I'm curious, we spin wool, camelids, rabbits and all. What else have we spun?
Have you tried something challenging? Was it an experience where you'd want to do it again, or are you just happy you did it?
I was gifted with an ounce of buffalo fiber once. I enjoyed spinning it but I have yet to do something with the skein. I just take it out and pet it once in a while.
I have a friend who skinns buffalo. He gives me the hair that I process (The little bits of skin give me the creeps). All I have to do for payment is spin the guard hairs for him. He makes rope from it. I wonder about the trade. I get down, he gets...tow.
Yeah, I would imagine those little bits of skin would be a bit of a turn off but all that down must be fun. I bet it is very warm if you knitted it up into something to wear. Just the tiny skein I have will warm up nicely in my hands.
I have never heard of buffalo hair ropes, is there a specific use for it?
I alway try anything that comes my way--fox and racoon from my uncles fly fishing supplies, just couldn't get enough. Plant matter from the yard such as dried long corn husk, grass and palm. Steel wool (yuk), wire, horse tail and main, my daughter's first haircut, felted wool, silk fabric, cotton fabric, silk velvet fabric, wild sheep down, all different breeds of dog. I am lucky my dog groomer washes the dogs before brushing and clipping; she calls me when she thinks she has some I will really like. Like a pound of silver poodle this week! She knows her fiber. The toughest animal fiber I spun will clipped chincilla (not blended). The most difficult plant matter was the kapok or silk floss--too short and slippery, just is not durable by itself.
The hair ropes were used as ropes, reigns for horses, "bungie" cords, anything that needed to be lashed down. My friend does demonstrations of Pains Indians lifestyles.
I've been told that if you put the down in the microwave steam bath it will "halo." Frankly, I don't want to experiment on this stuff.
I have spun dog hair (sameyod) . It was not a pleasent experience as it was so slick that the best way to spin it was damp. Once I blended it with some black wool it went much better though, It made a beautiful grey heather yarn.
I spun up some timberwolf. I wanted to ply it with nettle, like the fairy tale, but I settled for ramie, its non-stinging cousin. It's going to be a magic cloak for a Harry Potter fan-fiction character I made up, who will be played by one of my Barbie dolls.
Somebody suggested dryer lint (no); waste paper from the computer printer (wet, use that boat-anchor beginner spindle, maybe when civilzation collapses you could weave it into baskets, floor mats, etc.)
I have some dog hair somebody gave me to spin two years ago, but it took me months to get the smell out of it. It's now horribly matted, and I think I know how to rehabilitate it, but -- feh. There's too much kid mohair, Gulf Coast sheep, tussah silk, CVM, to be messing with dog!
That sounds awesome, they really had a use for just about everything.
I don't think I would be putting my buffalo fiber in the microwave, that scares me!
My most adventurous was dryer lint (from new magenta towels) carded with pill bottle cotton (not the rayon cotton wannabe stuff) ... well, okay, that one's still ongoing, I come across it from time to time, it's on a little drawer-knob tahkli.
My oddest was cat fur -- about 2 yards, from my semi-Persian cat Ginger (who's grey, not ginger colored at all!)
~ Ameliahttp://www.thebellwether.com/ http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/
The most adventurous fiber I've ever spun was also the most disgusting. Way back in the earliest days of Interweave, I agreed to trade some custom spinning with a guy who was doing some photo processing for me. No big deal -- until he handed me a bag full of his own long, greasy hair combings. Eeeew. But I did spin it, and he did make it into a belt for his girlfriend, and I did save some money, which was a big deal at the time.
It's not very adventurous, but I've been blending black alpaca with black wensleydaleXrambouillet and adding dyed silk noil. It's pretty adventurous for me - new drum carder!
I tried spinning hair from my long-haired grey cat but it was just so darned slippery! Even on my tahkli it was just a pain and the finished yarn was not nice at all. Interesting, but not something I would want to wear.
Oh yuck! You poor thing, spinning someone's nasty hair? I will have to tell my hubby that I most definitely do NOT want a hair belt!
I've spun possum - very short and almost impossible! It's much nicer blended with wool :-)
Can't say I've done anything incredibly adventurous though!