How can I help?
You can donate fur from your shedding Siberian. Or you can help knit or create other wonderful items. We are also looking for people to spin Siberian Husky undercoat into yarn. Please contact Kristine Biagiotti at kbiagiotti-SOS-yahoo.com (replace the -SOS- with the @ sign) if you would would like to be a volunteer spinner.
How do I save fur?
Groom your dog while it is dry and preferably clean. Store the fur in paper bags until you decide to send it off. A skein of yarn can be spun from about 4 oz. of fur. We suggest that you not include the shorter hair from the legs (which is too short to spin well) or the coarser hair from the tail or the feathers on the back legs (which makes yarn more like twine than yarn). The hair on the haunches also tends to be a little bit coarser but can still be used, although the yarn may be a bit stiffer. We also suggest that you pick as many guard hairs out of the undercoat as you can. The less coarse fiber you send, the softer the yarn will be.
How do I clean the fur?
Fur needs to be picked clean of foreign materials such as grass, twigs, and carpet fibers. Washing the fur will not remove this stuff, so it must be picked out by hand. Most fur does not require any washing, but if it is extremely dirty or matted or smelly, then you can try the following method.
Fill a basin with very hot water and add a good amount of either dish detergent or dog shampoo. Put the fur in and gently push it down below the water level. Be careful not to agitate the fur in any way, and leave it to soak for at least half an hour. Drain the water and add fresh hot water for rinsing. You must not agitate the fur but simply allow it to soak for a few minutes to draw the soap and dirt out. Repeat with fresh rinse water until the water is running clean. Dry the fur on a screen. If the fur gets agitated at all during this process, it will most likely mat up. If this happens, you must throw away the matted parts as they cannot be spun. (But you could try making a felt hat from them!)
Where do I send the fur?
24 Vincent Road
Mendon, MA 01756
What can I make?
Hats, scarves, mitts, dreamcatchers, Christmas tree ornaments, accessories for teddy bears and dolls, etc. Kristin Biagiotti, who is distributing the yarn, is collecting patterns and will send them with the yarn. To get some ideas, you can look at Cheryl Dawson's Picasa site (click here) where she has posted pictures of the many items she has created - some for our auction and some as custom projects in exchange for a donation to SOS-SRF.
You may also make donations of other crafts or items. Example of donated items include plates with a Northern dog theme, pictures, magnets, wall hangings and note cards.
What is done with the money that is raised?
Please visit our rescue projects page to see how the money is being spent. We have donated money for heartworm treatment, eye surgery, x-rays, medication, etc. We have also made donations when large groups of dogs require treatment.
Can I buy Siberwool?
Unfortunately, it's a scarce commodity and we find it brings in more if we make items from it to sell in our auctions.
Can I send you undercoat to spin into yarn for me?
Currently, we have only one person spinning regularly for us - our own Cheryl Dawson who is also our Recording Secretary. She occasionally does spinning for private individuals but as this is a very time consuming activity, most of her spinning time is used for producing Siberwool to be used for SOS-SRF auction items. One other person also does some spinning for us from time to time.
Will I be allergic to Siberian Husky yarn (AKA Siberwool)?
Unless you are allergic to the hair itself, you will probably be OK with dog fur yarn. It is the dander and saliva that people are usually allergic to in dogs. Our spinner, Cheryl Dawson, washes the finished yarn "within an inch of its life" in extremely hot water before it is wound into a skein. This eliminates the dander and saliva.
How much undercoat is needed to make various items?
One oversimplified response is that a standard "peck" grocery bag holds 4 to 6 oz and that is about enough to make a hat or a pair of mittens.