Unique Handspun Yarn From An Experienced Spinner in Melbourne's South East

Finding a suitable way to commemorate the special bond that occurs between a family and its beloved pet is not an easy task. By creating soft and luxurious handspun yarn from your pet's own fur, Spinning Pets Yarn in Melbourne offers you a unique way to pay tribute to your much loved furry friend. For more details, please browse the information below. If you have any further enquiries, feel free to contact Marion today. 

Meet Marion

26 years of spinning has in no way dampened Marion's passion and enthusiasm for wool, yarn, fibre and teaching. Constantly expanding her knowledge of wool and fibre in preparation for passing it on to her students, Marion fosters and encourages the desire to create with fibre and yarn. Her spinning group, "The Crossfibres", is a successful social group, where students and clients alike enjoy a range of wool-related experiences.
A Graduate of the Melbourne College of Textiles (Wool Classing), Marion has been known to be found in Shearing Sheds, performing roustabout duties. She has worked with the National Trust at their historic property Gulf Station in Yarra Glen, and continues to enjoy involvement with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, assisting with their preparations and events at the Royal Melbourne Show. (You may have seen her and the Crossfibres participating in "Click go the Shears", or spinning up a storm competing for the trophy for the Sheep to Shawl Competition, or assisting staff and competitors for the Fleece Judging.)

Radio and print media have covered Marion's trip to Antarctica, where she and her trusty spinning wheel sat out on the Ice in front of Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison and spun, to produce the yarn tor the replica balaclava that was auctioned at the Centenary Dinner in Hobart, (2011) raising funds for the upkeep of the Historic site. The whole Antarctic spin was repeated 2 years later, at the opening of the Mawson's Huts Replica Museum in Hobart. (Complete with Ice and Penguin!)

Ready for the next adventure, Marion is keying up for entry into the world of pets. Many times she has been asked to spin pet fur: Samoyed, Husky, Newfoundland Dog, Pyrenees Mountain Dog, Belgian Shepherd, Schnauzer, Airedale -- even Persian Cat, to name a few. Many people have been pleased with her results.

You will be too.

What is spinning?

Spinning is a creative journey. The fibre of choice is separated carefully into tiny bunches and overlapped and twisted to form a long line.

The Wheel then takes this line into itself and stores it on the bobbin until enough is made to ply it with
the matching additional bobbin.

You have the power in your fingers to turn basic fibre into any number of interesting and colourful combinations and effects, like: Core yarn, Boucle yarn, Beehive yarn,. Lumpy yarn, blended fibre yarn, double spun yarn, etc.

All these have a basic requirement of LENGTH and STRENGTH.

Is my fibre suitable?

To be comfortable spinnable, any fibre must be at least as long as your thumb, from tip to knuckle, say – 50mm. Any shorter will require Carding, which is a laborious process vital to de-tangling the fibres in preparation for spinning a superior product. Blending may also be necessary.

Fibre 50mm or longer is ideal for direct spinning. It should be tangle free.

Fibre should NOT be washed, because that starts a felting process, which cannot be reversed. It is best to have the fibre straight from the animal, just as the fibre hits the floor.

Be mindful of skin level tangles and matting.

What is a “strong” fibre?

When sheep are away growing their fibre, there could be a circumstance that makes the sheep turn to surviving rather that fibre production. Events such as drought, little water, little food, lambing, etc show up as a weakness in the fibre.
Sometimes visible, the break can also be heard when you pull on the fibre. The fibre will not be spinnable. Pet fibre may have the same kind of weakness if the pet has been ill for some time.

Will My Fibre Be Blended?

If your fibre is too short to be spun by itself, then yes, it will be blended.If your fibre is too smooth and will not stick by itself, then yes, it will be blended.
Ball of yarn

How Long Does It Take?

The time to spin varies with the fibre used and if it needs carding first. Usually it takes 2.5 hours to fill a bobbin. It takes 2 full bobbins to make a skein. A minimum of 6 hours will produce the first balls of yarn. The number of bobbins will be determined by the quantity of fibre to be spun.

Bobbins are 3 sizes:
  • Standard (Ashford/Sheridan/Brookes)
  • Large (Majacraft/Ashford)
  • Electric* (Ertoel) These are larger and quicker

If you have a definite deadline, please make it known when you place your order. Time frames can be altered or adjusted accordingly.

What Is The Costing?

The cost is very subjective! and depends on quantity of fibre, whether carding is necessary, number and size of bobbins, the presentation process and postage/delivery.
 Carding is $30 per hour.
Production cost per bobbin:  
  • Standard bobbins are $40 each 
  • Large bobbins are $50 each  
  • Electric bobbins are $60 each
Presentation involves: plying, skeining, washing, drying, balling and packaging and is charged at $180/kg.

Minimum charge for any project is $120.00

There may also be postal charges, depending on the choice of delivery options.
Ask Marion

How Does Blending Help?

In sheep wool, the cellular structure includes 2 types of cells:
Cortical cells are curved in shape, allowing the fibre to be stretchy and elastic. Cuticle cells, are on the outside of each fibre taking the form of spines, which hook onto other fibres as they pass by – therefore matting and tangling the fibres, and containing them to form one long line.

In other fibres, like most dog and cat fur as well as human hair, this is not the case. The fibres are usually various lengths and of a smooth outer texture, which allows plenty of ‘slip’ and the fibres slide past each other instead without gripping. This yarn will have no structural integrity.

Blending in a bit of wool fibre with the desired fibre and spinning the two together will overcome this problem. The wool fibre traps the other fibre within its spin. As the fibres are passing each other, the non sheep fibre will be contained in the hooks.

A familiar example of this would be the famous possum/merino blend from New Zealand. Both fibres are of similar fibre diameter and the very short possum fibres are trapped by the merino ones, giving a lovely, even pale grey colour in the extremely warm finished product.
Customer enjoying time with her pet
Ball of yarn
Never be apart from your favourite furry friend again!
Call Spinning Pets Yarn today on 0409 250 969.
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