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: email@example.com and have a look at the website.
Good people doing good work for Siberian Huskies; are you smiling yet?
Photo of Siberian undercoat used with permission of Pat Tetrault