Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baron and The Rose

I've been busy spinning dog hair again - this time from my nephew dog, Baron.  Baron is a handsome German Shepherd Dog (or a German Shedder, as his mom refers to him).  He's getting up in age and I wanted to give Mary Ann something that she could always have to remember him.  Mary Ann is a crocheter and I believe she's going to make a keepsake pillow with a Shepherd design once she gets enough yarn. 

She sent me about 2 ounces of fur to start with.  I washed it, let it air dry, then ran it through the dryer on the air cycle in a netted laundry bag to remove some of the guard hair.  The more of the prickly guard hair that can be separated from the fluffy fur, the better yarn it will make.  I ran it through my Fancicard to straighten the fibers and remove more guard hair, then started to spin it into yarn.  I was amazed at how nicely it spun up.   Just from looking at it, you wouldn't know it came from a dog.  It has no odor, except maybe a little lavendar scent from the soap I used to clean it.   It's not the softest yarn and you wouldn't want to wear it around your neck, but I think it's a great way to honor a special pet.

The big excitement of my day was the acquisition of a new spinning wheel.  I started to spin last summer on a Majacraft Pioneer.  It's a starter wheel, fairly inexpensive but spins nicely.  My only issue was that it couldn't handle a lot of yarn on the bobbin at one time.  The wheel would quit turning after I got a couple of ounces of yarn plying on it.

I got a Majacraft Rose today from Leef Bloomenstiel at Apple Leef Farm in Van Alstyne TX.  The fluidity of the motion of the wheel is so nice!   And it's a very pretty spinning wheel, too.  The accessories from the Pioneer will work on the Rose and vice versa.  I'll keep the Pioneer for my travel wheel and for demonstrations where people might want to give spinning a try.  Spinning is a great relaxation activity for me and the Rose is going to make it all the better.