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Duke The Golden Wolf Handspun Dog Fur Yarn

Let me explain to you all, that when I started spinning my own yarn, I never imagined that it would include spinning dog fur into yarn. Well. I'm here to tell you a little story about how I spun some dog furn yarn from our wonderful dog friend, Duke. Duke has a great story and is a mush. I know, because I got to meet him too. He's a good boy... I mean, just look at his adorable little dog face.  
photo of Duke the Golden Wolf and his handspun yarn - Duke is a yellow/white dog laying on a patterned carpet with 2 visible handspun yarn cakes on hi back
This all started with my answering an ad over the holidays. Duke's people were looking for someone to spin Duke's fur into yarn, and I was like "I can do that." And suddenly I was going to spin yarn from dog fur. It was a quick transition into the world of spinning yarn from sheep and alpacas to including our furry friends here.
4 zipper style plastic bags filled with white/yellow dog fur to be spun into yarn
After getting to meet Duke and his people, I came home with these 4 very full bags of Duke fur. Some of the fur was pretty short, so I separated the long from the short and carded the shorter hairs with about 10% merino wool to help with the spinning. The longer fur was perfect as is, so I just made sure I balanced the 2 out as I was spinning. The merino carded fur is evenly spread throughout the plain fur for a nice consistant yarn.
photo of carded dog fur sitting on a dark wooden table and next to a brother drum carder
The carded dog fur with merino wool.

 

This was my setup for a few weeks. I spin from my rocking chair and I love it. My only complaint about spinning dog fur into yarn, is there is DOG. FUR. EVERYWHERE. My vacuum got some exercise in while I was spinning these bags up.
photo of a wooden spinning wheel in front of a rocking chair with a yellow pillow and one of the plastic bags of dog fur

Spinning the dog fur was a lot like spinning angora rabbit fur. This yarn will have a nice halo (which is like a furry outer layer of the yarn for my non spinning friends.) I ended up filling up my extra large bobbin for the singles and 2 large bobbins for the plyed yarn. I did a simple double ply so we could get as much yardage as possible.

photo of a wooden bobbin on a spinning wheel with plyed dog fur handspun yarn

Once everything was all plyed together I wound it into hanks for washing. This yarn took forever to dry out and that was the only time I smelled dog. Luckily I have an outdoor space where I could let it dry. Once it was fully dry, I wound it into 3 yarn cakes for about 400 yards of handspun dog fur yarn. It's a heavy worsted weight yarn and reminds me of a boucle style yarn.

Word on the street is that this yarn is going to turn into some sort of winter accessory. I'm psyched to see it knit up.

white/yellow handspun dog fur yarn twisted into a hank and folded in on itself
Enought of all this spinning and yarn chatter. Here's a little backstory about our pal, Duke the Golden Wolf (As written by his lovely human, Virginia):

 

Duke was found wandering the side of Route 22 in Southeast, NY in September of 2020 and found himself inside Putnam Humane Society. I had been following his story since the Humane society first posted his photo on their social media. His post was shared over 2,000 times by followers of Putnam Humane and Lost Pets of the Hudson Valley, but still, nobody came for him. I couldn't stop thinking about this yellow wolfy boy, who the Humane society named "Teddy" since he was exceptionally sweet and mushy, like a giant teddy bear (we named him Duke after John Wayne, since we love western culture and have a country band). When I found out that he was heartworm positive, I wanted him even more, because I worried that no one would want to take care of him. My husband Tyler and I adopted Duke on October 8th, 2020 - the best day of our lives (right up there with our wedding) and the rest is history.

photo collage of Duke the Golden Wolf

Duke was an instant good boy. He has loved every being he has encountered, from my 98 year old grandma to my 4 and 3 year old niece and nephew. He is happy and friendly with all dogs. He is especially loyal and loving to his Mom and Dad. If I move, he follows. It is his duty to comfort, guide, love, and protect me specifically. 

We did Duke's DNA test and he is a beautiful mix of: Alaskan Malamute, Akita, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Great Pyrenees and...GREY WOLF! He has 5% pure wolf DNA. We think he is about 4 years old, but we'll never know for sure. Duke NEVER barks, he has barked maybe 5 times since we got him (just a singular big deep WOOF noise, only if absolutely needed to warn us about someone on property). He does talk all the time though. From high howls to rumbly "woo-wooo" sounds. Duke absolutely LOVES music and being part of our band. He comes to our shows and greets all the guests and definitely helps us acquire money in the tip jar! 
photo collage of duke the golden wolf

Duke's favorite toys are his Giant Nylabone, his Outward Hound Duckie, and his plush squeaky pizza. He loves Milk Bones, and as for table food, he goes nuts whenever we have steak night or taco night. As you know, he sheds like crazy, but I really don't mind it. Everywhere I look and turn if I see his fur, I am reminded of his beautiful presence which I am so blessed and thankful for, every single day. Someday I won't have that anymore, which is why I wanted his fur to be made into yarn, so we can make lifelong keepsakes. 

Duke has been with us during the hardest times of our life. These past 2 years have been so difficult for everyone. I don't know if we would have survived without him. His sweet face makes everything better, and he is so emotionally intelligent...he always knows when you need a little boost or a little extra lovin'.
Photo of duke the golden wolf - a white/yellow dog looking down on 3 cakes of his handspun dog fur yarn. A red Kong toy is next to him
You can follow along with Duke on Instagram and Facebook. Go give him some love!
If you are interested in having your dog fur spun into yarn, please contact me for more information. I am currently accepting commissions. Discounts for doggie backstories and photos are available. 

Between the Stitches

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