Monday, December 23, 2013

Capturing December - Scarf

I have this scarf. It's one of my favorite articles of clothing, and I wear it everywhere I go, all winter long - not because I like scarfs, because the fact is, until I got this one, I never really wore scarfs. Scarves always felt kind of cumbersome and in the way.

Not this one. It's special, and having it has made me appreciate how warm a scarf actually is. It's more than an accessory. In fact, when we're out and one of my girls has forgotten that we live in Maine and she should dress for the weather, I'll give her my scarf, and she warms up enough to be comfortable.

I don't know if it's just the magic in this scarf or scarves in general, but I do know, I love this scarf, because it's actually more than just a scarf. It's a friend.

Ha! I know you think I've fallen off the deep end, but let me explain - and how I acquired this particular scarf is actually one of my favorite stories.

Many years ago, through a series of very interesting events, Deus Ex Machina and I found ourselves driving across the country in a little 1989 Honda Civic with our two-month old daughter, a green Iguana named Prometheus and an eight-month old black chow named Yoo-Hoo (the only one of the three that we named was the daughter ;)).

Fast forward many years, and we are living in Maine. The iguana lived to the ripe old age (for iguanas) of twelve, and the daughter and the dog were both nearing their teens. Chow-chows are one of the several breeds of dog that have a double coat. They hail from Northern China, where they were bred for many different purposes, including being used as sled dogs, and they are particularly well-suited to Maine's climate. The flip-side is that they tend to shed - twice a year blowing their whole coat, and during those shedding seasons, we'd end up with bags full of dog fur.

We never knew what to do with it. Sometimes we'd keep it, and sometimes we'd grumble as it clogged up the vacuum cleaner.

This one year (about three years ago), on Mother's Day, my daughter brought a carefully wrapped package to me. Inside was a brown scarf.

The story is that Deus Ex Machina has a friend who spins. He brought a bagful of YooHoo's fur to her, which she spun into yarn. He, then, brought this ball of yarn home and gave it to Big Little Sister, who knit this scarf for me.

It is the most amazing gift, and it has just gotten more beautiful and warmer over the years thanks to a phenomenon specific to pet fur products called "blooming", where the fur gets fuzzier the more one uses it.

I've had people ask me all sorts of questions about my scarf. One woman wanted to know if it "smelled", presumably like a dog. "No," I said. "It doesn't."

We have two new chows, and since we've discovered the amazing quality of dog fur yarn, we have been keeping fur from our new puppies with every intention of having the fur spun (or doing it ourselves when we're more proficient) into yarn to knit into scarfs and/or other knitted gifts for family and friends.

In the meantime, I have my scarf, and I cherish it. I even named it "Yoo Hoo", and when it ends up where it's not supposed to be, and I ask, "Where's Yoo Hoo?" everyone in my family knows what I mean.


  1. It is beautiful! How odd that couple years ago I had the thought that my dogs' fur could be turned to yard...and so it's true, I see now. What ridicule I received from my far-fetched though.

  2. Oh, no, Sissy! That's horrible that someone said you can't! I always try to hold fast to the idea that if I can dream it, I can make it happen. It's what's gotten me this far in my goal of self-sufficiency on a quarter acre, and while we're not even close, yet, if I'd listened to those who told me it *can't* be done, I'd have never tried.

    Spin some dog fur! You won't be sorry, and it will be an amazing scarf! And you'll always have a piece of that loved companion.