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11  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Arthritis pants for dog - need help on: July 14, 2006 06:37:56 AM
Ohh, that looks useful!

Our bathroom floor is the coldest floor in the house, and when Whomper's arthritis is really bothering him, he goes in there.   The hardness of the floor is bad for his joints, but the coolness must be soothing.  i read that this is common in dogs.  I got the idea for the pants from an ad for a bed that can be chilled or warmed, but it is not big enough for Whomper.
12  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Spinning with Pet fur/hair on: July 14, 2006 06:28:31 AM
whamo- can I ask how much you rabbit cost?

How much fluff do you usually get from your rabbit?

I bought my bunny at a fleece fair about 7 years ago for $30.  He's an English angora.  I have yet to do anything with his fur except to put a bit into some blends.  I started out saving it all to get a large quantity and haven't been struck with inspiration on what to make with it yet.  I had some problems with mites several years back, which made his 'prime' back wool unusable, and I have 5 tightly, tightly packed sandwich ziploc bags full of his fur.  I do not want to get another rabbit when he shuffles off this mortal coil because the combing upkeep is more than I tend to keep up with.  He sheds about 3 or 4 times a year, and if I am taking really good care of him, I loose very little hair to matting.

I had a satin angora before him who died of kidney failure and that breed does not produce significant amounts of fiber (nor do they claim they do - I thought he was cute).  If you want to buy one, I'd recommend a french, English or German/giant angora.
13  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Arthritis pants for dog - need help on: July 11, 2006 08:00:14 AM
Has anyone made pants for dogs?

 I made a pair of pants last winter for our Leonberger (giant breed) who had cut the tip of his tail.  His enthusiastic wagging continued to reopen the cut, and at one point the vet mentioned 'amputation,' eek!  He told us that some boxer owners put tee shirts on the opposite way (back legs through sleeves, tail through neck) to keep them from chewing at a wound.  Maybe we could stick his tail through a sleeve and keep it from wagging?

The tee shirt didn't work on Whomper, so I bodged together some 'pants,' aka 'Whomper's Outfit', which he's very proud to wear, much to my surprise! I think it's because he gets a lot of attention in them.  His tail is bandaged in this picture - it was wrapped in gauze, then stuffed into a plastic syringe cover and wrapped with tape. He's all healed up now.

Now I would like to make him some tight fitting pants out of spandex with pockets that I can slip some cold packs into over his hip and knee joints.  He's 9 and has arthritis pains, even with the incredibly expensive dog food and pain medicine.  Whomper's outfit wound up stretching out of shape a lot, due to my lack of understanding about sewing with or against the bias of the fabric, so they can't be used for this purpose.  I need a snug fit on his legs.

Any suggestions? Sewing suggestions as to which way the bias should go (spandex) would be helpful.  Thanks!
14  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 13 ENTRIES / Re: Monkey Theresa of Calcutta on: July 10, 2006 02:03:22 PM
Sorry, all fixed now!
15  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Spinning with Pet fur/hair on: July 09, 2006 07:59:34 AM
I've tried spinning cat hair and the problem is that nearly all breads' hair felts EXTREMELY well.  I can felt my cats' hair into a ball by rolling it around in my palm.  I have one cat I did manage to make some yarn from and swatched up a square for a classroom work (preschool).  The swatch has shrunk in size by half just from being handled.  I did not try blending it with anything else, though, as it was like pulling teeth to get this cat to let me comb him!

On dog hair, it could be that  combed hair will be softer than cut hair.  I have an angora rabbit and have been told that 'plucked', or combed hair will be softer than cut because the cut end will not have the natural taper that a shedded hair would have and will have a scratchy edge.  I have not tested this, though, so maybe it's hogwash. 

The thing I'd like to know if anyone has done is to find a quick, easy way to remove the guard hairs from the dog fur.  This is what holds me back from mass producing tons on 'chein-angora' (sp?), the french word, I think, for dog hair yarn (much more glamorous sounding).  I've had people bring me groomer clippings which were a mess -  short stuff swept up with long stuff, all of it too short.  If your groomer will take the time to keep the premium fluff from the tummy fur, it might be nice stuff.

There's  a book I had years ago call From Woof to Weft: Spinning with Dog Hair.  It's cute and lists the breeds of dogs who put out the best fur for spinning, i.e. samoyeds are great because they have long, brilliantly dyable  white fur with no guard hairs.
16  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Dog fur yarn? on: July 09, 2006 07:37:07 AM
One of the reasons I started spinning was to spin dog fur.  I have two long haired dogs who produce a ton of hair every year.  The main problem with my dogs' hair are the guard hairs.  The downy soft undercoat is great stuff, but the stiffer, longer guard hairs make the resulting yarn very scratchy, like a very coarse mohair. If I take the time to remove the guard hairs, a nice angora like yarn comes out.  I tend not to be so patient, so I've done very little with my own dogs' hair.

I did successfully make a very nice yarn with the fur from a puppy (no guard hairs!) blended with wool and a bit of satin angora on a drumcarder.  The wool gave the yarn elasticity and body and made it a lot easier to spin.  I have a picture maybe I can upload and post of the hat being worn by the puppy's owner and the puppy.
17  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 13 ENTRIES / Monkey Theresa of Calcutta on: July 06, 2006 07:51:25 PM

As I reflected on who an admirable person might be, someone no one could find anything bad to say about, Mother Theresa occurred to me.  It turns out a few people who have some complaints about her and discovered she'd been exorcised before her death.  At any rate, I was overcome with the vision of Monkey Theresa and the lepers of Calcutta

I probably spent way too much time on the lepers, and I may have disqualified myself by including them, but Monkey Theresa wouldn't have it any other way.

I also found out that lepers prefer crocheted cotton bandages.  I spent the 4th of July answering friends at a cookout that I was crocheting bandages for sock monkey lepers. The lighter colored leper has a little gangrene on his hand.

Sorry for the red background - I wanted to fool with the photos but ran out of time.

Here were most of my supplies. 

I really fixated on the blue stripes for Monkey Theresa's sari and found a terry cloth towel with the desired blue stripes at Wal-Mart.  I pulled the loops on a section of the towel so it would be flat on one side (this was very tedious and took a few hours).  I deeply regret not having a flesh colored sock for Monkey Theresa. My design changed from my original intention, but alas, it is late July 6 and there is no time left for revision.

Mother Theresa has been declared a saint based on a dubious medical miracle of a woman in India.  She claimed to have put a picture of Mother Theresa on her stomach tumor and was healed.  Her doctors, however, claim the treatments she received prior to this event may have something to do with it as well.

I hope to find my sock monkey lepers cured of their affliction in the morning.
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