Anyone who owns a dog or cat can attest to the above picture – the results of a simple combing session add up quickly. This is Lee’s undercoat. It’s very much warm and soft, in fact it’s quite like Angora fiber. I’d say it’s certainly skin soft (as in you could wear this next to your skin without irritation). Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way to use this?
Guess what! There is a way! The spinner in me noticed it very quickly. I could not resist pulling out my wheel and giving this a spin – no processing or cleaning or combing, just raw off the brush. The result – a medium strength woolen yarn, only about 5 meters or so but I estimate Lee has more undercoat left on him, possibly enough to get up to 10 meters. From an animal who is not a fiber animal primarily, what a nice surprise!
Here’s Lee posing with his wool-wound yarn. Yes that is the color of my living room. I love it!
I will be using this yarn to make Lee a little hat. I wanted it to have a certain amount of color in the yarn though to differentiate it from Lee himself, so I dyed it with some Queen Anne’s Lace dyestock. We have tons of wild dye plants growing on the farm so I applied my knowledge learned last year and dyed Lee’s yarn. Now it is a weird sickly browny gold thing (Queen Anne’s Lace makes a greeny yellow color) but I kinda like it. It will certainly look different from Lee!