Monday, April 16, 2007

Meet my fiber producer

My foray into spinning, and subsequently knitting, was not normal. By not normal, I mean that my mother and grandmother did not pass down the fiber arts to me. Neither did I start knitting a few years ago when there was a renaissance among my peers to knit.

My inspiration to start spinning was my dog, Mingus.

We were cocky when we, the boy and I, adopted this 80-pound fur producing machine. We already had two cats and a German "shedder" in our family, so daily vacuuming was something to which we were accustomed. What's one more dog? Famous. Last. Words. We were like Sisyphus, except our brand of punishment involved a life sentence to vacuuming our floors over, and over, and over again during a single day. The cruel joke was that Mingus would walk into a freshly vacuumed room, and in 5 minutes, reinfect it with white, fluffy tumbleweeds.

Frustrated at the amount of Mingus fur around the house, I came to the conclusion that the only way to make peace with the Mingus fur was to turn it into yarn and to start knitting ourselves garments out of them. Seriously. So, at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning (why I was up at this hideous hour on a Saturday is beyond me), I decided that the boy and I were going to spin Mingus yarn and I was going to make the boy a Mingus scarf. When I woke up the boy to tell him about our little adventure and his involvement in it all, he nodded his head and fell back asleep.

There were two problems with this Mingus scarf plan: I didn't know how to spin and I didn't know how to knit. A little web research unearthed a place, Deep Color Studio, that conducted drop spindle lessons. The next class was the following day, so while the rest of America was watching the Super Bowl, we were happily learning how to make something useful out of all that dog fur. Why the boy still talks to me, I do not know. Thank goodness he is a good sport, and thank goodness he hates football - he still doesn't know who won the Super Bowl. (Okay, fine. I don't either.)

Since it has been over two months since I embarked on this odd journey, I wanted to blog it all so I can keep track of my fiber art projects. I also like to experiment in the kitchen, hence the "spices" in my blog title (thanks, harleymom), and I'd like to track those experiments as well.

I'll end my first post with a picture of my first project, the finished Mingus yarn. Since I've started, I found out that there is an almost pretty name for this stuff: chiengora. That's a much more marketable name than Mingus yarn! Plus, it won't cause confusion amongst the fans of Charles Mingus.


  1. You are just too much! I love the way you see things!

    Does he like being called "The boy?"

  2. Nah, the boy doesn't mind at all. ;)

  3. Mingus's fur is just so pretty that I think using it in knit goods is a fantastic idea.

    People can laugh all their want at your practicality, but as someone who's met that beautiful dog and knows how soft he is, I think NOT using the hair would be such a waste.



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