How to Knit a Dog Hair Sweater. The brushed undercoat of a dog is called 'chiengora' and can be used for knitting, crocheting, or felting just like lamb's wool or other yarn. Dog's hair has been used for centuries for weaving blankets and other coverings. Dog's hair is much warmer than wool. Here is how to knit a sweater from dog hair.
Gather Dog Hair
Gather clean, freshly washed and conditioned hair from the dog. Hair must be clean, not matted, and free from twigs, grass and other impurities. Several kinds of dog hair may be blended to add interest to the yarn.
Brush the undercoat of the dog with a slicker brush and save all the hair from the brush. The best hair comes from the shoulders, back, sides and belly.
Store the gathered hair in a paper bag, packed loosely until ready to spin. Moths and other insects can infest the hair so keep the bag in a clean, safe place. Do not use mothballs or spray anything on the stored dog hair.
Make the Yarn
Clean the entire amount of dog hair again with a mild liquid detergent or dog shampoo and lay it out to dry. Fluff the hair to facilitate drying.
Card the dog hair to align the fibers and prepare them for spinning.
Spin the dog hair into a single strand and store the spun yarn until all the rest of the needed fiber is spun. Then take two strands of the spun yarn and spin (ply) them together.
Wash yarn, skein and set the yarn twist. Dog hair is heavy, non-elastic and very dense and requires a tight twist. Dog hair is heavier than wool and with use it fuzzes up and forms a halo effect.
Use the Yarn
Gauge a garment made of dog hair the same as one made of cotton yarn. Do not line garments made from dog hair.
Break hand spun dog yarn, never cut it. Overlap ends of thread two or three inches when joining them, don't use knots. Being short and silky, dog hair doesn't hold together like wool so don't use a tight tension when knitting.
Knit the sweater with a more elastic fiber yarn and use the dog hair yarn for a trim. This combination is more desirable than using 100 percent dog hair in a garment.
Watch for puckering when you knit because dog hair yarn is heavy and non-elastic.
Use size 5 knitting needles with 6 stitches to an inch. Be sure to make a sample first to check the gauge needed for the pattern. Dog hair yarn is much like Angora wool in many aspects and can be knit in the same manner.
Dog hair is much warmer than wool and an entire garment made of dog hair will be too hot to wear.