This page is not a comprehensive spinning FAQ, but simply an FAQ for questions that I often am asked.

What kind of wheel do you use?
I have a single treadle Lendrum folding wheel with several sizes of flyers. I am debating investing in an electric spinner as well.

How to you get the guinea pig hair to use? Are the animals hurt/killed?
Texel guinea pigs have long ringlets, their hair grows about an inch a month, most of what I spin is from the first cutting when they are about 6 months old. It's softer than adult hair, however I have used hair cut later. I use scissors, but some people use clippers.

The guinea pigs are not harmed. They would be very uncomfortable if their hair was allowed to continuously grow, so like humans, sheep, angora goats, angora rabbits, and any domestic animal whose hair grows long, they need haircuts every so often to keep them comfortable.

How many guinea pigs' hair does it take for one skein of yarn?
One trimming of hair is about 2.5 ounces of fiber. A 40% wool, 60% texel skein of yarn about 40 yards long can be made with two coats(6 months' growth).

How do you get the fiber ready for spinning?
I have hand carders and a drum carder that will brush the wool, texel hair and mohair, as well as blend it if I'm blending, and get it fluffy for spinning. Sometimes the fiber is bought ready to spin.

Kool Aid dying? Food coloring dying? Won't that just wash out?
Actually, protein fibers (animal fibers such as wool, silk, mohair, angora rabbit, and texel hair) take dye very easily with the addition of acid and heat. It results in a dye that is pretty permanant. Kool-Aid contains citric Acid, but I usually add a touch of white vinegar as well, Food coloring requires vinegar or another acid to be added. I also use purchased "acid dyes" for protein fibers, however these often are also food grade dyes in higher concentrations.

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