Wolf Tales/Wolf Yarn - Part 1

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Turn Wolf Fur into Yarn - Getting Started
Jerilyn Monroe demonstrates how she turns Wolfdog shed fur into yarn
Part 1 in a series of four

Lets face it, our four legged family members can produce copious amounts of shed hair. They also do not live as long as we do, no matter how well we care for them. Having a scarf, blanket or hat made from a special pet can be a lovely way to remember them.

A blanket made of their hair is also an excellent excuse for those hairs that get on the furniture. I figure no matter how much I clean there is always going to be dog hair on my couch. It might as well be there in the form of a blanket and keep me warm.

The basics you will need are:

I would also recommend getting the book mentioned below or a similar one. Of course if you know of someone who spins, see if you can get them to show you how and reward them with a piece created from the yarn you make.


If the pet is relatively clean, you do not need to wash the hair before spinning. You do need to pick out the bits of flakes or leaves, etc. that might be in it. I prefer to wash Lupa then dry and brush her. Be sure that the hair is all the way dry before storing it. I find that zip lock bags work great for storing hair.

Whether or not you start with washed hair, the yarn will need to be soaked in hot soapy water as part of the process of setting the twist.

If you are using hair from a groomer, ask if the animal had flea spray or any other chemicals on it. I recommend washing the hair first if it has, to avoid a rash or reaction from handling the hair.

Tips from Jeri on How You Can Learn to Spin Too

I got interested in using Arrow's hair for something when I realized just how much he can shed. His underhair is very fine and about 1 to 1 & 1/4 inches long. I tried spinning the hair on a hampster wheel. At the time I did't know how to spin at all and was just playing around. That summer I had a lesson in using a drop spindle at the "Renaisance Pleasure Fair". The person who showed me, was very nice and thought spinning dog hair would make interesting yarn.

I checked with friends that spin and found a fiber & yarn store in my area: "The Golden Fleece" 303 Potrero Street Santa Cruz, CA. 95060.

There I was able to purchase the equipment I needed and I also found an excellent book on using dog hair for yarn.

Recommended Reading
The book I purchased is "Knitting with Dog Hair" by Kendall Crolius and Anne Black Montgomery, from St. Martin's Press New York. [Now available for purchase through the Wolf Tales Bookstore.] I'm sure there are other books available on the subject. I recommend looking up yarn and fiber stores and asking.

I found it to be just what I needed to help me working with my dogs' hair. It has easy to understand info on spinning pet hair into yarn, photos and ideas for projects to make with the yarn you create. It also has an index of suppliers AND a list of people who will clean, card and spin your pet's hair for you!!!

Good Luck and Happy Spinning!

If you'd like to know more about spinning fur, e-mail Jeri Monroe ( zebra_13@pacbell.net ) with 'Yarn' as subject.

Wolf Yarn Part 1 || Wolf Yarn Part 2 || Wolf Yarn Part 3 || Wolf Yarn Part 4

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