Mutt Mittens (white yarn=Husky, black yarn=Border Collie cross)
For the best longevity, I’d recommend knitting these yarns with a denser finish. Knitting more loosely leaves the yarn more susceptible to wear and tear. Since the fibers are typically short and fine, this makes them less durable than wools that are 3 times their length. Densely knitted items ensure more durability.
If the garment you want is going to be tugged on or otherwise undergo strain, definitely knit a dense fabric. Knitting with smaller needles to produce such a fabric will encourage better durability of the yarn. A garment knit with compatibly small needles will block out wind as well. As I was making a facemask, I held it up to the light to check on how much light could pass between the stitches. I aimed to as see little as possible by keeping the spaces between stitches small. I wear that mask while biking in Minnesota winters in 25 degrees to subzero temps; the motion from biking creates its own breeze and increases whatever windchill factor is present–and I can’t feel the wind on my face when I’m wearing that mask.
Mittens may work well for you, depending on how you intend to use them and how they’re knitted.
I have a pair made out of Furleece™ yarn, and they’re the warmest mittens I’ve ever worn. In winter I bike with them several hours a day, 4-5 days a week, and I take them off and on frequently and carry things while wearing them. With all of this usage and abuse–rubbing against the rubber handlebar grips, squeezing the brakes, taking my backpack on and off, etc.–holes develop sometimes, and I sew them up when they do. They’re not the most durable mittens, but they are the warmest and coziest I’ve ever had, and that’s an agreeable trade for me.
One thing that may be contributing to the holes is the style used to make the mittens. They were beautifully and impeccably knit by my friend using medium needles and a twined stockinette stitch. While the twining technique adds warmth/thickness, I think that other stitches, such as stockinette, may provide more durability. It seems that the twining leaves more of the yarn’s length exposed and thus susceptible to wearing away under abrasive conditions. Next time I need mittens I’ll try making them with stockinette and smaller needles and see how they compare.
Hats and Scarves:
They’re easy to make, and they’re well suited to show off Furleece™ yarns’ strengths: softness, fluffiness, and warmth!
Dog fur yarn socks could work as sleeping socks or for lounging around the house. I’ve used them like that with no problem, and they were luxurious. Once I started wearing them in boots, though, I quickly started finding holes in the toes and heels. This yarn excels in softness and warmth, but not so much against abrasion. Socks receive a lot of abrasion from feet and floors and footwear. Alpaca, angora, and dog fur are all delicate and soft, so usually aren’t the first choice for making socks just because they’re more at risk for wearing out, which is why alpaca is blended with synthetic fibers commercially for making socks.
A sweater will be intensely warm, so it’s probably best for wearing outside or in a cold house.
I haven’t made a sweater out of dog fluff yet. From what I know about dog fur yarns, I think the best way to approach making a sweater would be to use a seamless design and a more tightly spun yarn. Dog fur yarns are better for knitted stitches than as a sewing thread. Another option would be to use a wool, alpaca, or synthetic yarn for the seaming yarn.
Knitting a neck size large enough to allow the sweater to slip over one’s head easily without undue tugging would also be a good idea. Taking the sweater on and off in a way to reduce tugging on the arms would be a good strategy, too. Keep the strengths and weakness of this yarn in mind for best results–it excels at being toasty and fluffy, and is often very soft, but it has short staple and very fine fibers, so if it undergoes a lot of strain or abrasion then it won’t last as long.
Like angora yarns, dog and cat fur yarns have a halo. And like angora yarns, some of these yarns can shed a bit. I’ve found that Bulky yarns are usually the culprit of this, so I spin DK or Worsted, sometimes Sport, and I don’t see much shedding with the yarn at that weight.
Some yarns might shed a bit when they’re fresh, and stop once the looser hairs have worked themselves out. Knitting loosely will increase the chance of sloughing strands, and knitting densely will diminish it.
I have a cycling facemask made out of Border Collie mix yarn, and it doesn’t shed—I would know if it did, because I’d be inhaling the hair all of the time, or hair would stick to my hands when I handle the mask.
I have a husky hat made from Bulky yarn that still sheds a little bit, but it’s mellowed out now that it’s an older garment.
Yarns spun with very short hair (1″ or less) are more likely to shed noticeably, and longer staple yarns (about 1.5″- 1.75″ and above) will be much less apt to drop fibers.
Blended yarns are a bit different to estimate, since it really depends on if the blended fur is .25″ long, 1″, etc. The potential for some shedding should be anticipated from blends with furs .75″-1″ or less, but moreso with furs .5″ or less, since it’s easier for those short strands to work their way out of the yarn.