Making Dog Hair Sweaters

ANGIE SULLIVAN: Hi. I’m Angie Sullivan. And this is my friend Rufus. We’re here today in Southport,
Connecticut, to meet with Kendall Crolius and learn all
about knitting with dog hair. Come on, Rufus. We recently did a piece in
“Vice” with photographer Erwin [INAUDIBLE] on dog hair garments. And we’re here today
to find out how the whole process is done. KENDALL CROLUIS: I have been
knitting with dog hair for about 25 years now. Hey, Rufus. So this has been a very
important part of my life. I’m Kendall Crolius. I’m a co-author of “Knitting
with Dog Hair.” And I’m delighted to have you
here with us today. I have always loved needlework
of all kinds. Knitting, all of that. And I’d always wanted to
learn how to spin. I thought that would be
a fun thing to know. And many years ago I was able to
take a spinning course at a local fiber arts store. And one of the things that the
teacher said to us was, by the way, you don’t have to
limit yourself to wool, to sheep wool. You can spin anything. You could even spin dog hair. And I thought, well,
that’s interesting. Because we had a golden
retriever who shed like crazy. And I thought, well, let
me see whether I can do something with that. This is one of the sweaters
that we made for the book. This is actually a dog sweater
with a dog on it. The white part is
Great Pyrenees. Very soft and nice. The brown dog is actually made
from Newfoundland yarn. But I love that. My son wore that and
was on the cover of the first edition. ANGIE SULLIVAN: OK, Kendall. Can you start with showing us
what the first step is to knitting with dog hair? KENDALL CROLUIS: Well, the first
step is getting a dog. And we have Rufus here
with us today. He’s a fabulous candidate
for dog hair knitting. Right? Because you’ve got
a fabulous coat. And we’re going to brush you to
get some of the stuff off you that we need. We’re not going to shave you. We’re not going to shear you. And we’re not going
to cut your hair. See whether you can get some
good fuzz off of Rufus. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Yeah. KENDALL CROLUIS: Oh, yeah. Oh, he likes this. So we do this over a period of
weeks or months till we’ve got a nice big bag of dog hair. And you can see, I can
pull those off. And it’s almost like cotton. Part of the appeal is that this
garment that you’ve made is a memento of a pet that
you’ve loved who maybe has gone on to dog heaven. Or the fashion statement of I’m
walking down the street, and look, my scarf
matches my golden retriever who I’m walking. Now we’ve collected all
of this from the dog. And it’s a little stinky. And we’d like to start the
process of getting it clean. It’s a little doggy. A little gamy. So we’re gonna wash it. I tend to use dog shampoo. Just kind of mix it up. And then we’re going
to dump that. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Just
throw it all in? KENDALL CROLUIS: Ew. Dog hair in the sink. So I’m gonna let that sit
for five minutes. Well, there’s really a wide
range of reactions. ANGIE SULLIVAN: It’s
like cleaning out my drain in my shower. KENDALL CROLUIS: Exactly. Ew. I mean, there’s some people,
primarily dog lovers, who just think, this is the greatest
thing since sliced bread. What a fantastic idea. And immediately see all of the
wonderful possibilities inherent in dog knitting. There are other people who are
completely grossed out. It’s like, oh, that’s
disgusting. Why would you want to do that? And doesn’t it smell
like a wet dog? But the point is that
you wash the fiber. So it actually doesn’t smell
like anything at all. Just as your wool sweaters don’t
smell, neither does a dog hair sweater. Give a sniff. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Yep. KENDALL CROLUIS: You know? No worries, right? ANGIE SULLIVAN: Yeah, yeah. KENDALL CROLUIS: So just like
a sweater, I’m going to want to take some of that
moisture out of it. Kind of roll it up in a towel,
and that’s a good way to get the moisture out without sort
of wringing the sweater or wringing the dog hair. And so we just kind of spread
those out so that there are no big, wet clumps sticking
together. The next thing we’re going to
do is card it, which is kind of like brushing it so that we
get all the fibers pointed in the same direction. ANGIE SULLIVAN: All right. So we brush the dog. KENDALL CROLUIS: We
brush the dog. And we have the fuzz. And the next step is
called carding. So what you do is you take
some of your clean fuzz. And you’re just gonna kind
of stick it on there. And you’re just gonna draw the
combs across each other. And all this is doing is
straightening out the fibers. Yep. See? Way to go? ANGIE SULLIVAN: And
then what’s the next step after that? KENDALL CROLUIS: The next step
is actually to spin it. So I’m just going to kind
of get that kicked in the right direction. I’m spinning that along. And I’m pulling out fibers. And I let go and let it twist. The spinning motion, the other
wonderful thing, is it also then draws the finished yarn
up on to this bobbin. There are two steps that
you’re going to do with your hand. You’re going to pinch
with your left hand. ANGIE SULLIVAN: OK. KENDALL CROLUIS: So nothing’s
twisting down here because you’re pinching. And with your right hand, you’re
going to pull back a little bit on this yarn. See, let go a little bit. See? It twists. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Oh. KENDALL CROLUIS: And then you
move your hand down here and do it again. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Oh. And this will be spinning
it tighter. KENDALL CROLUIS: Yeah. So I’m going to start
treadling real slow. OK. ANGIE SULLIVAN: All right. I’m just holding this? KENDALL CROLUIS: Now let
go a little bit. Yep, yep. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Oh,
I’m doing it. KENDALL CROLUIS: See? Look at you. You’re a natural. You’re a natural spinner. ANGIE SULLIVAN: So then
I grab some more? KENDALL CROLUIS: Rapunzel. Way to go. Yep. Don’t let go. OK. Now I’m going to slow
down for a second. Now just glom some on there. ANGIE SULLIVAN: All right. KENDALL CROLUIS: Yep. Now you’re getting a
lot of twist there. Let it go. Let it go. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Uh oh. KENDALL CROLUIS: Yeah. So you’re a little lumpy. But not bad. This is stuff that was just
gonna clog up your vacuum cleaner, and here you can
put it to good use. So it’s economical and it’s
ecologically correct and environmentally sound. Very much an on-trend
craft, I think. People often ask, I’m not really
into dogs but I love my cats and can you
spin cat hair? And the answer is absolutely. Anything you can do with dog
hair you can do with cat hair. It’s a little bit harder to
work with because it has a tendency to mat. But I have done some gloves
that’s actually a Peaceable Kingdom Collection in that
it’s got both dog and cat yarn in it. I don’t actually remember
whose pets are which in all of this. But I do remember that the
thumbs are cat hair. Let’s start you with this. This is a golden retriever
scarf. ANGIE SULLIVAN: All right. What was it’s name. KENDALL CROLUIS: From Abigail. Abigail. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Abigail. KENDALL CROLUIS: And this
looks great with a camel’s hair coat. Just really a perfect
match there. We’ll give you two scarves. This is a woven scarf
which is wool. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Is this
also Abigail? KENDALL CROLUIS: That’s
also Abigail. Yep. She was very prolific
in this department. This is a nice hat for you. It was a Newfoundland. I can’t even remember
who it came from. Now I think, it is a cold day. So let’s give you the
sweater as well. Now this is Great Pyrenees,
this is from Ollie. Oh, you look great. I’ll tell you. ANGIE SULLIVAN: All right. KENDALL CROLUIS: And then your
hands must feel cold. ANGIE SULLIVAN: I feel
like a polar bear. KENDALL CROLUIS: So you’re
gonna have dog and cat. Now you don’t have the urge
to go find a fire hydrant. Nothing like that? ANGIE SULLIVAN: No. Maybe bark at the neighbors
or something. KENDALL CROLUIS: Yeah,
that’s good. Howl at the moon. Something like that. If you were allergic to
dogs, no worries. Because– ANGIE SULLIVAN: Yeah. KENDALL CROLUIS: No,
it’s interesting. Because when you’re allergic to
dogs, you’re actually not allergic to the fiber. You’re allergic to the dander. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Oh, so once it’s
all clean [INAUDIBLE]. KENDALL CROLUIS: So once it’s
washed and clean, there isn’t any of that in there. And so even if you’re allergic
to dogs you can quite happily wear dog hair. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Anyone
can wear this? KENDALL CROLUIS: Yeah. After we wrote the book and
people kind of got into it, more people found out about it,
I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve received
for people who said, oh, I got your book. And I made a scarf. And now Fluffy is gone and I
can’t tell you how grateful I am to have the scarf
made from Fluffy. And I really have dozens of
letters that say exactly that. So that’s an important
emotional connection to all of this. ANGIE SULLIVAN: Thanks, Kendall,
for teaching us how to make dog hair yarn. KENDALL CROLUIS: Well,
you’re very welcome. ANGIE SULLIVAN: And to make
sweaters out of it. KENDALL CROLUIS: And I’m
delighted that you’re wearing a dog hair sweater home whether
you like it or not. Look at you. You’re covered.

100 thoughts on “Making Dog Hair Sweaters

  1. Thank you for your video, very happy, lighthearted and inspiring. I have been grooming dogs for going on 7 years professionally, and always wanted to know this stuff,,too bad I got rid of the hair I had collected for the gulf oil spill,,they didnt want it after all,,but yesterday I shaved 2 very long coated Labradoodles, and though you say one should only used the undercoat, I'm gonna try the whole fleece, it is very curly/wooly…gonna go see where to buy your book right now,,thanks again!! Steffie
    UPDATE! bought a spinning wheel, have made several things out of my own handmade chien wool,, dog wool is warm! lovely, fun, practical, my 3 favorite words!

  2. My Siberian Husky blows her coat twice a year … I saved her hair from fall and got 2 garbage bagfuls! This is not including what I got from vacuum. I don't save that as it's mixed with house dust and mites…YUCK! I've had my wheel for about 26 years and this is my first pet. She is beautiful but sheds constantly when she's not in winter time. I was pondering spinning some of her fur (after carding) into cotton or wool poonies that I bought last year. Do you think I'll get the same effect by adding some here and there into the poonies as I spin? I've spun silk threads in…but that was during carding process. 

  3. Why should that be dog abuse?? Dogs NEED to be combed, and some of them actually really like it! And the woman in the Video just makes good use of the fur that others just throw in the bin. Why the Heck should that be cruel?? Some people just need to be against anything!!!

  4. I have a golden retriever, and I would like to surprise my mom with a scarf. I want it to be very thick. how much dog hair would I need to make one?

  5. My sister has always wanted to make yarn out of one of our dogs fur. He's a husky mutt and his undercoat is very soft and fluffy. He also sheds ungodly amounts and needs brushed almost daily. This is a very creative and interesting way to use his fur (and even his brothers) to prevent the balls of hair from floating around the house. (My family has even started to call them Tribbles because of how fast they multiply.)

    I do plan on getting my sister this book eventually, at the very least to give her something to read and this video helps a lot in better explaining the process of preparing the fur for spinning. Though she has no idea how to spin yarn, she hungers for knowledge.

    I also wonder if it would be possible to dye fur to get more interesting colors, like red and greens for Christmas sweaters. Or blue for winter hats… Granted the color may wash out eventually… as even dyes can fade with time and washing.

  6. I started in this 20 years ago by spinning sheep wool to pass time at dog shows between rings. Breeders started giving me their 'pull' which is remnants from grooming extremely clean show dogs before they show. Next thing you know, breeders were sending me space bags in the mail, folks were tracing their feet on paper towels at dog shows so that I could make slippers for them! I still come home to find bags of Keeshond on my porch!

  7. obviously the people that are grossed out buy dog hair have never been around sheep or alpaca. a a maintained domestic dog is 20 times cleaner then your average sheep.

  8. Can this be done with short haired dogs? I've got a little dog who sheds like no tomorrow, and if this can be done, then I might just have to go for it.

  9. 1:50 No shit!! a dog?!
    For real they could've easily made this video 2 minutes long. Why waste people's time and patience ? xP

  10. Please don't make fun of those who have lost their pet's, some of see our pet's as family member's and their death's were a very painful experience for us.

  11. I have a husky and they shed a lot! From the first time he blew his coat, I started to keep a box of hair. Recently I got a furminator and a rake to prepare for his springtime shed.

  12. this is just great. nothing gross about somethings thats been washed clean properly. i completely support this!

  13. Dog yarn is very expencive. I don't have a dog and can't afford it? but my dream is to knit with dog yarn and of course spin it also.

  14. Aww,I love it ,I wish I can learn to make things with my dogs heir,I have a Siberian Husky ,and I have to put extra filter to the A.C..
    Even dough there is no winter in Miami,will like to have something from her.

  15. I always make jokes about how i could make a sweater out of my dogs hair because he sheds sooooo much its insane but then i thought why not google it? and then I found this It's insane but at the same time i kinda want a Labrador hoodie now… I think I am gonna actually do this depending how expensive it is for me top find someone who can spin my dogs hair into usable tread.

  16. I’m a pet groomer and have about 400 lbs of hair in my industrial vacuum e dry 6 months can this be also spun?

  17. You know what? I really like this. Every one wins here: the lady gets to do her hobby, the customer gets a keepsake, and most importantly the dog is happy and healthy

  18. My dog sheds like monster and i'd love to try spinning some yarn outta all that floof. Theres nothin' inhumane about using something that our furry friend's bodies naturally cast off!

  19. Spin their fur, make wallets and textiles from their skin, eat them. MANS BEST FRIEND!!!

  20. I'm thinking about giving hair to someone on etsy that makes sweaters/scarves out of it, but our dog has been showered with anti flea/lice shampoo and is currently taking a pill called Bravecto to get rid of them (succesfully). My question then is: Would any of the 2 mentioned above be harmful to humans if worn as clothing??? Used for pillow stuffing??

  21. "can you show us the first step of knitting with dog hair?"
    "well, the first step is getting a dog."

    that made me laugh more than it should…

  22. My Professor at Fashion Institute of Technology was telling me about Kendal Crolius and her dog wool fashion. What a neat concept!

  23. only thing is that dog fur is very sensitive. When you wash it, you'll have dog hair on yourself. Sheep fur is much sturdier. I searched because my dog sheds a coat every week so I was curious if this works. I can tell it won't after looking at the clothes, they look really furry, like if you pull on it you'll remove dog hair easily. If you don't mind having dog hair on you I guess it's ok, but not for me. Drives me crazy when I get dog fur on my clothes. FYI, sheering sheep doesn't hurt. You experience this when you get a haircut lol.

  24. I just cut a huge clump out of one of my (fur)baby’s it was so soft I said to my son I wonder if u can make a rug, blanket, or something if the sorts with dog hair ? GOOGLE! lol I knew it I knew it lol love this!!!!!

  25. People who disliked this are such hypocrites: wolf fur, bear fur, fox fur and cougar, lynx, tiger or leopard skin aren't that different from dog hair and cat fur with the advantage that we don't actually need to kill our pets to harvest their hairfibers!
    Plus sheep wool and goat hair have a lot of natural grease also stinking badly hence having to BE washed prior to carding and spinning!

  26. 8:09 that is such an obnoxious way of impersonating someone's heartfelt letter… if it was real. That being said, this is pretty interesting! With dogs that shed loads, you may as well use it. It's like shearing sheep; they need to get rid of the extra wool and it doesn't even hurt them.

  27. Can you spin the yarn first then clean whatever you knit? Because I feel like if you wash the dog hair and dry it out first, before spinning it, it might clog a drain up or get everywhere before you can spin it

  28. I love this idea and my grandmother would too.
    She’s had many huge dogs with lots and tons of hair, they always get groomed and there’s nothing to feel bad about here

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