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1  Re: Spinning cat hair in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by kwicz on: April 08, 2009 06:16:30 PM
LOL The very first fiber I ever 'spun' was cat hair, and I was rolling it down my thigh trying to get it off!  It made a rather odd little yarn that way.  But I wanted to do *something* with the  half pound of shed fur my domestic shorthair cats give me every spring, so when I took up spindling I tried spinning with the fur.  I often joke that once you spin cat hair, everything else is dead easy, but I actually found it a bit easier than cotton to spin because of the crimp.   

My cats have a definite crimp to their fur, and I have no trouble spinning it alone, but very straight or hairlike fur would be a lot easier to spin if blended with another fiber.  That's true for most of the short fibers, and some of the long ones.   

It's a lot like spinning cotton, angora, or any other short-staple fiber.  It spins okay on a supported spindle but is really tricky on a drop spindle.  I have made about 57 yards of lopi-style yarn with just their fur from last year!  It fulls slightly when wet-finished and thwacked, and I like that finish a lot.  I've also tried blending the hair with alpaca and recycled silk with fair results (dunno where that yarn is to photograph it). 

This one is cat fur yarn in progress on a very light homemade spindle.

This very blurry one is the wet-finished yarn.
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2  Re: Short-row hat... in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by kwicz on: December 31, 2005 10:16:59 AM
The knitty hat is cuter in one color, I think.  I made a couple in Wool-Ease Chunky with Meg Swanson's knit-on I-cord edging (see pic, below) to get a feel for the shaping and keep the heads around me warm.  With short rows, I like to wrap and turn, then pick up the wraps as I knit back.  It's hard to explain without pictures, but it does eliminate gapitis.  Goodness knows my short-row shaping would be full of holes without that little trick!  Oh, I found a video on KnittingHelp.com, scroll down to find 'short row with wrap':  http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/advanced_techniques/ 

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3  Re: Necklaces with satin cord... in Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions by kwicz on: August 01, 2005 09:01:45 PM
I use cord ends like these, you just smoosh them onto the cord:   
you can get them at Fire Mountain Gems http://www.firemountaingems.com/shopping.asp?skw=KWFNTERMINATESPENDCAPor I got mine at Hobby Lobby (like Michaels).  There are also glue-in cord ends.
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4  Re: assorted seed beads, all different colors in What the heck can I do with THIS? by kwicz on: July 31, 2005 06:13:26 PM
Terrifically Tacky Tape 'em to, well, whatever strikes your fancy. There were some really cute picture frames and candle cups at our farmer's market done that way.  I've been slowly giving my less desireable seed beads to my niece, and I've used some of the really irregularly-shaped but pretty ones in freeform pieces.  They help me break loose from straight and even stitching!   
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5  Re: What kind of yarn do you use for lace? in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by kwicz on: July 31, 2005 08:26:39 AM
Speaking from experience, acrylic yarns work for lace but in a lot of ways they are trickier to make lace with!  My first lacy work was in some Red Heart Baby left over from an afghan, which turned out okay but it's hard to see some of the design even after blocking.  Acrylics aren't as forgiving as animal fibers or even cotton.  I have a collection of South American laceweight acrylics (Omegacryl) that I love anyway, and I've been making a lace triangle scarf (with beads) from Red Heart Lustersheen - see my big ol' dropped stitch? 

You might have a look at KnitPicks: http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Yarn_List.aspx, they have pretty good merino and regular wool yarns for not so much money. 
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