Fiber Arts Friday - Cat Hair Yarn

Hello Fiber Arts Friday and Crafty Friday Folks

A good friend of mine dropped off a Wal-Mart bag of fluff for me on Sunday.  It was labeled simply, Raja.

Raja was a beautiful Himalayan cat and a long time companion who had recently passed away.  Over the years my friend saved everything she brushed out of his long coat.  When he passed away she asked if I would be willing to see if there was anything I could do with all that hair and make enough yarn to possibly crochet a scarf.  Of course I agreed!

The weather has been cold and I sat down next to the fireplace and opened up the bag.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but a bag full of matted cat hair was not it. At first I actually attempted to detangle each clump by hand before carding. FAIL.  What I found out actually worked was to use the carders themselves to pick the mats open.  I would grab a clump and briskly rub it across the comb and little by little the fiber would start to stick to the carder and open up.

The cat hair by itself actually seemed rather dull in luster so I opted to blend in some tencel to help liven it up just a bit.  I didn’t want to go too over board but I think adding it really helped.  Not only did it give the fiber luster it also helped add some length since the cat hair was only 2-3” or so and I’m terrible at spinning shorts. 

Cat Hair Yarn

Surprisingly the cat hair spun up really nicely.  It short drafted really well and I was able to get a rather consistent thickness and twist. It plied just as well and I think only 2x did I break a strand because it was too loosely spun.  No problem though, just rub the 2 ends together in your hand with a little spit like Wonder Why Gal taught me and poof, problem solved.

So far I have ~100 yards of 2ply spun up and I’ll be working on more this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend… if anyone happens to be in the Rochester NY area I will be doing a spinning demonstration at the Cobblestone House at the Mendon Ponds Winterfest.  Spinning not your thing? There also are horse drawn sleighs, dog sled racing, and the ever popular snow shoe race.  The snow shoe race looks ridiculous, like adults running in swim flippers.

I participate in….

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