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Siberwool Helps Siberian Huskies

Siberwool Helps Siberian Huskies

The dedication and commitment of animal activists never ceases to amaze me.  This is a story about a woman who loves and lives with Siberian Huskies

In 1997, Pat Tetrault was motivated to do something when confronted with the sad tale of a Siberian Husky that was hit by a car and required thousands of dollars worth of surgeries and veterinary care.

A long time breeder and trainer of Huskies, Pat contacted her extensive email list of Siberian enthusiasts to reach out on behalf of the injured dog.  Siberian Huskies are serious shedders, so her idea was to ask if anyone knew how to spin fur into a skein of knittable material. 

Her goal was to use the proceeds from the sale of the knitted items made from “siberwool” to benefit homeless Siberians in need of medical care.  And Save Our Siberians – Siberspace Rescue Fund (SOS-SRF) was born.

After all, who wouldn’t like a beautifully hand-knit hat, mittens, scarf or sweater from the fur of a beloved canine?  I suspect there are two camps that would answer that question: the “ewww” and the “ahhh.”   If you are an “ahhh” – keep reading! 

Watch the fascinating video done by Petcentric of the SOS-SRF siberwool process.

Being an avid knitter for many years, fellow Siberian Husky lover Cheryl Dawson has been spinning and knitting for SOS-SRF from nearly the beginning.  She always had a hankering to learn how to spin and took this situation as her opportunity to do something grand for the breed she loves. 

Many of her stylish hand-knit items are from the undercoat of her own three Siberians, but much is also donated by Siberian Husky parents for the projects. Take a look at some of the items Cheryl has made. 

Siberwool has the look and feel of angora wool.  Very soft to the touch and welcoming to the eyes!

SOS-SRF has grown into an international project with a twice yearly online auction of siberwool knitted items as well as donated non Siberian Husky-related things.  So far the group has helped over 400 Siberian Huskies in need of medical attention.  

The next upcoming auction is the first week of May.  Why not explore the site?  Lots of good information can be found there. SOS-SRF has an eleven member board that makes all decisions as to spending and fundraising.

The cliff notes version of spinning fur into siberwool is simple:

1. Groom the dog and place undercoat loosely in paper bags.
2. Spray the fur with oil and water; let dry.
3. Weigh the fur and divide into the number of plies you want to spin.
4. Card the yarn and roll into rolags.
5. Spin into single ply.
6. Twist the singles together totaling the number of plies desired.
7. Dry well.
8. Wind yarn onto bobbin.
9. Wash, rinse and dry the yarn.
10. Roll yarn into a skein.

SOS-SRF is always looking for donations.  Anyone who would like to spin, knit or otherwise contribute to the organization’s mission is welcome to get involved.  Contact Pat at: sos-srf-owner@yahoogroups.com and have a look at the website

Good people doing good work for Siberian Huskies; are you smiling yet?

Related Stories:

Mishka the Husky Sings
Can the Fur Industry Actually Help Animals, For Once?
Mass Slaughter of 100 Sled Dogs

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo of Siberian undercoat used with permission of Pat Tetrault

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128 comments

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10:18AM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

In reply to Cat who doesn't wear anything made of fur...while there is a technical difference in the structure of the fiber, this is very similar to wool. If she wears wool at all, she's wearing something like this. In fact, some people who are allergic to wool can wear dog "fur" products and it has some advantages in that it insulates even better and it doesn't absorb water like wool because it isn't as porous. So even if it gets wet, it stays warmer.

10:12AM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Katherine asked about malamute undercoat. SOS-SRF uses Siberian Husky undercoat, but she should contact the American Malamute Assistance League (AMAL). There are a few local malamute rescue groups that do something similar.

4:00AM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

Thank you Diane...I will do...I will read it again *cat

12:29AM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

Caterina, there is a world of difference between wearing "fur" which is basically the hide of an animal, and wearing something made of YARN, spun from the undercoat of a shedding dog. Look at the photo! Does that actually look like FUR to you? The dogs shed 365 days a year. Good owners groom their dogs and in the past, probably just threw the shedded hair in the garbage (as I do with MOST of the hair my dogs shed and I brush out and put in garbage bags). In this case, the lady is spinning that into yarn and making stuff out of that, NOT the hide of the dogs. Read it again........"NO DOGS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE PRODUCTS", LOL!

11:37AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

...but don't like to wear any kind of fur

11:32AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Thanks...interesting...

5:22AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Great article =] thanks for sharing =]

5:09AM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

Thank you for posting.

10:35PM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

thanks for sharing

11:44AM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

There's no harm to the dogs, but if it sticks, I don't know...
The worst part, she used (or still is) a breeder...

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