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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wanted: Dog Hair

Nadezhda has been turning dogs into scarves and gloves for almost two decades now. She prefers Alsatians or collies as they are easier to untangle.

The dogs are not harmed in any way as she only uses the bits that come easily off rather than following the turning-a-cow-into-gloves technique.

But now Nadezhda’s collie is gone, and all her friends’ dogs have also gone to the kids’ sand pit in the courtyard in the sky, and she has no dog hair to hand to yarn.

In British comics in the 1980s, there was a standard image of a batty old lady knitting away and, nearby, the wool can be seen coming off the jumper of the local vicar or grumpy policeman or perhaps a sheep that has wandered into the story and is munching away on some grass until in the next shot where the sheep is covering up her nakedness with her hands and shivering with the cold.

Nadezhda works slightly differently. Untangling the hair from your dog brush and turning it into wool is not as simple a task as it sounds to the non-dog handler. Give her 200 grams of hair and she said it would take about a week to turn it into a ball of the finest dog wool so that you can start knitting away.

The hair is best for making gloves, said Nadezhda. Her husband takes them with him when he goes fishing.

If you do make a whole cardigan from your dog’s leftover strands, you apparently may feel like you have a large dog wrapped around your shoulders.

Dog hair is up to eighty percent warmer than sheep wool and experts suggest using the hair of another animal so it is not too warm. Throw in a cat or a different breed.

Using dog or even cat hair is not that unusual. Dog hair, or chienangora, as the aficionados call it, has been used since man first rubbed Rover’s stomach and came away with hairy fingers.

Each dog has a different kind of hair. Breeds with short, coarse hairs aren’t the best for creating a new wardrobe.

The VIP Fibers web site, which does the same service as Nadezhda in the United States, although it uses the horrible term “keepsake yarn” to describe the dog wool, says “if it feels like steel wool, well then, it’s time to be a little more creative.”

The site, which is a lot more expensive than Nadezhda, says Lassie’s ball of wool can be plied with a strand of Gold Metallic Lurex® and has pictures of a white bikini made from hairs of a Samoyed, a white fluffy Russian breed, and hats made mostly of husky with a bit of Samoyed thrown in too. The bikini looks as comfy as a pair of bear-fur boxer shorts.