Baby Bunny Photo Bomb!

The babies are 2.5 weeks old, and at the peak of cuteness. Enjoy!

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black and agouti baby rabbits, baby angora rabbits, 2 week old rabbits

black baby rabbit, baby bunny black angora rabbit, french angora for sale

after shoot

_MG_8325

group 2 weeks

This litter’s colors are 3 black and 2 agouti. I will be keeping one of the black ones if it is a doe, but the rest I will be selling, so feel free to leave a comment and reserve a bunny for you!

Spring is in the air…

..With baby bunnies again! This litter of 5 is from Chloe (Black Tortoiseshell) x Basil (Chestnut Agouti). I am hoping for some new colors in this litter. (Last litter all the babies were Black Torts, same as their mom Chloe.) I’m not sure what color these guys are yet. I think 3 are all black and 2 are black with pink tummies and ears. They are only a few days old, so by the end of the week they should be old enough for me to take them out of the nest box and get a good look.

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This litter was interesting because 3 were born on Friday afternoon, and 1 was born on Saturday morning, and another Saturday afternoon. All were healthy though, and Chloe seems to be fine. She was early- she wasn’t due until Sunday!

Here is Chloe- she looks pretty ragged because of all the fur she pulled for the nest.

french angora doe after birth, french angora doe, black tort rabbit

From Bunny To Yarn

I finished my first real yardage of Angora yarn! I made my first weaving project, a scarf. Here is the yarn- a lot of time and effort has gone into it!
I blended a 75% alpaca to 25% angora mix, from my French Angora buck, Andre. This yarn has taken most of the summer and fall of 2014 to prepare for – I custom made a hackle to blend the fiber on, harvested the fiber from Andre, I waited until the Rhinebeck festival to get the alpaca, I blended, spun, Navajo plied and steamed the yarn, warped the loom, and now I’m finally using it!

Here are pictures of the process.

Andre, the wool producer

french angora rabbit, chocolate tort rabbit, angora rabbit

My custom hackle- here I’m blending the alpaca and angora to spin.
custom made hackle, hand made hackle, fiber hackle, fiber hackle for sale Here is the finished yarn- Navajo plied, roughly 250 yards.

angora yarn, french angora rabbit, rabbit fur, rabbit wool, angora rabbit yarn, hand spun yarnThen I steamed the yarn, warped the loom, and started weaving!

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I finished the scarf with a technique called hemstitching, which ties off the ends of the woven piece and gathers the warp into groups of fringe.

hemstitching, how to hemstitch, woven scarf, hand woven scarf

And here is the finished scarf!

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angora scarf, hand woven, womens gifts, what to buy for mothers day, easter, hand made scarf, hem stitching, angora scarf Thanks for reading!

The Latest Felt Paintings

I made 3 felt paintings over the holidays. One is of a Baltimore Oriole, one is of a Painted Turtle, and one is landscape.

I started making the paintings to a standard size (8×10 in.) for the first time, so they can easily be mounted on a canvas.
Here is the Oriole piece after wet felting.

Oriole After Wet Felting

And here is the finished painting after needle felting.

Edited Oriole

Next is the Painted Turtle piece before wet felting.

turtle before felting

Here is the piece after needle felting.

felt painting, turtle

This is after I mounted the piece onto an 8″x 10″ canvas.

turtle, felt painting, water, wool

Last is the landscape…

landscape, felt painting, sheep, mountain range

Thanks for reading!

First yarn from rolags

Back in October I was at an antique store and was inspired to make a lemon yellow and robin egg blue yarn from some enamel pots.  yellow rolags, blue rolags, merino, batts, fiber batts

I made some beautiful rolags from merino, tussah silk, and some wool locks. il_570xN.116869084

It was the first time that I
used my blending board
correctly! I didn’t research
how to use the blending
board before I used it earlier
this year, so I didn’t know that
I’m supposed to draft the
rolags while I’m rolling them off.

closeup rolags 2closeup rolags
The rolags were fun to spin. The locks were beautiful when spun. Here are the 2 bobbins before they are plied together.

spun 1
close up spun I spun the yellow single a little thicker than the blue, so the effect is that when I plied, the thinner blue single is wrapped slightly around the yellow single.

lemon enamel closeup
hand spun yarn

A New 10″ Hackle

Recently I made a new hackle (much larger than the first one) to blend wool on. I used 6 cake breaker heads on this one for 2 pitch hackle with a working length of about 10 inches.

 custom hackle, diy hackle, maple wood hackleWe used a nice chunk of maple wood for the base.

2 pitch hackle, fiber prep hackle, double row hackleWe made custom clamps to hold the hackle to my desk. I was pretty excited about these clamps; they look so much nicer than bar or C-clamps. They are made from a 3/8 square U-bolt cut in half. That bolt is at this link: http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/national-hardwarereg%3B-2192bc-675-square-u-bolt-zinc

We also picked up 2 each of 3/8 washers and wing nuts for each clamp. We used 2 pieces of oak wood for the clamps’
pads
custom clamps

custom clamp

It works wonderfully for blending. I’ve been using it to mix some alpaca/angora to spin.

fluffy hackle This hackle cost about $38 to make. Some of the supply costs are listed below, in case you are interested in making your own hackle.

  • 6 cake breakers – $30
  • Square U-bolt, washers and nuts – $6
  • Maple wood – Free

We had the wood and epoxy on hand, and we also had the tools, such as a router, various saws, a power sander and a drill.

Thanks for reading!

The Results of 1 lb of Merino!… and the Escapee

All the way back in September I was given a huge ball of green Merino wool to spin. It’s taken me 2 months to finish it, but it was a good learning experience.

tweed yarn, hand spun tweed yarn, green tweed, merino yarn, merino wool
Tweed Merino 3-Ply HangingI did 3 skeins of true 3-ply, (my first) using my new Lazy Kate. I learned that to create a nice defined 3-ply I should hold each single at an angle from all the others. I did 2 skeins of Navajo Plied yarn, (also my first) and figured out that I either over-spun or over-plied it, because while all 3 skeins of 3-ply were balanced, both of my Navajo plied skeins were unbalanced.

I also did my second attempt at corespinning with this wool. This time my corespinning turned out much better than the first attempt.  I tried this time to spin it thinner, so therefore it wouldn’t be as chunky and get caught in the orifice.

I got around 550 – 600 yards out of this, not counting the 30 or so yards of corespun.

corespun yarn, hand made corespun yarn

Free Range Bunnies

 Steffy (Stefano) has escaped from his cage three times and has been found wandering around the yard! At first I thought I had left his cage door open by accident, but the third time he escaped I had just groomed him and put him back in his cage, so I knew I had fastened the latch right!  I watched him for a minute and figured out that the little bugger had been biting the wire of the cage door and shaking it as hard as he could. If he did it for long enough the latch would come unhooked, and then, bunny freedom! I soon fixed that!

Well, thanks for reading! God Bless, Rebekah

Felted Pumpkins

Just in time for fall!  We went to Rhinebeck’s Sheep and Wool Festival and saw lots of felted pumpkins.  We chose some roving and went to work!

I used scrap wool to felt the basic shape of the pumpkins, and then covered that with the beautiful orange variegated merino wool to create the ribs of the pumpkins.

all three alternate, pumpkins, felted pumpkins, orange wool, variegated merino, orange wool
big one closeup
little closeup           middle

meema setup

I wrapped wool around pipe cleaners and felted it a little to keep its shape, and then wound the wool-covered pipe cleaner around my finger to make the tendrils.

God bless, Rebekah

HFA’s Newest!

Yesterday we drove up to Springfield, Mass. to pick up a new rabbit!

And here he is,a beautiful Jr Chestnut Agouti buck!  I’ve named him Basil. Well, it was a contest between Giacomo, Basil and Stefano. But Basil won out. I think he looks like a Basil.

meet basil

basil side view

His previous owner clipped his coat a bit, so it is not as long as it will be when he grows it out.

As you may have noticed, all my angoras look pretty much the same, as they are all Black and Chocolate Torts.

So I have been searching for a new Frenchie in a different color. In a tort-to-tort breeding, all the babies will be more torts.
In an Agouti-to-Tort breeding I could possibly get more Torts, Agoutis, Black, Orange/Fawn, and maybe Chocolate.
The next litter will be exciting!

2 of the babies have been reserved so far, so in the spring when the babies have all been sold hopefully I will breed another litter.

Thanks for reading!

God Bless, Rebekah

DIY Hackle

Have you ever heard of a cake breaker? Me neither. A few weeks ago I was walking down the kitchenware aisle at our local thrift store, and a giant fork happened to catch my eye. I picked it up because I originally thought that I could make a wool comb out of it.

cake breaker

No one quite knew what it was intended for. (we thought it was for holding meat down while its being cut) After some time on Replacements.com, we found out that this utensil is specifically used for angel food cake. Its supposed to be really good at cutting the cake without squishing it. Who knew?

I decided to make a hackle out of it, so I ordered another off of Amazon to make a 2 pitch hackle.
The other cake breaker is here:http://www.amazon.com/Animewild-R-M-Cake-Breaker/dp/B000FRUNXM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408905724&sr=8-1&keywords=cake+breaker

The supplies I used are here:

supplies

  • Mahogany Wood, or any hard wood
  • Cake Breaker
  • Liquid Epoxy
  • Chisels
  • Wipe-on Polyurethane
  • Power Sander

I measured a groove about half an inch wide and a little less than that deep. I used a chisel to cut the groove.

I used a saw to cut off the heads of my 2 cake breakers (one was sterling silver!)

Than we used liquid epoxy to set the metal heads in the groove. It got a little messy, but sanded off nicely after it dried.
We used a bulk epoxy that we had originally used for another project, but I think a small tube of 2-part liquid epoxy would work. Those small epoxy packs can be found at hardware stores or auto parts stores.

Here’s the epoxy I’m talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Glue-4200101-Epoxy/dp/B001Z3C3AG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_indust_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=13KRHAC7D1Y4XZ13RM7M

epoxy unsanded
epoxy sanded

Then I applied 2 coats of a wipe on polyurethane finish, and taadaa! A hackle!

finished outdoor  top white
finished white

I am going to make another one, 12 inches long. The tines on this one are about 4 inches wide, and while it works, I really need more room to make roving that is long enough to be useful for spinning. My experiment cost under $10 to make as I had most of the supplies on hand and I got the satisfaction and enjoyment out of coming up with idea to make something and having it work!