Knitting and crocheting have seen resurgence and are a way to create special gifts and garments. Today, there are more varieties of yarns than ever, made from wool, alpaca fur, hemp, silk, cotton, and many synthetic materials. Novelty yarns have also become extremely popular, creating all sorts of textures and effects. It is even possible to make yarn out of your dog's fur.
Most yarn made from natural fibers is made from animal fur, hair, or fleece. Cashmere is made from the hair on a goat's stomach, wool from a sheep, and angora from rabbit fur. Although some people might shy away from the idea of wearing a garment made with dog fur yarn, it can be a good way to remember or honor a special pet while making a beautiful keepsake or item of clothing.
Most pets nowadays have a comfortable life, with good nutrition, health care, and adequate shelter. All these components improve the quality of their fur. Many varieties of cats and dogs have an undercoat that spins well, is soft, and extremely warm. Unless you have many cats, however, it will take some time to collect enough cat fur for spinning. Dogs are generally larger than cats, and therefore have more surface area and more fur to shed.
When you decide you want to make yarn out of your dog's fur, you first need to begin collecting it. As you brush your dog, save the fur that comes out and is caught in the brush. Make sure you store the fur correctly; fur must be completely dry before storing, and be stored hung up, in a dry, open, light space, to prevent moths from laying eggs in the fur. An old pillowcase is the perfect receptacle for your fur. Dogs have different lengths of hair and longer hair will be more useful for creating yarn.
The amount of fur you need depends on what type of project you want to knit or crochet. Hats, mittens, and socks each take about 4 ounces (113 g) of fur. A scarf may take about 10 ounces (283 g) of fur, and a sweater around 42 ounces (1.2 kg) of your dog's fur. This depends, of course, on the size of the object to be created, and the thickness of the yarn to be made.
The next step in making yarn out of your dog's fur is to spin the yarn. This can be done yourself, with a spinning wheel, or by a number of yarn companies that will turn fur into yarn for a fee. These companies can be easily found online.
The advantage to using a professional to make yarn out of your dog's fur is that they will not only spin the fur into yarn but will wash it, condition it, and usually treat it with special enzymes that will prevent the "wet dog" smell or any other unpleasant odor.
Once you have created the yarn, you can use it to knit or crochet almost any project. You will need to make sure that the yarn is strong enough for the project you have in mind, as well as being the right texture and warmth. You will have a beautiful handmade item that is close to your heart in no time.