Knitting with Dog Hair: Better a Sweater from a Dog You Know Than a Sheep You'll Never Meet Paperback – 13 Sep 2001
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About the Author
Kendall Crolius has been spinning yarn from her pet's hair and knitting clothes with it for most of her life. She is a former senior vice president at J. Walter Thompson. Ann Montgomery is a freelance writer whose work regularly appears in Town & Country and other magazines. Comedian, actor and writer, Stephen Fry is still best-known for his part in the Blackadder series and his TV show with Hugh Laurie. His performance in the lead role in Wilde brought him critical acclaim, while his novels and autobiography have been huge bestsellers. He lives in Norfolk.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Smell was my biggest worry when I ran across this book. I know only too well how stinky my wet dogs can be, but apparently they say the smell can be washed out quite permanently and easily and then they ask if one has ever smelled a sheep up close. Good point!
With smell issues out of the way, I read on with interest. Instead of throwing away all of that lovely golden fur floating around my home, I might actually be able to use it. Of course this involves quite a bit of work. Daily brushings, the labor intensive washing, washing and washing again of the fuzz (without clogging your drain in the process), then one must card (comb)the fuzz so it all lays the way it should, then you've got to oil it, spin it (an art in itself) and ply it into yarn. Yikes, it looks so easy when laid out in a few pages in a book but it sounds too much like work for someone like me.
After you've done all of the above, if you're one of those inexhaustible types, you can knit hats, scarves and just about anything that you'd knit with wool. The projects seem pretty straightforward but the instructions assume one has some familiarity with knitting. There are scarves, hats, mittens sweaters, even a doggie sweater (the pic shows a pug smugly wearing a sweater made from newfoundland fur, way too cute!). You must know the basic stitches, know all about knitting the round, know how to use your double pointed and circular needles and how to work fair isle/intarsia if you want to finish many of these items. I would've appreciated a little knitting 101 section here (especially for the color work, are you supposed to purl or knit the colors??), but that's just me and I suppose that stuff can easily be found on google but still . . .
The other downside of this book are the black and white photos. The items are described as beautiful tones of "golden retriever fur" or whatever and then they show a grainy b&w photo of a fuzzy looking scarf which was so disappointing. There also are not nearly enough photos showing how to make and use the drop spindle (though the carding section was well illustrated and appears simple enough). I seriously doubt I could learn the art of spinning dog fuzz using only this book and will look for a video if I ever get my fuzzies washed and ready (I think this part intimidates me the most!).
There is a section outlining breeds and their "spinability" for those on the lookout for fuzz machines. Lucky for me, my two goldens are top producers but my lab is a poor choice. Apparently, though, his "short chocolate sprinkles" can be added to all of the glamorously soft golden fur to spice up the color. Who knew?
This was an informative, very niche book, that takes its topic seriously and was a fun read. It's got me looking at the fuzz balls in a new way but I'm not sure if I'll ever work up the energy to collect, wash, card, and then spin this stuff into workable yarn because I'm just too lazy. Though it might make a nice little side business for someone with a lot of time to spare. Imagine a keepsake of your beloved pet like no other. The possibilities are endless . . .
If I knew before hand that this was a book on the VERY basics of how to spin fiber, I would not have bought it.
Who knew I'd be knitting so much dog hair clothing. Before the economic crash, I was employed and wearing the finest lycras and polyesters. Next thing you know, Arby's is downsizing and I'm shaving Terriers to get by. Thanks to this book, I finally had something to do with all that Terrier fur! I really put the "T" back in T-shirts.
Did you know Rottweiler hair is water resistant? Real warm, too. On a cool rainy day you need a Rottweiler raincoat with Husky lapels. This book shows you how to get it done. Also, if you have a basset hound, a sewing machine, and a special lady in your life, she'll never have to buy her own lingerie again. Basset bras are sturdy and sexy at the same time! Adventurous lovers might even enjoy a set of beagle thongs to spice things up.
Now, the dog hair clothing scene isn't always as great as people say. There are some "cons". For example, collecting fur is hard work. The folks at the animal shelter catch on after you keep showing up with a burlap sack and a pair of clippers. Sometimes you gotta go rogue and shave down the neighbor dogs. Also, when you're at a job interview and the boss has dog allergies, it doesn't matter if your tie has the silky sheen of Shepherd - you're outta luck.
Overall though, I'd recommend this book and give it 5 stars. Or should I say 5 BARKS??? Switch from cotton to canine and you'll be the sharpest dressed man on the block!!