Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Seen in the Yarniverse: Knitting the Ones You Love

May 16th, 2008

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How far would you go to remember your beloved pets? Some people create elaborate memorials to best give tribute to their best companions. One married couple in England took it one step further, by knitting their pets’ fur into garments. The Cleveland Plain Dealer had readers email their local Dog Lady about the practice with comments. The English couple who had knit their two pets into jumpers had heard about the process through their dog breeders, and now have keepsakes of their best two companions.

Even Martha Stewart creates items out of her dog Paw Paw. In a segment of her February 14 show, she showed the care she takes of her dog, and how she is interested in knitting a keepsake using a skein of Paw Paw’s fur yarn. She personally uses a local company VIP Fibers to spin the fur.

What do you think about this process? Have any of you tried using your dogs’ or pets’ fur to create a keepsake?

  • rital

    this sounds like a lot of fun! however; when will the next knit along appear? i am new to this and would like to try a less experience project.
    thank you, rital

  • http:// Jaremy

    Hi rital!

    We expect the Knit-Along to be posted every two weeks, so the next update should come on Wednesday, May 21st. There should be six installments, so if all goes well, the next KAL should happen in July or August.

    -Jaremy

  • http://lazytcrochet.blogspot.com/ Tricia/LazyTcrochet

    We always threatened to save the fur from our two huskies, but we never did. I have seen some of the yarn and items made with it on Etsy though.

  • Denise in Alabama

    I have spun cat hair for a lady who entered her cat in shows.

    The cat was getting up in age and she wanted something to always remember her by when she passed.

    Faithfully she brushed and saved clean cat fur.

    I spun this into a ply of yarn. It reminded me of angora fur. Then I knitted her a neck scarf with the cat fur.

    It had no smell when wet, was soft, and she wears it to cat shows.

    The horse hair that I tried spinning for a “Mountain Man” did not turn out so well. It was like “plastic in feel” and the hairs would stick out in the strand. (Perhaps I should have blended it with another soft fiber…Oh well….)

    I now have dog hair that I am spinning.

    It seems to be feeling like the soft cat fur yarn. But will wait for the final judgement when I know what it smells like when it gets wet! -Ha!

    -Denise/AL

  • rita goshorn

    five or six years ago, when visiting my daughter in florida, i asked my daughter to save the cat hair she combed from her little manx-like white cat and i would knit the cat a blanket ….. i finger spun the hair she’d combed out that morning into yarn and knit a two inch by two inch swatch to show her it could be done. all i got for an answer was a frown! she didn’t save the cat hair, and i never brought it up again. darn.

  • Sheri

    I think this is a great idea for those dogs with a thick undercoat. That said, my chihuahua’s shed plenty of hair, and it could probably be blended with wool or some other fiber and spun, but I just keep seeing the vacuum canister when I clean it out! Maybe this is just not for me!

    Cheers!

    Sheri

  • Jan

    I am currently collecting fur from two of my four dogs, and a friend will spin it for me. This only works with dogs that have a double coat – the kind with a soft undercoat, that is shed once or twice a year. The outer coat (guard hairs) are the ones that are sticky and prickly. A chihuahua’s hair, no matter how much you collect, really won’t work.

  • http://www.sexandtheknitty.blogspot.com SallyHP

    To each his own, I guess, but I can completely understand why that woman’s daughter was frowning!

  • Sherrie

    Rital,

    I am a new knitter too and this pattern seems a little to experienced for me too, so I am looking forward to the next KAL lionbrand is having but I have found that on Ravlry there are different kinds of KALs going on,and if you look around maybe at your LYS they may have one as well that you could join. Good luck knitting!

    As for the rest of the animal hair spinning and knitting I would love to be able to do that but I am allergic to most of the dander from the fur from dogs and cats especially the ones with undercoats or long fur, does anyone have any suggestions that would help this?

    Happy knitting all!

  • Sue

    I had a yellow lab and oddly gathered her fur when I groomed her and she died shortly after that. I mixed her fur with Coopworth fleece in a drum carder and spun it to a 2ply. I used it to knit a pair of fingerless mitts and matching hat with cabled border of dog hair wool. It retained a golden hue but the hair did stick out somewhat and appeared angora like. It did not retain a dog odor when wetted for blocking. My daughter-in-law was the recipient and was deeply pleased as the dog was originally hers.

  • Jeanne

    Years ago I talked with a local lady who spun and then knitted her dog’s combed out hair into a 3/4 length coat for herself. She said it was wonderfully warm and soft, never prickly. Her dog was a cross of half wolf and half collie, with tons of long fine hair coat on her. To me the dog looked abit like a combed out sheep before shearing. Tons of hair. Don’t ask me how that dog was created, I didn’t ask! But you could see the wolf in her face and eyes.