My Story: Dr. Bev Felten

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Handspun, handwoven, dog-hair rugs support dog-related charity organizations

 

Elements to enrich our lives are all around us, but we often fail to recognize them. It is that recognition that led me to spin dog hair−and to the Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel.

Being a dog breeder and a conformation judge, I began to think about spinning dog hair, a gift so often simply thrown away. At a local dog show, I retrieved Collie and gorgeous Old English Sheep dog undercoat from the garbage cans. Word got out that I was looking for dog hair and the dog show community joined in by donating boxes of multiple-breed, high-quality undercoat.

bev

I love spinning dog hair in combination with other fibers. One of the first notable products off the loom were two rugs woven with handspun dog hair which I donated to Support Dogs, Inc., of Missouri, a non-profit organization that trains dogs for people with special needs. These dogs give back, yet again, by serving people.

I am a full-time nurse, and one day a colleague asked if I wanted her grandmother’s knitting machine.

Once I got the knitting machine home, I quickly learned that I would need to greatly improve my spinning skills.

crocheted dog hair

I learned to spin from a combination of unusual sources, including the Facebook list, “Spinners in the UK,” a 1400-member online-community of international spinners who generously nurture inexperienced spinners, regardless of country. I posted the question to the list, “If you were to buy the best quality spinning wheel available, price not a concern, what would you buy?” I received an answer from a British fiber instructor who told me to get a Schacht Matchless. Which I did and now I spin daily on my Matchless. A subsequently purchased Sidekick goes on the road, making it possible to spin both at dog shows and while camping.

-Dr. Bev Felten

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin is the Content Manager at Schacht, and loves creating weaving and spinning content for the Schacht blog. His other spinning and weaving work can be seen in Handwoven, Spin-Off and the SIP Easy Weaving With Little Looms. You may find him on Instagram as @benjamin_krudwig