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News - April 2012

Our unique new hand spun yarn - guinea pig sock yarn

Guinea pig fibre collection in progress. The loose hairs in Ruby's coat stick to the pile of Pete's shirt

Guinea pig fibre collection in progress. The loose hairs in Ruby's coat stick to the pile of Pete's shirt

The shed hairs are collected with a stiff brush and blended with nylon fibres before being expertly spun by Debbie

The shed hairs are collected with a stiff brush and blended with nylon fibres before being expertly spun by Debbie

We've chosen today to make a very special announcement of our latest exclusive yarn - guinea pig sock yarn! No it's not yarn for knitting socks for cavies, it's a bespoke sock yarn hand spun by Debbie from hairs shed by our very own house pig, Ruby.

We currently stock Angorgeous Fibres Smooth & Silky angora rabbit mohair yarn but developing guinea pig yarn proved quite a challenge as Debbie explains: "Guinea pigs have hair rather than fur and Ruby is a short haired pig. However by blending her hair with our nylon tops I managed to make the combined fibres long enough to spin into a delightful yarn. The nylon adds durability which is important for a sock yarn".

Collecting Ruby's hair proved another challenge as shearing wasn't an option. Pete developed a technique which involves him holding Ruby while wearing a thick cotton shirt. Any loose hairs stick to the pile of the shirt and can be easily collected afterwards with a stiff brush. Pete says: "Ruby loves being handled and is always rewarded with a food treat so it's a completely guinea-pig friendly yarn!".

The hand spun guinea pig yarn will be sold under the brand name "Día de tontos" after the rather exotic name by which guinea pigs are known in their native country Peru. In time Debbie hopes to produce hand dyed variations but initially the yarn will be only available in the shade "Broma" (Peruvian for natural or undyed).

Pete is working hard to produce the enough fibre for Debbie to spin the first batch of yarn but with a guinea pig patience is definitely required! Please keep checking our website for updates but we anticipate it will be a year (to the day) before we have more news.

[Posted 01/04/2102 :-) ]

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[All images and text © Debbie and Peter Tomkies 2012]