Saturday, May 17, 2008

Carolyn Likes to Spin--Yes, That Rhymes!

Now, I've tried my hand at spinning. In fact, I've tried really, really hard--I guess I'm just not born to spin. Before you feel sorry for me, I've had some very nice, very skilled spinners take me under their wing and try to teach me. Nope, I'm hopeless. Which is why I admire spinners so much!

One special example is Carolyn in Canada! Her shop motto is:
Do you baloo? Fiber, Fur, Wood....Touchable Treasure

Please, let me tell you a little about what Carolyn does. Part of her shop's business is brushing her 5 beautiful dogs, humanely collecting the soft, beautiful hairs, and spinning them yarn, then knitting the fiber into wearable, warm garments (like the items in the pictures here).

Now, before you raise your eyebrows, let me tell you that I used to volunteer at animal shelters and I worked at a vet clinic for 5 years. I would collect hair from the dogs and a local spinner made it into a tweed handspun for me, for a very reasonable fee. I made a pair of lovely, incredibly soft, sweet-smelling mittens with it. Still not convinced? Here's more info from Carolyn's site:

Why Dog Fur?
Dog fur is similar to angora and is very soft to the touch. Over time the softer undercoat will fluff up more. The fur fibers are squashed a bit during spinning and knitting, but will straighten up with wear making the center of the cuff look just like real fur pelt.

All the dog fur is collected during regular grooming. I do not trim our dogs, rather I brush out the fur for extra softness in the spun yarn.

Contrary to popular rumor: Clean dog fur will not smell like dog (even when wet), nor will it attract fleas. Rather it is like other fine luxury fibers such as mohair and cashmere.

During spinning and manufacture, the fur is washed and sanitized. Because the dander and oils are washed away, it can often be used even by those who are allergic to dogs.

Isn't that neat?! Please check out Carolyn's shop as well as the treasury she's put together of her fellow Etsy's Fiber Arts Street Team-mates' items! (Hint: She included my Marigold Yellow Flowered Problem-Solver Handmade Scarf is Seven Feet of Sunshine!)

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