Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Little Bunny FooFoo

A few years ago I had an English Angora rabbit.  A red-eyed white, he was a rescue bunny who never quite got over his trauma.  He wasn't happy outside his cage, although eventually he did become relaxed and content while I groomed him, talking and singing as I brushed, plucked and clipped him.  He was around for about 3 years before he died of a kind of bunny stroke.  He was an excellent helper in the garden as he produced copious amounts of fertilizer. 

He grew lovely fiber too.  I even won an award for a hat that I spun and knitted from his lovely fuzzy wool.  However, I have not been tempted to get  a new bunny.  His cage and accessories went quickly to another friend who had bunny fever and continues to raise and breed them for fiber.

Another friend got a gray German Angora bunny at last year's SAFF.  Really, I tried to talk her out of it.  They are not cats with long ears and cool fiber. But Mrs. Simpson became part of her life and she likes her a lot.  Now my friend is an excellent knitter but a new spinner.  We have had a number of conversations about spinning, though I have never seen her spin.  But the conversations that we have had regarding angora spinning made me realize that spinning angora was beyond her skill level. 

Angora is hard!  I seldom spin it alone but usually blend it with a soft wool.  I always sandwiched it between layers of merino and sent it through the drum carder several times.

So that is what I have been doing with this lovely gray angora.  About 5 passes through the drum carder with white merino wool gave me this very pretty batt.  I did not pull out all the short pieces, so it is likely to be a wee bit bumpy.  But it did spin very nicely to a heavy worsted weight 2 ply yarn. I carded another batch with some darker gray wool roving and it it coming out very nicely as well. 

This time I am much fussier about the angora that I am carding.  The brown yarn in the photo is a purchased roving of chestnut angora and pale brown rambouillet wool.  Reasonably nice spinning and already carded for my convenience!

I passed both yarns on to Mrs. Simpson's bunny-mama and she was quite happy!  So much so that she asked if I would spin her angora forever in exchange for all the foo-fur I want.  I suggested she learn to card her own.  Not to be ungenerous, but wouldn't she rather take control of the whole process?  Of course!

1 comment:

Henya said...

Yummy, yummy yarn. I love knitting with angora. Need to find some to knit.