by Laura Ast

In past blogs, I have mentioned raising angora and pygora goats. These goats got me started on another hobby, spinning.

One day, at work in the little local market, a coworker came up and slugged me in the arm. I had no idea why. Later she chewed me out because I was a terrible, horrible person, because I killed my goats just to get the hair. I’m sure I stood there, stunned, with my jaw hanging on the floor. I asked her where she came up with that idea and explained that I sheared the goats, and didn’t kill them to get their hair. I had to so far as to explain that shearing was giving them a haircut. Later, I found out quite a few people believed you killed the goats to get their hair. Makes me wonder about some people.

Anyway, since I’ve started out about pets and spinning, I’ll continue. Angora rabbits get plucked to get their hair. I’ve had many friends who raised angora rabbits and the rabbits would sit on their laps, perfectly happy being plucked while my friends sat at their spinning wheels, spinning nice, soft, just plucked, angora hair.

The hair off of angora goats is called mohair and the hair from an angora rabbit is called angora, so those nice, soft, fluffy angora sweaters are rabbit hair.

I had one friend who also had a Pomeranian and she had the brilliant idea to have the dog on her lap and pluck the dogs’ hair like she did her rabbits. She was spinning along and soon found out she had spun the poor dogs tail hair in with what she was plucking. The dog didn’t seem to mind, but it took some doing and some hair loss to get the dog’s tail hair untangled and unspun.

Since Chip needs a sweater in the winter, I think next time I give him a hair cut, I’m going to save his hair. Next, I’ll blend it with some wool, spin it into yarn and crochet Chip a sweater using his own hair. Once  I spin the Chip hair and wool, it won’t smell doggy. It should keep him nice and warm. It will also be semi water repellent. All those little poodle curls should make nice fuzzy yarn. This way, it will be a truly Chip coat. The only hard part will be convincing Chip he needs to wear a sweater.

If you are a spinner, you’re always looking at animals wondering how their hair or fur would be as yarn. I had a friend who had a Rottweiler puppy and she wanted some of Carl’s hair spun into yarn as a keepsake.  It wasn’t enough to do anything with, but she had some Carl yarn.

Do you think animals see me coming and have nightmares about waking up bald, because I crept up on them as they slept and sheared them? Just think of all those poor, bald animals spreading the word that Laura did this to them.