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Got pet fur? Then you can have pet yarn (if you aren't disgusted by the very idea)

Dog yarn blanket What's a bereaved pet owner -- who just happens to have hoarded their deceased pet's fur for a period of years -- to do?  If that pet owner is Washington-area dog trainer Cindy Briggs, she'll have the collected fur of her deceased golden retriever spun into yarn and knitted into a decorative afghan.

Briggs' original idea was to drape the finished product over her couch -- but, like Carly, the dog whose fur was used to make it, the afghan sheds.  Instead, Briggs placed it on top of a table and covered it with a piece of glass to keep the fur from escaping.  Still, "I can touch it any time I like," Briggs explained in an interview with our colleague, Deborah Netburn. From Netburn's story:

Because most pet owners do not have access to spinners (they are quite hard to find), [pet-yarn entrepreneur N'ann Harp] has set up two websites to connect the two. For the spinners -- usually stay-at-home mom hobbyists -- she founded the Critter Knitter Guild, a loose association of spinners who get paid to spin yarn.

And for pet owners who have been hoarding dog, cat or bunny fur, she founded Pet Yarn Chic: You send her $49.95 and she sends you back a handbook, shipping supplies and hair collection instructions.

Prices for professionally spun pet-fur yarn start at about $10 to $12 per ounce, and not all dog or cat fur will work, according to Harp. (Long-haired cats' fur and the soft undercoat of double-coated dog breeds are ideal, she says.)  And Harp cautions that dog fur tends to have a natural, unpleasant odor due to oil in the animals' skin.

Pet owners, what do you think?  Is pet-fur yarn creepy, clever or a strange amalgam of the two?

A purse made from cat fur? What will they come up with next?

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: The Carly blanket from Pet Yarn Chic. Credit: PetYarnChic.com 

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I'm not sure why you'd find it creepy - we wear wool sweaters and the like - so your sweater is made with Fido's hair? Big deal.

My dog sheds so much it almost seems a waste to toss out what seems to be a whole 'nother dogs worth of fur every week. This could be the ultimate recycling project!

I read your article in the Arizona Republic. I spin fur from my Golden Retriever. I found your article to have many glaring flaws. First of all, dog hair should be mixed with sheep wool because dog hair doesn't have memory so doesn't retain a shape. It is not hard to spin if it is blended with merino.
Dog hair does not smell like dog if after it is spun and plied, it is washed. Off the dog and washed, no smell.

Why in the world would it be disgusting. Usually animal hair which is spun is from a beloved pet. No one goes to all that trouble and expense if the pet isn't loved. I spin sheep fleece and I don't even know the sheep. That was a really dumb statement.

I do agree, the yarn does have a lovely halo very similar to angora which comes from a goat or rabbit usually not a pet or loved by their owner.


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