house, sleeping with his humans every night, is a helluva lot more sanitary and clean than the average sheep!! Certainly Thor is! The fur that I’ve kept for spinning is fur that I’ve brushed out of his coat after he’s had a bath. Yes, I start processing the fur before it’s even come off the dog. Why wait? After he’s dry, I brush him out, and I put the fur into a bag until I’m
ready to deal with it. Now that I’ve had a lesson in carding, I’ve tried to put what I’ve learned to use. I card his fur into a rolag as I’m spinning it. This, of course, means that after every rolag is spun onto the wheel, I have to stop and card some more, but that’s okay. My hands and brain are busy, and I’m having fun. His lordship, naturally, could care less what I’m doing with his fur, as long as it isn’t attached to him while I’m doing it.
I definitely need a lot more practice with spinning before I’ll be ready to ply any singles, and that’s going to be a whole new learning curve in and of itself. All I know about plying so far is that the wheel will be spinning in the opposite direction from when you’re making singles.
I am getting better at treadling though. I have a bit more control over my speed than I did before. Again, a lot more practice needed. I still have plenty of roving for that purpose, and Thor is being very generous with his fur right now, so I’ll have plenty of fiber to practice both carding and spinning.
My oldest is itching to try spinning now. I don’t know if she’s ready for that yet, but she tried the other night when my friend from the guild was here, so I’ll have to sit her down and see how it goes. I really don’t think she’ll like it much, not at this age. It’s too repetitive for her. I find it soothing, but I don’t think she will. Of course, she might surprise me and love it!