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Monday, May 25, 2009

Poodle Two-Ply

I live in town so I can't keep sheep. A poodle is a pretty close second.

This is Carl. He is a 75-pound standard poodle and has a lovely black coat. I didn't get him because of his coat (no, really) but once I started spinning I began to look at those black curls in a whole new way.

And yes, I did spin some of his fur into a fine two-ply. My poodle yarn made it into last Fall's Spin-Off Magazine! Here's what I did and what I learned in the process.

I clipped off Carl's winter coat and then washed it, like I would a sheep's fleece. Bad idea. I lost most of it to matting. I had NO idea it would felt so quickly. Lesson Number One: Wash and dry and comb out dog first. THEN clip.

I carded the good fiber on hand cards and spun from a poodle rolag. It was VERY easy to spin. The fibers were 3-4 inches long. I would compare it to spinning short Romney or Coopworth. I plied the yarn back onto itself for two-ply. It was kind of hairy and had a bit of luster.

Several people have contacted me about spinning dog hair - YES, it can be done. Poodles don't shed and have a single coat, so there is no sorting of useful vs non-useful fur. If you have a single-coated dog you can clean and clip (in that order!) If you have a double-coated dog, keep what you brush out of its coat - the soft, fluffy stuff that likes to live under beds. If it's at least two and a half to three inches long, it can be spun. There are lots of good websites out there dedicated to dog fur yarn. Check them out!

I like a clean, clipped poodle better than I like poodle yarn so I may not do it again. It was fun though, and if you have a dog I'd urge you to try it at least once!

Happy Spinning!