Wednesday, November 29, 2006

To Spin or Not To Spin?

I thought our last huskies had the softest fur. I remember hearing people talk about making sweaters and scarves out of their fur. At first I thought they were a little crazy, but later I did think it would be neat to have a husky hat. I didn't really know the whole process. Over 15 years and two huskies I'm sure I they shed pounds of fur. Now that I am a knitter I feel like we wasted a very valuable commodity. Two times a year a husky blows their coat. In the summer they blow their dense winter undercoat, in the winter it's their fluffy summer coat. You'd know it was time when you'd see what looked like cotton balls growing out of their fur and dropping on the floor. We would to take them to a park or the woods and use a horse shedder and rake out clumps and clumps of downy fiber and let it blow away. I never wanted to throw it in the trash because I knew small animals and birds would use it for their nests and burrows. I guess I really wouldn't have known what to do with it back then.

But now, what do I do? I don't know how to spin, and I don't own a wheel. I don't even know how husky fiber compares to others on the ease of spinning scale. Is it a difficult fiber to spin? Are the hairs too short? Too slippery? Now that the long puppy fur has dropped and his thick winter coat is coming in I've started collecting the fiber from his brushes and keeping it. I know that I don't want to loose it, and his fur is so much softer than any other husky that I have ever felt. I know I can find a place to send it out to be spun into yarn. But there is a certain part of me calling out, not wanting to pass on the biggest step of the fiber process. I don't know how long it will take me to get enough fiber to start with. But I'm thinking I need to start looking into learning. I'm wondering about the whole washing and carding process too. He doesn't have oily fur. I know for sure that I would not dye this fiber it would be just natural. It just seems wrong to mess with a coat as beautiful as this.

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