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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is "Halo" Yarn???

Its called Chiengora (pronounced she-an-gora). That is what some people are calling dog hair. Chien is French for dog and gora is from the word angora, which is the fiber the hair most closely resembles. Your dog hair is now regarded as a luxury fiber much like mohair and cashmere.
Dog hair is much warmer and it even sheds water. But, its most striking feature is its fur-like appearance. For warmth it's pretty hard to beat chiengora. It really feels warmer as the temperature drops. Because of this quality, your dog hair is more worn in cool to colder climates. And because chiengora is also fairly water-repellent, it will insulate you better in colder damper weather.
So then...... What is the "halo" you keep hearing about? Halo yarn is just the name given to the "fluffiness" of the yarn or finished piece, such as in any Mohair yarn or an Angora Sweater.

What makes up the "halo" are those tiny, almost microscopic hairs that have worked one end out of the twist and thus creates a fluffy, almost like a halo appearance. Don't be fooled by the initial appearance of your "Keepsake Yarn." It will turn into that beautiful "Halo" appearence after you wear it a few times.

More often than not, when you receive your keepsake yarn, it will look quite similar to commercial or normal Red Heart yarn. But after you handle your keepsake yarn or finished product you will see the results of it separating ontp finer hairs by the main yarn ends twisting apart forming your "Halo" effect around the outside of your project. The longer you work with your keepsake yarn, you will start to see the halo emerge right before your eyes. The more you just touch it, pet it, wash or handle it your keepsake yarn will continue to grow into a beautiful amazing "Halo!"

So,are you as anxious to get the full halo on your WIP as I am? Then try maybe dry cleaning your product and your "Halo"will instantly appear to it's fullest, natural visual aspect. You can slso read more on How to use Your Pet Yarn and how you may want to plan for the halo on your all your projects.

Here is what a mitten might look like after it has its "Halo" the yarn is called "Golden Retreiver" yarn. And the 1st photo is the mitten when it was 1st knit, the 2nd is how it looks after a few wearings. Cool huh?

Yarn that is spun from an animal with a double coat, [under coat of that sofest feeling fur, and then an outside coat of a more coaser feeling hair] pet is up to 80% warmer than wool. think about how wonderful that will feel against your skin and how warm it will keep you in those COLD evenings of winter. The hairs that make up most undercoats of your double-coated pets have a hollow core. These tiny hairs will act like little insulators, they actually absorbe and trap the heat of your pet's body.

So that when you spin it, the hairs do not lose any of their insulating dimensions and they will continue to execute their natural task by absorbing and trapping your body heat. Because of this fact, You may want to think twice about using the yarn to make an entire sweater. It sure would end up becoming a "furnace" effect on your body grabbing all its heat. And then it would end up in the bottom of your sweater chest, as it would become too warm to wear. But if you want to make a sweater with your keepsake yarn, you might want to try knitting just the body of the sweater with other yarn and integrate your keepsake yarn into the rest of your sweater as more of a trim or maybe just the sleeves.

To wash your keepsake yarn you can check out but always remember that professial dry-cleaning is the best way to clean it. Unless you want it to look like its Felted or matted which is caused by three factors: soap; agitation and heat. These three factors are to be avoided at all costs!

And concerning any oders or allergies, because this is your animals hair/fur remember that these are caused by the oils, dander and enzymes in a pet's skin, and not the actual hair itself. so once it is off the animal those fators go away. You can always washing the yarn and it may remove some of the perpetrators.

However, VIP Fibers is the only spinnery that has developed a patented process for permanently removing all of these factors. Even though each natural fiber has it's own indiviual scent, your keepsake yarn will not "smell like your wet dog" and your keepsake yarn will be allergy free.

To store your keepsake yarn try putting it in on an open shelf in a well lit area. Never store your keepsake yarn or any finished product in plastic bags or plastic containers. This will cause the fibers, [any fiber from any mammal contains Keratin, which is a natural protein that is the main diet for cloth moths] to attract moths. These moths will eat through plastic bags and thrust their way under the lids of just about any air-tight container. Fibers that are stored in any air tight container can compound the effect of the scent of the "Keratin" and could act like a flashing "diner" sign for the moths to lay their eggs. Now if you still insist on storing it in plastic, you can try cedar or lavender to help disguise the scent of the Keratin and it might deter the little fellows for a time to keep them away from your treasured knitted items or yarn, However, eventually they will get wiser and go in and lay those eggs.

Cloth moths do not like any kind of light or movement, that is why you might see the adult moths moving away from you and the the yarn when a light hits them. Remember its the darkness that they like. Inotherwords storing your keepsake yarn out in the open, and making sure it is a well lit place will help discourage them from nesting there. Also remember that when you fold your keepsake yarn it will create those dark places that the moths love to snuggle in and it makes a perfect place to raise their families.

All your sweaters, scarves and hats should be hung up even though it may be a pain and takes up more space, it will make you much happier to know that the garments will be "moth free" this way. And your yarn....well bring it out into the open and let people enjoy the wiew of it!

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