Saturday, February 6, 2010

Putting on the dog

People ask me if I spin and knit with my dog’s downy undercoat. My only honest answer can be, “Yes, everyday!” Baxter is a member of the hearty, sled-pulling breed the Samoyed, so when he sheds, he does it with gusto. Sometimes it looks like there’s been a snowstorm in my house. He’s also the smiling friendly guy I use as my avatar.
Even after careful vacuuming, Baxter’s fluff can be found everywhere—on me, in the air, in my fiber supply and on my yarn. It is not unusual for me to be picking long white hairs out of my yarn as I spin it, or to find similar fluff tucked into my yarn. Baxter fluff was a special a problem while knitting the Fair Isle Rambouillet sweater shown above. This, by the way, is my first sweater of 2010. Only eleven more to go to meet the IntSweModo challenge.
As I knit the dark brown yarn, Baxter fluff was everywhere. Some, I was able to brush off, but a bit is now part of the design. This became a particular problem when I was doing the grafting after joining the sweater—I actually sewed a number of Baxter strands into my sweater. This is just one of the many delights of having a Samoyed friend.
The purple yarn shown is the result of unplying and replying the yarn to get the sort of twist I prefer to knit with. If you look carefully, you may see a Baxter hair or two spun in.
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